Penn State Truthers Are Still Defending Joe Paterno

Franco Harris brings “Upon Further Review: Penn State One Year Later” to Philly.

As Friday night conspiracy theory powwows go, this one is fairly benign. At 6 p.m., hors d’oeuvres in the King of Prussia Radisson. At 7 p.m., a documentary in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Each of the 250 registered guests has been provided with a nametag bearing a photo of a smiling Joe Paterno, his arms folded in front of him. Some display oversized “JVP” (Joseph Vincent Paterno) lapel pins; others prefer “409” t-shirts (the number of wins Paterno racked up at Penn State). 

The occasion is “Upon Further Review: Penn State One Year Later,” a symposium dedicated to the belief that Joe Paterno was unfairly blamed, and probably framed, for covering up the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The documentary, The Framing of Joe Paterno, sets an urgent tone. “This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done,” says filmmaker John Ziegler on screen, simultaneously exhorting the crowd and making a subtle fundraising pitch. “We’re going uphill into the wind on ice with lead bricks around our feet. Because everyone’s against us on this.” Ex-Nittany Lion tailback Franco Harris, the emcee and spiritual leader of tonight’s event, raises the stakes. “If we lose due process here in our country, we have a real big problem.”

Ziegler’s 30-minute documentary, scored to low, buzzing music that plays on loop, contends that grad assistant Mike McQueary neither saw nor reported explicit sexual abuse in the 2001 incident that led to Paterno’s firing, but rather, saw something vague, and said something vague. Ziegler is a conservative radio host-turned-filmmaker whose previous movie Media Malpractice detailed how “Obama Got Elected and Sarah Palin Was Targeted.” He is the only panelist unaffiliated with Penn State, and says his expertise is media criticism. With goatee, he bears a passing resemblance to Todd Palin.


After the documentary ends, Harris lumbers on stage to begin a PowerPoint presentation documenting the “Surma Vendetta,” an apparent conspiracy in which PSU Trustee John Surma got Paterno fired to act on a grudge his brother Vic, a disgruntled former player, harbored against his old coach. After pointing to a slide featuring an angry email from Vic, Harris turns to the crowd: “So, is there any connection? I don’t know. But I just want to say, guys, we’re not going to leave anything unturned. And it just doesn’t make sense for Joe to be fired.”

Next up, Eileen Morgan, a fortysomething PSU alum with spiky black hair, refers attendees to a laminated document they picked up on the way in. There are diagrams of the Penn State locker room that aim to illustrate that McQueary couldn’t have seen what he said he saw, due to the impossibility of various angles. “[McQueary’s] six-foot-four, over 200 pounds, certainly he could have handled the older Sandusky,” Morgan asked. “So what stopped him? It was the fact that he didn’t see anything that required him to step in and intervene.”

The final slideshow of the night is presented by Ray Blehar, a tired-looking federal government employee who runs the website (not to be confused with Ziegler’s The crown jewel of his presentation is an investigation into the 1998 charges against Jerry Sandusky, which he calls “probably one of the most important reports I’ve ever written in my life,” and which had its “nationwide release” the day before. But Eileen had already investigated emails pertaining to the ’98 investigation (who did “coach” refer to, and what does “touch base” really mean?) so I get up to stretch my legs.


Just outside the ballroom, I find Anthony Lubrano, a Penn State trustee and reliable talking head, pacing nervously. Several panelists have pulled out at the last minute. “Frank Fitzpatrick from the Philadelphia Inquirer was here, but his editor was concerned about how many Penn State people were here,” says Lubrano, whipping out his iPhone to show me a goodbye message citing journalistic ethics. (Fitzpatrick would later send Ziegler some tweets using the hashtag #conspiracynuts.)

Fox sports anchor Howard Eskin also bailed, blaming his producer, while talk radio host Dom Giordano, Eskin’s replacement, never showed either. “I think we were used,” says Lubrano, who had appeared earlier that week on Giordano’s show with Harris, thinking reciprocity was in store.

As Lubrano likely anticipated, the panel discussion lacks drama, since everyone agrees with one another. Harris tosses softball questions, Lubrano sits glumly, Ziegler tells conspiratorial anecdotes about shady NCAA officials, and a Harrisburg lawyer called Rob Tribek provides the legal expertise. “A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich!” he says at one point, quoting famous New York state jurist Sol Wachtler.

