Tuesday, January 23

Nassar: No Blame, No Outrage

Columnists have weighed in on why there isn't as much outrage over the Nassar scandal as there was  over the Sandusky scandal.  Their columns get it partially right -- but go to fantasy land when opining that it's because of the gender of the victims.

Ray Blehar
January 23, 2018, 10:52 AM EST

A number of columnists are weighing in on the reasons why there is not as much outrage over Larry Nassar's crimes as there was over Jerry Sandusky's.

They get it partially right in recognizing there is far less national interest in gymnastics than there is for football and that Nassar was not a legendary coach, like Joe Paterno.  But that was so easy that Jemele Hill and everyone else could figure it out.

Buzzfeed's Jessica Luther surprised me when she correctly recognized that the outrage and repercussions at Penn State (and Baylor) were not because people actually care about victims. 

But then Luther and Hill both drove into fantasy land when they opined that there is less outrage because the victims were women or involved women's sports in the Nassar case.

Luther wrote:

"Sports media barely covers women’s sports and that coverage can be laced through with sexist ideas about how female athletes should look or behave (especially during the Olympics). "

Hill wrote:

"Until we accept the fact that predators go to school, church and work with us, coach our kids and date our daughters, the voices of abused girls and women will never regularly inspire courageous action on their behalf." 

They couldn't be more wrong.

Naked Boy - Naked Girl

On November 5, 2011, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) released the Sandusky grand jury presentment which began with the very untruthful heading  "FINDINGS OF FACT" and printed these these misleading statements about Mike McQueary:

"He saw a naked boy.... being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky...and went to Paterno's home, where he reported what he had seen."

Note: These statements weren't true based on testimony presented by McQueary at hearings and trials.

Seriously, does anyone really believe if the sex of the victim was changed to female, there would have been any less outrage about what happened?

"He saw a naked girl...being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky...and went to Paterno's home, where he reported what he had seen."

To the contrary -- there would have been even more outrage.

Sandusky could have had no plausible explanation for being in the shower alone, late at night, with a ten year old girl.   If McQueary simply ran away, like he did with the boy, he not only would have received death threats -- but his head would have likely found a bullet or a blunt object.

As much as people demean McQueary, I have no doubt that Mike would have taken the "courageous action" that Hill alleges doesn't happen when victims are girls.  He would have intervened because he would have observed something that was obviously wrong.

And that's what columnists and the public seemingly fail to understand about Pillar of the Community offenders like Nassar and Sandusky.   They fool everyone -- even first hand witnesses.

Recall that many parents sat in the treatment room while their daughters were being molested by Nassar and had no idea it was happening.

Victim Larissa Boyce, who was 15 years old at the time she was first molested, was also unsure if Nassar was using a legitimate medical procedure or not.  When she informed MSU gymnastics coach, Kathy Klages about the so-called treatments, Klages had difficulty believing it -- not because Boyce was a female -- but because of Nassar's reputation.

Gender isn't the reason for the lack of action or lack of outrage.

No Blame, No (Selective) Outrage

The reason for the lack of outrage in the Nassar case is because neither prosecutors nor law enforcement teamed up with the press to use the Nassar case to selectively scapegoat individuals as "enablers."

Much to the chagrin of ESPN and rest of the media,  the public officials are actually doing their jobs and putting the blame where it really belongs -- on the offender, Nassar.

Law enforcement didn't use Nassar case as a heat-seeking missile.

That's 180 degrees different than what happened in the Jerry Sandusky case -- which was used like a heat-seeking missile against Paterno and PSU.

Little do sportswriters or other reporters (I'm hesitant to call any of them journalists) realize that the Victim 2 incident of the Sandusky case was used by prosecutors as a ruse to blame the majority of the crimes on PSU officials.

Most of the media likely remains fooled by the non-chronological order of the crimes in the grand jury presentment and still believe that if only PSU had reported Sandusky in 2001, the victimization of the other seven boys could have been prevented.

The fact was there was nothing Paterno, Curley, Schultz, or Spanier could have done to prevent the crimes against Victims 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 because, according to the dates in the presentment, they all occurred before 2001.  That's seven of the eight victims.

