Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Firing Joe Paterno Did Not Unrape Those Boys

Why, in this country, do we have some irrational need to blame as many people possible in a bad situation?  For some reason we've come to the point where when something bad happens, we want a pound of flesh from anyone who was even remotely associated with the incident.

Take this whole Penn State rape scandal thing.  Joe Paterno got fired because of this asshat and his asshat bosses.  Yes, I'm defending Joe Paterno.

Let me pose this question to everyone: what would you have done differently?  Now I'm sure many of you are going to say "well I would have gone straight to the police, Jack!  That was his moral obligation!"  Okay, let me paint a picture for you.

One of your employees comes to you and tells you that a guy you've known for over 20 years was raping some 10 year old kid.  This is a guy that you've known to be kind-hearted, honorable, and upstanding.  The guy started a charity for Christ sake.  Some kid that you barely know tells you that a friend of yours was raping a boy in a public place.  First off, do you believe it?  Do you believe that this man would do something so horrifying and be so brazen about it?

It's possible that the kid, in the haze of the moment, mistook the assailant. You know that something like this could completely ruin a man forever, so if the kid was mistaken about the identity of the offender, or if he was mistaken about what was going on, or if the guy telling you this was even lying, it would be fairly shitty to go straight to the police and get this all out in the open.

Not to mention the fact that your legal obligation is to report the activity to your boss and let your boss handle it, and there really is nothing you can do beyond that point.

"But Jack, there is something you could do.  Morally you should go to the police!"  And do what?  Tell the police that someone told you that he saw a guy raping a kid in a public shower?  What would the police think?  And remember, you don't even know that the kid was being raped.  You were just told that he was being inappropriately touched or whatever.  You know almost nothing of what actually went on.  But it's your duty to go to the police, on your own volition, with nearly no facts about what happened and potentially smear a friend's good name?

What was Joe Paterno supposed to think?  Here's what I would think.  The claims must have been unsubstantiated.  No one has come foreward claiming that this guy raped him, and the university or whoever must have done their own investigation to determine the veracity of the claims.  They probably couldn't determine whether or not the guy did was he supposedly did, and to play it safe they kicked him off campus.  If the guy really is guilty, then the victim would surely come forward.  Victims came forward in the Catholic priest sex scandals, right?

Joe Paterno did not have enough information to go to the police.  All he had to go off of was someone else's word, and the guy, McQueary, didn't even tell him what exactly went on.  If my boss just told the guy to not show up around campus, my thought would be that the allegations were unfounded.

McQueary and the men that actually had a legal responsibility to do something should be on the hook for this, not a 75 year old man who's had numerous health problems over the last 10 years, all while trying to manage a Big 10 college football team.


Silverfiddle said...

when something bad happens, we want a pound of flesh from anyone who was even remotely associated with the incident.

Yes! I am still pissed off a Bush that nobody got fired after 9/11. Good Lord! How big a screwup needs to happen before somebody gets fired in this country?

And your defense of Paterno is sickening. So a gay pederast starts a charity, so everything else he does is OK.

I have friends from childhood. If I thought one had raped a child, yes, I would go to the police.

Not everyone investigated is brought up on charges. That is what the police do, investigate the facts.

I'm surprised at your defense of this.

Jack Camwell said...

You're surprised because you completely missed the point.

Campus police was actually informed about the incident, and now the campus police chief or whoever is in hot water because he didn't do anything about it. It was not Joe Paterno's responsibility to launch an investigation off of information that (A) wasn't even complete and (B) about shit he didn't even personally witness.

And do you think that I'm trying to defend Sandusky? You've completely missed what I've said about this whole thing.

Think of someone you know and trust to be a good person. What would you think if someone told you that he's a pederast? If someone came to me and told me that one of my good friends diddles and rapes little boys, I'd probably not believe it.

At NO POINT did I say that Sandusky's having a charity foundation absolve him of anything.

No one seems to ever put themselves in the situation. They only look at the "shoulda, coulda, wouldas." It's like people shitting on GWB for finishing the kid story when he heard about 9/11.

Joe Paterno didn't rape those kids, and Joe Paterno did was he was obligated to do. He reported what he heard to his superiors, and everything after that was out of his hands.

Silverfiddle said...

