Will Sandusky Interview Help Or Harm Today's Ratings?

Monday's much publicized Today show interview with former talk-show host John Ziegler about his interview with convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant coach, could wind up doing further harm to the morning show's ratings, several media analysts agreed. Tim Molloy of TheWrap.com wrote, On the one hand, Today could be seen as putting an interview with a child molester in its proper context. Or the show could be seen as trying to have it both ways, by hyping the interview for ratings even as it cast doubt on its believability. Jon Boon, writing for the celebrity website RadarOnline, observed, When first promoted, the Sandusky interview was presented as if it [had] been obtained by NBC News journalists. However it was actually an excerpt from a very subjective film by Ziegler called The Framing of Joe Paterno. Diane Dimond, who herself was accused of airing unfounded accusations of child molestation against Michael Jackson during her decade-long coverage of the Jackson case, called the Today interview with Ziegler a debacle. In a column for the Daily Beast, Dimond, quotes Ziegler as saying that NBC lawyers put him in an insanely restrictive situation about what I could say, particularly about a statement that he claims to have obtained from victim No. 2 in the Sandusky case, denying that he had ever been raped in a shower by the Penn State coach. While Ziegler maintains that he had expected to be interviewed about his contention that former head coach Joe Paterno had been framed, he told Dimond that he found himself having to defend his interview with Sandusky. However, Dimond commented, A rehash of a deceased coach's firing is nothing compared to what a notorious convict says from behind bars. It's the latter that makes for good TV and high ratings in the cutthroat marketplace of morning television -- even if what Sandusky said isn't new or newsworthy.



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