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My email to O'Reilly

While I expect that it will never see the light of day, as I sat seething in front of my television last night, I felt it necessary to call out Bill O'Reilly for smearing Joe Paterno's name.

So it goes:

Mr. O’Reilly

After listening to your commentary on the day after the death of a great humanitarian and educator, I am compelled to write to you regarding your comments regarding Mr. Paterno. I am afraid you have fallen victim to the syndrome of one standing behind the barricade of his opinion which shields him from seeing the facts. I, like you, and millions of others are disgusted by the violation of children in any way, but child abuse is not the issue here. What is at issue is did Mr. Paterno act appropriately when presented with the prospect of a violation may have occurred.

I hope you have taken the time to read the transcript of the testimony that was the source of the Grand Jury Presentment and not just the Grand Presentment alone, for if you had, as someone who I consider to be an intelligent person, you would have determined that what was testified to and what ended up in the Grand Jury Presentment, were two different things. It is important to take into consideration the sequence of events and what Mr. McQueary saw and conveyed to Mr. Paterno regarding the incident in 2002, so you must consider this in the context of a singular incident in a singular moment in time. It is important to note, that Mr. Paterno was unaware of the suspected assault that took place in 1998, so the information he had was what Mr. McQueary told him the morning after the alleged assault.

A key fact here is that Mr. Paterno only found out that something took place the day after it happened and is the only incident he knew of. Mr. McQueary, per his own testimony, wasn’t even sure of what he had seen, only that he thought it was sexual in nature and inappropriate. Further, Mr. McQueary could not identify the victim. You contend that given this information, Mr. Paterno "stood back and did nothing". In fact that is not the truth and I believe you know that. Not being a law enforcement officer himself, Mr. Paterno assured Mr. McQueary that he had done the right thing and that he, Mr. Paterno, would see that the matter be handled by the proper authorities, which he did, or so he thought. Within a day Mr. Paterno reported the possible assault to his employer and the person at the University who was in charge of the University Police, a fully accredited police agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Having not personally witness the alleged assault, to have taken the matter into his own hands and reporting it to non-University police would have been inappropriate. Within a week, those officials met with Mr. McQueary to begin the investigation. After that, Mr. Paterno followed with Mr. McQueary to ensure the incident was appropriately addressed. Mr. McQueary expressed that it had been. Subsequent to Mr. Paterno’s report, the alleged perpetrator access to the University was withdrawn with no other incidents reported. Why would Mr. Paterno have any reason to believe that the incident was not handled appropriately? A misguided assumption, perhaps, illegal, or immoral as you contend? No.

Whether the University officials who had responsibility for pursuing the matter did so properly, is a subject for debate and is a question that will see its day in court. With that said, remember one thing: no one knew who the alleged victim was.

If you want to call into question immoral acts by anyone, start with the State's Attorney General's office for embellishing actual testimony to write what turns out to be a fictionalized representation of events. Again, a comparison of the testimonies with the Grand Jury Presentment, will bear this out.

You very sanctimoniously compared Mr. Paterno with the Bishops and other leaders of the Catholic Church, by saying he did nothing. He did nothing of the kind and for you to continue to smear his name and by association Penn State without being fully informed may just make you guilty of committing an immoral act.

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