It strains credulity to believe Paterno knew nothing of that pederast's predilections. Hell, according to the grand jury testimony, EVERYBODY knew since the late 90's.

This was about putting professional sports and the billions it brings in (Yes, college football is a professional sport) ahead of the welfare of children who mean nothing to the all important bottom line.

This is also about putting people on a pedestal and the cult of personality.

I call bullshit on the whole Cowardly Lions corporation. More importantly, people much more familiar with the details than me have also called bullshit. It's a rotten structure and if Paterno didn't notice the stench he's much stupider than people think.

Jack Camwell said...

The fact that Joe Paterno reported Sandusky to the athletic director indicates that he likely didn't know about anything that was going on up to that point.

Paterno didn't try to cover up anything when McQueary came to him. He did what he was legally obligated to do, and I don't think there's anything more he could have done.

The whole cult of personality thing doesn't mean shit to me. I'm not a Penn State fan. I think it's horse shit that he was fired from his job because the people he counted on to take care of the whole thing failed to do what THEY were legally obligated to do.

And don't give me this "moral obligation" crap that everyone else is spitting out. Would you go report someone you know or believe to be a stand up person to the police, based on something someone else told you? Especially knowing that even if the allegations are untrue, the person you accuse and report to the police will suffere a tarnished reputation forever.

As I said, with the way it was handled by the administration, Paterno probably thought that everything had been resolved. Everyone involved, even McQueary, is saying that Paterno wasn't abreast of the depth of what this guy was doing.

Had the school administration actually done what they were supposed to do, we wouldn't be having this conversation, and no one would be saying that Joe Paterno didn't do enough.

Silverfiddle said...

"It is one of the great sorrows of my life," Paterno said in a written statement earlier in the day. "I wish I had done more."


Since you requested, I won't give you any of that "moral obligation crap." Why let a few homosexual child rapes get in the way of sports hero worship and its multibillion dollar industry, right?

JoPa is a College Football God! And damn anyone who blasphemes!

And your headline is absurd.

Jailing a murderer doesn't unmurder the victim, so I don't even know what the point of your title is.

Jack Camwell said...

Of course he had wished he'd done more. Doesn't everyone say that?

I already told you that my defense of him has nothing to do with sports hero worship.

Joe Paterno was known for being honest and forthright. You and others claim that he covered this mess up to save the school, but that doesn't even make any logical sense.

What sense would it make to willfully do nothing if you knew for fact that there was a victim out there that was raped? Isn't that stupid? "Well, lets just hope the kid never comes forward." Do you honestly think that's what Paterno would have thought? It would have been more logical to get it all out in the open and save some hassle down the road.

But we're not thinking in terms of strategy. We're not actually trying to understand his side of the story. What's most likely the case is Paterno thought that the allegations were untrue, misconstrued, or exaggerated. He probably didn't even believe it.

You're right. Jailing the murderer doesn't unmurder the victim. But guess what: Paterno didn't rape that boy. Sandusky did. So exactly how is firing Joe Paterno going to solve anything for anyone anywhere? Is that boy going to feel better about getting his ass violated? Is Sandusky going to suffer more? What does this even mean for Paterno?

No one is looking at this logically. Everyone is looking at it with passions inflamed. But punishing Paterno--an old man who actually FULFILLED HIS LEGAL OBLIGATION--solves nothing, and the only purpose it serves is to make people feel like justice has been done.

You're failing, dare I say refusing, to see the situation from his perspective. Tell me right now Silver, if someone came to you and told you that a good friend of yours was raping little boys, how quick would you be to believe it and go to the police?

Life is more complicated than some people like to think. But then again, most people think they have the answer to every question in life, so I know I'm just wasting my time and breath by even suggesting that someone might be wrong.

KP said...

Mike McQueary was not a kid when he witnessed rape of a 10 year old. He was a coward.

He was also a big, physical, educated 28 year old man who was a college coach. A man who once played quarterback at Penn State. He was a leader of men (we thought).

My wife said to me last night, if I walked in on a 50 year old man raping a 10 year old in the ass I wouldn't leave that building until I knew that boy was safe. I think she would have attacked Sandusky. If only McQueary felt the same.

Silverfiddle said...

