A 32-minute "mini movie" surfaced on YouTube this Wednesday with the intention of exposing the mass media as a biased entity that "created a false narrative in the Jerry Sandusky scandal" and "framed Joe Paterno for crimes he didn't commit."
The film, The Framing of Joe Paterno, comes via Los Angeles-based conservative filmmaker John Ziegler and culls more than a half-hour's worth of interviews, news reports, and clippings, all of which Ziegler believes either portrayed a media bias against Paterno or helps prove his innocence in the Jerry Sandusky case—the one that recently put the former assistant coach in prison for what will likely be the remainder of his life.
On Friday, Ziegler told the Daily Dot that he hopes to raise “at least several hundred thousand dollars” for the film’s production and that it’s possible The Framing of Joe Paterno would still not see the light of day.
“There are a lot of factors involved,” he said. “There’s the matter of what kind of content we can gather, who will speak with us. There’s the matter of what happens in the next set of trials. It’s a complex situation.”
Thus, Ziegler has chosen first to host an elongated preview on YouTube, where he can gauge interest for the film’s full production and help get the word out virally.
“The very topic that we’re covering—the corrupt nature of the media—is going to do us no favors,” he said. “We'll have to be armed enough to be able to market the film our own. We're not going to get any free publicity.”
“This is a very unique situation. Our mode of distribution has to be completely different. In a normal situation, I would never do this. I would wait until the whole film was done. But for a number of reasons, this makes a lot more sense. This is almost more of a cause than a film that we're doing here. It's like we're in a political campaign. Because of that, we're forced to do things differently.”
Since posting to YouTube Wednesday, The Framing of Joe Paterno mini-movie has accrued more than 11,000 views.
Correction: The original version of this story asserted that Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky were longtime friends.
Photo via Support Joe Paterno/Facebook