In a move so trivial and inconsequential many members of congress are too embarrassed to talk about it, and a move which escaped scrutiny by the mass media since it had nothing to do with sex, Republicans in the House, as part of the budget extension deal that averted a government shut down, insisted on including language that eliminated the ban on incandescent light bulbs that was due to go into effect on January 1. The ban the Republicans scuttled was actually part of an energy efficient initiative signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007.
Supposedly this conservative uprising over the ban on incandescent light bulbs began on -- where else -- conservative talk radio who seemed to feel the bulb ban was a threat to personal freedom. And many Republicans in the House agreed..
So Republicans, sensing the threat to our freedoms that the phasing out of incandescent bulbs represented in favor of new energy efficient bulbs, banded together and drew a line in the sand, insisting on language that blocked the energy efficiency standards from going into effect January 1.
This, they claim, was necessary to keep government interference out of the living rooms and light sockets of America and to preserve the freedom of choice they believed was the right of all Americans when it came to light bulbs.
So Republicans and conservatives are fanatically pro choice. When it comes to light bulbs.
They insisted that the government had no business interfering with a person's right to choose an incandescent bulb no matter how inefficient they are. For them it was a matter of principle and how much control the government can and cannot have over a person's life. When it comes to a person's freedom of choice, light bulbs yes, pregnancy no.
The Republican's "keep your government hands off my light bulbs" initiative succeeded, and the energy efficiency standards set to go into effect January 1 have been rescinded. Rescinded even though the major manufacturers of light bulbs began phasing out the incandescent bulbs long ago in anticipation of the 2007 standards going into effect.
So while the country continues to struggle with unemployment, a stagnating economy and huge deficits, Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon said about the light bulb issue:
"There are just some issues that grab the public attention. This is one of them. It's going to be dealt with in legislation once and for all".
That's what he said. Really. And this came from a Republican congressman from, of all places, Oregon, the same Oregon where Republicans and conservatives called environmentalists trying to save the forests in Oregon "tree hugger"s. Who knew they would turn out to be light bulb huggers?
Its also hard to know if Republicans were getting pressure from groups on the Christian Right who believe the words in the Bible "let there be light" mean incandescent or those interpreting it to mean a natural right to any light a person wants.
Democrats could have taken the light bulb issue and made Republicans look like idiots while scoring huge political points if they had Democratic political strategists, commentators and elected officials in congress who weren't so busy making themselves look like idiots when it comes to politics.
So the second joke becomes, how many Democrats does it take to cave in to Republican efforts to unscrew efficiency standards? The answer is always the same: three. The same three that are always caving in to something. Pelosi, Reid, and of course, the one man mining disaster himself, the sanctimonious impurist, Barrack Obama.
So now, thanks to the light bulb issue, we now have two new categories of jokes to add to the lexicon - "Republican Jokes", and "Democratic Jokes" . The problem is that most of the country don't think either are very funny. Because the energy standards which would have made light bulbs 30% more efficient, still provided for light bulb choices that were more than adequate.
It's our current choices for president and congress that are inefficient.
No one knows if Joe Paterno will sue Sean Gregory, Time Magazine, Jason Whitlock at Foxsports.com, Jemele Hill, the Philadelphia Daily News and almost every commentator covering college football at ESPN for libel and defamation. Money wouldn't be the motive. All the money could be donated to children's causes and scholarships to the Penn State School of Journalism for any journalism student signing a pledge to not become an incompetent, mob-brained idiot when they go out into the real world. But if Joe Paterno had an open and shut case before against the news media (and he did), that case is now sealed shut completely against the media.
The last nail in the news media's coffin was hammered in a few days ago by Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend of Mike McQueary who also testified in front of the grand jury.
Most people following the events at Penn State already know that Dr. Dranov stated publicly and in his grand jury testimony, that Mike McQueary gave him a totally different account of what he saw in the showers at Penn State than what he testified to in his grand jury testimony.
According to Dr. Dranov, McQueary told him that as he approached the showers, he "heard the shower running" and saw a young boy poke his head out around the corner of the stall, then saw a male adult arm pull the boy back. He then says he saw Sandusky wrapped in a towel leave the shower with the boy.
Dr. Dranov testified to the grand jury that he asked McQueary three times if he had seen any sexual activity between the boy and Sandusky and all three times McQueary answered "no".
Based on McQueary's answers Dr. Dranov advised him not to go to the police but to report what he saw to Joe Paterno. For the record the Philadelphia Daily News has not run a picture of Dr. Dranov on the front page with the word "Shame". And Jay Bilas at ESPN has not demanded that Dr. Dranov lose his license for "failing to do enough". And I have not heard Stuart Scott on ESPN say of Dr. Dranov, "doesn't he get it"?
While Joe Paterno said from the beginning that he was never told any of the things by McQueary that McQueary told the grand jury, Paterno was not given the opportunity to say exactly what he was told. Penn State canceled Paterno's press conference where he was going to tell what he knew.
Without knowing what McQueary told him but knowing that Paterno had said he wasn't told details or specifics of what McQueary saw, the press simply invented and fabricated what Paterno knew, or just as bad, assumed it, then accused Paterno of not "reporting it" or "doing enough" based on their fabrications, and demanded he be dismissed because of it.
Now with Dr. Dranov's statement, it is a certainty that McQueary never told Paterno anything more in substance than he told Dr. Dranov. If Dr. Dranov advised him to go to Paterno and not the police based on what McQueary told him, it is not possible that in going to Paterno he would have given him a different and more specific account of what he saw.
Dr. Dranov's statement and grand jury testimony makes a few more things clear as well for those too factually and logically challenged to have not seen this from the beginning: Mike McQueary, as Joe Paterno said in his first statement never told him anything about any sexual contact involving Sandusky and a young boy and it's clear from what McQueary told Dr. Dranov, that he was much too uncomfortable to give anyone, Dr. Dranov or Joe Paterno, the whole story about what he had seen. Until he testified to the grand jury.
McQueary's grand jury account is undoubtedly the correct account. It is highly unlikely McQueary would have fabricated what he saw to a grand jury. But now, for those who foolishly swallowed the initial press accounts and believed what they read and heard and not Joe Paterno, there is corroborating evidence that McQueary did not relay exactly what he saw, or thought he saw, whether to Dr. Dranov or Joe Paterno.
What impact it will have on the legal proceedings involving Curley and Schultz remain to be seen. If they were told the same thing by McQueary that he told Paterno and Dranov, it will be hard to prosecute someone for not reporting a crime they were never told about in the first place.
But as it relates to Joe Paterno, and those who unthinkly swallowed the nonsense the media was peddlng there is a lot of soul searching that needs to be done, though its always hard for people to admit they were made fools of. And among those that need to do the soul searching are the Penn State trustees and two U.S. senators from Pennsylvania.
Paterno was the media cash cow in all this. His name and picture were seen more than twice as much as Jerry Sandusky's. He became the story and all as a result of of incompetence, dishonesty and greed and of course the phony facade of protecting children if you dont think it was phony try finding a media outlet demanding the resignation of the Pope over the institutional child abuse committed by priests with the knowledge of the Pope and other higher ups in the church heirarchy.)
As has been said here before, this is bigger than Joe Paterno. The country is poorer because of a news media with no journalistic standards, populated by incompetents on every level and motivated by nothing except profits and self interest. Which makes these journalists, the way they practice journalism, and those who believe what they sell a real threat to democracy and American values. In other countries in other times it was called propaganda. And it was very effective.
In Joe Paterno's case we saw journalists like Sean Gregory at Time magazine, Jason Whitlock, Jemele Hill and others report as fact things they knew for a fact they didn't know, and then pontificate about these things, for the sake of a big story as if they inhabited some delusional moral high ground. This time it was Joe Paterno who suffered the temporary consequences. But unless something is done about the media we will all suffer greater consequences. In fact a case can be made that just about all the problems the country has now and has had for the last 15 years can be traced to a news media too incompetent and too cowardly to do the job the Founders envisioned for the news media when they wrote the first amendment. Because the media will not hold politicans accountable for anything if they think it's not in their self interest.and when it comes to government accountablity, self interest for the media is money and access. And they wont endanger either one. For anything.
Committing immoral acts in the name of morality is nothing new. It's what mobs do whether its the Salem Witch Trials or the modern day news media. The media do it all the time. They did it to Richard Jewel in 1996 when without a shred of evidence, labeled him the Olympic Bomber and made his life hell for three months. Jewel ended up suing and settled out of court for tens of millions from NBC, Tom Brokaw, CNN, the Atlanta Constitution and others. But it didnt solve the bigger problem.
