Courtroom testimony in the trial of Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse allegations and the subsequent reporting of that testimony has further indicted the news media as a whole and specific media outlets in particular that collectively attacked Joe Paterno over "only" reporting the incident told to him in general terms by Mike McQueary to the Athletic Director of Penn State and Gary Schultz whose job title as described by a Penn State trustee was "head of Penn State Police Services".
In his courtoom testimony the now 18 year old victim that McQueary saw in the shower with Sandusky in 2002, identified as Victim 2, testified that years before the Sandusky incident at Penn State, he told officials at his high school of the abuse he was enduring at the hands of Sandusky. And according to the now 18 year old witness, school officials didn't believe him. He testified that in 1998 one said, "Jerry's got a heart of gold, he'd never do that".
As reported here months ago from various other sources, there were repeated complaints made against Sandusky years before the shower incident at Penn State by both the boy identified as Victim 2 and his mother, to officials at the boy's high school and the district attorney. There was even a sting in 1998 where a Penn State campus police detective, ( you know, the police agency that ESPN and their journalist collectively think is toy police department) overheard Sandusky all but confess to the boys mother. Nothing was done. And the complaints of the boy and his mother to officials and counselors at the boys high school were also completely ignored.
They were ignored by high school officials, ignored by the DA who declined to prosecute, ignored by the Attorney General, ignored by almost everyone with any knowledge of the complaints against Sandusky. But Joe Paterno became the target of choice for only one reason -- because for the news media, that's where the money was.And still is. Because even in reporting Victim 1's testimony and how his complaints were ignored by school officials at his high school, these officials are reported as just that -- "officials". No names, no titles. Just "officials". Because if the names have no star power, who cares?
When the story first broke that Sandusky would be indicted and news of the incident McQueary had witnessed was being reported, the collective mob mentality in the news media went after Joe Paterno en masse for "only" reporting what he was told to two Penn State University officials within 24 hours and arranging for McQueary to tell what he had witnessed to the man whose job title was Head of Police Services.
But at the same time, the mass media then, as it does now completely ignored the fact that Sandsusky had been investigated years before and nothing was done.
Not only was nothing done, but while the media was chest thumping on their pseudo-moral high horse over Paterno "not doing enough" in terms of who he told, while Jay Bilas, Stuart Scott, Jemele Hill and others were busy making fools of themselves, they completely ignored the question of why no one at Penn State, no officials, no one at the DA's office and no police investigating agency at Penn State ever thought to inform Joe Paterno in 1998, four years before the shower incident, that his defensive coordinator was being investigated for charges of child sexual abuse.
No one, not the media or the Penn State trustees in their knee knocking cowardice ever considered that, aside from the fact that Paterno reported what he had been told within 24 hours, that perhaps had he been told four years earlier about the allegations against Sandusky and the investigation, that what he had been told by McQueary, even in sanitized form, might have taken on more urgency. So the real problem had nothing to do with what Joe Paterno told or others, but what others never told Joe Paterno.
But taking on no name high school officials, a dead DA, and other's with no star power wasn't going to allow a collection of bottom feeding journalists like Sean Gregory, Jason Whitlock and a host of pontificating know nothings at ESPN to pretend moral superiority.
Which is the biggest reason that then as now in reporting McQueary's recent testimony at Sandusky's trial, the media simply referred to these people as "officials". No names. Just "officials".
The trial testimony made clear what anyone who had the facts already knew -- that it was the inaction of everyone but Joe Paterno that allowed the abuse to continue. In fact, a Penn State campus police detective who was involved in the case in 1998 testified he had no idea why Sandusky wasn't indicted at the time but that the DA declined.
The other sordid truth is that the DA and the boys high school officials were simply not newsworthy enough to attack. They wouldn't ring the cash register or allow hypocrites in the news media their moment of phony moral superiority the way the name Joe Paterno would. ESPN was not going to devote hours of programming where anchors could pontificate about the moral failings of a high school coach, assistant principal, DA or guidance counselor whose names no one knew. But Joe Paterno was gold.
It still remains that of all the people given information about Sandusky's behavior, Joe Paterno, with the least amount of information did more than anyone else involved in the whole sordid mess. He reported what he was told within 24 hours both to his immediate superior at Penn State and the head of the Penn State Campus police which was more than the pope or any cardinal or bishop ever did in response to mountains of evidence of serial sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.
So it should also be noted that in Philadelphia, as the trial of Monsignor William Lynn for failing to report child sexual abuse by Philadelphia priests goes to the jury, and using a defense that he was only following orders by then cardinal Bevilacqua to destroy the list of abusive priests he had compiled, the editors of the Philadelphia Daily News have yet to put his picture on the front of page with the word "Shame" as they did with Joe Paterno. Another abject lesson in news media cowardice and dishonesty and what they are really all about.