July 12, 2012

"Report: Penn State leaders, including ex-coach Joe Paterno, concealed Jerry Sandusky's activities to avoid bad publicity."

Email from CNN Breaking News.

Breaking news? It's some kind of weird mind game. You get breaking news and the news is that you didn't already know that.

CNN is using "Breaking News" the way the least-funny guy who thinks he's a comedian uses the phrase to try to make jokes.

ADDED: Here's a detailed story about the release of the independent report, which is the work of former FBI director Louis J. Freeh.

41 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

In other news, man hides affair from wife to avoid bad reaction.

Journalism!

EMD said...

Bad PR now vs. Horrible, irreconcilable PR later.

They chose poorly.

John said...

There is what you believe, what you know and "BREAKING NEWS" what you can prove.

EDH said...

Further narrowing the gap between "Breaking News" and "Breaking Wind".

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

"Rodney Hughes, a member of Mr. Freeh's nine-person committee, explained why the Sandusky case is a seminal one."


Well, yes. Is the limitation of cruel and unusual punishment applicable to institutions? I would like to see Penn State football concessions limited to hot dogs for the next twenty years. Simple, naked hot dogs with no condiments. Normal size hot dogs, with really tiny buns.

Paddy O said...

Which basically opens the door for Penn State to be sued out of existence.

Marshal said...

Everyone involved should have immediately reported their knowledge to the police directly. Anyone who didn't deserves our everlasting acorn.

But on a separate inquiry I'm trying to follow the institutional behavior. I want to understand how those in charge (the university President in particular) arrived at a decision that's going to destroy their lives permanently and taint their institution for 50 years.

Shultz wrote that the cover up would fail if Sandusky didn't stop molesting children. This shows they understood the risks of the coverup. So who bets their future on a pedophile reforming without being caught? Your chances are better of hitting the lottery two weeks in a row. And by making the bet and taking ownership of the issue they became the problem.

I just cannot understand how this decision was made.

Paddy O said...

explained why the Sandusky case is a seminal one.

!!

edutcher said...

Breaking news - CNN ratings dropping like a stone.

CNN surprised.

Film at 11.

traditionalguy said...

Freeh's report is worth reading.

Total coverup for their beloved JS was the only rule the Penn State Administration ever followed.

Their belief that the weak non-entity victims would be screwed every time and probably deserved what ever happened to them was amazing. Power does corrupt.

The reason the victims got a 10 year late investigation was the terrible sight that the janitors and the young assistant saw that would not go away.

The Trustees were kept in the dark even when they made demands.

The easy standard of blaming the trustees/directors for officer misconduct was run out and saluted by Freeh.

But those Trustees were helpless unless thy hired their own outside private investigators working all of the time. The President of Penn State actually did fear that happening with his Board of Trustees and his not being able to get his total power back later.

Bank directors are also under fire these days on a similar failure of oversight charge, but unless the Audit Committee of the Board does a seperate audit of its own, all they get is the officers lies.

John M Auston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

In case you want to read it: Link

285exp said...

Matthew Sablan,

I don't think that protecting a pedophile and concealing an affair from your spouse are equivalent.

Craig said...

Who would know more about bad publicity and have greater capacity for knowing and concealing incendiary secrets than a media mogul whose own empire has recently been a subject of intense scrutiny and formal investigations for violations of rights to privacy that could result in massive civil liabilities? And why on earth, on the same day that the FBI released its report on Penn State's administrative oversights, would Piers Morgan give Robert Blake a whole half hour to rant and rave in bleeped expletives about the violation of his constitutional right to due process when all he really needed was five minutes to plug his book? Haven't read the book, but wasn't Blake a child actor?

Mariposa said...

I have frequently been puzzled by a chuckling acceptance and indulgence of male homosexual pedophilia in literature, movies, and television in different cultures going back many years. It is similar to the humorous acceptance of alcoholic behavior. Although most people are horrified to hear of child rape and would no more cover up for it than they would for murder, I believe there are still currents of tolerance and I am still puzzled by this.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

An interesting missing word in almost all reports and comments about this scandal is 'gay'.

Doesn't make it any worse a crime, of course, but isn't it curious why such pains are taken to never mention that component of it?

Why is one's sexual orientation relevant sometimes ( like when celebrities heroically 'come out', just to let us know), but not other times?

