Monday, September 19

Wise isn't so wise about Sandusky case

ESPN's Mike Wise attempted to use attendance at the trial and his victimization as credentials when writing about Penn State honoring Joe Paterno.  The bottom line is that neither thing is a substitute for knowing the facts and Wise's column proves he's just another Keyboard Blowhard with an ill-informed opinion.

By
Ray Blehar

Mike Wise's column of September 18, 2016 was another in a long line of columns by sportswriters who haven't done their homework on the Sandusky case.   In my last blog, I excused some of the writers because their opinions were mostly based on inaccurate media accounts of the scandal.

Wise is in a whole different league, however.

His column starts by trying to legitimize his understanding of the Sandusky scandal because he sat through the Sandusky trial.   

The first few paragraphs demonstrate just how little he knows about the case.  To wit:


Sandusky used his Second Mile Charity for at-risk and underprivileged youth to groom his victims. He did not discriminate. Black, brown and white kids were molested, their economic status creating another layer of vulnerability. Many of these boys were orphaned. They didn’t merely come from broken families; they had no family. Second Mile and “Touchdown Jer”became their family.

Correction: No children who were "Black" or "brown" testified at the trial.  Sandusky's charity served primarily white children who were deemed at risk or in need of guidance.  NONE of the trial victims were orphans. The majority of Sandusky's victims lived in a home with a single mother or with extended family.  A few were in foster care due to improper care from their natural parent(s).  The victims all testified to their family situations -- but Wise apparently wasn't listening.


"The college president would resign. The athletic director would resign. And the head coach was fired in disgrace. They all knew."

Correction: Spanier's resignation was rejected. Curley's contract was not renewed - he didn't resign.  None of the men knew about Sandusky's sexual abuse of children (until 2011).

I was traveling with a man I’ve known a long time and he quietly reviewed the story of what happened to him, some 40 years ago when he was 12. He thought about his family betraying him the way the Penn State “family” betrayed those boys.

Correction: Trial verdicts and other evidence revealed that 8 of the 10 Sandusky victims were abused prior to Penn State reporting the 2001 incident.  PSU didn't betray victims.  To the contrary, PSU exceeded their legal requirements by the steps they took to prevent future victimization.

This weekend, former players and tens of thousands of fans paid homage to the late Joe Paterno on the 50th anniversary of his first game as head coach. Paterno happened to win 409 games over 46 years and gave his college town a national identity as a football powerhouse before we found out his real legacy: enabler of a convicted pedophile who raped boys over at least four decades.

Correction: The evidence in the pending court case against PSU officials proves Paterno reported suspected abuse the ONLY time he was informed of it.  

The latter paragraph by Wise is also proof that he learned little to nothing from his attendance at the trial.


Pulitzer prize winner Sara Ganim also attempted to use that "I sat through the Sandusky trial" rationale to attempt to justify writing a stunningly inaccurate and unsupported column about one of those 1970s (charlatan) victims.

In Ganim's case, her story of the hitch-hiker who was molested by Sandusky in 1971 didn't fit at all with Sandusky's modus operandi and was recognized as a fraud by anyone who followed the case.

Even though none of the trial victims gave corroborating accounts to the any sensational allegations in the settlements, Wise chose to believe those obviously false stories and use them to smear Paterno. 

He wrote:

"Joe Pa knew. He knew and he did nothing. He knew in 2001 and 1998 and, because of unsealed court documents, we learned this summer that he also knew as far back as 1976."

Wise won't be sued for libel or defamation because that would require proving that he knowingly wrote a false statement.  His statement and other parts of the column are solid evidence that he didn't understand Sandusky's modus operandi nor did he take the time to examine the facts of the case.  

It appears his knowledge of the case is based on media soundbites and not much else.

Going back to his statement above, there is absolutely no evidence showing that Joe Paterno had any knowledge of the 1998 investigation or allegations involving Sandusky.  None of the documents in the Freeh Report tie Paterno to the 1998 investigation nor does any trial testimony over the last five years.

To state Paterno knew and did nothing is also patently false. 






How did Wise get this wrong -- even with Bob Ley and others at ESPN assisting him?

And how could Wise believe that in 1976 Paterno was too busy coaching football to NOT report an in-person account of sexual abuse by a victim, but to take the time and care to report a vague second hand report of incident involving Sandusky and a child in 2001?

Easy. Because he believed the media soundbites that Paterno and Penn State turned a blind eye to the abuse of children.

Here's another example of that -- again, invoking his alleged knowledge of the case from his attendance at the trial.


"When the bailiff let us into the courtroom that day, we were seated maybe 10 yards from Sandusky. The man wanted to strangle him. Then one of Sandusky’s victims spoke. And another victim spoke. And another.

He couldn’t believe it – the courage they showed to look their abuser in the eye, to do the job Paterno and the athletic administration at Penn State failed to do years ago: ensure that other boys don’t lose their souls to a sick man."

The fact was that Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley did, in fact, look Sandusky in the eye and speak with him after the 2001 incident.   Given that Sandusky was not a PSU employee at the time and that Curley (and Paterno) had no administrative control of him, this action certainly went above and beyond the role of athletics -- as confirmed by the NCAA's new policy on handling of criminal allegations.  

Moreover, it is a fact that PSU went above and beyond legal requirements in reporting Sandusky in 2001 and taking the additional step of prohibiting him from using the Lasch building with Second Mile participants.  The trial verdicts confirmed that Sandusky committed no crimes on campus after 2001.  This was what was in PSU's domain to control.  They did not have police powers to surveille Sandusky nor could they mandate how Sandusky's employers at The Second Mile dealt with him.