The bigger problem is the media's lack of standards which is on display every day whether its politics or policy or "scandals" that arent really scandals. They will inflate anything they think will bring in a bigger audience and generate more revenue even if they have to diminsh and set aside the things that really matter. They are afraid to report the truth about anything if they think it will cause a backlash that will hurt their bottom line. But they will lie and distort if they think it will make money and they can get away with it. And with the lies they told about Joe Paterno, they believed, in their uniquely sanctimonious way, they could get away with it
The out of control, dishonest media frenzy involving Joe Paterno was as much an abuse of the first amendment as Sandusky's alleged abuse of children. And just as vile. And unfortunately for the country a lot more frequent. But maybe this time, if enough people get angry, it will be time for some real accountablity for the news media and there will be demands that wrongs and injustices be made right.
A libel and defamation suit by Joe Paterno against certain news outlets would be absolutely patriotic. But that is solely for Joe Paterno and his family and his lawyers to decide. But there are other things people can do if they are outraged enough to demand accountability. And there will be more to say about what those things might be, in the future.
UPDATE 11:32 p.m. 12/15/2011. Finally there is some specificity to what Joe Paterno was told by Mike McQueary and what Paterno's reaction was and what he did. Paterno's previously sealed grand jury testimony was read along with testimony from the stand by Mike McQueary about what he had told Paterno. And in all cases it convicts the mainstream news media of the gross abuse, lying, incompetence, dishonesty and distortion they displayed from the beginning when they not only didnt know the facts of what Paterno knew and what he did, they knew they didnt know the facts and fabricated lies anyway.
According to the Sporting News account of what happened in the hearing for Curley and Schultz, "McQueary testified on Friday that he did not go into graphic detail with Paterno about what he had witnessed out of respect for Paterno". This jibes with Paterno's first and only public statement that he was never told any of the things McQueary told the grand jury about what he saw.
According to Paterno's grand jury testimony Paterno took what he thought was the appropriate action when he told Curley.
“I figured Tim would handle it appropriately,” Paterno told the grand jury. He added: “I didn’t push Mike…because he was very upset. I knew Mike was upset, and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster. Monday, I talked to my boss, Tim Curley, by phone, saying, 'Hey we got a problem' and I explained the problem to him,"
Eventually Paterno did meet with Schultz the overseer of the Penn State police with McQueary present.
So now we can substantiate the only facts that had been out there from the beginning, facts which the mass media ignored. McQueary made it clear that he did not go into graphic detail about what he had seen in the shower. Paterno made clear that he knew that McQueary felt "some kind of inappropriate action" had taken place with Sandusky and a boy.
Paterno called his boss, Tim Curley to tell him what he knew on Monday after he met with McQueary. In one of the most spectacular displays of hypocrisy ever seen, ESPN, one of the loudest voices in criticizing Paterno for "not doing enough", had an audiotape containing admisssions of child sexual abuse related to Bernie Fine and did nothing, called no one, reported it to no one, alerted no one, and never even revealed the existance of the tape for ten years.
Sean Gregory's lie in Time magazine in early November that "Joe Paterno knew a ten year old boy was anally raped in a shower and didnt report it" when he had not a shred of evidence or testimony to support it, speaks for itself.
McQueary's statements on the witness stand involving his own activity, badly damage his credibility as I point out in a response in the comments section since he contradicts himself repeatedly.
What the testimony of Paterno and McQueary will mean to Curley and Schultz at trial remains to be seen. But it convicts the mainstream media on all counts of lying, distorting, and sanctimonious self-serving incompetence What remains to be seen is exactly what the sentence against the media will be. For those who still want to swallow whole the nonsense they push, it will probably be intellectual diabetes.
UPDATED: 12/21/2011: WHAT BOBBY BOWDEN SAYS HE WOULD HAVE DONE
Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden decided, for reasons known only to him, to once again weigh in on Joe Paterno and the results are both headshakingly funny and mind numblingly dumb by both Bowden and the media. Both Bowden and the media characterized Bowden's remarks as "how Bowden would have handled the Sandusky matter differently".
Here is what Bowden said:
“I’ve tried to think what I would do,” Bowden said, “if one of my coaches had come to me and told me what happened. I would have gone to that guy (Sandusky), asked him if it was true and I would have told him to get away from here and don’t EVER come back. And then I would have gone to the police. I think that’s what I would have done.”
Wait a second. Aside from the utter waste of time of going to Sandusky "to ask if it were true" isnt this exactly what Joe Paterno did? How is this Bowden "handling it differently"? Instead of wasting his time going to Sandusky Paterno went to Tim Curley the Penn State AD and the upshot was Curley made sure Sandusky was no longer allowed on Penn State grounds. And then Paterno went to Gary Schultz administrative head of Penn State campus police, the law enforcement agency with jurisdication.
Aside from Bowden's useless histronicis of telling Sandusky to never darken his door again, Paterno did pretty much what Bowden said he'd do only, just like on the football field, Paterno did it a little better.
Unfortunately the radio hosts were too busy fawning over Bowden to pretend they were actual journalists so they never asked Bowden what he would have done in his fantasy if , when he asked Sandusky if it were true, Sandusky had denied it. Which is why its always a good idea for people to keep their noses out of other people's business and not pass judgement when they arent standing in the same shoes. Bowden calling what he would do "handling it differently" is not just laughable but embarrassing epecially since his fantasy is predicated on Sandusky doubling over in contrition and confessing all so that Bowden can deliver his exit line. Bowden sounded like he was having the kind of fantasy people have of telling off their bosses.
Only a news media both morally and journalistically bankrupt, and so dumb its painful, could have characterized what Bowden said as "doing it differently". And given Bowden's statement of what he would have done compared to what Paterno actually did, and the media's subsequent treatment of Paterno, one can only wait and see if the Philadephia Daily News will put Bowden's picture on the front page with the word "Shame". Not likely but the list of people who deserve it is growing.
Ted Koppel, the respected television newsman and former host of the ABC News show Nightline, said almost 20 years ago, " the amount of credibility the news media has with any individual is in inverse proportion to the amount of knowledge that individual has about the subject being reported". That is the long way around of saying, the more you know, the more facts you have, the more personal knowledge you possess, the more you know that journalists and the editors who over see them are incompetent.
Sometimes it's about life's most serious issues, like the erroneous front page stories by Judith Miller of the New York Times about Saddam and his horde of WMD which not only didn't exist but for which Miller was never even shown proof and for which neither she nor her editors required any corroboration. That helped sell a war, land Miller in jail, get her "source" a perjury conviction in the Valerie Plame episode and eroded the credibility of the New York Times.
The news media both in and out of the sports world, sold a story to the country about Joe Paterno, for their own self-serving reasons, and also without any facts or proof to back up a single word and ignoring all the existing facts that ran contrary to the story they wanted to push.
The facts were there if they cared at all to report them. But that wasn't be in their self interest, which was going after a big name to make the story bigger for financial reasons and to help make a lot of very small people feel, momentarily, bigger than they are.
And because the issues swirled around child abuse, they felt safe to commit to their own form of abuse, which was abusing the First Amendment, and abusing every known standard of journalism and instead substituting fabrication. They felt safe because they could hide behind the pretense that was writing in defense of children when it was really for their own self aggrandizement and profit.
In Paterno's case the news media had confidence that the world would be on their side, that they were reporting in defense of children and they believed, to use a football metaphor, which they had a free play so to speak, to say and do anything they wanted with no fear of penalty or repercussion. So Time magazine prints Sean Gregory's outrageously dishonest report that "Paterno knew that a 10 year old child was being raped, in the showers and didn't report it to authorities", to the somewhat obscure Jemele Hill's sloppy, casually and factually dishonest, report on ESPN.com about Paterno's " knowledge of alleged sexual abuse of children".
Hill casually, sloppily, and in providing as pointed an example as possible of the egregious dishonesty that permeates journalism and the people in it, she simply tosses out of the word "children" as in plural, as in multiple, as in many, in essence accusing Paterno of knowing about multiple cases of sexual abuse of children and doing nothing, when she knows there is not even an accusation that Paterno had knowledge of multiple abuses of children.
There is another phenomenon at work here which proves with virtually every sentence and word written or spoken about Paterno in connection with the crimes Sandusky is accused of, that for the media this has been all about selling a story, getting web hits, selling newspapers and advertising, getting ratings being a mob without a brain and enjoying for a brief time, a phony and fabricated and dishonest feeling of superiority.
And that is Jerry Sandusky's name is almost never mentioned. It is Joe Paterno that is talked about. It is Joe Paterno's picture that was all over the media. It was Joe Paterno's picture on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News, (a newspaper and it's advertisers that should be boycotted until the editor is fired). In Jemele Hill's sentence she mentions "Joe Paterno's knowledge of alleged sexual abuse of children" but not even "Joe Paterno's knowledge of Sandiusky's alleged sexual abuse of children".