Meanwhile, Lubrano can’t help but bring up Eskin again, who bailed, setting off a guy in the audience from Westchester County, New York who says he graduated with Sue Paterno in 1962. “What does Bill O’Reilly have to say about this?” he yells. “Conspiracy!”

Harris asks his guests if there’s been enough focus on the victims.

“My only thought on the victims,” says Ziegler. “And I can’t stand, every time I do a media appearance, you almost have to spend the first 30 seconds saying, ‘Sandusky’s guilty, I’m sorry about the victims,’ and all that business, which is political correctness run amok.”


Before adjourning for the night, Harris cues up one more film, a short montage featuring images of Joe Paterno and Penn State’s campus. In the background, the theme music from Gladiator swells, as a British narrator tackles Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If.” (“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you/But make allowance for their doubting too … “) Behind me, two women weep quietly.

After the movie, I meet the man I’ve been sitting next to all night, a ’76 graduate named Ron Williams wearing a single braid of hair down his back and a denim shirt with a Penn State logo on the breast pocket. “We don’t accept what the Freeh report says,” he tells me. “We’ll be here until the re-instatement of Joe occurs.”

“If you stay on top of this, you can really rake something,” says Williams’s companion Gail V., who doesn’t want to be identified because she attended, but did not graduate from Penn State. “This dynamic is going to change really quickly. Follow Ray Blehar, follow John Ziegler, and then you can make a lot of people happy doing it.”

Gail then leads me to the podium, where she gets Ziegler’s attention, and tells him to talk to me. As I wait by the stage for the filmmaker, who’s mobbed by attendees, I make small talk with a guy who identifies himself as a U.S. Marshall. “Who brought you here?” I ask him. “Somebody,” comes the answer.

When I finally introduce myself to Ziegler, he snorts and tells me Philadelphia magazine has been “horrendous on this issue.” But I’m the only reporter around, so he keeps talking to me. “It’s draining, psychologically. I mean this has been an incredibly draining experience,” he says. “It’s very frustrating. The truth doesn’t have any impact. The truth used to be paramount. At least I thought it was.”

He perks up after a group of admiring women get him going on the Manti Te’o story—another instance of “media malpractice,” in his view. “There’s no question that the media gave him a hell of a lot more slack than they gave Joe,” Ziegler says.

As I stick my hand out to say goodbye, Ziegler shakes it, telling me, “Hey, thank you, I’m sure you’ll do a hatchet job. But thank you.”

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  • LAKane

    Your snarky tone only proves again the lack of integrity there in the the media once a narrative is set. If you hadn’t left during the Blehar presentation you would have heard completely different information than Eileen Morgan’s previous review. Maybe it would have piqued your curiosity, maybe not, but believe it or not there is more than one “side” to this tragedy. All most of us are looking for is a complete picture with context. That’
    s the only real way these things can be prevented and lessons can be learned.

  • The Dog

    Ziegler is an uppity, pretentious twit from Washington Crossing, PA. During High School (Holy Ghost – I was a classmate) his dad left his mom for another man. I’m kind of not surprised that the guy is a conspiracy nut. People who don’t like the truth go out of their way to create their own reality with “happy endings” because it helps them sleep at night. It’s a very sad way to live.

  • Scott E Phillips

    I keep waiting for the punchline or the over wrought “think about the children,” but you never went there. Good for you.

    Oh, I guess I missed it. “Truther” eh?

  • RaconsMom

    Simon = Dork…

  • wendy silverwood

    “Nil Doctis Arduum” translates as “Nothing Daunts A Scholar”.
”Boston University Academy educates talented high school students who are passionate about learning and
    who share the joy of inquiry.”

    Simon, you do remember your prep school motto, don’t
    you? Young man, your priggishness is showing. The snark towards seasoned adults assembled in that room, a massive collection of life experiences you can only
    HOPE to achieve, will not serve you well as you go forth in life.

    Your attitude is not endearing and the misogyny at your age is rather startling; it’s appalling actually. 

I would have expected more intelligence and wit from a Brown Alum and the product of such well-placed parents.

    I understand you were sent to write this as a “scene” piece, similar to the New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town”, but you failed miserably. Try harder, write smarter and inquire. Otherwise, you will struggle here in Philadelphia too.