Amazingly, pseudo-intellectuals like Wise and ESPN's Jay Bilas, who know very little about the facts and the laws pertaining to the case,  try to push the concept that people who don't agree with the media false narrative are exhibiting "cognitive dissonance."  

Seriously?  

Joe Paterno had a reputation for honesty and playing by the rules. The evidence in this case shows that his actions to report the 2001 incident was very much in line with his reputation.  Paterno checked the University policy to determine what he should do, then followed the rules accordingly when making his report.    

It is Wise and many others who are afflicted -- not with cognitive dissonance -- but with cognitive bias.

What is the root of the Wise's bias?

His article reveals that he was unfortunately victimized by his Uncle.  It is rather clear from the article that he projecting his anger at his family's response to learning of his Uncle's crimes onto the Penn State community's honoring of Paterno.

Wise felt betrayed that his family accepted that his uncle had molested him.  

"When he eventually got the courage to tell his family what had happened, he learned that most of the family knew long ago that Spud had problems in the past. They just thought he would never do something like that to his own flesh and blood.
He received a letter from an aunt a couple of years later, pleading with him not to make his uncle feel so bad for what he’d done so long ago. Soon after she sent a picture in the mail of his father, his other two uncles and Spud, their arms around each other at a family function he did not attend.
“Look, they’re all together,” the caption read."
But Wise's anger toward the Penn State community is  based on emotion and not on the facts -- as demonstrated earlier.

What's even worse, in my opinion, is that Wise stooped to the low of pretending Sandusky's victims feel the same way as he did.  

"The people who stood to honor Paterno may have meant no harm. But to Sandusky’s victims, to all victims of child sexual abuse, pining for Penn State’s past is the opposite of love."

How much does Wise really care about Sandusky's victims? 

Apparently not enough to talk to any of them or read their own accounts of how Paterno responded to the scandal -- and that is truly disrespectful of Sandusky's victims.

Victims 1 and 4 did not put the onus of Sandusky's abuse on Penn State or Paterno. 

Neither did Matthew Sandusky.

In Matthew's book, Undaunted, he was very specific about his feelings on Penn State's role.

On page 11, it states:

"Nor do I believe that "the culture of football" was to blame.  I believe it was Jerry Sandusky's grooming of...the community into believing he was a saint who was incapable of doing anything harmful to children that caused all of the blindness.  If we lay the responsibility on football and the desire to protect that program, then we take the focus away from the reality that sexual predators do not stand out to the people around them.  Offenders, in fact sometimes seem like godsends, like heroes."

And on page 12:

"I believe that the biggest scandal in college football history had little to do with college football or the people involved in it.  It had to do with Jerry Sandusky and the nature of "nice guy" sexual offenders.   In this, Jerry was a textbook case, but he was a textbook case in a course very few people have taken or understand."

Unlike Wise and other reporters, Matthew's opinion about the University's culpability appears to be far more educated and fair.  

On pages 14 and 15, he wrote:

"In theory, the possibility exists that someone in the administration suspected Jerry but was unconvinced that he was molesting boys so he did nothing about it.  
But unless that person gets his day in court, I believe it is wise to give him the presumption of innocence.  Everyone knows from the example of the Catholic Church priest-child sex scandal that they did in fact vote to protect the reputation of the church over the safety of the child victims.  There is always a chance of that happening in any organization.  Yet I am not aware of any proof of it in this case."



While Wise won praise from an unwitting public for this ill-informed column, he justifiably received criticism from those who knew the facts of the case.  


Wise needs to get wise about the Sandusky case so that he can use his position as a journalist to help fix a broken system.

If he refuses to do so, then he's just another in a long line of sports reporters who are unwitting enablers of child sexual victimization.

Updated at 7:33AM, September 20, 2016

40 comments:

  1. I read Wise's article before I came across yours, and I immediately recognized his unfair and disgraceful use of false equivalency.

    Wise was a child abuse victim whose family knew his uncle had been convicted of child sexual abuse. Yet they let the 36 year old uncle sleep in the same bed as his 12 year old nephew Wise. and, no surprise, the uncle sexually abused Wise. That is outrageous negligence by Wise's family yet it is not at all similar to Paterno's minor involvement in the Sandusky scandal.

    Sandusky was not a convicted criminal in 2001. Paterno was not Sandusky's relative. Paterno did not allow a convicted child abuser to sleep in the same bed as a boy. Wise was not a boy under the care of a government child protection agency and a children's charity as were Sandusky's victims. The negligence of Wise's family is just not even close to Paterno's minor involvement in the Sandusky scandal. It is not at all a fair comparison.

    Wise's article is more character assassination than anything else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim,
      Thanks for your insightful comments.

      Wise is one of a handful of individuals who use their victimization as a means of assuming the moral high ground to spout a bunch of nonsense about Sandusky case.

      You are correct. There is no comparison between Wise's family's decision to accept his uncle after learning what he did to other and the Paterno's action to report Sandusky when he learned of a questionable incident.

      Moreover, the comparison isn't even legitimate.

      The proper comparison would be that the PSU community embraced Jerry Sandusky after learning his conviction -- and that simply didn't happen.

      It is obvious that Wise has no clue about the facts of this case and his focus on Paterno as the villain takes the attention away from where it belongs...on the failures of child protective services in 1998 and the failures of The Second Mile.

