Disclaimer: My original intent of this post was to provide a piece that I stumbled across on Facebook. A friend of mine had it posted. I'm not sure of its origin as I don't know the author, but wanted to share. I got a bit carried away in my intro so revisited the beginning of this post to provide this disclaimer. If you couldn't careless about my additions, then the commentary I wanted to share (from the perspective Buckeye) can be found below the jump.
I have come across several members of the Penn State community (and this community) who have been unfairly ridiculed throughout this ordeal. If not being accused as child rape enabler by some idiot (small number, but they do exist), then we are being aggressively confronted by neighbors, friends and strangers regarding how we feel about this. And wouldn't you know it, there is never a shortage of people who feel obliged to give me their opinion because of where I went to school. It's tiring, even to just say piss off.
A former colleague of mine got into it with me shortly after the release of the Freeh report. He is a well-educated man in his low 40's. I only provide that last bit of information to disclose he's been in this world a few years and one would think wisdom and age are positively correlated. But moving on, his position was that he wanted PSU out of the Big Ten and wanted our football program to end. All of his information was based off opinionated summaries (from MSM), which were based on opinionated conclusions from the Freeh report. Professionally, I respect this man a great deal and he is truly a bright individual. His perspective on this shows how powerful the media has become and how damaging the court of public opinion can be in this country.
Sadly, I feel like President Erickson, the BOT and Mark Emmert (all presumably smart men) were also sucked in to the media narrative on this story and acted inappropriately. Meanwhile, the general public applauds. It's sickening. But without further blabbering from me, the comments I wish to share are below the jump.
Via a post from a friend on Facebook...
"As a graduate of The Ohio State University, I never thought that I would be writing about anything that related to Penn State. But, I can no longer take the ignorance and lynch mob mentality of many of the media outlets, as well as the general populace.
It has always amazed me that we (readers and listeners of mass media) have become so lazy that we swallow every morsel of so called news as gospel. Lest we forget that the media must sell their wares in order to remain in business. With the advent of ever evolving technology that task has become increasing more difficult. As a result, the media too have evolved.
What used to be a respected profession, where journalistic integrity and the reporting of the facts were not only the norm, but were sacred and guarded, has now become a mission to remain relevant and profitable. Their integrity and reporting of the facts have often taken a back seat to the sensationalizing of some facet of the news.
It’s no longer good enough to simply report the facts and allow the readers or listeners to form their own judgment or opinion. Many articles today are merely watered down editorials with morsels of the truth thrown in so one could call it a news article.
I believe that the media are the most powerful people in the world. We have been led to believe, in fact brain washed in a sense, to accept the words of the media as an unbiased and fair representation of the facts.
The Sandusky Sex Scandal, or as it’s better know the Penn State Sex Scandal… because the word “Sandusky” won’t sell as many papers or TV ads as “Penn State”, is a prime example of the media gone wrong.
I continue to be amazed by the irrational comments from generally intelligent people. Their naive acceptance of the media’s portrayal of the students/athletes, as well as Joe Paterno and other officials at Penn State is very bothersome to me and it should be to you.
For those of us who have actually read Louis Freeh’s report (which is the most comprehensive study about the Sandusky Sex Scandal) with an open mind, it must make you wonder about a number of things.
One of the most basic tenets of the entire document has been largely ignored by media. The report clearly states that in 1998 an investigation took place regarding Sandusky and alleged misconduct with young boys. The District Attorney along with the police department and several state organizations conducted numerous interviews. School officials, parents and alleged victims were all questioned. The investigation was closed and no charges were filed. Sandusky should have been stopped in 1998. He wasn’t.
The report went on to say that law enforcement and child welfare officials were ill equipped and not sufficiently trained to adequately recognize and handle adolescent sexual abuse. What? Why isn’t that the headline? Apparently, that won’t sell as many ads or newspapers.
That one sentence shines a whole new light on this entire tragedy. If the professionals who are hired to serve and protect didn’t have the proper knowledge, training and education as it pertained to adolescent abuse, what makes everyone think that a football coach or academic officials should?
However, not one media outlet picked up on that and reported the finding. Apparently, it wasn’t sensational enough. In 2001, having been through a Sandusky investigation just three years prior, Joe Paterno reported yet another incident to school officials. Knowing the result of the 1998 investigation, one might understand (not condone, but understand) why, after the initial report was filed, there was limited follow up on the part of Joe Paterno.
There’s no doubt that Paterno and school officials made some horrendous decisions. But, so did the law enforcement personnel and state agencies who were supposed to be knowledgeable about pedophiles and their characteristics.
I question why the media and many of you are holding a football coach and an administration to a higher standard than law enforcement and agencies whose job it is to protect all of us? Would you hold Child Protective Services, State Police or the District Attorney responsible if the Nittany Lions lost a football game? Of course not. It’s irrational and idiotic. I’m not downplaying the acts of Sandusky. They were horrific!
Further, I’m not defending anyone, but simply pointing out the fact that the mob is trying to condemn Penn State’s current students, athletes and officials for grievous acts committed 12 or 14 years ago. For the most part, today’s student body at Penn State were just getting out of diapers when these acts occurred. How is it rational or just for them to be punished?
One final thought. During the same time frame of 12 to 14 years, the students at Penn State have raised and donated nearly $100 million dollars for research and a cure for pediatric cancer. Thousands of young lives have been saved or made better because of the students at Penn State. Let’s stop casting aspersions and not forget all of the good they have done.
So, before you jump on the band wagon, perhaps you should know the facts and not just what the media want you to believe.
I’m proud to be a Buckeye, but feel very sad for the victims, students and everyone who calls Happy Valley home."