Because for journalists this isn't really about the sexual abuse of children. In Hill's sentence the actual abuser isn't even named. Because to Hill and other journalists that isn't what the story is really all about. That isn't where the money is. Or the momentary false sense of superiority. Or that warm fuzzy feeling you get from joining a mob. After all, who in their right mind could get a warm glow feeling superior to Jerry Sandusky?
Well okay, there might be some in the media who could, but for most of them it was about Joe Paterno. Because that's what sold. And that's what could make them feel superior to someone whose accomplishments would forever outstrip anything they will ever do. And that is the kind of journalistic trash the Penn State trustees succumbed to. When what was needed was a standing up to the media if for no other reason than a defense of the values they preach and teach at the university.
Paterno was the big name and the media knew it. Karl Ravetch unintentionally confessed to it on ESPN within 48 hours of Sandusky's arrest when he said that Sandusky would have his day in court but "until then the only way to move the story forward is to focus on Joe Paterno". And that's what was important—pushing the story.
Over the weekend a relatively new and unreported fact came to light to add to the mountain of evidence against the news media in their dishonest attacks on Paterno.
CNN reported that in 1998, the mother of one of Sandusky's victims, (they didn't say if it was the mother of Victim One or a mother of a different victim,) was told by her son that Sandusky had taken a shower with him and "hugged him in the shower", an act which clearly made the boy uncomfortable enough to tell his mother.
The mother, immediately reported what her son had told her to guess who -- the Penn State campus police.
The same Penn State campus police that the news media en masse claimed was tantamount to "not going to the authorities" or "not doing enough".
According to the CNN report, the mother and Penn State campus police arranged for the mother to have a confrontational conversation with Sandusky on which two Penn State campus police detectives would eavesdrop. Just to repeat, that's two Penn State campus police detectives, not Penn State campus crossing guards. Not TV cops from Law and Order. Detectives from Penn State campus police.
In that conversation, the mother confronted Sandusky with what her son had told her about the shower incident and Sandusky reportedly said, " I know, I was wrong. I wish I were dead."
There was reportedly a second conversation between Sandusky and the mother, also with detectives from the Penn State Campus police eavesdropping.
Why that 1998 investigation went nowhere is for others to determine. But as it pertains to Joe Paterno, it was his reporting what McQueary told him to Gary Schultz, the administrative head of that same Penn State campus police, which was deemed and damned as "not reporting it to authorities" by the ignorant media who called for his dismissal.
So now that we know that the mother of one of Sandusky's victims, in taking action against what she believed happened to her own son, took her allegations to the same police agency to which Paterno reported what he had been told by McQueary. It was the Penn State campus police that the mother cooperated with, and it was detectives from the Penn State campus police, who were trying to gather evidence against Sandusky.So with the mother of one of the victims feeling that reporting what she knew to the Penn State campus police was"doing enough", will the Philadelphia Daily News now put the mother's picture on the front page with the word "Shame"? Or will they put a picture of themselves?
Will Jay Bilas, Stuart Scott, Sean Gregory, Jason Whitlock, Jemele Hill and the rest of the ESPN college sports crowd accuse the mother of " not going to the authorities" or "not doing enough"? Will Stuart Scott say of the mother “doesn’t she get it?" Will Sean Gregory in Time Magazine call her unfit for "not going to authorities" ? Will all of them demand that she lose her son?
No accountability of the media and their hypocrisy can be presented without once again revisiting ESPN and the audiotape they had nine years ago, given to them as evidence by a victim of molestation by assistant Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine.
After hearing his allegations and listening to a tape he secretly recorded with Fine's wife telling her of his molestation by Fine and her virtually admitting her husband's abuse, ESPN did nothing. They told Fine's victim that he didn't have enough evidence for them to report it, and that they needed more corroboration by way of another victim.
The blatant hypocrisy by ESPN is twofold. First, if it was journalistic standards and corroboration they needed before they would report accusations against Fine, they applied no such standards to Joe Paterno ( one makes the cash register ring, the other doesn't). And secondly, no one pontificated more about "moral responsibility" than the commentators at ESPN, moralizing that Paterno should have "done more" than simply report it to the very authorities they ignorantly didn't understand were the authorities Paterno was supposed to report it to in the first place.
So while spewing about morality and what actions others should have taken, the moral actions taken by ESPN when given even more specific allegations and proof of child abuse than Joe Paterno ever had was to take no action at all.
It's one thing to say there wasn't enough evidence to meet certain journalistic standards (standards they seem to apply selectively based on self-interest) but more to the point, morally they did nothing.
They didn't call the police to say what they had. They didn't refer Fine's victim to anyone at any law enforcement agency for a police investigation. They didn't call a child protective agency. They didn't even call the AD at Syracuse University to say what they had. They did nothing. If they couldn't report it as a story, if it wasn't for their own benefit they weren't interested. So they did nothing. For 9 years.
So what can be done about the news media? Commentators at ESPN, Sean Gregory at Time Magazine, Jason Whitlock at Foxsports.com, Jemele Hill at ESPN. com, the Philadelphia Daily News and really just about everyone reporting on this in and out of the mainstream media have abused the First Amendment to the same degree that Jerry Sandusky abused children, and as viciously, thinking only of themselves, their own desires, being exploitive and not even thinking about, much less caring about the rights of others.
The legal system will deal with Sandusky. But what to do about the news media? More on that soon.
Two major events have occurred since the firing of Joe Paterno which prove that the news media are not only incompetent and dishonest but also hypocritical beyond anything anyone would have thought possible.
And both revelations are about as damning as could be imagined both against ESPN, whose commentators condemnation of Paterno and demands for his firing were some of the loudest, and the school officials at Central Mountain high school, where Sandusky's Victim One went to school.
The first revelation concerns the molestation charges against Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine. One of Fine's accusers secretly tape-recorded a phone conversation he had with Fine's wife in 2002 in which the sexual contact with Fine was discussed and where Fine's wife admitted she knew everything her husband had been doing. Fine's accuser says he took the tape to the Syracuse Post Standard in 2002 along with his allegations against Fine and played the audiotape for them. The newspaper declined to report the allegations saying that, even with the tape they wanted more corroborating evidence before they would report it. In other words the Syracuse Post Standard gave more of the benefit of the doubt to an accused child molester than the news media in general gave to Joe Paterno, a man with a polished solid gold reputation for 60 years. And there has been no outcry by any of the sanctimonious self-serving members of the media who railed against Joe Paterno focused on the Post Standard for "having knowledge of" sexual abuse and not reporting it.
It gets a lot worse. It has also been revealed that the victim took the same audiotape to ESPN more than ten years ago with his allegations against Fine and played the tape for them, No one at ESPN did a thing. For ten years. They didn't talk to their own lawyers.They didn't refer it to any child protective agency. They didn't refer it to any law enforcement agency. They did nothing. And now try and hide behind the excuse that they didn't have enough corroborating evidence to do any more.
This is the same ESPN whose commentators called for Joe Paterno's firing immediately for, in their factually challenged hypocritical world, "not going to the authorities" or "not doing enough", The same ESPN whose commentators said Joe Paterno going to the administrative head of campus police the next day with McQueary's non-specific report wasn't enough. The same ESPN who accused Joe Paterno without a shred of proof, of being aware of child sexual abuse and "not doing enough". The same ESPN that had an audio tape confirming from the mouth of the abuser's own wife, the sexual abuse of a ball boy at Syracuse university. And did nothing.
And are the same sanctimonious self-righteous group of journalists insisting that anyone at ESPN who had been aware of those tapes for the last ten years and who is still with ESPN be fired? No, of course not.
We now know that the same media types both on television and in print who smeared Joe Paterno on their front pages with the word "Shame", without a shred of proof, did absolutely nothing when put in Paterno's shoes.
Unfortunately the second set of revelations makes it even worse for the media
New revelations were made by the mother of Sandsusky's Victim One that will forever shame even further everyone in the news media who attacked Paterno as well as the trustees of Penn State who buckled under the pressure exerted by the media mob and threw Paterno over the side to quiet them down.
Keep in mind that the fictional narrative by the press in their attack on Paterno, their reason for demanding he be fired was that he had knowledge of sexual abuse and didn't do enough when it came to reporting it, ( something that has already been proved to be completely false).
According to the mother, in a piece that can be read here, the principal of the high school her son attended, Karen Probst, was present in 2009 when her son openly accused Sandusky of molesting him and not only did the school principal do nothing, according to the mother the principal actually tried to talk her and her son out of reporting it.
Additionally, according to the mother, Steve Turchetta, the boy's high school coach repeatedly allowed Sandusky to come to the school and take the boy out of school not only without parental consent but without even any parental notification. And Turchetta continued to allow Sandusky to take the boy out of school even after the mother found out and protested.