      Finally,

      Delete
  2. With all three recent events relating to Kane and the media's renewed "outrage" forward Paterno, are there any positive developments in this case to look forward to in the future? Will there be any movement in the Spanier, Curley, Schultz trial? How about the Fed investigation of Second Mile related activities? I just want some good news on the horizon again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick and Mariko,
      After living this nightmare for almost five years, I can honestly say that the PA criminal justice system is the most unpredictable (and corrupt) entities I have ever come across. The media that covers it is a close second.

      The only good news you will hear from trial coverage, should a trial occur, will be on this blog and a few other places. You can count on the media to NOT report the evidence that refutes the state's case.

      The Federal investigation continues based on my latest inquiries. While I don't want to discourage you, it is instructive to read about Harry Markopolous' attempts to help the SEC reign in Bernie Madoff. His testimony before Congress really shows how the system is dysfunctional.

      Delete
    2. News reports about the McQueary lawsuit had the judge in that case saying that even if the CSS criminal case is fast tracked, resolution was years away unless there was a not guilty verdict. The McQueary judge spoke with the new CSS judge, who mentioned mid-2017 as a guess for a CSS trial date.

      The original judge died so that means a further delay in the CSS case as the new judge has to get up to speed with a huge volume of material.

      Perhaps there will be some new insights revealed in the McQueary lawsuit trial when it is heard starting Oct. 17. If McQueary is caught in lies, that may end the CSS case as he is the foundation of that case. Penn State subpoenaed 35 witnesses so sounds like they will have a vigorous defense. One wonders what new things McQueary will "remember" when he testifies.

      If I was a lawyer for Curley, Schultz or Spanier, I'd share any evidence I had against McQueary with the Penn State defense.





      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. It was an excellent piece. Problem is, just today yet another sports scribbler named Dan Bernstein at CBSChicago jumped on the PSU-is-evil bandwagon, praising Wise's screed and an similar reccent one by the odious Chrstine Brennan at USA Today, among others. Bernstein's first graf:

      "Saturday was a national embarrassment for Penn State University. Its spineless leaders caved to pressure from a crazed wing of alumni and football fans and chose to publicly honor former coach Joe Paterno, despite the fact that he knowingly facilitated serial child-rape over decades."

      Wise, Bernstein, et al never will be persuaded by the facts. Years ago, Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal demonstrated genuine courage in rising to the defense of the Amirault family in Massachusetts after they were wrongly accused and convicted of heinous crimes involving child abuse. She wrote many columns and later a book exposing the vicious and incompetent behavior of prosecutors and expert witnesses. Her investigation into the Amirault travesty helped her win the Pulitzer Prize. This was a case with many parallels to the Sandusky/PSU affair, with once-highly respected members of the community becoming widely believed to be members of a ring that abused children and conspired to keep it secret. It was a pack of credulity-straining lies, but people went to jail because everyone was so certain of the truth.

      Where is the contemporary Rabinowitz who will dare write the truth about the Sandusky scandal and the deliberate scapegoating of Paterno and PSU? Where is that person? Not at ESPN, not at the New York Times, not at the Washington Post, not at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, not at Slate, not at Salon, not anywhere I know of. My contempt for the lazy, arrogant and incompetent reporters and editors at these organizations could not be deeper.

      http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/09/21/bernstein-penn-state-in-open-civil-war-over-joe-paterno/

      Delete
    2. Jack: Bernstein has been a harsh critic of Paterno and PSU from the beginning. That is nothing new. His opening his trap recently is not really a surprise.

      Delete
    3. Jack - I agree Bernstein's article was just another hatchet job.

      I think eventually there will be articles, books and even TV documentaries exposing the false narrative of the Sandusky scandal. There are just too many court cases unresolved at the moment. When the court cases are resolved, just think of all the additional materials they will have to work with.

      Delete
    4. Here's an anti-Hilary article that uses the fact that "the media went universally apoplectic" over the Paterno commemoration.

      http://spectator.org/hillary-and-joe-paterno/

      It notes that "the facts in the Paterno case are murky ... there is disagreement over exactly what happened" in contrast to the usual opinion piece that presents the allegation against Paterno as a certainty.

      Delete
    5. Jack, I share your frustration in wondering where the courageous journalists are that may be able to investigate and tell the real story about Sandusky and Second Mile. There's no doubt it would be a dangerous undertaking to expose it. With the obvious big money cover-up involving every crooked corporate lawyer and every crooked PACORN member in PA, efforts to investigate The Second Mile have been completely stonewalled. And MSM's avoidance of delving into the Second Mile's financial records, complaints, and activities should paint a very clear picture of where the guilt or blame actually lies concerning Sandusky's crimes. In fact, Governor Wolf even sends in Bruce Beemer to remove the Second Mile's records from the Attorney General's state computers with no MSM news coverage of it. No reporters are asking Bruce Beemer why he is removing the Second Mile's records from state computers. And no reporters are asking Governor Wolf if this is true. And if true, why would he be doing this?

      Very simple questions that the public deserves to have answered. We don't want the state to develop and support another Second Mile under a different name that harvests our children for sexual abuse. But Governor Wolf and Bruce Beemer say, "none of your business".

      Just tell the truth about The Second Mile Governor Wolf. Do the right thing and clear Joe's name and the University's name. Or do you enjoy this very expensive and continuing strife and chaos that is ruining our state?

