Saturday, July 26

Patriot News, Part 4 of 9: Chapter 6, The Spickler Cover-Up

Once again, the Patriot News used its power of omission to ensure that all the blame for enabling Sandusky's abuse stayed focused on Penn State

Ray Blehar

On June 18, 2012, the mother of Victim 9 took the stand to testify about her son's abuse.  During the testimony, she was asked if she had ever reported Sandusky's behaviors to anyone.  She answered that she had reported it to two persons - a school official, Mrs. Short and her son's counselor, Mr. Spickler.

The mother had told Spickler that her son was uncomfortable with Sandusky because he was "touchy feely." Spickler told the mother not to report her concerns because of Sandusky's stature in the community.  See transcripts below.

 P-N reporter Charles Thompson's coverage of the mother's complaint managed to repeat the information about Sandusky being "touchy feely," but as usual, there was no mention that Sandusky's behavior had been reported to the boy's counselor (who is a mandated reporter under the child abuse reporting statute).

At first, when Victim 9 made complaints about Jerry being “touchy, feely,” his mother didn’t pick up the hints of a humiliated child.

Once again, the omission was quite breath taking considering that the only time the words “touchy feely” were used to describe Sandusky’s behavior was during that particular sequence of testimony.

This omission would quite remarkable  if it was not for the fact that it was the P-N’s practice of excusing everyone (CMHS, DPW, CYS, and The Second Mile) except Penn State officials for their failures to act on Sandusky's inappropriate conduct.

I have little doubt that if the name” Spanier” or “Curley” or “Schultz” had been substituted for “Spickler,” Thompson’s column would have spent a lot of "copy" writing about to whom the mother complained and their failure to act.

The bias in the P-N's reporting couldn't be more obvious.

Next:  Chapter 5:  The DPW Cover Up

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