But who is the real Sandusky? A 1987 NBC interview of Jerry Sandusky, which resurfaced recently, highlights the power of framing a story.
Back in 1987 Sandusky was cast as the “hero” who set up a charity to help troubled children. Within the context of this narrative the interview showed an affable man, dedicated to helping children.
Fast-forward 24 years and we interpret the same interview with the same man very differently. In light of the allegations against Sandusky, his role in the narrative has changed; he has been recast as the “villain.” Suddenly we notice the menacing smile and his reluctance to look at the camera. Phrases like “frustrated playground director” and “I just have a good time with them” take on a new meaning.
So what was Sandusky (or his lawyer) thinking when he agreed to a telephone interview with Bob Costas? Did he seriously expect to reframe his own story? Despite denying full sexual contact, Sandusky’s hesitant response to the question, “Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to under age boys?” sealed his role in the narrative—at least in the court of public opinion.
Carol Richardson grew up across the pond and has lived and worked in several countries. She loves travel, adventure, and meeting new people—and still prefers rugby over any other kind of "football"—English or American.