And don't get me wrong. I do think it is irrelevant. Just wondering why it isn't ALWAYS irrelevant.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

And another thing. I wonder if the "snitches get stitches" crowd will want to defend those who kept quiet those many years?

Ralph L said...

Everyone involved should have immediately reported their knowledge to the police directly. Anyone who didn't deserves our everlasting acorn.
Oaky.

I'm surprised we haven't heard about any bad acts when Sandusky was still employed at PSU. Does anyone think he started in ~2001?

Mr. T. said...

Richard Brodhead, John "Flying Squirrel" Burness, Steele, Deen Sue, Larry "Water Buffalo" Moneta, Tallman Trask...and the list goes on. Where is the outrage over their attempts to conceal (even now) If Duke's attempt to keep quiet grade retaliation, threats, racism violations of civil rights, and slander by them and faculty at Duke during the Lacrosse Hoax?

If Sandusky was a faculty member, this story would not see the light of day.

Carol said...

"there are still currents of tolerance and I am still puzzled by this."

The culture is libertine and "tolerant" about everything else, but this. And it's not really child rape - these were adolescents, right? Only the legalities make them "children."

So the difference of just *a few years* between 11 and the age of consent are going to seem more and more arbitrary as morality unravels.

bagoh20 said...

Apparently there was not a single solitary man in the whole group who knew about this. Nobody even once spoke to Sandusky about it. Despicable! Telling the perpetrator to stop isn't even going to risk the cover up. The fecklessness is inexplicable.

What has happened to masculinity is a disaster.

bagoh20 said...

"And it's not really child rape - these were adolescents, right? Only the legalities make them "children."

Most, if not all, were indeed rapes of young boys. That's bad enough all by itself, regardless of age of consent. Sandusky was not some hot young female teacher. He was a nasty old loaf of drooling bread dough with an erection. The kind of thing a young boy would shoot on sight out of sheer horror if he could.

gerry said...

Gee.

If this were a Roman Catholic outfit, think of the outrage.

I wonder how much of this goes on in other secular joints?

Portia said...

Is there any other news at CNN besides 'Breaking'. CNN itself is broken, so it stands to reason.

Christopher in MA said...

Craig - Blake was one of the Little Rascals towards the end of the run of that series.

And yes, Gerry, imagine if this were the RCC. Statistics show time and time again that the incidence of molestation of the underaged in government schools dwarfs by thousands any such incidents in the clergy.

Which is not to excuse one and condemn the other, but. . .why is it that the Mitchell Garabedians of the world have a constant hard-on to sue the Church, but don't give a damn about the NEA?

Marshal said...

Mr. T. said...

"Where is the outrage over their attempts to conceal (even now) If Duke's attempt to keep quiet grade retaliation, threats, racism violations of civil rights, and slander by them and faculty at Duke during the Lacrosse Hoax?"

This was the most public and brazen prosecutorial misconduct since the civil rights era. But I understood the actions from an institutional perspective.

Left wing political activists masquerading as academics seized their chance to become the local leftist heroes. The administration went along (slightly more cautiously) because not doing so risked being Summersed should he later be judged insufficiently leftist. The university closed ranks to protect itself because coming clean would have to include admitting their humanities departments are defacto political organizations and indoctrination camps.

The biggest difference is that (given their motivations) it's understandable that the activists tried to use the event to support their narratives. They didn't know it was a lie. When the lies became obvious why would that matter? You can't be punished for being too leftist in academia, so they just lied through the whole thing.

[Ward Churchill?] He was punished for being stupid, and forfeited his immunity because he was white pretending to be a minority.

jacksonjay said...

How much did the players know? How creeped out are they now, years later.

How much did the charity know? How do those donors, directors and volunteers feel.

I am afraid that this kind of behavior is more common than we want to acknowledge.

"Band of Brothers" mindset!

Marshal said...

"jacksonjay said...
How much did the players know? How creeped out are they now, years later. "

Lavar Arrington gave an interview saying he wished he had followed up after asking one of the kids if something was wrong.

"How do those donors, directors and volunteers feel."

Betrayed. Same as Aumni.

MadisonMan said...

From the Board of Trustees, via the alumni email list I'm on:

Today with the report released by Judge Louis Freeh, the Penn State Board of Trustees delivered on the commitment we made last November when we engaged Judge Freeh to conduct an independent investigation into the University's actions regarding former Penn State employee, Jerry Sandusky, and the handling of allegations of the child abuse crimes of which he has since been found guilty.