      Getting rid of Attorney General Kane was a weak-minded and unethical way to "fix" the state government corruption. It didn't fix anything, it only stopped the fighting. Just do the right thing Governor Wolf. Please, do the right thing.

      Delete
    6. Tim, thanks for the link to the piece by John Calvin in the American Spectator. Calvin at least took a skeptical view of the Paterno matter, which was refreshing to see, and you did a good job in the comments section of correcting his errors and providing additional information. I was dismayed to see that, despite your efforts, one of the posters cited an editorial in The Onion (!) as refutation of the facts you presented. His astonishing argument was that if everyone is saying all these bad things about Paterno and Penn State, they must be true. I'll hold out hope that once the various trials are over, someone will publish a comprehensive account of the Paterno/PSU diversion and the shoddy "investigation" conducted by Freeh.

      Delete
  4. "The Joe Paterno I experienced in private as a Penn State graduate assistant football coach was much different. That Joe Paterno was a bully who threatened players and staff, made offensive comments, and twisted bad and manipulative behavior to appear good in the media. Staff and players denounced him. His true behavior, behind closed doors, contradicted his public image. And worse, Paterno’s false appearances, his cognitive dissonance, his power and control, enabled Jerry Sandusky’s evil to flourish.

    I know. I am a healthy survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). I am a big advocate of what makes teams and organizations great. The positive aspects of football helped me overcome the abuse and trauma I experienced as a child. "

    http://mattpaknis.blogspot.com/2016/09/why-celebrate-joe-paterno_71.html

    Until people are ready to listen to survivors like Matt who actually worked under Joe, people who have true first hand knowledge - then all these efforts to lionize the man are done at the expense of our community.

    Praise your school, praise the players. Just don't pretend you can blithely lionize one man and presume it's not causing real harm to people who have already been hurt way too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris,
      You are taking the word of ONE individual over the thousands who found JVP to be quite the opposite.

      A friend of mine tried out for football and was cut from the team. Before he was let go, he met with Joe and was told to keep on his books and get an education.
      Joe called him once a month over his 4 years at to check on his progress. He is now a successful corporate attorney.

      Hundreds of students have similar stories about Joe's kindness and impact on their lives.

      As a survivor of abuse, you want to believe the stories of survivors and/or charlatan victims. Yes, there are individuals who do lie about being victimized for financial gain. This has been documented by FBI investigators charged with investigating molestation.

      From the tone of your comment, you are much like Mike Wise in that your views are based on emotions, not FACTS and EVIDENCE. In short, you have a cognitive bias and are not objective.

      I have little doubt that Matt Paknis found players and staff that denounced Joe. In fact, a recurring theme among many former player is that they HATED Joe when they were coached by him -- but later on in life, they realized that Joe was only making them into better people. That's the part Paknis is leaving out.

      Joe Paterno was much like a parent in that regard and Paknis is remaining in the role of a child who has yet to grow up and realize what Paterno was doing.

      Matt Paknis' victimization has nothing to do with Joe Paterno & there's no reason for him to be hurt by PSU honoring him.

      Matt Paknis is DEAD WRONG about why Jerry Sandusky flourished. It was not because of Joe Paterno or PSU football. It was because the PA Child Welfare System FAILED to do its job when it should have in 1998.

      And the system continues to fail today -- unbeknownst to Matt Paknis -- who apparently also fell for a media false narrative about Joe Paterno.

      If you want to believe Matt Paknis about who enabled Sandusky, that's your choice. But do so KNOWING that by doing so you continue to put children in harm's way.

      If you want to have a real conversation on this, please let me now. If you want to argue in cyberspace, then I don't have time for you.

      Delete
    2. Chris.
      FYI - I read Paknis's blog and made a comment that rebutted his opinion.

      He immediately deleted it.

      Speaks volumes that he can't defend his opinions about Paterno when informed of the facts about who really failed the victims.

      Delete
    3. I read the link by Matt Paknis, and is it just a lot of unsubstantiated allegations.

      In particular, Paknis claimed Paterno "twisted bad and manipulative behavior to appear good in the media" but gave not a single example.

      Where are some examples if they were in the media?

      Matt Paknis seems to be trying to profit off the Sandusky scandal because he has a Leadership Development business.

      One big question is, did his criticisms of Paterno begin before or after Sandusky was arrested. He says he has been in business since 1991.

      It shows the kind of person Matt is by the fact that he removed Ray Blehar's critical comments on his blog but left up his own condescending rebuttal to Ray.

      Delete
    4. He's deleted several of my comments and left his nonsensical rebuttals remain.

      He cannot rebut the facts and he knows it.

      Delete
    5. I thought Mike Reid, a former player, expressed quite beautifully the transformation of opinion about Joe when he was a player to his opinion about him 50 years later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1y0ks7ZhiE&sns=em

      Delete
    6. Ray - I see more and more of the practice manipulating reader feedback by deleting comments that do not agree with the author.

      My respectful comment to Inside Higher Education was not approved apparently because it did not agree with their article.

      The article was "Penn State Professors Defend Student Who Questioned Paterno Honor." I merely said that nasty comments are par for the course for any opinion piece on Paterno and that any email threats should be reported to the police.

      I also said that pro-Paterno opinion pieces get especially nasty comments.

      Delete
  5. Well let's see if you'll delete this Ray...

    Yes, I do believe Matt, because I choose to believe survivors especially ones I know and have spoken with extensively. I also choose to believe Matt because what I see of how he is being treated by truthers like you and others commenting here is par for the course when it comes to how survivors continue to be treated by many of the PSU community.

