Tuesday, January 14

Penn Live/Patriot News "not accurate at all" - don't give them the clicks

On ESPN Radio this morning, former PSU football coach Bill O'Brien called David Jones' report on January 1st, "not accurate at all" -- par for the course in the Sandusky scandal.

Ray Blehar

Today, on Mike and Mike in the Morning, former PSU football coach Bill O'Brien put the false story to rest that Paterno People were part of the reason he left Penn State.   During the interview, when asked about the Patriot News' New Year's Day story, O'Brien answered, "No, that's not accurate at all."  

O'Brien's answer also fits the Patriot News' coverage of the Sandusky scandal -- not accurate at all.  

Despite the fact that the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for "local reporting," its articles concerning the Sandusky scandal were light on facts, high on supposition, and biased toward the outcome that would sell the most newspapers.

Exactly the same modus operandi used by Jones when fabricating stories about the influences of the JoeBOTs and the Paterno People on PSU's football program.  

Interestingly, a check of today's PennLive web-site shows that David Jones has not addressed O'Brien's remarks.  

And why would he?

He is following the lead of his employer.  

Specifically, to not correct the record when the truth comes out, to only write the parts of the story that fit their preferred narrative, and to bury what should have been the lead deep into the story -- after most readers have quit reading.

When O'Brien decided to leave Penn State, Jones, much like Louis Freeh, had his preferred narrative ready to go and made sure that took priority in the story, but if you could actually stomach reading through the hyperbole and innuendo for most of the article, you would have found that Jones admitted O'Brien was moreso "running toward the Houston Texans" rather than "running away from Penn State" at around paragraph 15. 

Of course, that wasn't the headline because that's not a controversial story.  A former NFL assistant, who became a college coach had decided to leave for a promotion/career as an NFL head-coach.  

Ho-hum.  Paragraph 15.

Not something that any national media outlet would swoop in to quote Jones about.  

To get the national media to take notice, make the "off the record" conversation the story - ethics be damned.

Louis Freeh's report and press conference was more of the same.  Highly inflammatory and false statements were front loaded, but the real story was buried in Chapter 8 of the Freeh Report.  Most readers only read the Executive Summary, but if you made it to Chapter 8, you would have found that the Freeh group did not find that PSU officials violated the child abuse reporting statute.  

Of course, it is unlikely that anyone in the media actually read Chapter 8, let alone reported on it.  Not when they could tweet soundbites from the press conference.

Similarly, no national media outlet was about to swoop in to quote Sara Ganim about a children's charity that hardly anyone knew about -- who were the most obvious culprits for covering up the crimes of Jerry Sandusky.

What did Ganim and the Patriot News do?  

Ethics be damned again, they made Penn State and Joe Paterno the enablers of Sandusky's abuse in order to grab the headlines and sell newspapers.

And rather than doing any legitimate investigative reporting on the Sandusky case or on The Second Mile, the Patriot News took the easiest path and did "local reporting" on the press releases and information offered to them by the Office of Attorney General.  

Their approach won them a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

Their approach also ensured that thousands of Pennsylvania's children would continue to be raped, abused, tortured, and even killed while the public's attention was focused on the alleged failures at Penn State - and not on the failures of the Commonwealth's child protection system.

It's all about the dollar.

The Patriot News decided to sell out Pennsylvania's children for their own fame and fortune.

They also traded their role as the "fourth estate" to be an arm of the state government who keeps Pennsylvania's citizens misinformed and ignorant about the safety of its children.

For the sake of the kids, don't give Penn Live another click.