The mother states that eventually there was a meeting at the school after the boy had told all to a school counselor and had gotten so emotional they finally believed him. At that meeting the mother states that when she insisted they go to the police, the school officials tried to talk her out of it. They told her to think about it and think about what the accusations could do to her family.
All of this information was available at any time any real journalist wanted to take the time to actually investigate and learn the facts. But all of them, like Sean Gregory at Time Magazine, Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated and just about everyone at ESPN except Lou Holtz, were too busy smearing Paterno to bother. It was Paterno they went after. Because it was Joe Paterno's picture that sold newspapers and got web hits, not Karen Probst's.It was going after Paterno that made the very small and sanctimonious feel very big.
The irony is, that in the end, Joe Paterno did more and with less knowledge, and did it faster than anyone connected to either the Sandusky allegations or the Bernie Fine allegations, all of whom had more knowledge that he did.
And isn't it ironic ( or perhaps par for the course) that ESPN, whose commentators like Jay Bilas and others were some of the most vocal for saying Paterno didn't do enough, had an audio tape that contained an admission of the sexual abuse of a Syracuse ball boy for ten years and did nothing.
So what will ESPN do now? Will they accuse themselves of "not doing enough"? Will they accuse themselves of allowing a sexual predator to remain free? Will there be any media condemnation by others of ESPN?Anyone hear any media condemnation? Anyone demanding people at ESPN be fired? Or will they all hide under their sheets?
So now class lets review the facts: Joe Paterno the day after getting a non-specific non detailed sanitized version of events from McQueary went to the administrative head of the Penn State campus police with Mc Queary's allegations against a man he knew and worked with closely for 26 years, without hesitating or calling Sandusky to get his side of the story. Karen Probst, Victim One's high school principal, Steve Turchetta his high school coach, the school's assistant principal, the school guidance counselor, Ray Gricar, the DA at the time who declined to prosecute, the Syracuse Post-Standard, and ESPN all had specific allegations and in the case of the Fine, a tape recorded admission of child sexual abuse and did absolutely nothing for years. These are some of the people who yelled the loudest about Joe Paterno and moral responsibility. These are some of the people who demanded Joe Paterno be fired for not doing more.
People are angry about what happened to Paterno. They should be even angrier now and should demand not only the restoration of Paterno's reputation, they should demand retribution.
Journalists who falsely accused Paterno should be fired and so should anyone who had knowledge of the events surrounding Sandusky and Bernie Fine. That includes journalists and school officials.
There should be demands that Sean Gregory at Time Magazine who wrote that Joe Paterno "knew a ten year old boy was being raped in a shower and didn't report it to authorities" with no evidence to substantiate it be fired. So should his editor for allowing Gregory's dishonest report to be printed. So should an ESPN columnist named Jemele Hill who wrote her own dishonest column about Paterno simply parroting the false reporting of other journalists and making the same false claims. Anyone at ESPN with knowledge of the Bernie Fine tape should be suspended or fired. The two senators in Pennsylvania, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey should be eviscerated, their offices deluged with phone calls for withdrawing their sponsorship of Paterno for the Medal of Freedom without any facts, just acting like spineless politicians reacting to the mob . And last but not least every trustee at Penn State who voted to fire Joe Paterno, which is all of them, should resign. They are the people who disgraced Penn State, not Joe Paterno.
The Penn State trustees made a mockery of every value that a university tries to instill in its students and proved, ironically that the trustees can't be trusted. They should all in good conscience, resign. If not their resignations should be demanded since it was they, not Joe Paterno who betrayed the values of Penn State,denying Paterno any form of due process and capitulating to a dishonest incompetent, out of control mob of journalists.
The day after Paterno was fired, students at Penn State demonstrated and demonstrated angrily. They knew, as college students tend to know, that a gross injustice had been done to Joe Paterno and they were motivated by something that the Penn State trustees and those in the news media either lost a long time ago or never had in the first place -- ideals.
The students at Penn State saw that the ideals preached at Penn State were trampled on by a mob of out of control self-serving journalists and a spineless collection of trustees. And they were justifiably angry. They knew a gross injustice had been done. The factually challenged Stuart Scott, reporting on the demonstrations for ESPN said of the demonstrators, "Don't they get it"? Here is a flash to Stuart Scott and the rest of the news media. They got it. You didn't.
When Paterno was given the sanitized version of the event in the shower by McQueary he went straight to the administrative head of campus police, the police agency that had the jurisdiction over any crime committed on the campus of Penn State. Joe Paterno went to the proper authority, he went immediately and he went as high as he could go. The news media, the Penn State trustees, the politicians, ESPN and everyone else who attacked Joe Paterno, given the opportunity, went as low as they could go. They will be remembered for it. And they should all lose their jobs. But before they go, they owe Joe Paterno one big apology.
The media repeated the lie over and over again and still are either knowing full well they didn't have any evidence to back it up but did it for their own self-serving reasons or are simply too stupid to know there is no evidence to back it up.
The lie, as everyone knows, is that Joe Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was raped by Jerry Sandsusky in the showers at Penn State and didn't report it to the proper authorities.
That lie was repeated over and over again by a torch carrying mob of ignorant journalists until the trustees finally fired Paterno under pressure by the mob in the press who continue to this day, to repeat the lie as if it were fact. And no doubt feel smug about it,
But the more information that comes out, the more we see just how ignorant and malicious the press was while at the same time, the press ignores the information that exposes them for what they have been.
No one in the news media knows exactly what Paterno was told and knew except that Paterno himself and McQueary both stated that Paterno was told a watered down sanitized non specific non detailed version of what happened in that shower. But everyone in the news media collectively ignored that since "not knowing" doesn't make a good story, and doesn't, as Karl Ravech at ESPN said, "advance the story". There was even something as preposterous as Jay Bilas, an ESPN basketball analyst saying, " a 60 year old man was in a shower with a ten year old boy. That's all you have to know". Really? Grandfathers and fathers who have had children late in life, beware if Jay Bilas comes to your town.
The witch hunting has gotten so out of control that Franco Harris, one of the few to stand up and defend Paterno was himself fired as a spokesman for the Meadows race track and casino, specifically because of his defense of Paterno. This what happens with fascists when someone dares to speak out about something in opposition to the party line.
But another fact has emerged which makes the journalistic mob look even worse than before, a fact that has been conveniently glossed over by the news media for the obvious self-serving reasons.
In response to news reports of McQueary's claim that he did go to the police, the local police chief pointed out that while they have no record of McQuery filing a report with them, McQueary wouldn't have gone to them in the first place for the simple reason that, as the police chief pointed out in his statement, the local police have no jurisdiction over a crime that occurs on the Penn State campus. That,as the police chief pointed out, is the sole jurisdiction of the Penn State Campus Police.
The significance of this is crucial because if the only police agency with jurisdiction over what McQueary witnessed was the Penn State Campus police then Paterno did in fact do everything the moralizers said he didn't do. Gary Shultz was one of the Penn State administrators Paterno went to with whatever McQueary told him. Gary Shultz was the supervisor and overseer of the Penn State Campus Police.When it comes to reporting anything to the Penn State Campus Police, you couldn't get any higher than Shultz.He was, in effect, the chief of Penn State campus police.
Based on this fact and this reality, Paterno did exactly what all the self serving moralizers said he should have done and in fact, there was NO police agency other than the Penn State campus police who had jurisdiction and no other police agency Paterno should have gone to.
This is what happens when ignorant people convinced of all their own self-righteous beliefs but ignorant of facts band together in a mindless mob and go on a rampage.This is what the news media were and continue to be regarding Joe Paterno.
Members of the media like Sean Gregory of Time Magazine and Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated and any number of commentators at ESPN, the Daily News, and other media outlets, all wrote or commented that Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was raped in the showers and only reported it to Curley and Shultz and so shirked his responsibilities when we now know that reporting it to the campus police was fulfilling ALL of Paterno's legal and moral responsibilities. Maybe these ignorant journalists don't think the Penn State campus police are real police. Maybe they'd like to say that to the faces of the Penn State campus police who were in full riot gear the night of the protests, and had tear gas and firearms at their disposal if needed. Penn State has 80,000 students stretched over campuses state wide with the biggest population at the Happy Valley campus. It is a small city. The Penn State campus police are as real and have as much authority as any police anywhere in any jurisdiction. So now the lie that Paterno didnt do enough by only going to the head of campus police can be put to rest.
But as everyone knows, the biggest lie that Sean Gregory and others tell is that Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was being raped in spite of the fact that Paterno himself said he was never told that by McQueary.