    Until the community are willing to listen to survivors with an open mind first and foremost I can't blame a single survivor for curating their personal blogs as they see fit. Instead of perpetuating witch hunts and character assassinations against us, it really would be great to see people who claim to care about victims actually lead with something other than “How dare you attack XXX with your calumny!!!”

    If you think I am blinded by a cognitive bias, you are just as blinded by a selection bias, choosing over and over again to dismiss, attack, and denigrate survivors who have the gall to speak up. Further, using how people choose to respond or not respond to malignant attacks on their character as evidence of the truth or falsehood of their statements is yet another sign that you and your defenders are more interested in ideological purity tests and echo chambers than you are about helping people. Of course you are not alone in this behavior. This piece is as ugly as some of the things Zig and his group perpetuate. You intentionally hinge your attack on a misreading of Mike’s words. There were dozens, if not hundreds of more boys abused by JS than the ones who took the stand. How dare you claim to be a fighter for truth when you can’t even admit that there were more victims, some of whom fit into the categories Mike listed in his piece. You are so grossly misreading and distorting Mike’s words into your narrative it’s breathtaking to behold.

    Despite your mischaracterizations of me, my work, and my motives, I have no axe to grind against Paterno. I have said openly and consistently from 2011 that I think the focus on him is a red herring. I’ve consistently said as well that think the entire PSU community was groomed by JS. If anything I’m one of the only nationally known survivor advocates to be so willing to defend the PSU community. And still to this day amazes to see the rush of defenders who come out to tar and feather any survivor who dares to have the gall to suggest that Paterno was not the blessed saint so many in the PSU community demand he must be seen as. Like it or not he could have done more, he said so himself. Saying that doesn’t mean JS didn’t groom him. Saying that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a victim in some sense too. But saying that is the beginning of repairing the broken systems you claim to actually care about fixing. Saying it is actually offering survivors hope that there are people out there who will believe them. Saying mistakes were made without attacking survivors as fabricators, idiots, and scoundrels is where healing begins. Acknowledging that not all truthful statements are made in a court of law, especially in a state where so many survivors are barred from ever having a day in court, is a next step in fixing the system. You might learn that if you or any of your truther friends would actually get off your high horses long enough and suspend your hostility and ingrained bias against survivors long enough to listen to what we are asking for.
    cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My one and only consistent critique of the PSU truther movement (which I use as shorthand for all persons who demand that Paterno and/or PSU has been unfairly maligned) is that many (not ALL) of you are far more fixated in pushing personal visions and agendas than in is actually listening to survivors, and helping people who have been harmed heal. In the current tally, far more time, energy, and resources have gone to honoring or defending Paterno and the institution than have gone to helping survivors. In a state where it’s still practically impossible for a male victim to get access to trained support, or find even a support group to connect with, it seems to be far more important to continue to attack survivors than it is to do much of anything to help them.

      While I was still Executive Director of MaleSurvivor, Peaceful Hearts and MS worked together to try and remedy that problem. We campaigned behind the scenes w/ state officials to ensure NCAA fine monies would go to help male survivors (w/out any assistance or interest from PSU community by the way). In the end, our grant applications were denied. Think about that for a moment. One of the people who was abused by JS, who started a foundation to help survivors couldn’t get funding that was actually supposed to go to help fund programs to help male survivors in PA. Why? In large part because people believed that helping survivors heal isn’t worth fighting for. How much of that is because people like you are insistent that the only things that can/should be discussed are child welfare reform and rehabilitating the reputation of one man? I don’t know the answer, but it’s an important question that should be open for discussion.

      Are there individuals who have given time and money to helping survivors? Yes. Has it done enough? No. Do the handful of people who support survivors deserve to be praised and lauded – without question. But don’t for a second think that the small actions of a few offset the silence of the many, or the outrageous attacks that continue to be levied against survivors by PSU truthers. The few people who try to shine a light of hope in the darkness are heroes, but their actions do not absolve the larger community of the harms perpetuated against survivors in the name of protecting one man’s name. Nor does it balance out the gross misrepresentations and aspersions cast at advocates like me who have the gall to point out that where an event like THON can raise hundreds of millions for cancer research, barely a few dollars gets raised to aid and assist those who often need just as much if not more care in the long run as a cancer patient.

      cont'd...

      Delete
    2. Chris,
      I deleted your last comment because it was entirely nonsense and personal attacks, much like your comment made at 5:44 PM.

      I asked you several times to engage off-line to have a meaningful discussion.

      You refused.

      You continue to press your ill-informed points and advocacy of flatly false statements, and when provided with the facts, then cry that you're being personally attacked.

      That is COWARDLY and HYPOCRITICAL.

      Back to your 5:44 post.

      You choose to believe Matt Paknis. Fine. However Matt Paknis deleting FACTS about the case and then dismissing them as dark and subversive is also COWARDLY.

      Some of the FACTS I posted were that CPS made the decision not to protect kids from Sandusky in 1998.

      Dark? Subversive? NO.

      Conflicting with Paknis's narrative that Paterno's narcissism was completely at fault. DEFINITELY.

      Why won't Paknis let the truth be known about CPS failures? Covering that up endangers kids.

      But you support him. Talk about DARK & SUBVERSIVE.

      Next, you attacked me by refuting Mike Wise's views of how victims feel by quoting referencing the views of the ACTUAL VICTIMS.

      That is simply insane and shows your advocacy overshadows your ability to reason.


