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Media analyst Walter Brasch looks at the coverage of the Penn State scandal, and concludes that the media are more interested in sex. scandal, and celebrity than in accuracy.

by WALTER BRASCH

There is nothing the media love more than a good celebrity sex scandal.

Since the story of Scarlett Johansson’s purloined nude pictures had run its course, and the media squeezed every drop of ink it could from the Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries engagement/wedding/marriage/divorce, they had to find something else to feed the beast with the insatiable appetite.

Something else was Penn State. Neatly packaged for the media was the trifecta of what passes as journalism—sex, scandal, and celebrity. And so the media circus rolled into State College, salivating at their good fortune.

The “sex” part of the story was that Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator of the Nittany Lions, was accused of 21 felony counts of sexual abuse of boys. A 23-page Grand Jury report, released Nov. 4 following a drawn-out three-year investigation, detailed some of the specifics. However, this story, no matter what the media say it is, is not about sex. It is about child molestation, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child. Big difference.

The “scandal” is that it appeared that high-ranking Penn State officials, although they restricted Sandusky’s access to campus, didn’t contact police or child protection services, possibly believing they were protecting the university’s image.

The “celebrity” part is Joe Paterno, who listened to a graduate assistant who says he saw an act of sodomy by Sandusky, and then, disgusted by what Sandusky may have done, reported it the athletics director and senior vice-president for administration. Paterno met his legal responsibility, and isn’t under any criminal investigation. Questions to Paterno in court would probably result in the defense objecting to hearsay testimony since Paterno never witnessed the act.  

Almost every Pennsylvania TV station and dozens of networks sent camera crews into State College. As the number of TV crews increased, the quality of reporting sank, as almost every on-air reporter seemed to feel a need to ask even dumber questions and make dumber statements than every other reporter. These are the TV stations that send camera crews to out-of-town football games, Spring training in Florida, and bowl games, yet have downsized their news staff, plead economic poverty, and failed to adequately cover critical news stories. In Pennsylvania, it has meant little original reporting about conflict-of-interest and ethics scandals in the state legislature. Sports, apparently, is “sexy”; the public’s money and legislature integrity aren’t.

These are the same members of the media who for many of Paterno’s 46 years as head coach had filed stories that he should step down after any two losses in a row, or during a losing season, or even a season that didn’t have enough wins. The media had also layered comments that Paterno was everything but senile, that he was too old to be coaching. But, Paterno, known in the media as “JoePa,” kept winning, and kept demanding academic and athletic excellence in addition to moral integrity from his players. The university’s library, not any of its athletic buildings, is named for him. America’s best-known coach was building not a place for future NFL stars, but a place where college students could supplement their education to become productive members of society. His graduation rate is among the highest in Division I athletics.

However, based upon the amount of newsprint and air time given to this story, you would swear that Paterno was guilty, arrested, and probably already convicted. The media almost forgot about Sandusky as they began piling on to Paterno. Six column headlines and five minute network stories dominated the news agenda. Like sharks, they smelled blood and circled their prey, a towering figure about to be toppled. With little evidence, these sanctimonious scavengers called for one of the most ethical and inspirational coaches and professors to resign, claiming he didn’t do enough, that he should have personally called the police rather than follow established protocol.
.
Many of the media horde, who had never written any story about Penn State’s excellent academic and research programs, soon began pumping out ludicrous statements that Penn State’s reputation would be tarnished for years. Despite their self-righteous denials, the screeching of “Joe Must Go” in one-inch bold black headlines undoubtedly influenced the university’s board of trustees, which was constantly proving that incompetence isn’t just a media trait. Their attitude seemed to be not whether what Paterno did was a terminable offense, but that to terminate him would somehow save the university’s tarnished reputation—and maybe preserve the value of their own luxury seats at Beaver Stadium.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, three days before the Penn State/Nebraska game, which was to be the last home game of the season, the Trustees, with a push from Gov. Tom Corbett, fired Paterno, thus justifying all the ink and air time spent by the media that seemed distracted from the real story—Sandusky, not Paterno, was arrested.