To answer your question Jack, if a friend was accused of doing something like that on my property or in a place of business I controlled, then hell yes I would call the police.

You were in the Navy so I shouldn't have to break it down for you. The skipper is responsible for what happens on his ship. Period.

It's not readily apparent Paterno covered anything up. It looks more like willful ignorance and averting ones gaze at this point, by not just him but many others.

I do not see him as the sympathetic figure that you apparently do.

I am not being emotional. I am looking at the few facts we have in front of us and using the light of reason. If a guy is doing stuff like that for years on end, other guys who know him a work closely with him day in and day out have got to have at least an inkling, more often than not, much more than that.

Silverfiddle said...

KP: I said much the same thing about McQueary at another blog. He is a coward for not going in there and decking Sandusky and dragging his ass to the police.

Why didn't Paterno immediately have a come to Jesus with Sandusky and demand to know just exactly what the hell happened? Demand it! and then turn it over to the police. Of course if whimp ass McQueary had done what a real man would have done, the cops would have been called...

What a worthless, sorry sack of shit those "men" are...

Jersey McJones said...

It's just a lose, lose, lose situation, guys.

Paterno did offer his resignation before he was fired.

I believe, or at least I would assume, Paterno did not understand the scope of the problem under his watch and perpetrated by a close associate.

So, I'm sad to see this ignominious end to his great career.

I just don't know what else to say about this other than to say it's just all very sad.


Jack Camwell said...

So here's an update. In 1998 the Penn State police conducted an investigation, and the Attourney General in PA at the time decided not to prosecute.

Also, the authorities are saying that Paterno did in fact fulfill his legal obligation and is not under investigation, unlike the AD and President who may be prosecuted for failing to fulfill their legal obligations.

And McQueary apparently DID go to the police about this. So how can we blame Joe Paterno when even the police and Attourney General turned a blind eye to this?


Anonymous said...

It's good to see people debating this somewhat sensibly.

I am firmly in Jackie's camp with this whole business.

The Grand Jury presentment is damning to a bunch of people. If any of you have read it and took notes of the timeline here you would see that about 8 or so people (non-victims) had the power to go forward to the police.

I don't hear anyone calling for the head of the janitor who also was an eye-witness to sexual activity back in 2000. I don't hear anyone up in arms to burn the DA Ray Gricar at the stake. No. In fact I don't hear anyone giving a convincing argument against paterno other than "he knew, he had to of known, burn the witch, he is an enabler of a sexual predator, rot in hell joe pa" how exactly is he suppose to know anything other than what he was told? For all we know McQ downplayed the shower scene for an old man.

There are a ton of other people here to point fingers at, I hear no mention of a witch hunt for the campus police investigator Ralston who had a taped confession of sandusky in which he admitted being in a shower with a young boy and possibly rubbing his member against the kid. BTW this was in 1998.

Lets get serious here with the facts before we pass judgement. If Joe Paterno hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt by now for all the good he has done and all of the people he has inspired and helped... then absolutely no one deserves the benefit of the doubt ever.

We are talking about a man who has had 0 NCAA investigations for over 60 years, who ran the cleanest program in college football.

If those above statements don't appease people of their witchlust then you have a lot more people to blame then Joe Paterno... people who not only 100% knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the guy was doing this, but also people of great legal authority who "looked the other way"... so you people better seriously get a lot more rope and some tinder cause these witches are way worse than the old man.

Bottom line... the liberal media and the subsequent poisoning of public opinion fucked Joe Pa good in a very short amount of time. Spindoctor it whatever way you want, that is the truth. Fact is a month ago he was being hailed as the best coach of all time. Never ceases to amaze me how people are anxious to condemn others regardless of the truth. A truth which we may never know. But that doesnt matter right? Fire another one up boys, this ones a Witch too!

Anonymous said...

The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case.


The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case.


The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case.


The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case,
The McMartin Case, The McMartin Case.


ad infinitum ..........

Watch that Righteous Wrath. It's killed more victims than all the pedophiles in history put together.

Welcome to NEW SALEM. Pedophiles are the NEW WITCHES.

The Constitution many Conservatives profess to love and adore tells us the accused are considered INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the risk of possibly damaging my good relationship with Silver Fiddle I am solidly with you, Jack, on this one.