      Next, you are attempting to make an argument based on things I never said. In fact, if you were familiar with my work, you'd realize I agree that more individuals were victimized by Jerry and that at the time of the trial the number was 27. However, there is no evidence to support Mike's assertion that Sandusky's crimes were inter-racial and committed against orphans.

      NONE.

      That is not an attack. That is factual information.

      Mike's knowledge of the case is as I said. It is from media soundbites and not based upon significant research into the case. Mike heard the words "charity for disadvantaged youth" and his perception of its meaning, rather than the demographics of the children served, took over.

      Mike is wrong about a host of other things, but most importantly about PSU's and Paterno's knowledge of Sandusky's criminal behavior.

      I give you credit for admitting that the PSU community was groomed and it wasn't as Mike says, but then how do you reconcile my criticism of Mike's false statements as an attack on a survivor?

      Characterizing a fact check as a "tar and feathering" and an "outrageous attack?"

      Seriously.

      My column, to a rational reader, doesn't come off as a personal attack, but rather an explanation of Mike's bias. Which he LATER admitted to having!!

      So, in summary, it is just as I said it is. You believe that victimization is a shield barring criticism.

      I could go on and on, but your 5:44 and 5:45 posts makes so many false claims and accusations about what I have written (and things I've never written) and repeat the same falsities that have been disproven by the FACTS, anyone who routinely has read this blog will dismiss you as a dishonest individual.

      And they would be right.

      Delete
  6. I think it is disrespectful and alienates your intended audience to use pejorative terms like "PSU truthers." Try something like Paterno supporters.

    "Far more time, energy, and resources have gone to" defaming and attacking "Paterno and the institution than have gone to" defending him.

    If you are going to complain about lack of funding for child abuse survivors, then be objective and fair and blame the news media that constantly berates Paterno and Penn State rather than focusing on child abuse survivors. The Paterno critics are far, far more numerous than those who point out the facts to defend Paterno and Penn State from the false narrative. Matt Sandusky's book does not support the false narrative yet his views have gotten little coverage.

    Why haven't you found any reporters to publicize the shocking fact that Matt Sandusky's charity got turned down for a grant from Penn State's NCAA fine money. That seems like a worthwhile story. Did you contact Sara Ganim at CNN, Mike Wise at ESPN, The Daily Collegian or any of the other numerous Penn State/Paterno critics?

    I also don't think it is a good idea to criticize THON for raising over $137 million (not "hundreds of millions") to help child cancer patients and their families. I don't think you are going to win if you pit adult survivors of childhood sex abuse against children with cancer.


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    1. Tim,
      Thanks for your comments and suggestions to Chris on how to more effectively communicate and raise awareness.

      Ironically, if Chris actually did an analysis of the stories I've written about Paterno on this blog, he'd find there are very few of them.

      Obviously, there are some, but for the most part this blog covers the scandal from tip to stern, covering all aspects of it and make visible the misrepresentations that have driven the false narrative.

      In the vast majority of cases, my posts demonstrate how the scandal DEFLECTED attention away from the need to improve child protection.

      Chris complains we don't focus on survivors.

      That is a valid complaint because our vision is to prevent abuse from ever happening and obviate the need for survivor services.

      It is a vision. Not realistically achievable, but in my opinion, preventing suffering takes priority over remedying injury. There are plenty of medical and legal avenues for the latter.

      Delete
    2. Amazing the cognitive biases on display. I use a contrasting comparison to a wonderful event like Thon that I point out as an example of what the PSU community can do when motivated, and you read it as an attack on the program.

      See, there really is no way to communicate with y'all without it getting turned and twisted into things that I'm not actually saying.

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry, but this Chris guy comes off as a paid faux-rage artist. Again, somehow ignoring that Sandusky is the pedophile criminal that founded his Second Mile to have access to boys. And Joe Paterno was wrongly maligned, as if he was the molester. The corrupt PA mafia-media is in league with the corporate scum BoT that threw the Joe Paterno name out there as a celebrity sacrifice--a big flashy name as hate-bait for the brainless fools that trust our newspapers anymore. It kept the public eye off of Sandusky's Second Mile boy factory. There is no FAUX rage needed for that immoral travesty of justice.

      "PSU truthers" and "PSU truth movement" he says? Since when did the word truth become something negative? Oh yeah, I guess if you're the one that truth hurts, it's negative. Sort of like "conspiracy theorists". Who decided that the word conspiracy doesn't describe a real world condition? That it's supposedly an imaginary thing. A conspiracy is usually carried out by a large powerful organization that has the resources to make it happen against an innocent individual or group of individuals that are seen as a threat to exposing the wrongdoing of the organization. Attaching the word theory to "conspiracy" is like attaching the word theory to "sunshine". "Well, he's one of those sunshine theorists, he thinks the warmth and light we feel comes from the sun". The sun exists as itself, and conspiracies also do exist by themselves. And they are far more common in this rotten world than most people care to believe.

      The truth about Second Mile will come out. So you paid faux-ragers diverting attention away from the dirty institution Second Mile need to stop saying Paterno supporters don't care about victims. That's a ploy to make it seem that defending an unjustly accused man is the same as ignoring Sandusky's victims. Remember, they are Sandusky's child victims from Second Mile. They are not Paterno's victims, he is not the criminal here. That's what we want the world to know---Sandusky's private pathological sexual activities with boys was not something Joe Paterno or any other person could know about. The state government organizations that received complaints about Sandusky's actions did know. And they knew way before they pinned it on Joe.