That night, thousands of students staged a demonstration of support for Paterno. The media called it a riot and almost universally condemned the students for exercising a First Amendment right of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. What little damage done—the highest estimate was about $20,000—was by a relatively small number of participants.

On game day, the media camped in front of Paterno’s house. ESPN coverage of the game, which drew about twice as many viewers as expected, was constantly punctuated by the “scandal,” and what Paterno did and didn’t do. Tragedy had suddenly become a sport.

Contributing to the media’s shameful performance were mountains of crocodile tears, dripping with moral indignation. Had the media spent even a tenth of the time before the Penn State scandal to publish and air stories about child welfare problems, and what could be done to protect the most vulnerable of society, their myriad comments would have been credible.

In contrast to the masses, several reporters did credible reporting, including the hometown Centre Daily Times. But the best reporting might be that of Sara Ganim, who had begun her investigation first at the Centre Daily Times before moving to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Three years after graduating from Penn State, she broke the story in March that the Grand Jury was investigating Sandusky and others. Her story at the time didn’t get much traction. But, for several months she meticulously gathered facts and wrote news, not opinion and speculation, which dominated the work of many of her colleagues, many of whom showed they were incapable of even reaching the journalistic standards of reporting at the National Enquirer.

Perhaps Joe Paterno should have done more; perhaps he should have called the police or at least followed-up with his earlier concern. But, we don’t know yet the facts.

One concern remains. Today, these Monday Morning Quarterbacks of the media and a pack of largely anonymous self-righteous fans all say that unlike Paterno they would have done “the right thing.” How many, if faced by the same set of circumstances, would have done “the right thing” a month ago?

[Assisting on this story was Rosemary Brasch. Dr. Brasch had begun his journalism career as a sports writer and sports editor before moving into public affairs/investigative journalism. He is an award-winning syndicated columnist and retired journalism professor. His latest of 17 books is Before the First Snow, a story of the counter-culture, set primarily in Pennsylvania.]

REPORT: http://s3.documentcloud.org/...
">Grand Jury report, released Nov. 4 following a drawn-out three-year investigation, detailed some of the specifics. However, this story, no matter what the media say it is, is not about sex. It is about child molestation, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child. Big difference.

The “scandal” is that it appeared that high-ranking Penn State officials, although they restricted Sandusky’s access to campus, didn’t contact police or child protection services, possibly believing they were protecting the university’s image.

The “celebrity” part is Joe Paterno, who listened to a graduate assistant who says he saw an act of sodomy by Sandusky, and then, disgusted by what Sandusky may have done, reported it the athletics director and senior vice-president for administration. Paterno met his legal responsibility, and isn’t under any criminal investigation. Questions to Paterno in court would probably result in the defense objecting to hearsay testimony since Paterno never witnessed the act.  

Almost every Pennsylvania TV station and dozens of networks sent camera crews into State College. As the number of TV crews increased, the quality of reporting sank, as almost every on-air reporter seemed to feel a need to ask even dumber questions and make dumber statements than every other reporter. These are the TV stations that send camera crews to out-of-town football games, Spring training in Florida, and bowl games, yet have downsized their news staff, plead economic poverty, and failed to adequately cover critical news stories. In Pennsylvania, it has meant little original reporting about conflict-of-interest and ethics scandals in the state legislature. Sports, apparently, is “sexy”; the public’s money and legislature integrity aren’t.

These are the same members of the media who for many of Paterno’s 46 years as head coach had filed stories that he should step down after any two losses in a row, or during a losing season, or even a season that didn’t have enough wins. The media had also layered comments that Paterno was everything but senile, that he was too old to be coaching. But, Paterno, known in the media as “JoePa,” kept winning, and kept demanding academic and athletic excellence in addition to moral integrity from his players. The university’s library, not any of its athletic buildings, is named for him. America’s best-known coach was building not a place for future NFL stars, but a place where college students could supplement their education to become productive members of society. His graduation rate is among the highest in Division I athletics.

