This is a video of a press conference Jerry Sandusky's attorney Joseph Amendola held after an abbreviated court appearance Tuesday where Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Waving the preliminary hearing was a media savvy move on the part of Sandusky and his lawyer, because it means the prosecution's case will not be heard ahead of the actual trial, nor will witnesses have to testify ahead of trial.
However, Amendola went one step too far in his press conference afterwards. When questioned about Mike McQueary's testimony and how they planned to attack his credibility, Amendola went through about a two minute description of what one would have to believe in order to believe McQueary. Right at the end, he says this:
If anyone is naive enough to think for one minute that Tim Curley, Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz and for that matter Graham Spanier, University President, were told by Mike McQueary, that he observed Jerry Sandusky having anal sex with a 10-year old looking kid in a shower room at Penn State or Penn State property and their response was simply to tell Jerry Sandusky that "don't go in the shower any more with kids," I suggest you dial 1-800-REALITY.
Well, someone at Deadspin.com did just that, and discovered that it's a real 800 number for a gay phone sex line. Deadspin has the audio of the intro to prove it. Yes, for 99 cents per minute, you too can "join the fun."
You seriously cannot make this stuff up. I'm sure Amendola thought he was being snarky, but next time he might want to leave off the 800 number reference.
Amendola made it clear during his press conference after the abbreviated court appearance that Sandusky will go after the credibility of each and every victim along with McQueary. They fully intend to challenge the veracity of Mike McQueary's testimony, which the Grand Jury said they found very credible, as well as the eight victims' credibility. I'm sure this is why the attorney for Victim #1 spoke out after the hearing and said he hoped for an acceptable plea bargain. Even with eight victims whose stories touch one another's in different ways, there will be a concerted effort in public and behind closed doors to intimidate, challenge and otherwise discourage each of them from testifying.
As I was searching for this brief clip from today's press conference, I combed through CNN and ESPN transcripts and videos from earlier today. Poor corporate media. They were simply bristling with anticipation, and so disappointed afterward. I particularly enjoyed this bit of angst by reporters who clearly ought to know better:
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: You're going to see most of the victims tell their story. They'll be subjected to cross- examination. It's a limited cross. They can't be attacked about, for instance, their credibility whether they have criminal convictions and things like that. But they will be questioned about their story and whether the story is true or not. so I think we'll get a good picture of what is actually involved in this case today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Or not, because Jerry Sandusky, we are just learning, waived his right in court to a preliminary hearing.
VELSHI: Which means that this hearing that will take place will not happen. He will go straight to trial. We don't know what "straight to trial" means, because this could take --
COSTELLO: Which many analysts say it is a smart move, because you don't want to lay out your case in court. And is it necessary to hear from these six to eight victims to testify in open court with reporters all over the world. Probably, maybe, Paul Callan would know better than I.
VELSHI: According to the people that are there, the judge did ask Sandusky in doing so, does he understand that he's waiving certain rights. In Pennsylvania, ask you a right to this preliminary hearing. And as we discussed earlier, some chance, remote it might be, that the judge determined there wasn't enough to go to trial with.
COSTELLO: With six to eight witnesses.
ROMANS: With all of the prehearing analysis of what to expect today, what to expect today, I didn't hear anybody say you waive this right to this preliminary hearing, which may be another crazy like a fox move from his attorney to kind of --
COSTELLO: Or just a crazy move because a lot of people have accused his attorney.
I'm not sure whether these folks were around during the OJ trial, but anyone who paid even a little bit of attention to it knows there was almost no way Sandusky would have actually gone through with a preliminary hearing. Look at what releasing the Grand Jury presentment did to the case. It's one thing to claim a presumption of innocence and entirely another to expect human beings with human flaws to presume it, particularly when the media is blasting details from the hearing all over the airwaves. There was absolutely no way it was going to happen.
But I do love seeing their disappointed and shocked faces at the realization their sensational sex story might not be flogged every single day.