Judge Freeh and his team conducted a rigorous, eight-month investigation into all aspects of the University's actions to determine where breakdowns occurred and what changes should be made for the future. We like many others have eagerly anticipated Judge Freeh's Report of the findings of his investigation.

His report has just been released at http://thefreehreportonpsu.com/ and we currently are reviewing his findings and recommendations. We expect a comprehensive analysis of our policies, procedures and controls related to identifying and reporting crimes and misconduct, including failures or gaps that may have allowed alleged misconduct to go undetected or unreported. We will provide our initial response later today.

We want to ensure we are giving the report careful scrutiny and consideration before making any announcements or recommendations. We are convening an internal team comprising the Board of Trustees, University administration and our legal counsel to begin analyzing the report and digesting Judge Freeh's findings.

As we anticipate the review and approval process will take some time, our initial response and immediate next steps will be presented at 3:30 at the Dayton/Taylor Conference Room at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center.

These top-line reactions will provide an overview of our process for developing and implementing a plan once we have studied the report and have a better understanding of what it means and how we can implement findings to strengthen Penn State's role as a leading academic institution and ensure that what occurred will never be allowed to happen again.

Meade said...

"Everyone involved should have immediately reported their knowledge to the police directly. Anyone who didn't deserves our everlasting acorn."

From little scorns mighty lions do fall.

jr565 said...

Other university officials had planned to tell child-welfare authorities about a 2001 report of abuse but changed their minds after the athletic director, Timothy M. Curley, discussed the issue with Mr. Paterno, the report says.
The Daily News touched on this earlier with a report. However, it doesn't state what Paterno actually told Curley. ONly that Curley then had follow up conversations where they disagreed with what Paterno had suggested and were instead going to go their own way. And the headlined suggested that therefore Paterno told them to cover up the crime.

Paterno certainly had a conversation with Curley. However, we don't know, at least based on what i've read, that he was involved with any coverup. Certainly Curley was. What did Curley and Shutz decide not to follow when it came to what Paterno had suggested?

jr565 said...

Here's the article I was referring to:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/joe-paterno-influenced-penn-state-officials-quiet-jerry-sandusky-emails-reveal-article-1.1105285

Note the headline: Paterno influenced Penn officials to keep quiet.

The key point is in this paragraph:
hey reveal that Penn State administrators planned to alert Sandusky's Second Mile charity and the state Department of Public Welfare, but dropped that idea after consulting with Paterno.

"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps," Curley wrote to Schultz and Spanier.

The officials even acknowledged in the emails that not raising the red flag about Sandusky's conduct could land them in hot water "down the road."

But Curley expressed support for getting "professional help" for the defensive coordinator.

"I would be more comfortable meeting with the person and tell them about the information we received and tell them we are aware of the first situation," he reportedly wrote.

Spanier said he was "supportive" of that approach, according to CNN.

Now maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it suggests that Paterno had a discussion with Curley about what to do. But after the conversation he was uncomfortable with WHAT WE AGREED WERE THE NEXT STEPS. And instead he says he would be more comfortable meeting with Sandusky and getting him professional help. In other words, he's not happy with what he and Paterno said needed to be done and instead wanted to deal with it with Sandusky directly.
Considering the degree to which Curly wanted to keep it in house, it's suggestive that Paterno was telling him things that he didn't want to do (like we need to take this to the authorities, follow protocol, notify the charity etc.). What specifically Paterno suggested should be done is not known. However it is known that Curley wasn't comfortable with it and instead wanted to consult Sandusky directly about it.

Marshal said...

""After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps," Curley wrote to Schultz and Spanier."

The "we" in this could also refer to Curley-Schultz-Spanier. If so Curley is changing their plan, which would put Joe on the "let's bury it" side.

The "more thought and talking with Joe" had to happen after the plan, right? So if talking to Joe came after the plan the original [presumbly talking to police] can't be Joe's.

jr565 said...

Marshal,
True, but there's also the bit about how Curley would prefer to deal with Sandusky directly, as opposed to what was discussed.
And was Joe comfortable with the next steps of the plan.? it sounds like Curley is the one who wants to diverge from that plan (the next steps as it were) and do something not even considered i.e. talk to Sandusky directly.

jr565 said...

Also when he says:

"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps,

what was he referring to as talking it over with Joe? Was Joe outlying the next steps that needed to be taken, and that's what he found uncomfortable. It sounds like the WE is referring to him and Joe. Which would suggest that they had agreed the next steps were to do things like notify the charity or law enforcement or whatever protocol called for. Instead Curley wanted to speak to Sandusky directly and sweep it under the rug.

