Friday, November 11, 2011

Assistant Quote of the Day

"I get that it's probably hard to believe that this guy you think is infallible and this program you think is sacred could hide such heinous activities, but there is some precedent for that -- and just like with the Catholic Church, no one's trying to take away your religion, in this case football, they're just trying to bring some accountability to a pope and some of his cardinals who fucked up. So don't worry, on Saturday you'll still get to go to services against Nebraska; no one's gonna take that away. 'Cause obviously you're young and that would be a traumatic experience -- and we wouldn't want that memory to scar you for life."

-- Jon Stewart on the Penn State scandal and the firing of Joe Paterno

Absolutely perfect.

I went into this quite a bit on the podcast last night, but in a couple of sentences Stewart sums up exactly what's wrong with the Penn State student and alumni outcry over the "unfairness" of Joe Pa being shitcanned. It comes down to this, so pay attention, kids: Football: unimportant. Children being raped: very important. Please get your priorities straight.

Sandusky sodomized children. Paterno knew about it, it happened on his watch, and he didn't do enough to stop it and to follow up with the investigation into what were unbelievably horrific events taking place right in the middle of Happy Valley (and please spare me the song and dance about how he's being scapegoated, because he isn't). Sandusky gets arrested and Paterno gets off relatively easy by only losing his job and not being hauled in by police and put through the wringer.

As for the indignation from the Penn State faithful, let me ask a question that I already know the answer to: If you weren't personally invested in the people and institution currently under fire, if you didn't deify them -- if it was, say, Les Miles or Bo Pelini or Lou Holtz years ago at the center of this same scandal -- would you still be so willing to suspend disbelief and automatically grant an immutable benefit of the doubt? Or would you be like the rest of us not blinded by our emotional attachments -- would you be willing and able to see this travesty for what it is and be demanding accountability and justice for the victims and their families?

Of course you would. Please think about that.

You're on the wrong side of this fight -- but you wouldn't be if it were anybody but Paterno. And that makes your argument crap.


Anonymous said...

Get off your high horse.

This is straight from the PA Attorney General's office:

"Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, noted that the two officials charged with perjury and failure to report the abuse are being defended by the university, while Paterno was fired."

Of course, Paterno was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, which we all know is more powerful and more important than any court of law.

Where's your sense of outrage at the Penn State Board of Trustees? At Curley? At Shultz? And the monster who started it all, Sandusky?

Your media witch hunt is accusing the rest of the 96,000 students, 46,000 employees, and more than a half a million alumni of the same crime. Did you know the rest of the student body (who did not riot) is planning a candlelight vigil for the victims? You do remember the victims after all, don't you? Did you know the alumni are planning a fund for the victims? Did you know about the blue-out planned to show the support for the victims? Probably not, because you want to cheery pick the facts and pick the sore until it scabs so that you can keep the hatred alive.

Paterno was no god or saint and far from the media generated whipped-cream frenzy of speculation and hear-say, he did not have god-like powers over the rest of the University. He is a mortal man, and like all other mortals (and all heros) was fallible, and he failed the biggest test of his life.

So to reiterate, get off your damned high horse with all your self-righteous moralizing and start focusing on the real monster, former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. And if you are going to continue to write about the the institution, why don't you also cover what the good and honest people are trying to do to right this wrong?

Or are you as guilty as your former CNN bosses of putting ratings ahead of the truth?

Anonymous said...

Well said.

But I had this thought last night and I still can't shake it : Suppose you had a beloved uncle who had known you and loved you, supported you all your life. And suddenly you find out that he's been arrested and is being charged with something unimaginably horrible like this. Your memory of the kind, gentle man simply does not allow you to come to terms with the reality of his darkness.

I know, I know, JoePa is not related to any of these fuckmunchers decrying his extremely justified termination, but to THEM, he IS the beloved Uncle, tho most have probably not met the man. It's difficult to overstate how utterly iconic JoePa is to the Penn State community.

That community is going through the grieving process now, and they're heavily into the denial phase. Face it, your first response to the Beloved Uncle scenario would be outright denial, too. What I hope to see is that the campus gets its shit turned around and facing in the proper direction before too long, so that maybe there can be something, anything good wrangled from this utter fucking catastrophe.

PS - I think you mean "wringer".

Chez said...

Oh, knock off the bullshit sanctimony, Anon 11:02. You operate under the faulty assumption that because I think Paterno deserved to be shown the door that I'm somehow tacitly defending Curley and Schultz. I'm learning that that's a common defense from those who like to pretend that they're employing dispassionate logic and reason to this mess rather than simply letting their emotions get the best of them. One has nothing to do with the other; neither does the fact that there are a hell of a lot of terrific Penn State kids who feel terrible about this and are going to do what they can for the victims. I've referenced that before so I didn't feel like I needed to again; I figured it was obvious to anyone with a fucking brain that I wasn't generalizing.