On November 7, 2011, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan fanned the flames by stating that Paterno had a "moral responsibility" to call the police.  Those would be the same police investigators who didn't set foot in Sandusky's charity for a full two years while they were allegedly searching for victims.

The lead reporter on the Sandusky case, the Harrisburg Patriot News, played the blame game on November 8, 2011 by stating that PSU was responsible for the abuse of 8 victims when it called for the firing of former PSU President Graham Spanier and the retirement of Paterno.

It's column closed with the following lines:

"There will be other people who argue that Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno should not be punished at all. After all, they obeyed the law.

Eight little boys would have said: that simply isn’t enough."

Later, in July 2012, former FBI Director Louis Freeh proclaimed (falsely) that "the rapes of these boys occurred in the Lasch Building."  The verdicts concluded that Sandusky's home was the only place a boy was anally raped.

No one paid attention to the facts in 2011 and 2012.

False allegations and false statements drove the outrage.

With the Nassar case it's different because the full facts are being reported.  The public is seeing the full scope of Nassar's crimes and the widespread failures to recognize his crimes by parents, child protective services, police, medical professionals, educators, and athletic organizations.

In the Sandusky case, failures of a similarly widespread group was covered up or glossed over by the Pennsylvania AG, the Harrisburg Patriot News, and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.  Instead, Paterno and PSU were selectively blamed for Sandusky.

To drive real outrage, you need to isolate a famous name or a famous institution for blame.

They have yet to do that in the Nassar case, but rest assured, the media won't quit until they find a scapegoat.


  1. I agree 100% Ray. "Journalists" give us opinion pieces and not factual information. Thank you for your instructive analysis.

    1. Carole,
      Thanks for your comment and the kind words.

  2. Ray - Well said.

    The writers on the Nassar scandal seem clueless about child sexual abuse. I doubt any have read anything by scholars in the field, such as the Sandusky scandal reports by Jim Clemente and Dr. Fred Berlin or the FBI's Ken Lannings' "Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis."

    You mentioned that Nassar was a pillar of the community offender. When I plugged that into the Google News search engine along with Nassar's name, this is what I got:

    "Your search - "larry nassar "pillar of the community"" - did not match any documents"

    That's proof of the news media's ignorance of the basics of child sexual offenders.

    I think there is plenty of outrage of the Nassar case, but the case is very different in major ways from Sandusky. Nassar pleaded guilty so avoided a trial. That meant much less coverage.

    You are spot on about Paterno. The Nassar case had no one as famous as Paterno to blame. It is obvious that the Paterno name drove a lot of the Sandusky coverage.

    The many bad decisions of the panicked PSU trustees drove coverage of the Sandusky scandal. The MSU trustees, so far, have not panicked and thrown their President under the bus. They are allowing for due process by calling for a review by the Attorney General.

    1. The closest to a famous "fall guy" in the Nassar case would be Bela and Marta Karolyi. USA Gymnastics has cut ties with the Karolyis (and their ranch where gymnasts trained) because of Nassar's actions there.

    2. Tim,
      David Harns of isportsweb is one of the few writers who understands the pillar of the community offender scenario.

      @DavidHarns on twitter

    3. Karen,
      It is likely that the civil attorneys involved in this case will eventually zero in on the Karolyis -- or whoever has the most money.

    4. I'm not sure the Karolyis have much money. I wouldn't be surprised if their gym goes bankrupt now that USA Gymnastics has dropped them. The property is tainted by the Nassar scandal so may not be worth much anymore.

      An agreement to sell their property to USA Gymnastics fell through last year but suggests they may be ready to retire.

      USA Gymnastics is a nonprofit so I would be surprised if they have deep pockets. Gymnastics is not a big money sport like football or basketball.

      MSU has the deepest pockets but has claimed sovereign immunity and that the lawsuits were filed beyond the 3 year statute of limitations.

      Could be the victims get little or nothing.

  3. Ray, I like what you're saying about the columnists trying to portray this Nassar story as a women's equality issue----it simply isn't. Like you say, 'gender isn't the reason for the lack of action or lack of outrage' in the Nassar case.