However, based upon the amount of newsprint and air time given to this story, you would swear that Paterno was guilty, arrested, and probably already convicted. The media almost forgot about Sandusky as they began piling on to Paterno. Six column headlines and five minute network stories dominated the news agenda. Like sharks, they smelled blood and circled their prey, a towering figure about to be toppled. With little evidence, these sanctimonious scavengers called for one of the most ethical and inspirational coaches and professors to resign, claiming he didn’t do enough, that he should have personally called the police rather than follow established protocol.
.
Many of the media horde, who had never written any story about Penn State’s excellent academic and research programs, soon began pumping out ludicrous statements that Penn State’s reputation would be tarnished for years. Despite their self-righteous denials, the screeching of “Joe Must Go” in one-inch bold black headlines undoubtedly influenced the university’s board of trustees, which was constantly proving that incompetence isn’t just a media trait. Their attitude seemed to be not whether what Paterno did was a terminable offense, but that to terminate him would somehow save the university’s tarnished reputation—and maybe preserve the value of their own luxury seats at Beaver Stadium.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, three days before the Penn State/Nebraska game, which was to be the last home game of the season, the Trustees, with a push from Gov. Tom Corbett, fired Paterno, thus justifying all the ink and air time spent by the media that seemed distracted from the real story—Sandusky, not Paterno, was arrested.

That night, thousands of students staged a demonstration of support for Paterno. The media called it a riot and almost universally condemned the students for exercising a First Amendment right of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. What little damage done—the highest estimate was about $20,000—was by a relatively small number of participants.

On game day, the media camped in front of Paterno’s house. ESPN coverage of the game, which drew about twice as many viewers as expected, was constantly punctuated by the “scandal,” and what Paterno did and didn’t do. Tragedy had suddenly become a sport.

Contributing to the media’s shameful performance were mountains of crocodile tears, dripping with moral indignation. Had the media spent even a tenth of the time before the Penn State scandal to publish and air stories about child welfare problems, and what could be done to protect the most vulnerable of society, their myriad comments would have been credible.

In contrast to the masses, several reporters did credible reporting, including the hometown Centre Daily Times. But the best reporting might be that of Sara Ganim, who had begun her investigation first at the Centre Daily Times before moving to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Three years after graduating from Penn State, she broke the story in March that the Grand Jury was investigating Sandusky and others. Her story at the time didn’t get much traction. But, for several months she meticulously gathered facts and wrote news, not opinion and speculation, which dominated the work of many of her colleagues, many of whom showed they were incapable of even reaching the journalistic standards of reporting at the National Enquirer.

Perhaps Joe Paterno should have done more; perhaps he should have called the police or at least followed-up with his earlier concern. But, we don’t know yet the facts.

One concern remains. Today, these Monday Morning Quarterbacks of the media and a pack of largely anonymous self-righteous fans all say that unlike Paterno they would have done “the right thing.” How many, if faced by the same set of circumstances, would have done “the right thing” a month ago?

[Assisting on this story was Rosemary Brasch. Dr. Brasch had begun his journalism career as a sports writer and sports editor before moving into public affairs/investigative journalism. He is an award-winning syndicated columnist and retired journalism professor. His latest of 17 books is Before the First Snow, a story of the counter-culture, set primarily in Pennsylvania.]

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Comment Preferences

  •  The posturing is hard to stomach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, Azdak

    ...with people from Howard Stern to  Donald Trump boasting that  "if it was me" they would punched him out, castrated him, whatever. It's not about you.

  •  Eh, it's America. This is how we roll. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Bob Johnson

    Bad shit happens, powerful people do nothing or not nearly enough, institutions safeguard their institutional interests (in this case it's nuanced by the fact that a public university's institutional interests at least roughly concord with the interests of society--it's not a petrochemical company), the media wants to make money, and college students want to get drunk and destroy stuff.  Everybody says that things will never, ever be the same.  Then they go back to being more or less the same, safe for a handful of people directly involved as perps or victims.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:53:02 AM PST

  •  It's a fucked up mess. And by all means the ones (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    deserving the most compassion and sympathy are the children assualted and raped by the pedophile. But I will catch hell in this community because I don't see Paterno or Penn State as the villains. Many want to see the institution that has stood for so much that is good get clobbered to the point of nonexistence. Well, if they want to paint broad brushes for all bad eggs, and that's not making light of the asshole Sandusky I just didn't know how else to make the point, then the Catholic Church should be outlawed in the USA.