You're doing exactly what I said: Defending Penn State only because it happens to be Penn State and grasping at any straw you can to do so. This is no media witch hunt, and your claim that it is is abhorrent; likewise your assertion that somehow the board of trustees bears any kind of blame for this disaster. You're shooting both the messenger and the people who are now forced to react to the situation created by those who actually did the fucking-up. Just do yourself a favor and stop it.

Chez said...

Oh, and thanks for the correction, 11:18. I pounded this out quickly and didn't bother to copy edit. I suck.

Claude Weaver said...

@Anon 11:02 AM

Wow. Just wow. I have never seen someone completely miss the point so sanctimoniously. I am going to ignore the "ratings" line for being obviously inapplicable and focus on the main issue.

Chez is indeed well aware of the candlelight vigil, and he has acknowledged that not all of Penn State are lockstep in defense of Paterno. He is directly addressing those that are; the ones rioting and drawing undue attention on THEMSELVES. You want to complain about the actual decent folks there not getting any attention, then blame them, not the guy who is calling them out for their selfish and callous behavior.

Stop being a snot, is what I a saying.

As far as the actual topic, I agree with Anon 11:18 AM. These folks have been dealt a devastating blow to their psyche. Regardless of how we feel about their attachment to the man, these people are struggling with their own self-identity. They are angry at themselves for not seeing it sooner, for being blind to such evil in their presence. This is how it always happens, and they will soon turn their rage inward. When that happens, and they FULLY realize what they were supporting, nothing we can say will equal the pain they will feel.

Of course, this is all based on the idea that they are indeed misguided human beings, and not total sociopaths.

Claude Weaver said...

Also, typos don't mean you suck, Chez.

You suck for many, many, many reasons. Typos is way down on the list.

Chez said...

For the record, I can't stand the backward-ass logic that says that every time you focus on one facet of a story you have to mention another for "balance." That there's some sort of implied fairness in that. As you said, Claude, what I wrote wasn't about the kids who are standing up for the victims because it didn't need to be.

It's the "but, but, what about them?!" defense -- ironically the same one Anon up there used to try to counteract the awfulness of what Paterno did and didn't do. As if pointing out the Curley and Schultz situation equals some miscarriage of justice in firing Joe Pa rather than simply a case of two more wrongs not making a right.

Chez said...

Yeah, I know, Claude. I suck for so many other, far greater reasons.

Anonymous said...

Actually Chez no I don't think you are defending Shultz and Curley and you are the one at fault for taking it to the 'acrimonious bullshit' level, grasping at straws. I'm no fan of Paterno but I am even more not a fan of the attention not given to Curley and Shultz. You might feel this is backward-assed logic but I call that stance out as elitist bullshit. There is a miscarriage of justice ehre, but not because it was Paterno (and Spanier) fired. Even the PA AG is questioning this. So am I writing sanctimonious bullshit if even the PA Attorney General is in agreement?

And another, I fail to see the logic of your assumption that "...that I'm somehow tacitly defending Curley and Schultz." Did you make that up in your zeal to discredit my argument? Your further comment tried to lump me into another group of which I am not a member. I was pointing out why are they not receiving attention, especially after the PA AG's comments.

As for your stance that you have written about the good kids and you didn't need to mention it here, I read this blog in a vacuum. I'll take your word you did and apologize for my faulty assumption of lumping you into a category that you do not belong. So I do have a 'fucking brain' but don't thinkit is telepathic and that it knows about your other writing. Thanks for the insult, though! Way to go.

And there is no pretense here for dispassionate logic: I am mad as hell at everyone involved, but madder than hell at many media types who are trying to paint the rest of us as somehow being tacitly complicit, as if the alumni, students, faculty and staff somehow were in on this secret. We're made as hell.

As for the idiot rioters, well they were just idiots who showed their school pride by tipping over the van of probably their only friend in the media. They're mad as hell too but are too immature to express it in any proper way. And I am not excusing their behavior.

Chez said...

No one is trying to paint you all with one big blue and white brush. The post you're commenting on was focused on one specific group of Penn State students, alumni, fans, etc. No more, no less. Although, from everything I saw, those almost-rioting kids you mention are mad about the wrong things. They're pissed because Paterno got fired; it begins and ends there and that's the wrong thing to be angry about in all of this.

