- Posted July 26, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Penn State sanctions fair?
Mob Rule and the NCAA
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's office, 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 was told by Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant, that he saw "something of a sexual nature" occur between Jerry Sandusky and a young boy. Paterno reported this to school officials, following the policies and procedures outlined by the University. 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, like the NCAA has done, and believe innuendo and conclusions, perhaps you should know the facts and not just what the media want you to believe. I’m proud to be a Nittany Lion, and feel very sad for the victims, students, athletes (of all sports), alumni, and everyone who has ever called Happy Valley home.” But, you must know, We ARE Penn State, and we will weather this storm as the family we are, steeped in honor, love, loyalty, and a belief that we can make the world a better place--as Joe would have put it, We will continue to MAKE AN IMPACT!