    Why would any decent columnist try to push that narrative? Unless they were trying to stir up more anxiety and unrest that women already have over Trump being in the Oval Office, why make women feel that "no one hears them" or no one cares about them"?

    I think whoever it is that controls what our mainstream media columnists write is attempting to emotionally manipulate the female population into resisting something they instinctively already know to resist.

    It goes along with what I've been saying about the media-ignited women's marches and resist movement. The globalist mainstream media inspiring women to resist Trump and his asinine behavior and remarks is like inspiring someone to "resist" touching a nest of killer bees---it goes without saying! This white male chauvinist caricature in our Oval Office is to be "resisted". He is intentionally stupid and a misrepresentation of what America, be it white male or not, really is.

    We simply cannot take any MSM story at face value anymore. We don't know if it's a genuine rape story that's had a spin put on it to emotionally manipulate a particular segment of the population, or if it's a total fraud presented as fact, such as the UVA fraternity gang rape, and the PSU shower child rape factory lie.

    1. Truthseeker,
      Agree that we can't take much of what the MSM (or FoxNews) puts out there at face value. FoxNews was right there with the MSM jumping on the Paterno & Spanier culpability for Sandusky bandwagon.

      You might be right about the MSM trying to use Nassar to focus it as a women's issue -- even though offenders like Nassar and Sandusky commit crimes against both sexes.

      In a previous blog, I cited a study by Abel that found male offenders who offended against male children had more victims and more incidents of abuse than male offenders who victimized females. The reason is that is socially acceptable for a male, like Sandusky, to be seen with young boys (in a mentoring/coaching relationship) than it is for young girls.

  4. Truthseeker - I think the women not being heard angle comes from the victim impact statements at the Nassar sentencing hearing. I suspect some of that is scripted by the civil lawyers to force a settlement. It really makes MSU and USA gymnastics look bad when victim after victim complains that their complaints were ignored. Of course, there is no cross-examination and MSU and USA gymnastics do not get a chance to defend themselves.

    Ray - I don't know about the Abel study but Nassar had a great cover for his abuse by treating girl gymnasts with internal massages of the pelvic floor.

    I don't know what some of the parents were thinking such as the ones who let their minor daughters go alone to Nassar's apartment to help him with his medical school research on flexibility. As a reward for one 12 year old gymnast (Jane) letting him measure her, he gave her a full body nude massage! She claimed 5 to 7 others also went to Nassar's apt. to help with his "research." I wonder if Nassar ever actually wrote a paper on flexibility of girl gymnasts for his medical degree.

    1. Tim,
      One of the problems in this case is the fact that victim after victim complained but, overall, there is a lack of repeat complaints to any one person or specific organization. I will write more about this tonight.

      Nassar is likely an anomaly because he was a doctor. The Abel study is here: https://www.abusewatch.net/pedophiles.pdf

    2. Ray - Thanks for the Abel study link. I don't disagree with the Abel data that "male offenders who offended against male children had more victims and more incidents of abuse than male offenders who victimized females."

      An important caveat is that Abel's data were only based on convicted offenders. We have no idea how many offenders are never caught.

      In comparing the situations of Nassar and Sandusky, I think Nassar had the far better cover for abuse, he just got too bold, sloppy or desperate. He might never had been caught had he always worn gloves when touching his patients, didn't collect child porn and didn't touch parts of the patient's body that were not hurting.

      The Nassar scandal is often compared to the Sandusky scandal but I think Nassar better fits as an example of doctors sexually abusing their patients. A 2016 study found 2400 cases of doctors sexually abusing patients. http://abcnews.go.com/US/sex-abuse-scandal-2400-doctors-implicated-patients/story?id=40356840

      Nassar's cover would have worked with either boys or girls. I think Sandusky would have had far more trouble if he was only interested in girls. Despite the well publicized scandals where boys were abused by priests, scout leaders, Sandusky and Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House. I think parents would have been far less likely to allow girls to sleep over in Sandusky's basement. I also think Sandusky would have been arrested in 1998 had he been showering with a girl rather than a boy.