And actually, just because you can cherry pick official documents doesn't mean you're above piety. Yes, the Curley, Schultz and McQueary situation is bloody unforgivable, but again the fact that it exists in no way mitigates Paterno's role in all of this. He's at the top of the food chain -- to say nothing of actually screwing up -- so he takes the bullet when a disaster of this magnitude happens within his department and on his watch. The other three assholes who should also be facing infinitely tougher penalties have nothing at all to do with whether Paterno got what he deserved or deserved what he got.

You're conflating two separate issues that shouldn't be conflated.

Claude Weaver said...

There is a miscarriage of justice ehre, but not because it was Paterno (and Spanier) fired. Even the PA AG is questioning this. So am I writing sanctimonious bullshit if even the PA Attorney General is in agreement?

Um, so the Attorney General thinks a HR problem is what deserves attention? If they go to jail (which should be the optimal result for their involvement) then losing a job will be kind of par for the course.

I am confused. What exactly is the complaint here? That the media is focusing on the big name that engenders a whole lot of passion in a decent piece of the population? If so, what does accosting Chez accomplish exactly? He can't control what aspects everyone else focuses on. he can only comment on it. And really, he is on your side (I think). He is arguing that too many people are focused on the wrong parts of this scandal.

I am just confused as to where this "elitism" is stemming from. You aren't saying anything that substantiates such a claim.

Marsupialus said...

One wonders why Coach P did essentially nothing about this situation when confronted with it. One wonders why the Church did essentially nothing when confronted by a similar situation. Maybe because both thought that protecting the institution was more important than the individual. I mean, it's just one little 10 year old. He'll rebound. What I particularly love is the sanctimonious bullshit from Paterno about how he always did whatever he could for the school and the program -- and the kids. Right, except for the one time he didn't, when it counted.

Chez said...

Love this quote about blaming the media for this, from the Superficial:

"Photo Boy and I were talking this over this morning, and what’s so incredibly fucked up about this whole situation is how many people saw Jerry Sandusky raping kids and he saw them looking at him. So either a. he psychologically wanted to get caught yet nobody did anything, or b. he kept doing it because apparently nobody was going to do anything... Then again, that’s all in the past, and Joe Paterno won all those championships, you guys, so I don’t know why I even brought it up. Except I do, and it’s from this memo I got from the president of the media titled, 'Paterno must die for winning so much.' I was only following orders!"

Anonymous said...

If McQueary saw it happening and did not stop it, he is the first/worst actor, equal to the perpetrator. As a teacher, I went straight without passing go to the office when a kid reported abuse to me, and I related every single bit of information I had been given. That is the obligation all of us have to protect the young entrusted to us.

What exactly could McQueary have said to Paterno that was not enough to provoke immediate action? What could he have thought that made it necessary for him, an adult, to call his father about what to do?

What could have permitted McQueary to continue to see the perpetrator walking around unrestrained?

There are no answers to those questions that would leave things as they are at Penn State.

I am a retired teacher, and I know athletes sometimes get the benefit of the doubt to an excess, but if MQueary saw child-rape, there are no doubts that could have created the years of "benefits" that were extended here.

Anonymous said...

While the media spotlight is on Paterno, the rest of the cockroaches involved are scurrying for cover. They would love nothing more for people to be arguing over whether Paterno got treated fairly or not. It keeps the attention off of them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:05 - "As a teacher, I went straight without passing go to the office when a kid reported abuse to me, and I related every single bit of information I had been given. That is the obligation all of us have to protect the young entrusted to us."

Why didn't you go to the police or child protective services? Why only to the office?

This is what I am having a hard time understanding in all of this. Why didn't the people who saw this go straight to the police?

Anonymous said...

I am anonymous 3:05. Why did I go straight to the principal's office about abuse? Because that was the NC law requirement for all teachers. We were required to report to the principal on such things within a very short time or lose our jobs/certification! This procedure was emphasized very directly to us, and it worked in the cases I dealt with. Perhaps that procedure was done to guarantee that there was a direct line of responsibility for transmitting information. It was not an effort to get the hot potato out of my hands. I had a student who thanked me for reporting and saving her from further abuse. Some I never saw again because they were immediately removed from the homes and placed in foster care beyond reach of the abuser.

John Foley said...

"Why didn't the people who saw this go straight to the police"

For love of The Program, of course.

John Foley said...

As for the "witch hunt" defense:
I'll say the thing every time this comes up. Whether it's Barry Bonds, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, Ted Haggard, or whoever, my answer is the same:

It's not a witch hunt if you're actually guilty of the thing you're accused of doing. Then it's just a regular hunt.