Allegations of this kind stir up Mob Psychology faster than a horndog can chase a piece of tail.

Anonymous said...

Once again, I must add that Mr. No Name may think along the same lines as I do, but he (or she) is not I.

Please, Me. No Name, call yourself SOMETHING and stick with it to avoid nonsensical -- and sometimes acrimonious -- confusion.


~ FreeThinke

Jack Camwell said...

Mr. No Name, a personal IRL friend of mine, calls me Jackie. That's how I know it's always him.

So just don't call me Jackie and we'll know it's you =)

Thanks for your support FT.

Silverfiddle said...

"Innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept," and I am not alleging criminal conduct by Paterno. I am not advocating a witch hunt either, so let's stick to the issue.

"I wish I had done more," is not the statement of a man who was suddenly blindsided by events he had previously known nothing about.

"I wish I had known," is what someone with no previous knowledge would say.

Paterno said, "I wish I had done more," implying that perhaps he had at least some inkling of things not being right.

He had the power of God at Penn State, and I think he regrets not exercising it. It's not a crime, but (I apologize for using the term you hate, Jack), a moral failure.

If Paterno is the man we've known him to be all these years, I think once he consults with his lawyer and determines he cannot incriminate himself, we will hear a big mea culpa from him.

KP said...

Anon, the truth will come out in time. The others you name, the janitor, Ralston and others will have a chance to explain themselves. I would not be surprised if the entire board of trustees changes over.

This is just beginning. As the heat is turned up others will talk and we will learn more. Plenty of time to learn the janitor's name and for him to share with us why we shouldn't be alarmed.

JoPa isn't a bad man. But if he knew more than he lets on then he is a good man who did a very bad thing. Either way, doing his job in this environment became impossible.

Jack, I am not sure McQueary went to the police. What I heard was that he wrote an e-mail to an unamed "friend" on Nov 8th saying he went to the police and telling the friend "do with this what you want".

Anonymous said...

My good man, you are leaving out the first part of the sentence.

I think every adult human on the planet can relate somewhat to the sentiments the statement in its entirety presents:

"With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more"

From my perspective that sounds like a man who is either trying to claim he is a man sincerely distraught over knowing something was "off" and that more boys got victimized, as you suggest, or he could have done something more to stop sandusky if he had only known for sure it was happening.

How many times have we all either heard or said the phrase "If I only knew then what I know now."

So I can see at least two sides to that statement, and I resonate strongly with the side that insinuates "If only I could go back in time."

I too think it will be interesting to see what happens in the weeks ahead, and I agree with you Silver that legally he is not to blame. I wont go so far as to say he is a "victim" of Sandusky, rather he is a victim of circumstance.

It is just very sad and disheartening to see Joe Pa punished and his legacy get tarnished for evil perpetrated by someone else. Make no mistake, Gerald Sandusky is the bad guy here and he at least gets his day in court.

Yes, KP I hold the idea that the truth in all things will win out in the end, that foolish hope is about the only thing that keeps me going these days. I grow more weary each day of society and it's laser beam focus on the wrong things.

KP said...

<< I hold the idea that the truth in all things will win out in the end, that foolish hope is about the only thing that keeps me going these days. I grow more weary each day of society and it's laser beam focus on the wrong things. >>

I hear you on that. Not easy times.

I like this blog. It's full of good ideas from along the spectrum of philosophy and politics. Thanks to our host for the work you do.

KP said...

As I said, this issue at Penn State is only just beginning. Now we see the NCAA being drawn into this. The organization is starting to look like institutional pedatation. This is the tip of the iceburg. Coverups, money corruption, the BCS and on and on. Look for Congress to get involved and big changes in years to come (that's how long it will take to sort this out).

KP said...

Typo: to be clear: the NCAA may be part of predation.

Perhaps the Penn State affair will shed light on the fact that the Catholic Church child rape stories are not church related. Rather, they are part of a greater tragedy that crosses all socio economic ines and are all too often perpetuated by larger institutions (like the church, like Penn State, like the NCAA and the list goes on). One in four girls are victims of sexual rape. One in six boys are victims of sexual rape. We have to get real. Are you kidding me?! That means in a co-ed basketball game two out of ten players on the court are rape victims.