As far as I know the only conversation Joe had with the higher ups was when he notified them of what Mike Mcquery saw. Once notified, he was then out of the picture. People have been zinging him for not doing enough for example. But there is no email evidence that he did more. Which again is suggestive, that since that was the conversation that Joe was involved in that he and Curley were discussing the next steps at the conversation. And afterwards Curley is having second thoughts about what those next steps should entail.

Which sounds like it puts Paterno in the clear as far as being engaged in a coverup.

The case for Curley and Schutz covering up this crime is pretty much airtight. The case for Paterno being involved (in the coverup aspect) is a lot murkier.

BarryD said...

I'm shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you!

BarryD said...

"Which sounds like it puts Paterno in the clear as far as being engaged in a coverup."

Uh, what do you figure a "coverup" looks like?

Say I saw a murder at work, and I told my supervisor what I'd seen, and then just never mentioned it again to anyone (like, say, the cops). I had no culpability when it became clear that the information was being hidden, and I kept it to myself?

jr565 said...

BarryD wrote:
Uh, what do you figure a "coverup" looks like?
exactly what it sounds like. What Curley in fact did.

Say I saw a murder at work, and I told my supervisor what I'd seen, and then just never mentioned it again to anyone (like, say, the cops). I had no culpability when it became clear that the information was being hidden, and I kept it to myself?
This all gets into "what the next steps are". Taking steps involves DOING SOMETHING (I.e. notify the board, call the cops, call the charity), whatever the protocol in fact called for. Now if the school policy is to notify your superiors, and then take the steps required, which were discussed, then that's not an example of keeping into yourself.
Let's assume that Paterno had a discussiion with Curley as to the next steps to take. If he assumes that Curley will in fact take those steps (because he is the person who is to take those steps) then he hasn't done wrong necessarily, and maybe be under the assumption that such steps were taken (though it sounds like, instead Curley decided against taking those steps and talking to Sandusky directly).
You could argue that Paterno shouldn't have trusted that his superiors would actually handle the situation in the manner discussed and gone to the cops anyway, but that doesn't mean he was involved in a coverup. And if there is a protocol in place for certain things, and you follow the protocol, why would you then go to the authorities anyway, since by following protocol you are in fact following the law, and by going around it you are undermining it's efficiency.
Even Paterno said he should have done more, but that doesn't necessarily mean hat he was therefore involved in a coverup. Maybe instead he was a slave to a protocol that didn't sufficiently address how to deal with serious issues, and thought he as doing the right thing, but in retrospect realizes that the protocol was insufficient to begin with.
That still doesn't mean he was "involved in a coverup".

Let's say instead that Curley went along with the steps agreed upon. Would that have been an example of covering something up? We'd have to see what those steps were, and see if those steps are sufficient in dealing with issues.
I can certainly agree that in retrospect Paterno could have done more, as could have mcqueary, as could have the janitor who earlier saw something but never bothered telling anyone but his immediate superior, who similarly never told anybody, as could have the many victims who stayed silent while Sandusky apparently did this again and again.

jeff said...

"I don't think that protecting a pedophile and concealing an affair from your spouse are equivalent."

no one other than you implied they were. The point is that the reason to cover one or the other up is.

jr565 said...

IN fact to bolster my case, this is what Paterno said to a reporter:
Paterno told a reporter (regarding the 2001 allegations) that 'I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way.'"


Think about all the stories you hear about how people aren't rescued because of things like lawsuits, and you realize that people are at the mercy of "the protocol" or "the procedure" that needs to be followed, and if one doesn't follow the policy, one opens themselves up to the risk of lawsuits.

Now, think about Paterno's role in this. He saw nothing. He just heard an allegation. What does he know? If there is a procedure in place at the university and he doesn't follow it he opens himself up to charges of not following protocol. ANd what if it was just a rumor but had no basis in reality? If he decided to go outside the university procedures and got someone in trouble who in fact did nothing, he'd be Joe Paterno the guy who falsely accused someone and didn't follow procedure.
He did what a lot of people did. He referred it, as per procedure to those people who normally handle said situations, and assumed they would do their jobs. ANd he was ultimately wrong in that assumption.

But that is a crime far less egregious than getting actively covering up a known crime.