    •  Paterno wasn't a villain, I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hockeyray, Cartoon Peril, Loge

      The punishment in his case seems to fit the crime.  You enjoy the benefits of everything your staff does (who could think he has been the real coach for the last few years?), you take the fall for it.  Same with Spanier.  And the idea that the whole University is implicated in this, except for some legal sense (that it's all one entity for legal purposes), is really too stupid to even deal with.

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:57:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Still Wondering If Paterno (4+ / 0-)

      would have merely followed the minimum reporting requirements if it had been his granchild.   Still don't think so. Leadership and accountability was totally absent.

      -approaching Curmudgeonry with pleasure

      by Calfacon on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:25:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Abuse of children and abuse of power (0+ / 0-)

    It is hard to know what to believe as the stories emerging are so conflicting.  Spanier, who was fired, still lives in the mansion, another of the men fired still shows up to work every day, McQueary's statement to the police which he says he gave is not in evidence?  I think Joe Paterno simply did not want to believe what McQueary told him, although a recent report on CNN said he did not attend Sandusky's retirement party which leads me to think he did believe and was revolted by the accusations.  At the least, this is being handled very clumsily by all concerned.  

    McQueary said he did stop the abuse, however, since he will be a key witness in the trial, he cannot elaborate.  

  •  Sometimes, despite all that a person has done (9+ / 0-)

    or accomplished for the sake of a business or organization or whatever, they make a mistake so egregious that there simply is no alternative but to let them go. Past success isn't always enough nor should it ever be to allow you to keep your job when you fuck up big time.

    And JoePa fucked up big time.

    You can attempt to make this an issue about the press and bemoan lousy reporting and the tendency to sensationalize the story as a way to distract from Paterno's failure to protect innocent children but the press' handling of the scandal is nothing new or unique. The continued decline of the MSM is railed against on this site every day.

    But it doesn't change the fact that despite having a statue erected in his honor, a library named after him, or outstaning success in graduating athletes, Paterno failed to follow through when it mattered most. No amount of previous achievement or accomplishment would ever be enough to overcome his moral and ethical failure involving a case of sexual child abuse and rape that took place in his own locker room.

    The beloved coach may have committed no crime himself but under the circumstances that alone isn't enough of a justification for allowing him to keep his job. Nor should it ever be.

    Paterno earned many deserved accolades throughout his long and storied career. And he earned his dismissal too.


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:13:01 AM PST

    •  I see no problem with how Paterno was handled. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, jayden, Loge

      It was on his watch and thus his responsibility. I don't think any less of him though you may disagree. I attribute his actions more to upbringing and the times that he lived in than any moral deficiency.

      I have a problem when it comes to folks suggesting that the Penn State football program deserves the death penalty over this. This program has been on all the pedestals for being above board. They have insisted on acedemic excellance from all of their players. It seems ridiculous to me that a program doing all the right things should be cut off because of one renegade.

      •  Not cut off, but certainly cut down a notch or two (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden

        It's always going to have a unique status--it's the only sport for which over 100K people will pay big money to attend.  It would be idiotic to throw that away.  But it should no longer be seen as representing any higher values.  In general I think people should be bound by rules and the prospect of punishment rather than by higher ideals and self-policing, because some people are unwilling to police themselves and they will use the ideals as cover.  I'm a Burkean that way, I guess.

        But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

        by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:35:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I disagree. If this program was your (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Loge

          run of the mill "pay for play" program you might have a point. only in that they would be getting their due for being cheats in the first place. To take what is probably the most honest NCAA Football program and slap them down because of some off the field staff is ludicrous.

          •  I'm not sure we are in disagreement (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jec

            I wouldn't make any changes to the football program in itself.  I would promote a cultural change in how everyone else thinks about football.