    • Disqtar

      Where is this so-called misogyny? Using the phrase “A group of admiring women” is misogynistic? Wow. Oh and bravo on the personal digs at the author, the fruit of your google searches about his high school and his parents strike the perfect tone of the creepy, obsessive lunatics he describes in his article.

      • Nellie R

        All this article does is take personal digs at peoples’ appearances and he even ADMITS he did not listen to the reports. Creepy and obsessive about how people LOOK as opposed to what they say.

      • MJK

        You think she took personal digs? I’m trying to find even one. I see plenty in the actual article. Comparing Ziegler’s looks to Todd Palin (seriously doubt he meant that as a compliment). He calls Ray Blehar “tired looking” and says that Franco Harris “lumbers”. She called the author out on his “snark” and “priggishness”. These are not personal digs but an accurate portrayal of the attitude that drips in this article. Her criticisms are dead-on accurate. “Try harder, write smarter and inquire” is extremely good advice. He clearly didn’t try to learn anything, and he didn’t inquire about anything. And he didn’t accomplish anything. Other than that, this was wonderful journalism.

        • Disqtar

          Lumbers!? Tired looking!? Todd Palin!? THE HORROR! Well let’s see. I just looked at the past 2weeks of the outraged Ms. silverwood’s twitter feed where she call’s Sara Ganim a “jilted homecoming queen”, makes fun of Mark Emmert’s hair with toupee references, takes a dig at someone else’s hair color and roots, and on and on. I guess it’s all in good fun as long as they’re on “Team Paterno”. The hypocrisy is, well, to quote Ms. silverwood, “appalling actually”.

          • Nellie R

            Well, let’s see, I have just reviewed your history of Disqus comments and it’s clear what YOUR agenda is.

          • msmkj

            Gee, I dunno, Disqtar. Big difference between Twitter and being responsible for a feature story, don’t you think? Yes or no? You do any research or are you just another Twit?

          • Disqtar

            Blah, blah, blah. Your buddy Wendy takes the author of this “feature story” on a blog to task for his supposedly snarky descriptions and a 1 minute search of her twitter feed exposes her as a hypocrite, something the notpsu crowd is all too familiar with.

            Here’s the part where you accuse me of being a misinformed media toady, try to tell me what Mike McQueary didn’t see, lie about what Dr. Dranov asked three times, quote one of the victims who is against the sanctions, and tell us all how Joe Paterno’s testimony was all secretly “refreshed” by McQueary, the AG, aliens and the Trilateral Commission followed by a rousing “We Are!” that I’m sure sounds as ridiculous as it should coming out of a middle-aged person’s mouth.

    • RobertCulliton

      Wendy, removing your claims of the author’s priggishness from the equation, one has to admit that there is still something incredibly bizarre about the event that took place last Friday. It’s readily apparent in figures such as the alum waiting for Joe to be reinstated( it might be a while partner) as well as the gladiator music playing throughout the event. Far from implying that the individuals gathered were not accomplished, the crux of this story rests on the fact that otherwise accomplished people could display a total lack of common sense Your comment, Wendy, if it is worthy of the title, implies Simon has no right to question the realm of his experienced adult superiors. But isn’t this blind deference to authority the exact trait that allowed the tragedy to occur in the first place?

      • msmkj

        Her comment, Robert, implies Simon ought to read the Freeh report. I suggest you consider that as well.

      • CarpeJava

        You know what says so much about these people and their views about the whole Sandusky scandal? It’s when the emcee, Harris, asks his guests if there’s been enough focus on the victims. Ziegler, the “gentleman” who produced the conspiracy video replied: “And I can’t stand,
        every time I do a media appearance, you almost have to spend the first 30 seconds saying, ‘Sandusky’s guilty, I’m sorry about the victims,’ and all that business, which is political correctness run amok.”

        Really? Having to spend a whole 30 seconds saying Sandusky’s guilty and you’re sorry about the victims is political correctness run amok?

        Wow. Incredibly disturbing. Maybe this is part of the culture at PSU that enabled Sandusky to prey on youth on its campuses and events.