  1. Excellent as usual Ray. Your tenacity and tireless search for truth and justice is inspirational. Thank you.

  2. Well-said and nicely written Ray. You have touched on a very disturbing trend lately--control of the media by the wealthy and the powerful. Its seems when reporting had some integrity left, there was some value placed on honesty. You know, when the truth was presented for what it was, and not spoon-fed by corrupt power brokers to the media along with whatever perks were sprinkled on top of the pablum. Then the little just-out-of-college "reporters" regurgitate their pablum back to the public for our digestion. Trouble is, most of us, with any experience and wisdom at all, don't want regurgitated pablum presented as real truth. We want the TRUTH, not B.S. that was bought and paid for. These "reporters" today lack integrity and are an easy target for bribes in the form of local awards and rapid undeserved promotions.

    If any of you young "reporters" are reading this, study up on the history of media control by fascist powers. You are in a position to actually present the truth to the public with integrity. You can actually become known as an independent and unbiased journalist that is rock solid in your conviction to the truth. Yes, it's risky, you won't get promoted at lightning speed or have your picture all over your local papers, but you may actually develop something more valuable---a conscience. And in the long run, the person with integrity wins. Nazi Germany, Hitler, and his boot-licking journalists and their lies were eventually exposed to the world for what they were. And so will the corrupt powers in Pennsylvania be exposed. Corbett's regime is crumbling along with the whole state system of cover-up. Now is the time to see what's coming and do the right thing.

  3. Maybe I'm way off here, but I believe that Tom Corbett holds major sway over the Patriot News and Penn Live. I pray that one day is house of lies collapses around him.

    Our media is in a frightening place these days. The ability for misinformation and nonfactual spinning to be offered up as "news" is pretty scary.

    1. I agree with you Bodhi -- Tom Corbett seems to have considerable influence over the Patriot News/Penn Live editorial board. They are shills for Corbett and his cronies.

  4. Ray, I clicked on the link you provided for the O'Brien's interview and of course ESPN has the extremely misleading headline of "O'Brien Regrets Bashing Paterno People", which of course he never said, but the headline continues to make you believe he still thought the "Paterno People" were against him, but he regrets bringing it up. What he said was he regrets that that conversation (with David Jones) even took place. He never says I didn't mean to say that, in fact he actually says it's inaccurate, but ESPN of course twists it for a headline that continues to put Penn State in a negative light.

    1. Not to mention that the link was more or less buried and, although many outlets reprinted the original article, the pseudo-retort by Coach O'Brien is seemingly ignored, or at best... swept under the rug....I don't want to be a cynical person....but I'm starting to think cynically...

  5. The recent release of the Kellers


    reminds us of the head spinning community madness cases of the 1980's. In the Keller's case, children were taken to rituals where babies were murdered, dismembered and cannibalized. The children returned to the day care facility where they were calmed down and cleaned up so nothing was noticed by parents picking them up. In the Sandusky case, at least $60 million of harm was done to boys without anybody noticing. They said nothing. Their friends, families, teachers, doctors and other professionals missed the effects. For some reason beyond me, Joe Paterno was key to the case. It's nuts.

    Theories that rely on particular actions in the community are misguided as community madness just seems to happen. A recent book about the Salem Witch Trials develops the theam that rules of evidence were considered and the 19 people who were hanged and the one crushed to death got due process. Judge Cleland should have known of the problems with recovered memories and community madness cases. His total inability to think is common to people, including judges. He should be incarcerated for at least a year to understand the horror of his incompetence. The media in the Sandusky scandal were terrible, but that happens with most community madness cases..

    1. Westchester Bill: Can you clarify who your think is guilty in the Sandusky scandal? Do you believe Sandusky is innocent of pedophilia? Do you believe Paterno is innocent of enabling Sandusky? Do you believe PSU is innocent? Do you believe PA state government is innocent or guilty of enabling Sandusky's crimes?

      I don't believe the Keller's hurt anyone, and actually were victims of a community madness witch hunt. However, I do believe Sandusky molested boys and got away with it due to a corrupt state government turning a blind eye for 11 years. Once in danger of being exposed for their law enforcement selectivity, the corrupt PA government scrambled to frame Sandusky's former employer, which any sane person can see makes no sense at all.