            But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

            by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:16:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure that the players need to change how (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Loge

              they think about football. The ones that needed to change have been relieved. As far as i'm concerned, like you said above the punishment fit the crime, the folks that needed to be punished were. I see no need to further punish these guys.

      •  Um, he lived in the present. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azdak, The Werewolf Prophet

        Making excuses for him based on his upbringing or age helps no one.

        As far as the NCAA death penalty I will wait until the investigations are complete. At that time if it is found that actions or lack thereof were taken for the sake of the Penn State football program then I would support the death penalty if the NCAA saw fit. Sometimes it's just a few rotten apples but sometimes the entire bushel is bad. We'll have to wait and see which category this scandal falls under.

        As far as NCAA sanctions are concerned the motive is very important for why these men failed to take appropriate action. Was it to protect a friend and colleague or was it to protect a football program or was it both?

        Football programs are run by people and the decisions those people make should have consequences, for themselves and for the program they represent.

        And once again, a program can do all the right things for years but just like an individual, one bad enough mistake could and should be able to end it.


        Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

        by jayden on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:22:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if you can't fathom that an 80 year old man (0+ / 0-)

          might have a different world view than what is acceptable today then I don't know how to respond to that. I guess we should have punished all living souls during the American Japanese Internments when the country finally woke up to the atrocity.

          Forgetting about that, because your just wrong, what does the football program have to do with some off the field pedophile? And mind you, you may not want to admit it, but we're talking about one of the most respected college football programs in the country.

          The program has nothing to do with the deviant that some protected. The protectors have been punished. Why do you want more? To make a point? You have no qualms about fuking with the innocent players on the team?

          •  If Paterno's "worldview" is as out of touch (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Azdak

            as you excuse it to be then he had no business coaching college football in this century. He should have retired or been forced out long ago with his reputation intact. And again, you're just making excuses for the inexcusable.

            And reread my last comment before spouting off. I don't "want" anything other than a fair and thorough investigation and the justice that will come from it. Apparently you've lost the ability to discuss the situation rationally as you've resorted to making false implications about what I've written and you're attempting to put words in my mouth by asking insincere questions.


            Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

            by jayden on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:18:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hogwash! I'm not making excuses for Paterno I (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Loge

              said he deserved what he got. You're the one trying to twist everything around so you can ride in as a white knight dogooder.

              If you have some beef with the football program spell it out. Stop trying to punish them for shit beyond their control. The folks that headed the program have been punished with the ultimate from the school and likely face further jeopardy in the courts. They are the one you so desperately want to lynch, why are you trying to punish innocent players?

              •  Calm down, sparky. (0+ / 0-)

                It's funny because while you imagine me riding in as a dogooding white knight I imagine you with clenched fists holding your breath and turning blue as you jump up and down calling people names while spittle flies out of your foaming mouth. Unfortunately for you I'm not riding in anywhere and I look horrible in white.

                Once again, read what I wrote and stop with the melodramatics. You're the one running around making claims that aren't supported by what I wrote. But hell, go ahead and continue to mischaracterize my words if it makes you feel better. Or call me more names if it suits your delicate ego because I really don't care what you think at this point.


                Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

                by jayden on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:02:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Your diary is an editorial mess (5+ / 0-)

    You have repeated large sections, which makes it look like some or all has been copied from another source. I suggest removing the duplicate section and putting any quotes in blockquotes. Also indicate that the link is a pdf, which some people might choose not to download.

  •  No sympathy for poor ol' Joe here. (9+ / 0-)

    Sorry.

    We'll see what ends up coming out about what he knew and when he knew it.

    Anyone who had any knowledge of Sandusky's actions and didn't turn him in to the police gets zero respect in my book.

    Sandusky is sick, and, yes, he will go away for the rest of his life. But his enablers don't have the excuse of being severely psychologically damaged. They knew right from wrong, and none of them -- including Paterno -- did the right thing.

    Quit blaming the media and start blaming the people who had dozens of chances to stop this monster over the years.

    •  I'm happy to blame those people... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Johnson, Loge

      ...but still have nasty things to say about the media.  I don't see them as mutually exclusive.