Joe Paterno isn't a kiddie-raper, but he enabled one. He allowed Sandusky access to the Penn facilities. He didn't call the cops. This man has been imbued with legendary status because he won a lot of football games. Well, legends also have to answer the bell when times are tough. They can't just be legends when they're winning games and everything's coming up roses.
A wise man once said "any asshole can keep it together on a good day." It's the bad days, the trying times, that provide the true measure of one's character. Paterno failed this test. Merely pointing out this very obvious fact does not a witch hunt make; and it's also not excusing the even worse actors in this tragedy.

Claude Weaver said...

This is what I am having a hard time understanding in all of this. Why didn't the people who saw this go straight to the police?

Legal liability, I would gather.

Having a teacher for a former roommate, I was regaled with stories as to the really suit-wary administration of most schools. You throw such a serious accusation around, and regardless of its veracity, a lot of people are going to get some unwelcome attention. As far as the initial report of misconduct (and I hate using such a light term), there are probably policies in place for it.

Of course, once it was apparent that the administration weren't doing anything, and it was clear that the abuse was continuing, there was no good reason to hold back then.

Claude Weaver said...

You know what? This is one of those times where a public apology would actually be useful.

Wait hear me out. You have these misguided loyalists crowing for Paterno's vindication, right? And this is because of his perception as a guy of integrity and all that.

Well, I think his publicly addressing his role in this would be the best solution. The key problem here was his silence, and as far as I know, he is still being silent about it. he is letting other people make the decisions for him, and that cannot continue. If he is even half the good guy these folks say he is, he cannot have this kind of stuff weighing on his conscience. Even a mere lea o sop he rioting and such would go a long way towards putting the focus back on what really matters here: the kids hat were hurt by this tragedy.

as long as he stays silent and lets others do his fighting for him, the more damage he will do to the reputation of a school and a football program he supposedly cares about.

Matt Osborne said...

Best part of Stewart's quote? The image of football fans as religious fanatics. Down here where I live, there is one official church (SEC football) with two denominations (Alabama and Auburn). If you watched the LSU-Alabama game last weekend, you might have caught the image of people in the crowd *PRAYING* as things deteriorated in the overtime period. Stewart isn't being funny, he's being truthful, and we laugh because it hurts.

em said...

Can people who write sanctimonious comments at least throw us readers a bone and make up a sanctimonious- sounding name to go with your comments? It would make reading a lot easier. Kthxbye

...and seriously, KIDS WERE ASSAULTED. Who the fuck can't see that right now? I don't have any kids and I'm still on the fence about even wanting them, but fuck - if I saw anyone assaulting a child, I fucking know exactly what I would do - not let it fucking happen.

Anonymous said...

I’m Anon 5:43 – Thanks Anon 3:05. Sorry if it came off and an accusation of passing the buck, that is not how I meant it. I can see in my wording how you would think that. So I am sorry. I just really didn’t understand why someone would not go right to the authorities. Claude, I also see your point. In the case of this story with the people who saw the abuse, in my opinion they should have gone straight to the police.

Claude Weaver said...

I have been trying to find a way to express my view on these scandals and the defenders of these men, and this article doesn't much better than I ever could:

CNNfan said...

Pretending to be a comedian on TV is really getting old.

Problem is, where does a fake comedian go after he has been fired?

Anonymouse said...

There are two schools of thought involving this entire disaster...people who think Joe Pa is getting screwed...and those who have read the grand jury testimony. If you got a kid, it will fuck with you more than any horror novel. Sandusky was a fucking predator. He had his actions down to a sick science. And he was basically supported by the institution that knew of his behavior and did nothing to stop it.

We are talking about a sports program, fully supported by the state of Pennsylvania, that would refuse to discuss their budget with the press. This is not surprising at all to me that not only Joe Pa, but everyone involved would rather cover for Sandusky and hoped he would stop on his own than admit anything illicit occurred at their institution. Fuck them all. Blow up the whole program. If SMU got the death penalty, why the hell can't Penn State? All SMU did was pay their players to play...its not like they were systematically covering for the sodomy of children.

Anonymouse said...

Oh this gets even tastier... The DA wanted $500,000 bond with Sandusky and force him to wear a leg monitor until his court date. Judge says no and he was freed without paying anything.

Guess which organization Judge Leslie Dutchcot volunteers for... The Second Mile, which was the organization that Sandusky used to trolled for fresh meat.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Cersei said...

You know what pisses me off? The current student body at Penn State behaves as if they've been there all their lives and have personally known Paterno for ages.

Also, I think the candlelight vigil came about only because they realized how ignorant they were being. I didn't feel a lot of sincerity in it.