      Delete
    4. Chris - I think it unwise to bring THON into it at all. It could easily be misconstrued.

      Make your case on its own merits with facts and case histories of child abuse survivors like the ones on Matt Sandusky's website. Why not invite Mike Wise and Jim Clemente to submit a video "Survivor Story" for Matt's website. It does seem to dilute your focus on male survivors when the majority of the "Survivor stories" are from females.

      There are have been hundreds, if not thousands, of opinion pieces bashing Paterno and Penn State. Why not try to get some of those authors interested in taking up your cause to do something positive for survivors?

      You may have a point about the $60 million NCAA fine money. I have not seen a list of the awards. It would not surprise me if a lot of the money went to charities that deal with sexual abuse of women. Given that all Sandusky's victim's were male, it would be appropriate that most or all the fine money went to preventing sexual abuse of boys or helping male survivors of abuse.

      Jim Clemente felt there was a bias against boys as victims of sexual abuse at least in terms of FBI sting operations to catch online child predators. He said the male FBI agents always wanted to pretend to be a girl online to entrap predators when Clemente felt that boys were more often the victims of online predators.

      Delete
    5. Truthsseker - Truther is a synonym for "conspiracy theorist" so it does have a negative connotation. I wouldn't recommend using that term.

      In the bizarre reality of the Sandusky scandal, I think Freeh and the Attorney General are the conspiracy theorists with their far out conspiracy of silence theory.

      The far more rational explanation of child sex abuse experts is that Paterno and the Penn State administrators just didn't believe Sandusky was a child abuser.

      Delete
    6. Tim, Of course "Truther" is a synonym for conspiracy theorist. My point was to show the irony of twisting the word truth(a word that Jesus lived and died for) into a new word, "Truther" to mean something negative. This is what is wrong in America right now. We are being misled and brainwashed to think those that question the continuous false narratives of our corrupt corporate-controlled MSM are paranoid because they won't accept lies as truth. So therefore they are "Truthers". It should be that Truthers are seen as Truth tellers or Truth seekers--people that possess wisdom and aren't afraid to question dishonesty and criminality on a grand scale. This is supposed to be an honorable thing, I thought.

      The twisting of words that have traditionally stood for goodness into new words with a negative connotation is disturbing and reflects a dysfunctional groupthink mentality. It can cause some people to put their conscience on hold in order to be accepted by the "ingroup". The ingroup subconsciously desires to increase their numbers. In doing this they erroneously believe that their immoral objectives are "shared" or spread out amongst the group thereby affirming that their crimes and dishonesty are actually a rational objective. It's a "two wrongs make a right" type of delusion. This is the PSU BoT and Tom Corbett. Pressure to conform and not question irrational, hateful objectives like firing Paterno over the phone and then dragging his name through the mud after he had passed.

      These examples of what psychologists might call "mass hysteria" have occurred throughout human history. Salem Witch Trials, Nazi Germany, and the PSU/Paterno lynchings come to mind. And there is a shared formula for these tragedies:
      1. Fear of losing power or control
      2. Irrational hatred rooted in jealousy
      3. Mentally unstable leadership
      4. Self-preservation through conformity to the mentally unstable leadership

      These four things are needed to kick off delusional crimes against innocent people. So Tom Corbett, John Surma, Ken Frazier and Louis Freeh, and the many others that have created this mess will take their place in history. And history will judge them. And God will judge them too--condemning their souls to be exactly what their deeds were here on earth---unimaginable pain and suffering.

      Delete
  7. So let me get this straight, you criticize and attack Paknis for deleting comments and use that as evidence he is not to be believed and then delete my comments?

    Talk about hypocrisy...

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    1. Chris,
      I deleted just ONE comment of yours that really would have caused quite an uproar among PSU folks who read. I cut you off before the rest of the readers got to read your comments of mostly BASELESS, ad hominem attacks against me.

      Paknis is a COWARD because he deleted SEVERAL comments that were factual and conflicted with his OPINIONS about Paterno being the enabler of Sandusky's abuse. He told his readers that my comments were "dark and subversive."

      Let's be clear about the ESTABLISHED FACTS - that Paknis won't accept.

      1. There is NO EVIDENCE supporting that Joe Paterno knew anything about Sandusky's behaviors PRIOR to 2001.

      2. In 1998, PSU officials REPORTED Sandusky to child welfare agents. Evidence shows that over one dozen signs of sexual abuse and sexual attraction were recorded in the interview transcripts. Instead of taking protective measures, the caseworkers allowed Sanduskys continued ACCESS to children.

      3. The timeline of crimes shows that had caseworkers taken preventive measures, the crimes against Victims 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 would have been prevented in their entirety. The crimes against V4 would have been stopped before they progressed further.

      4. The University settlements with the claimants stated that the claims were neither invalid or valid. PSU officials who were involved in the process stated they were NOT VETTED. The claims of the 1970s and 1980s victims do not conform to Sandusky's modus operandi of being a preferential acquaintance serial offender and are unquestionably false. Had Sandusky operated in a manner consistent with those allegations he would have been caught in no time. He did not commit crimes in plain view of others. Nor did he molest females, as alleged by one of the claimants.

      Again, these are the facts. Paknis deleted them because they don't support his perceptions that he told the public.

      Shining a light on those who failed to protect children in 1998 helps us understand how to fix the system.

      Paknis seemingly is unconcerned about exposing the truth about PA CPS and, in essence, is obstructing necessary reforms.

