November 15, 2011
Tuesday afternoon, Twitter went abuzz.
CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian tweeted that he was going to have an exclusive interview with Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary, the only witness to Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abusing a young boy in the Penn State locker room showers.
McQueary had not spoken publicly and the only insight into what he saw has come through his grand jury testimony and various emails that surfaced on Monday, in which McQueary claimed he stopped Sandusky's abuse and went to the police. So when the CBS Evening News came on everyone waited with bated breath to hear exactly what McQueary had to say.
And 24 seconds later we were no more informed that we were before the interview started.
Here's the entire transcript of Keteyian's interview:
Keteyian: "When do you think you'll be ready to talk?"
McQueary: "The whole process has to play out. I just don't have anything else to say."
Keteyian: "Describe your emotions right now."
McQueary: "All over the place, just kind of shaken."
Keteyian: "You said like what, Mike?"
McQueary: "Like a snow globe."
Keteyian: "Like a snow globe."
McQueary: "Yes sir."
Congratulations, you have just read the most oversold interview ever.
This wasn't a real interview. This was the equivalent to McQueary telling Keteyian to get the heck off his porch. McQueary was polite, but unlike Sandusky and his lawyer, who appeared on CNN and NBC Monday night, respectively, McQueary wasn't going to jeopardize his upcoming testimony.
And let's be honest, Sandusky and his lawyer did themselves no favors talking to the media and trying to defend Sandusky's actions. If anything, the interviews made the lawyer sound naïve and Sandusky sound creepy (more creepy if that's even possible).
McQueary isn't on trial. Legally, he's not accused of doing anything wrong, so going on television and stating his case doesn't do what he's supposed to do and that's help the victim of the abuse (something we're not totally sure he did the first time). The only thing a television interview does for McQueary is make him feel better that he's gotten his side of the story told. But at this point, that doesn't really matter.
But back to the point, CBS gets a FAIL for its promotion of this interview. CNN and NBC are out in front and this was a sad ploy to try to catch up. It would be shocking to learn that Keteyian actually set up this "interview" and didn't just show up on McQueary's doorstep with a microphone and a camera.