Based on all the known facts, Joe Paterno could sue for libel for that reporting. And he should. The case is so open and shut it would never get to court. The media outlets Paterno could sue wouldn't let it. Instead there would be out of court settlements for millions with the stipulation that Paterno never talk about it. Why? Because the news media wants to preserve their -uh - reputations.
Of course there are those in the media, and small minority outside the media that believe that Paterno just had to know the specifics of what on. They have no proof but they say it anyway. So what did McQueary actually tell Paterno? We don't know.And neither does one single journalist anywhere. But here is something we do know.
Just a few days ago, the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina revealed they had something of a child abuse scandal of their own. In reporting the story a CNN reporter wrote:
"In 2007, the college received an allegation that five years earlier, ReVille invited two campers at The Citadel Summer Camp into his room to watch pornography. They did not touch each other, but engaged in sexual activity."
Kind of missing in specifics isn't it. The reporter doesn't say what sexual activity or how they engaged in sexual activity without touching each other. Was it an out of body experience? Acrobatics? Mind over matter?
Most people are smart enough to figure out for themselves that what this journalist so awkwardly and cryptically is trying to say is, in all probability they engaged in some kind of group masturbation. The reporter could have said so in so many words. He could have been specific. They didn't.
So an experienced reporter writing for CNN could not make a simple declarative statement about the specifics of a sexual event that took place, even with time to reflect and to get the words right and even with the help from an alleged editor,and over an event with which they had no personal involvement. Yet we are supposed to believe McQuery gave 84 year old football coach Joe Paterno specifics when an experienced reporter with all the time in the world to reflect, couldn't.The irony is, that even if McQueary did tell Paterno all the specifics ( something Paterno and McQueary deny) Paterno did everything he could have and should have done in reporting it. There is no other police agency Paterno could have or should have gone other than the head of Penn State campus police, Gary Shultz. And he and McQueary did. What Shultz did or did not do at that point is none of Paterno's responsibility. Period.
It is not in Joe Paterno's DNA to sue. He has always avoided the limelight and personal publicity and he doesn't need the money. But there are many reasons of principle Paterno should sue certain journalists and media outlets for libel and defamation, not the least of which is that its a law suit Paterno could not lose and would mete out well deserved justice to the news media. After all isn't justice what the news media has been clamoring about?
The legal definition of libel, which in many cases is hard to prove especially in cases involving celebrities or public figures, fits what happened to Paterno like a glove.
Two important elements must be proved. One, that the person making the libelous statements knew the statements were not true ,and two, that the person making the libelous statements knew they would injure and harm the person they were making the statements about. Two elements that in Paterno's case could be proved so easily the media outlets being sued would settle almost immediately. And as part of the settlement Paterno could demand a public apology.
One target would be Sean Gregory and Time Magazine. Gregory in print and in so many words stated that "Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was raped in the showers at Penn State and didn't report it to the authorities". No number of lawyers at Time could defend the double fabrication by Sean Gregory.
Similar statements about Paterno knowing about a boy being sexually molested were made by Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated, numerous commentators at ESPN including Stuart Scott, Jay Bilas, and others. All statements made at a time when they nor anyone else had one shred of proof that Paterno knew what they say he knew. And if true justice were to prevail, Gregory,his editor and many other so called journalists would lose their jobs for their fabricated, dishonest, and factually challenged reporting.
It is a virtual certainty media outlets like ESPN, Time Magazine and others whose journalists who defamed and libeled Paterno would settle out of court rather than risk having a jury speak and probably award many millions more than what they could settle for. And Paterno, once they agreed to settle, could donate all the money to worthy children's charities. The purpose of the libel suits would be principle and a principle worth suing over, but the money Paterno would get would also do a lot of good for a lot of charities and help a lot of children and in the end that would be justice too since it was in defense of children that the media justified its smearing and libeling of Joe Paterno.
In all probability Paterno wont sue. Certainly if Paterno was actually guilty of what those in the mob said he was guilty of, Paterno's firing and everything that happened subsequently would be appropriate. But Paterno from the first day said otherwise, said he didn't know the details or ANY, specifics of what McQuery saw and reported what McQueary told him, as he was supposed to, legally and morally to his superior, the AD and in effect, the chief of Penn State campus police, the police agency with sole jurisdiction.
Paterno should sue for libel. Not only to defend his name but to mete out justice and punishment to those who trample the civil rights of others so effortlessly for their own self aggrandizement because they think they can and get away with it and in the process do tremendous damage, as all mobs do, solely because of their stupidity and ignorance.
Paterno won't sue. But he should.
UPDATE: We can now add a writer named Jemele Hill to the list of the sanctimonious and factually challenged and dishonest sportswriters, who, if standards of fact meant anything in journalism would lose her job as well. Writing for ESPN on Nov. 22, Hill wrote a peice about all the negative email she has received because of the story she wrote attacking Paterno. Hill wrote in her Nov 22 peice, " I anticipated that since the story is centered on his (Paterno's) knowledge of and reaction to the alleged sexual abuse of children".
Notice how she treats Paterno's "knowledge of sexual abuse of children" as fact when we know that Hill hasnt got a shred of evidence to back that up. But even more bizarre is that Hill calls the actual sexual abuse "alleged". In her mind Paterno's knowledge of the abuse is fact but the abuse itself is only "alleged". This is either ESPN's legal guidelines telling her to use the word "alleged" to protect them from being sued by Sandusky if he ever got an acquital, or Hill's own twisted point of view. But in attacking Paterno the sexual abuse is "alleged" but Paterno's knowledge of the abuse is fact.
Also somehow in Hill's journalistic fantasy world. the boy that McQueary witnessed with Sandusky in the shower has now become many and many instances.. In Jemele Hill's world Paterno not only knew of child sexual abuse with Sandusky at Penn State( that maybe didnt really happen) and did nothing about it, but Paterno's known about other cases of sexual abuse with other children and did nothing about that either.
Without a single fact or a shred of evidence to back it up. Or even the suggestion of any evidence.
The mob mentality is always the mentality that keeps justice from being done. And it's always based on ignorance. What always motivates the mob is their own perverted and sanctimonious ideas of justice and what is true which excludes the facts and due process and substitutes their own beliefs and in many instances outright lies to justify their mob behavior.
The storyline concocted by the journalistic mob, the lie they repeat over and over again to themselves and those watching or reading to justify their mob mentality is that Joe Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was being raped in the shower and did no more than report it to the AD. This of course is an out and out lie, but a lie that allows the mob to carry their torches, feel holier than thou and delude themselves into thinking they are acting nobly.
This lie was repeated so often by so many people in the media they have accepted it as fact. And the mob is so convinced they are on the side of right that they did not once stop and think that they had no proof. Thinking is not an attribute of a mob. Which is why they are always wrong. It should be noted that Linda Kelly the Pennyslvania Attorney General has singled out Tim Curley the AD to whom Paterno reported McQueary's allegations, and Gary Schultz, Penn State's senior vice president for finance as the culprits, the ones who didnt do their jobs and who shirked their responsibilities in notifying the police. Both have been indicted. But not Paterno. No mention of Paterno by the Attorney General who does have the facts, when discussing who she holds accountable.
The trustees, displaying none of the values Penn State is supposed to stand for, nevertheless caved in to the mindless mob of psuedo-moralistic journalistsbecause they couldnt stand the pressure. They threw Joe Paterno to the mob.
What happened to Joe Paterno was not justice. It was mob justice. When it comes to any mob it is always justice, they say, that motivates them. And the news media mob is no different. But like all phony moralists and mobs everywhere their actions are inevitably immoral. They use morality as the excuse for their immorality. And so their ideas of justice produce injustice. Which is what happens with a mob of people too cowardly to stand alone but get brave in a mob.
On ESPN Lou Holtz became the only one who told the truth. He said over and over again in answer to questions, " I don't have all the facts...". Does anyone in the news media have facts that Lou Holtz didn't? Any of the sanctimonious ESPN journalists or those at other media outlets calling for Paterno's head? The answer is no. But when you're a member of the mob you dont need facts.
And while not having the facts kept Holtz from joining the mob, it didn't stop anyone else at ESPN, or Sports Illustrated or Time Magazine for that matter from carrying their burning torches demanding Paterno's head in the name of morality.
I have a friend who is not into sports and knows nothing about college football. But with all the media coverage over the last few days, the television reports, the front pages stories, the stories at online media sites, catching glimpses of headlines and pictures but without actually reading the articles, based on what she was exposed to she thought Joe Paterno was the one who had molested the young boy.
I explained that what she was seeing was actually Joe Paterno being molested by the media.
As of this writing still no one knows for sure what Paterno was told and exactly what he knew, but the sanctimonious moralists pretend they did and Paterno is gone.
