What was Jerry Sandusky’s goal in talking to Bob Costas? Read the full transcript. [Here is Cindy Boren’s report.] To my ear it was a near confession. Here, for example, is a telling exchange, rather excruciating to listen to:

BOB COSTAS: Are you a pedophile?


BOB COSTAS: Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?

JERRY SANDUSKY: Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?


JERRY SANDUSKY: Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.

Well. OK. An innocent person doesn’t have to repeat that question and then parse it. You just have to say no.

Why did he give this interview? Did his lawyer encourage it, or, more likely, try to throw a full-body block in front of it? The early Twitter reaction last night was that maybe they are trying to poison the jury pool. He sounded, I have to say, like a guilty man who knows he’s guilty of something but doesn’t think he’s guilty as charged. This is his profession of Almost Innocence. It’s what every con says in a prison interview: Yeah I did some wrong stuff but I’m innocent of this precise allegation. Made some mistakes, but it ain’t like they say. Just some horseplay there. That slapping sound, that was just towel-snapping like what happens in every locker room.

The Towel-Snapping Defense. Wow.

This was must-see, can’t-believe it TV and Bob Costas showed why he’s a superstar talent. This was a clinic in how to do a high-pressure, big-news TV interview on deadline.

Stay tuned.