The Inside Story of How ESPN Muffled the McQueary Bombshell

ESPN the Magazine recently released a much anticipated expose on Mike McQueary. What should have been a bombshell was yet another classic example of the news media going out of their way to mitigate and obfuscate any truths which deviate from their preferred narrative in this case.

Here is a radio interview I did with KDKA in Pittsburgh where I talk in detail about what I know, based on my conversations with the writer of the piece, that ESPN purposely edited out of it.

Here is just one of the many email chains that I exchanged with Don Van Natta. This is where, among several interesting things, he clearly agrees to protect the identity of the grand juror whom I convinced to speak to him on this condition. Inexplicably, the juror's name, hometown and even employer somehow appeared in the piece.

(Note, the email exchange is in reverse order, the times don't match because we are in different time zones, and some of the contact info has been redacted)

 

 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Van Natta, Don <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>
To: John Ziegler <talktozig@aol.com>
Sent: Wed, Feb 19, 2014 9:59 am
Subject: RE: sandusky letter

Thanks. I’ll call him later today.

 

D.

 

 

From: John Ziegler [mailto:talktozig@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:59 PM
To: Van Natta, Don
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

 

The grand jury is finally willing to speak to you. His name is Stan Bolton. His email is boltonXXX@msn.com he suggests calling him on his cell phone between 3-5 pm in the next two days. His cell is 717-XXX-XXXX

 

FYI, he has plenty of proof he was on the 30th grand jury.

 

best

John Ziegler
talktozig@aol.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Van Natta, Don <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>
To: <talktozig@aol.com> <talktozig@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Feb 18, 2014 11:11 am
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

Great, John. Thanks.

Don Van Natta Jr.

Senior Writer

ESPN The Magazine ~ESPN.com

862-596-XXXX

 

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 18, 2014, at 1:02 PM, "John" <talktozig@aol.com> wrote:

I spoke to the grand juror again. I made a very strong pitch for him to speak to you and he really wants to do it. He said he will get back to me tomorrow with a decision.

Best
JZ

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From:"Van Natta, Don" <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>

Date:Sun, 16 Feb 2014 19:30:40 +0000

Subject:RE: sandusky letter

 

Of course.

 

 

From: John [mailto:talktozig@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2014 2:26 PM
To: Van Natta, Don
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

 

Heard from the grand juror. He wants to talk but his wife is afraid of him getting in trouble. Can I assure him you will protect his identity?

Best
JZ

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From:"Van Natta, Don" <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>

Date:Sun, 16 Feb 2014 02:07:03 +0000

Subject:RE: sandusky letter

 

Still no luck on the grand juror?

 

 

 

From: John [mailto:talktozig@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:33 PM
To: Van Natta, Don
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

 

Just making sure you are fully aware!

BTW, are you also aware (if not, you will love this) that there is a video of Corbett bizarrely claiming he never mentioned a "ten year old boy" even though he specifically mentioned that at the November 10th press conference. The video is on Youtube, but I could send it to you when I get home.

Best
JZ

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From:"Van Natta, Don" <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>

Date:Sun, 16 Feb 2014 01:28:20 +0000

Subject:RE: sandusky letter

 

The misimpression given by the presentment is a big theme in my story. And it will be clear to readers that there is a big difference between a 10 year old, which McQueary says he saw, and a 14 year old, who was certainly old enough to have been aware of an assault.

 

Thanks again. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

 

All best, Don

 

 

 

From: John [mailto:talktozig@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:26 PM
To: Van Natta, Don
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

 

My pleasure to help. Please note from the DUI info I gave you that he was almost 14 at the time of the incident which shows that McQueary did not get a very good look at him, that the prosecution/governor purposely created a misimpression, and that he was obviously old enough to know what was going on if there had really been an assault. Heck, he was only 2 years away from winning a letter on his varsity football team!

Best
JZ

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From:"Van Natta, Don" <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>

Date:Sun, 16 Feb 2014 01:10:58 +0000

Subject:RE: sandusky letter

 

Thanks for all of this.

 

All the best, Don

 

 

From: John [mailto:talktozig@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:10 PM
To: Van Natta, Don
Subject: Re: sandusky letter

 

He wrote the letter after I visited him on January 29th. He is at SCI-Greene state prison in Waynesburg (sic?) PA

Allan's wife's name is Jessi. Her phone number is apparently 814-933-XXXX His mother is Tina and her number is apparently 814-933-XXXX. Allan's last cell number (which is worth a shot but I don't think it is his any more) is 814-441-XXXX

I am 100% positive that he was the person PSU paid as V2 and 99% positive that he was the person that was with Jerry that night.

Best
JZ

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From:"Van Natta, Don" <Don.VanNatta@espn.com>

Date:Sun, 16 Feb 2014 01:01:00 +0000

Subject:sandusky letter

 

John,

 

No word back from Victim 2. Have tried twice.

 

When did Jerry write you that handwritten letter? And in what state prison is Sandusky now housed?

 

Thanks.

 

All the best, Don

 

 

 

Don Van Natta Jr.| Senior Writer

ESPN The Magazine ~ESPN.com
Miami, Florida
862.596.XXXX
Don.VanNatta@ESPN.com

@DVNJr

 

 

 

Just to be certain that the grand juror didn't change the deal I made with VanNatta, I called him and this is the email he sent me in return. I later spoke to him and confirmed his account.

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: XXXX and Stan Bolton <boltonXXX@msn.com>
To: talktozig <talktozig@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Mar 4, 2014 3:50 pm
Subject: McQueary

 

Dear John...I knew something must be going on since I got calls from two local newspaper. I thought we had a confidentiality email from Don. I never gave him verbal or written approval for my name to be used. I thought it was just a good feel talk to shed light on a different outlook. Stan please call

 

 

I emailed Don VanNatta immediately to ask if there was somehow an explanation for why he so brazenly broke our agreement. He never even responded. I have also contacted numerous executives at ESPN about this and have gotten no meaningful response.