Paterno wanted to clear the air and will tell exactly what he was told. But the university muzzled him, then threw him overboard to satisfy the media mob of phony moralists without anyone knowing for certain what he knew.
What is even more amazing, is that, now that the goal of the mob has been reached, after all the damage has been done, an ESPN anchor led into the a segment entitled, "Was firing Joe Paterno the wrong thing to do"? I didn't bother to watch. The segment was repeated on "Outside the Lines".
As a matter of justice there is an easy way to look at the actions of the mindless mob of journalists and judge it by asking this question: If Tim Curley, the AD Paterno went to with the information he gave him had called the police and Sandusky was arrested in 2002 would Paterno have been fired? Would any of this even be a story? Would people be saying he didnt do enough? The obvious answer is no. So Paterno was fired, not for what he didn't do, but for what Tim Curley didn't do. And its worth noting it was Tim Curley and Gary Shultz who was indicted. But it was Paterno that the press chose to attack. Because, as a friend said, Paterno had a reputation worth destroying and Tim Curley didnt.
To make the point even clearer, a reader pointed out that the boy's mother did in fact go to the DA, a man by the name of Ray Gricar, in 1998 with Sandusky's admission that he had molested her son. And what did Gricar do? He did nothing. Ray Gricar, the DA ignored the evidence of Sandusky's molestion in 1998 and yet he isn't even mentioned by the torch carriers at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Time.Instead its the fiction that it was Paterno's inaction that allowed a predator to go free all these years. How many journalists who called for Paterno to be fired even knows the name Ray Gricar?
And even if they did, the name Ray Gricar does not sell newspapers, get ratings or web site hits. The name Joe Paterno does. So while the mob was busy attacking Paterno for his so called moral failures for which they had no proof, they've made no mention of a DA who was told of the molestation in 1998 by the boy's mother and did nothing. And what about the boy's own mother? She went to the DA and he did nothing and so she dropped it for 13 years? If it was me I wouldnt stop until justice was done. And what could the mother have done? How about going to the, uh, you know, the news media. What do you think a reporter on the Daily News, the paper that splashed Paterno's picture all over the front page with the word "Shame" would have done with a mother of a young boy telling him Jerry Sandusky, defensive coordinator for Penn State for 26 years admitted to her he had molested her son and the DA has done nothing? How many people do you think he would have run over jumping over his desk running to tell his editor?
The mother could have gone to any print or TV reporter and that story would have exploded in 1998 and tremendous pressure would have been put on the DA to DO something. She could have gotten a lawyer herself to handle it. But its Joe Paterno who had a sanitized, watered down version of what McQuery saw and reported it to his superrio who didnt do enough.
The news media went after Paterno and didnt lay a glove on the mother for only one reason -- cowardice. They were afraid of a backlash if they attacked the mother for not doing enough even though she didnt, and there may have been some sense of sympathy but if she had done the things she should have done, this would never have happened. So much for moral responsibility. And moral failures. And courageous journalism.
The refrain that Paterno knew what was going in the shower and shirked his responsibilites, is so utterly stupid and has become so pervasive that even when presented with a different set of facts that might call that into question, anchors at ESPN sing the old refrain. An ESPN reporter Thursday morning told the anchor that Joe Paterno intends to speak and clear the air about exactly what he knew and what he was told. The anchor in wrapping up the segment said, " we are all looking forward to hearing Joe Paterno give us an explanation as to what he did not do and why".
Another member of the mob, Sean Gregory, wrote in Time Magazine:
" By failing to alert authorities that Sandusky, his long time assistant allegedly raped a 10 year old boy in the Penn State football showers Paterno simplified the board's decision indeed".
Where to start with this journalistically corrupt and factually dishonest piece of nonsense except to say any smear merchant or fascist government propaganda machine would say "well done".
First we know that Gregory himself, an alleged journalist, had no facts to support what he wrote and that all the known facts available at present contradict everything he wrote. There is no evidence that Paterno knew a 10 year old boy was being raped. None. But that didn't stop a hack journalist from saying so anyway.
The grand jury, prosecutor and attorney general, the only people presently in possession of all the known evidence essentially say Sean Gregory is a liar and that Paterno never had any such knowledge. If he had he would have been indicted and in fact Paterno himself says he was not told of the specific nature of what McQuery saw.
The second piece of Sean Gregory nonsense is that Paterno didn't report what he knew to "authorities". Everyone knows he did report it. Gregory just doesn't like the authority Paterno reported to which was the AD who, by the way, had direct access to the head of campus police.It was Tim Curry who didnt act, but its Joe Paterno in the mind of Sean Gregory, who is supposed to be everyone's daddy.
Penn State's board of trustees simply buckled in the face of a news media with the values of a Sean Gregory and took the cowards way out by throwing Joe Paterno to the mob because, as they essentially admitted, they couldn't take the pressure anymore.
One last point. If there is any question, any doubt as to the cowardice of the Penn State trustees in dismissing Paterno and that it was done soley because they buckled under pressure and that their decision had nothing to do with culpability, if there is,any question about the true injustice and immorality surrounding the decision to fire Joe Paterno it's answered by this: Mike McQuery, the assistant coach who was the eyewitness to Sandusky's child assault, the person who saw it but didn't intervene or try and stop it, the person who didn't go to the police but instead went to Paterno the next day with a sanitized and watered down version of what he saw, this person had his job until he was placed on leave when people started questioning why the trustees hadnt fired him.
If you want culpability what about the parents? This has been going on for 13 years. Thirteen years. I know one of the mothers went to the DA and the DA did nothing but if it was my kid I wouldnt stop until something was done. Id go to the newspapers if I had to. Id take Sandusky on publicly. But I wouldnt stop till something was done. You could make a good case that the parents didnt do enough. And what about the DA who did nothing? Not only didnt he do enough, he did nothing. Then there is Tim Curley the AD and Gary Shultz two administrators at Penn State who did nothing.
Joe Paterno was a football coach. He is not their daddy. He is not CSI. He is not the DA. He is not the president of the university and he is not the Athletic Director or an administrator and he is not a cop. He was a football coach. By going to the Athletic Director with the sanitized waterdown version of events given to him by Mike McQueary which did NOT include knowing a 10 year old boy was anally raped no matter how much the media and the likes of a Sean Gregory want to lie and say he did, Paterno did all he was supposed to, legally AND morally.There was no reason for him to believe Tim Curley would do nothing and it was not his job , especially based on what he knew, to look over Curley's shoulder.
When it comes to morality and integrity just about everyone knows that Paterno has more of it in his pinky than all the commentators and phony moralists in the media have in their whole bodies combined. Because when it comes to the immoralistic mob, what matters most, what makes them feel the biggest, is when they get the chance to think they are morally superior. And the bigger the person they can bring down the better. Which always comes out making them look small.
UPDATE: ESPN is reporting (Friday) that a trustee has told them Joe Paterno was fired solely because of media pressure and scrutiny which they felt was bad for the university. They voted to fire Paterno to end it. So, as postulated here, Paterno is gone because of everyone's sins but his own.
If there is one thing we have come to expect from the press its that when it comes to almost any big story they will miss what's important and what matters in place of those who will seize the opportunity for their own self-serving, sanctimonious, self-righteous reasons to try and make a name for themselves.
That is exactly what is going on now with the phony moralistic and imbecilic calls by factually challenged sportswriters and other journalists, not exactly known for their ability to think in the first place, for Joe Paterno the coach of Penn State football, to resign or be fired over a child abuse scandal involving a former defensive coach at Penn State.
The fact that, based on all the facts presently known, Paterno did nothing wrong, not in any imaginable way, doesn't stop the sanctimonious, self-righteous pseudo-moralistic members of the press from piling on over an issue for which they feel safe in piling on.
Here is what we and self-serving sports writers like Andy Staples for Sports Illustrated, Bob Ford, and others know. We and they know we don't have all the facts but that the prosecutors and grand jury do. We and they know that the grand jury, the body who does have all the facts, handed down indictments, one involving the abuser and two involving two Penn State officials who were charged with perjury for covering up one of the incidents and were indicted for failure to report sexual abuse. After hearing all the evidence including testimony by Joe Paterno, the grand jury did not indict Joe Paterno for anything.
Based on all the facts at the grand jury's disposal Paterno did nothing wrong. And the Pennsylvania State Attorney General said as much as well.
But if you want to pretend youre a moral hero, if you are self-serving and sanctimonious and looking to beat your chest about something, that isnt good enough. That also wont sell newspapers, get TV ratings, or get website hits the way going after a figure like Joe Paterno would. And the justification by these factually challenged journalists who are trying to do something journalists have proved they are incapable of doing in the first place -- think -- is that while Paterno did nothing criminally wrong he was morally wrong in not reporting what he heard to the police.