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:32:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The media is neither here nor there. (5+ / 0-)

        These crimes went on for years after it was clear that Sandusky was a threat to children. The media didn't cause that to happen.

        Part of the reason the media circus became so pervasive is the so-called sanctity of Paterno and the football program at Penn State. The media, reflecting the thoughts of many people I would guess, sees the hypocrisy in the "holier-than-thou" attitude while a monster lurks in the background.

        •  Ahh...so forget the fact that the program may have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge

          actually been more above board then the rest, it was the media "reflecting the thoughts of many people" which made them seem better than the rest, so it couldn't be true.

          Go on your crusade BJ, I can think of no more pressing issues at the moment then you trying to destroy one of the few legitimate college football programs in the country.

        •  The media is its own issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Johnson

          Nothing the media does has any relevance to the actual facts of the case, but the media's coverage is a legitimate issue in itself.  

          But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

          by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:20:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It shouldn't be an issue. The media should have (0+ / 0-)

            the right to play their sensationalisitc pieces. But they should also have the responsibilty to report the facts. If you just read some of the comments in this diary you might think that the Penn State Football organization is run of the mill. The fact is that they are not.

            Lots of folks on this blog decry the false equivalencies given in the media. Well it's true for this story too.

        •  The volume of media coverage is a reflection of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Werewolf Prophet

          the degree of public outrage.

          The strong public reaction in this case did not come from some ginned-up media hype machine. Just the opposite.

          The media coverage became hyped up in response to the intense public outrage that developed because people read the grand jury report. This is one incident that didn't need any embellishment.

          Until recently, the media has actually been way behind on this story.

          Trying to mitigate this story by deflecting blame to "the media" is just another form of denial IMO.

          Voting for a republican because you are disappointed in Obama is like leaving your kids with a pedophile because you're pissed that the babysitter was late.

          by Azdak on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:50:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Predictable comment. (0+ / 0-)
      •  As was your comment upthread. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Morgan Sandlin, Lilyvt, FrostyKotex, Azdak

        You want to isolate the crimes of Sandusky to Jerry Sandusky. Sorry, but that's not how it works. There is plenty of evidence that many people knew and did nothing.

        •  Oh really? Do you have sources or are (0+ / 0-)

          you amist a circle jerk?

        •  there's evidence that 4 other people (0+ / 0-)

          knew and did nothing, at least at the university.  second mile is another issue.  3 have been fired, one is going to lose his job at the end of the semester, two are on criminal indictment.  

          Meanwhile, something like 70 student-athletes (who at PSU are in fact student athletes) and coaches, and administrative staff, and students who are just random kids have to bear the brunt of the media sensationalism.  I heard stories to the effect that interviewers don't want to hire Penn State students, that applications to its graduate programs are down, etc. I've seen good sportswriters -- Allen Barra and Charlie Pierce, in fact -- say fair's fair because Penn State students who did nothing wrong should completely put the concerns of the (alleged) victims first.  Pierce went as far as to say he didn't care if the whole university, one that has lifted countless students into the middle class, got shut down.  However, as i understand the scandal, it was a refusal to isolate and target individual responsibilities that created the mess.

          Ironically, lawyers for the victims have said they don't necessarily want the football program shut down.  Remember, a lot of them were at football camps, so they have no issues with the game, itself.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:36:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Protest vs Riot? (3+ / 0-)

    Tearing down lamp posts, overturning cars - does not define just a "protest" for me; sounds very much like a riot.  And all because the man in charge of the Football program is being held accountable for his lack of action?  

    -approaching Curmudgeonry with pleasure

    by Calfacon on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:29:18 AM PST

    •  OWS hasn't tipped over ANY cars. (0+ / 0-)

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:48:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and what about the students (0+ / 0-)

      who outnumbered those rioters vastly holding a vigil for the victims?  

      Penn State is one of the largest, and most politically and economically diverse campuses in America.  You can find 100 idiots to support any conceivable idea there.  

      That said, while I agree with much in the diary, it is very poorly argued.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:38:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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