      My calling out those who would falsely claim to be a victim for financial gain is neither dark nor subversive - it HONORS the real victims.

      According to FBI expert Ken Lanning, charlatan victims can be expected to come forward during high profile cases when financial incentives are involved. To admit this didn't happen in the settlement process is ignoring the FACTS established at the trial (as I pointed out in my criticism of Wise's column).

      Finally, there were plenty of Sandusky victims out there who told the complete truth. There were some who downplayed what happened to them out of embarrassment. ANd there were some who exaggerated what happened out of anger. This is all very typical in cases involving adolescent abuse.

      If you would like to discuss more outside of cyberspace, I'm fine with that. However, your continued commenting here and mostly untruthful and derogatory statements are not welcome

      Delete
    2. Ray: Chris was right about one thing. You probably should not have deleted his one comment. I can only imagine its content that would provoke you to such an action but, as you have allowed the bulk of his statements to remain, kudos to you on that account. That is more than can be said of Mr. Paknis who is obviously trying to hide your views from his readership.

      In my experiences, comments such as the one deleted, tend to expose the prejudices of the author and actually provide a negative perception of their views. Chris has, however, done an exemplary job of providing such a perception in the comments that remain. He also made me aware of how much more important it was to counsel victims of child abuse than to cure cancer patients. Up until now I wasn't aware that such things were given a priority. I am learning so much.

      Delete
    3. Male on male sexual assault is still largely a taboo topic even though estimates are that men are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than women if prison sex assaults are included.

      The US Dept. of Justice estimated that there were 216,000 sexual assaults in prisons in 2008 and 90,479 cases outside of prison.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html

      Delete
  8. Linda Berkland,
    Thanks for posting the video. Reed did a great job summing up his experience and of thousands of others who were inspired by Joe in many different ways.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I apologize if you took any of my comments as a personal attack. I was trying to give advice.

      This is not a personal attack but I find your claims contradictory. You say you believe "JS groomed the entire community, and that includes Paterno" but then say that "seeing Paterno lauded is a source of and deep, profound pain."

      If you believe Paterno was groomed and didn't believe Sandusky was a child abuser, why is it painful that Paterno is honored?

      Mike Wise and Mike Paknis were not abused by Sandusky. Paknis merely worked with Paterno and Sandusky briefly in the 1980s and expressed opinions that Paterno must have known about Sandusky but had no facts to back that up.

      Paknis claims he thought Sandusky's behavior around boys in the 1980s was "inappropriate" but he never reported him. Paterno did report it when he got an eyewitness account of inappropriate behavior in 2001.

      I don't respect their opinions because they aren't based on facts, ignore known facts and sensationalize.

      Mike Wise's parents betrayed him terribly by allowing a known child sex abuser, his 36 year old uncle, to sleep in the same bed with their 12 year old son. For Wise to try and equate what his parents did with what Paterno did is blatantly dishonest.

      The accusers who said they notified Paterno in the 1970s are just not credible. The reasons why have been discussed elsewhere on this website.

      If you want to win over Penn State fans, stick to the survivors who testified at trial, fit Sandusky's MO and could prove they knew and spent time alone with Sandusky. The 1970s accusers can prove none of those things.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry Chris, but IMO portraying yourself as a "dissenting voice" is hogwash. Dissenting against what? I think you are dissenting against the truth--that Joe Paterno was used as a big name distraction to protect the corrupt government/media entanglement in PA. Second Mile was their baby, not Joe's. Where are the Second Mile investigations that should be launched by PA's corrupt legislators? Where are those investigations?

      You are trying to give the appearance of making a rational argument by saying, "I never said Paterno was solely to blame". Well how about realizing that Joe Paterno's name can not be rationally explained to be associated at all with pedophilia or the pedophile organization Second Mile. That's what has been done here as diversion. Any thinking person can see the mental contortions that are needed to try and link Paterno to the state government sponsored crimes of Sandusky. IMO, people like you so badly want to protect the organized pedophilia child trafficking racket in PA, you're willing to sacrifice an innocent man's name to do it. This is so immoral and cowardly to continue protecting these evil criminal child traffickers in Montgomery County and Centre County at the expense of a wonderful university and a wonderful man.

      As I pointed out in my earlier post, you are using many logical fallacies to make your argument: Proof by assertion and false analogy. You continue to assert that Paterno was not a saint and not a perfect person. Gee, no kidding! But you want us to believe Paterno must have been responsible for allowing Sandusky's crimes because he was not a saint or perfect. So none of us are saints, but does that mean we are to blame for Sandusky's pedophilia? Of course not. And you wrongly argue that because there are victims from Sandusky's crimes, people that don't believe that Paterno should be maligned for those crimes are hurting victims. Seriously? Sorry but your logic is completely flawed and all of your emotions on the topic (whether feigned or not) will not hide those flaws.

      Consider fixing the corruption in state government that led to Sandusky's 30 year run as Pennsylvania's King of organized pedophilia.

      Delete
  10. Chris, Ray gave you an opportunity to state your case on this post and asked politely that you leave no further comment. Since he is away and unable to respond to you, I will be deleting any additional comments left by you. He offered to speak to you offline.

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  11. Mike Wise's article doesn't allow reader comments. Here is a partial reprint at another website that does:

    http://www.poynter.org/2016/paterno-tribute-prompts-columnist-to-divulge-he-was-a-victim-of-child-sexual-abuse/430742/

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