The problem with that is the need to answer the question, "heard what"?
Perhaps these journalists are not aware that it is in fact a crime -- a felony -- to know about child abuse and not report it. We have seen that repeatedly with the serial and institutional child sexual abuse in the Catholic church. We know that those in the hierarchy of the church who knew about the abuse by priests and did nothing are being held accountable.
The grand jury, the only body in possession of all the facts ( and the indictment is NOT all the facts - only evidence and testimony given to the grand jury contains all the facts and that is secret) decided that Paterno is blameless and committed no crime. At the same time the grand jury indicted two Penn State officials for not doing what the sanctimonious is saying Joe Paterno also didnt do but should have -- report abuse. So with no facts to support it a group of self appointed self-rightous journalists posing as moralists are calling for Paterno to be fired.
According to them Paterno should be fired for not doing what the grand jury held Paterno blameless for not doing -- going to the police with nothing.
The incident in question was witnessed by an assistant coach who actually saw the abuse take place. This coach - an eyewitness -- did NOT go to the police with what he saw but the press is giving him a pass anyway. Why? Because he is not a big fish. Because he is not going to embellish anyone's reputation. Because pointing the finger at him is not going allow sanctimonious journalists to stick out their chests the way the morally sanctimonious always do. Going after the person who actually the saw the abuse and did nothing but who is a lowly assistant coach wouldn't put a feather in the cap of those like Andy Staples, Bob Ford, or the editorial writers of the Philadelphia Daily News. Going after the witness who did nothing doesnt allow them to strut their "moral superiority" but going after Paterno gives them the opportunity to say, "look ma, I'm a hero".
So they go after Paterno, who according to his testimony and public statement had no details or specifics of what this coach saw because the coach never told him. This is an excerpt from Paterno's statement:
" He ( McCreary, the eyewitness) at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report:".
The grand jury investigation which included calling McCreary as a witness as well as Paterno and the two Penn State officials eventually indicted, concluded Paterno's statement was the truth and that Paterno fullfilled all his obligations in reporting what he knew to the Penn State Athletic Director and not the police.
But that still isn't enough for the railroading press. According to them Paterno should have gone to the police anyway. But they never say with what. An incident he didn't see and for which he had no details or specifics? What exactly was he supposed to say to the police? The sanctimonious in the press calling for Paterno's dismissal never say.
The mother of the boy who was sexually abused by Sandusky issued a public statement yesterday. In it she said that Sandusky in 1998 "admitted to my face - he admitted it", that he had sexually abused her son. She said in the same statement that Sandusky admitted the abuse to her again in 2002. What did the mother do? Nothing. Did she go to the police with this specific admission? No. But Paterno was supposed to with none of the facts the mother had.
So we have an assistant coach who actually witnessed the incident but didn't report it to the police and the mother of the victim who was told twice over a 4 year span by the abuser himself that he had abused her son and neither went to the police. But Paterno, who didn't have a fraction of the information those two had, and didnt have a fraction of the moral responsibility of the boy's own mother,was supposed to do more than the boy's own mother did. And should be fired for not doing so.
McCreary and the boy's mother are clearly the ones who should have gone to the police but they are given a pass by the press because there is no money or moral superiority to be had by going after them. But going after Paterno who didn't know a thing about any specific act of abuse, well, that's a gold mine.
The justification being used for attacking Paterno is that while he may have done nothing wrong criminally he was morally wrong in not reporting it to the police. Again, these factually challenged journalists are oblivious to the fact that what they say is morally wrong -- not reporting it to the police -- is also criminally wrong. To restate the facts, not reporting child abuse is a felony. The fact that the grand jury didnt indict Paterno for not reporting abuse to police while indicting two Penn State officials for that very thing, is proof that those in possession of all the facts decided that there was nothing Paterno should have done that he didnt do.
With the press when it comes to controversy its always about cowardice and what they think they can get away with to sell newspapers, get ratings or website hits as long as they feel safe against retribution. They had nothing to say about irrefutable evidence that Bush lied the country into war but they got real tough with Anthony Weiner over a picture of his underwear. They put Joe Paterno's picture on the front page of the Philadephia Daily News with the word "Shame" in huge type but never a picture of the present Pope with the same word after we learned that the present Pope had known about the Wisconsin priest who sexually abused over 400 deaf children over 20 years and did nothing.
Sandusky no doubt will get what's coming to him if he is guilty. Its too bad the same cant be said about journalists like Andy Staples, Bob Ford and the rest of the press especially those at ESPN who threw due process, common sense, facts and journalistic integrity out the window for their own self-serving reasons. But one can always hope.
NOTE: This morning on ESPN, Karl Ravich an ESPN anchor made an inadvertent but stunning admisson that bears out the premise of this peice. Ravich pointed out that all of the media attention is being focused on Joe Paterno, and almost forgotten is Jerry Sandusky, the person actually indicted for engaging in the sexual abuse. Ravich made the point that while Sandusky will eventually have his day in court, for now they can't advance the story using Sandusky so all the attention is being focused on Joe Paterno. Obviously to, as Ravich said, advance the story.And milk it. At Joe Paterno's expense. And their own self-aggrandizement.
This isn't about politics. It's about race. Because when it comes to Barrack Obama it is always about race.
It was the agenda of many in the upper echelons of the Democratic party and certainly the news media to support Obama because of race, even to the point of rigging the 2008 primary process because what became most important was romanticizing the symbolism of a candidate with African ancestry being elected president.
The fact that the candidate with black ancestry had proved repeatedly that he was the most underhanded, dishonest duplicitous unqualified and untrustworthy candidate the Democrats ever had was, unfortunately for the country and subsequently, for the Democratic party, besides the point at the time for those who supported him. And in many instances still seems to be besides the point to those who don't want to admit the huge mistake it was in supporting Obama as the nominee.
A perfect example is a recent email mailing by MoveOn. org. dated Nov.2.
"some members of the Obama administration—including members of his Cabinet—are pushing for a terrible deal to let the big banks off the hook for selling bad mortgages and then illegally foreclosing on homeowners—destroying the American Dream for millions of families.1
The president's top campaign advisors have said that he's going to run for re-election on his record of holding Wall Street accountable2—but that'll be impossible if his administration pushes for another giveaway for the Wall Street banks who crashed our economy. And that could happen any day now.3
Can you sign our petition to President Obama right now telling him that we need a full investigation into the banks' wrongdoing, not another "deal" that lets them off the hook? "
Notice how its everyone's fault BUT Obama's. Its "some members in his administration" as if "some members" have the authority to make policy and poor Obama cant do a thing about it. Not to mention that the "some members" who are pushing for a bad deal are there because Obama chose them. Its almost as if MoveOn feels Obama has nothing to say about it and is a victim of those around him ( a subliminally racist idea if there ever was one). And notice their repeated use of the word "another". "Another giveaway to the banks". "another deal that lets them off the hook". Well, where do they think these other bad deals came from? Outer space? Who do they think is responsible for them? Newt Gingrich?
Along with MoveOn's deep denial about their own responsibility in Obama being where he is, and their denial that Obama has anything to do with all the bad decisions that sold out the Democrats agenda, they want one more useless petition telling Obama not to sell liberals and Democrats down the river. As if Obama hadn't already did just that so many times you'd think those in MoveOn has to have been in a coma the last three years not to know it.
Their blindness to who Obama is, their ignoring his being caught in lie after lie from the time he started running for president, to all his selling out of Democrats and the liberal agenda since he has been in office, is the reason Clinton supporters referred to Obama supporters as "drinking the Kool-Aid". These supporters were willing to be, or small minded enough to be, and seemingly still are, bamboozled by an empty and duplicitous garden variety politician with no ideas, no moral outrage, and who has demonstrated for years he has no principles or convictions. The reason for their denial and refusal to hold Obama accountable for all the damage he's done to Democrats and their agenda is of course, race.
As Geraldine Ferraro said during the 2008 primaries, if Obama had been white he'd be considered a joke as a presidential candidate. For telling the truth Ferraro was labeled a racist by the media and Obama supporters. But no one is laughing at the joke now. Maybe because they stilll dont get it.
But with Herman Caine's surge in the polls putting him in a tie with Mitt Romney for the lead for the Republican presidential nomination, Obama supporting Democrats might wake up and realize they can no longer use race as their rationale for supporting Obama. They cant feel any moral superiority for supporting a candidate with black ancestry. They can't go home and pat themselves on the back anymore and somehow feel morally superior in supporting a president with more character flaws than Richard Nixon, simply because of his African ancestry.
Herman Caine, for those who care about race, is twice as black as Obama and he is getting more support for president than any other Republican candidate and he is getting it from the avowed enemy -- white Republican conservatives.
