Last night, Jon Stewart was just as baffled as everyone else by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's bizarre telephone interview with NBC's Bob Costas on Monday. Saying he had "raised the insanity bar," Stewart dissected the interview, pointing out that Sandusky can't even bring himself to lie emphatically, while criticizing his defense attorney Joe Amendola (who has his own ethical issues with underage teens) for allowing the interview to happen in the first place: "Now I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that when you're accused of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, you may not want to literally phone in your defense on national television."
Sandusky is facing forty criminal charges that he raped or otherwise sexually abused eight children—and since his arrest, at least ten more alleged victims have reached out to investigators about him. The most publicized incident thus far is the 2002 one in which he was allegedly observed by Mike McQueary in the Penn State showers anally raping a 10-year-old boy. While Sandusky called that a misunderstanding ("Okay, we—we were showing and—and horsing around."), an email has now emerged in which McQueary tells a friend that he stopped the alleged rape from occurring, and talked to police about it in 2002.
In the email—dated Nov. 8 this year—from McQueary's Penn State account, he tells the friend he was the first person he was telling this story to, and officials warned him not to say anything about the matter:
I did stop it, not physically... but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room... I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police.... no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds... trust me.
Do with this what you want... but I am getting hammered for handling this the right way... or what I thought at the time was right... I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.
This is off record... again... I have not and will not say anything to anyone else.
While the investigation into the alleged child abuse continues, and Penn State continues to reel from accusations that the school and many of its highest officials (including legendary former coach Joe Paterno) ignored reports of the abuse, at least one person is unequivocal about what should be done. Sarah Palin told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Sandusky should be hanged:
Hang him from the highest tree, and I'll bring the rope if he is guilty of what has been alleged
— if he abused these young children and ruined their lives unless they get a lot of help, Greta, in order to deal with the victimization that they are now suffering from. He needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law if he is truly guilty.
As Palin focused on her revenge fantasies, Van Susteren twice tried to remind Palin about that annoying little thing known as our criminal justice system: "You don't just want to just hang him by the tree, I assume you want a criminal process...I know everyone is going to jump all over us if you didn't say we’re going to go through the legal system," Van Susteren said.