And that could mean a problem for Obama. Democrats who support Obama can no longer claim ownership of the race issue as a reason to continue to support him.
Like it or not, with race peeled away and a non-factor, Obama Democrats may be be forced for the first time to judge Obama, as Martin Luther King admonished 50 years ago, by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. And if they do they won't like what they see.
Because with Caine's emergence, support for Obama can no longer be propped up or justified by race or what Obama's supporters think it says about them for supporting him. With Caine's surge in the polls to virtual front runner status among Republicans that is completely gone. And with it, finally, and thankfully, the idea of race as a reason to judge or support anyone. And that could be big trouble for Obama among Democrats, many of whom are already fed up with his presidency.
NOTE: The recent sexual harrassment stories about settlements reached with 3 women in the 1990's have so far had no effect on Cain's poll numbers. No one knows what the substance of the allegations are and unless they are released and prove to be serious they probably won't mean anything in the long run. In any event they still do not undermine the basic premise that Democrats can no longer claim moral superiorty in their support of Obama because of race even if bad behavior in Cain's past does him in. That is gone forever.
The Florida Republican party recently announced that over the objections of the Republican National Committee, they are going to move the date of its presidential primary up to January.
This decision and the difference between the reactions of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee recalls one of the most disgraceful, dishonest, corrupt episodes in the history of the Democratic party when, during the 2008 primaries the hierarchy of the Democratic National Committee headed by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazille and others, conspired to do everything possible to tilt the playing field in favor of Barrack Obama. And did it by depriving 2.200,000 Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan their voting rights and their rightful voice in the process to select the Democratic nominee for president.
I use the word "conspire" because that is exactly what it was. What the Democratic National Committee did in Florida and Michigan was as sinister and corrupt as any act committed by Boss Tweed, the corrupt Democratic party official in New York City in the 1850's who literally threw away votes for candidates he did not support.
The decision to move the Florida and Michigan primaries up over the objections of the DNC were made by two party chairpersons in each state with the support of state party officials. Both Florida and Michigan did it because they were afraid their primaries would be irrelevant after Super Tuesday and they wanted to call attention to their unemployment and economic problems. The DNC said no, and the two states said they would defy the national party and move them up anyway.
What the DNC could have done as punishment for defying national party orders was sanction the party officials who made the decision. They could have stripped them of their credentials. They could have levied heavy fines on the respective state parties. They could have banned the party officials from the Democratic national convention.
Instead the DNC used it as an excuse to help Obama by disenfranchising 1,600,000 Democrats in Florida and another 600,000 Michigan - 2,200,000 voters who the DNC punished and whose crime was to show up and vote on the dates their state Democratic party and their state's attorney general told them to. The DNC decided they were the ones to be punished by announcing that their votes wouldn't count and the delegates elected to cast their votes for a presidential nominee wouldn't be seated.
To show just how corrupt the process was, Michael Moore, whose good works have been invaluable to the cause of common sense, threw 600,000 of his friends and neighbors in his beloved Michigan under the bus by supporting the DNC's decision to disenfranchise them because he, like most journalists and Obama supporters, had an agenda of seeing a president with black ancestry get elected
Never mind that this candidate had proved over 11 years that he was the most dishonest, duplicitous candidate since Richard Nixon. Never mind that over 11 years he had proved he was a do nothing politician who did nothing but talk a lot. Never mind that he had been caught in more lies in two months than most dishonest politicians in a career, whether it was seven consecutive days lying about Jeremiah Wright or his lies and duplicity that was exposed over NAFTA during the Ohio primaries. There was an agenda and that agenda was going to be seen through even if people like Michael Moore, Arianna Huffington, Keith Olbermann, Gail Collins and just about everyone in the press along with the DNC had to shred every iota of their integrity to make it happen. And that meant disenfranchising 2,200,000 voters in Florida and Michigan.At the same time that American soldiers were dying in Iraq to secure free and fair elections there.
While Obama was making speeches in 2008 saying things like " voices must be heard, every vote must count" he was also deeply involved, conspiring with officials at the DNC to do everything possible to keep the votes from Florida and Michigan from counting because of what those voices were saying, voices that said in landslide numbers that they wanted Hillary Clinton, not Barrack Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president.
The press dutifully went along acting like errand boys and accomplices for DNC officials, refusing to count the Florida and Michigan votes and the delegate counts that went along with it. This went a long way in creating the expectation that Obama would be the nominee despite facts at the time to the contrary which was the whole point.
Jonathan Alter, in Obama's pocket from day one, actually wrote an article saying that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race because she had no chance of winning. This even though Clinton had landslided Obama in 13 of 15 of the biggest states in the country. " Do the math" Alter wrote. In the end the math said that Clinton had won the popular vote over Obama and neither candidate had the 2/3 delegate majority to seal the nomination after the primaries ( which is what led to the rigged roll call vote for Obama at the convention).
The Florida Republican party's decision to move their primary up over the objections of the national party but with no threat made by the RNC that their votes wouldn't count recalls the whole ugly mess in 2008, a mess caused by the of leadership the DNC and the political corruption of Democratic congressional leaders and the press that brought about Obama's nomination.
You would think that politicians would have learned a long time ago that nothing good will ever come from trying dishonest or corrupt means to achieve a desired result. Nixon learned it in Watergate. Politicians who went to jail like Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham learned that. And now, after Obama sold out the Democratic agenda,after he has caved in and capitulated to Republicans on the most important aspects of the Democratic agenda, after his duplicitious and gutless first two years in office cost the Democrats the House and their biggest opportunity in 60 years to accomplish their goals, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic leadership know it too.
And unless they find another nominee for president in 2012, the price for their manipulation will get steeper.
Peter King, a right wing New York Republican congressman joined the growing list of Republicans condemning the Occupy Wall Street protests that continues to spread far beyond Wall Street with smaller protests cropping up in cities from coast to coast, and spreading around the world, but King's condemnation was especially amusing since, without realizing it, he compared the protestors to the American colonists who revolted against British rule.
In an interview with right wing radio host Laura Ingrahm, King referred to the Occupy Wall Street protestors as "anarchists" and a "rag tag mob", precisely the same language the British used in referring to American colonists who revolted against King George. He's now the second king to refer to American protestors as "anarchists" and a "rag tag mob".
King was also concerned that the Occupy Wall Street protestors were getting too much attention from the media, something he has no problem with when the Tea Party organizes protests.
Referring to the protestors as a "mob", King said:
"We have to be careful not to allow this ( the protests) to get any legitimacy," he warned. "I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960's when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy," he said. "We can't allow that to happen."
The policies that King referred to that were shaped by the protests of the 1960's that he objects to were civil rights, equal rights for African Americans, the Voting Rights Act that gave African Americans the right to vote, integration, equality for women, insistence that 18 year olds who were old enough to get drafted and be sent to war were old enough to vote for or against those who send them there, respect for the global environment with protests against polluting the air and water, sexual freedom, freedom of speech, an end to social double standards, and an end to an ongoing war that killed 50,000 American soldiers needlessly because of egregious miscalculations by two presidents and the super ego of one, Richard Nixon.
In two sentences about the Occupy Wall Street protests, King summed up everything that is at the root of all liberal vs. conservative animosity and conflict. Not only have conservatives still not gotten over losing the Civil War, they haven't gotten over the 60's either when so many of the conformist, unequal, unconstitutional and narrow minded values they cherished were exposed as frauds and demolished.
Mayor Bloomberg might have a point when he says that the Occupy Wall Street protestors miss the point that it's the taxes these banks and Wall Street firms pay that help pay for the services in the city that benefits everyone. But Mayor Bloomberg misses a different point -- that it was the taxes paid by average working people that went to prop up these banks that were on the verge of collapse because of the sheer greed, ineptitude and incompetence of those who controlled them. Average working people saw their tax money spent on cleaning up the egregious and dishonest mistakes of bank presidents and investment houses and benefit the people with the multi-million dollar salaries, the people who caused all the problems in the first place but, thanks to government bail outs didn't lose their jobs ( a case can be made that many of them should have gone to jail much less lose their jobs), while not enough of their tax payer money went to saving their own jobs and the economies of their own communities.
The biggest point the protestors are missing is that the inequality and injustice they now feel is not the fault of the banks or Wall Street who are only doing what the law allows. That fault can be laid directly at the feet of Barrack Obama who, despite a huge congressional Democratic majority watered down Financial Reform and took out its most important provisions." Too big to fail" the concept that was at the heart of the tax payer bailout has not been fixed because Obama caved in to Wall Street and bank pressure, a pattern which followed his caving in to pressure from health insurance companies by dropping the public option.
It is not the banks or Wall Street that has to go. It's Obama. And the Republican majority in the House.