  • calhounite1

    Great article. Always interesting when a non-infected observer is allowed in … with the promise they won’t bite. Yea, their lawyers can count on this treatment, but very dangerous for anyone else. But guess they’re inviting reporters in an attempt to portray to the world they’re actually civilized … or can survive in the daylight. Glad you saw through it. Unique, exclusive look into a surreal world. Admire your courage.

    • rmb297

      Simon should stick to writing about fashion or the latest trendy bars. He totally whiffed on this piece. If you want to know what Ray Blehar is really about (aside from looking tired) try this.

    • msmkj

      If you care about children more than sucking up to a snarky so-called reporter, you might consider educating yourself.

    • Nellie R

      Reporters were invited to the other one as well. They actually showed up that time and found out their narrative was wrong. More information would have caused them to have to admit in their articles they have missed most of the real facts of the case, so they bailed out. It’s that simple.

  • smokeybandit

    Otherwise irrelevant journalists have to keep finding ways to get people to read their columns somehow. Why not kick the horse one more time regarding Paterno to accomplish this?

  • rmb297

    Simon, Perhaps you should have read Blehar’s report BEFORE you attended the event. I’m sure you’ve yet to read it. Too busy picking out nice ties for your boyfriend. How are the sales around Philly these days?

  • Kevin Bligan

    Nice job Simon…just what does John Ziegler’s goaotee have to do with anything? Are you a style reporter? Your little insulting jabs tell us all we need to know…you entered with a pre-conceived notion, did not pay attention, and wrote a non-informative opinion piece. Very nice.

  • rmb297
  • Susan Logsdon

    WHY are we still talking about this? The alum need to get a grip on reality – and the truth – and stop trying to make the evil man a saint. He is not. Sandusky did the deed and your beloved Joe-Pa turned his head. It’s over, he’s dead, Sandusky is in prison forever. Move the EFF on …

    I don’t know who annoys me more — the media who are STILL reporting on this stuff (which only encourages the nut-job-conspiracy-theorsits to keep talking) — OR — the alumni who just won’t accept the truth and let it go.

    • msmkj

      We’re still talking about this because children are still in danger.

      • Michelle_Leonard

        So true msmkj. PA parents should be extremely concerned that the same system (DPW & CYS) that failed to stop Sandusky in 1998 is blithely continuing with their slipshod investigations.

    • MJK

      Susan….the incredible thing to me is people who refer to those who look for the truth as “nut-job-conspiracy-theorists”. The reason that is incredible to me: The Freeh Report is one big conspiracy theory. It alleges that a large number of PSU officials had a “conspiracy of silence”. I am not a Penn State Alum. Never in my life did I root for a Joe Paterno coached team. But the thought that all of these men conspired to keep Sandusky’s terrible acts silent to protect their football team just seemed insane to me. So I actually did a LOT of research. Research that I know, for a fact, that you haven’t done. The reason I know that? Well, Susan, there is nobody who HAS done the research who believes what you believe. Nobody. You are backing a false narrative. Sorry if that annoys you.

      • Nellie R

        Same here MJK. Never been in PA in my life. So I took it upon myself to read the source documents thoroughly and came up with the same conclusion independently.

      • omalley610

        Sorry MJK, but it is the Paternoists that are creating conspiracies out of thin air. They can’t seem to understand the simple truth if it hit them squarely on the noggin’.

        It was Paterno and his cohorts that received the report directly from McQueary. They had an obligation to make sure this was reported to either the police or the child welfare agencies. They failed. That is why they were all fired.

        Everything being done by the Paternoists is casting the alumni as conspiracy theorists. These people would rename the University after Paterno if they could. That sort of idolatry is unhealthy.

        • theberklands

          Learn the timeline, my friend…

          Until the evidence is heard in a court of law, your arguments don’t hold water. This isn’t about Paterno, it’s about the truth and protecting the children of the Commonwealth. A very basic understanding of the facts in this case make it VERY CLEAR that it was PA’s child welfare agencies who dropped the ball in bringing Sandusky to justice. End of story!

          • omalley610

            The child welfare agencies had no idea about what happened in the Lasch Building. Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier did, and thus it is they who are culpable.

            You can’t change the basic facts of this case, and no amount of whitewash changes anything. The Gang of Four failed.

          • Nellie R

            They most certainly did! They were in on the 98 investigation and FAILED. According to the Prelim transcripts, they were also notified in 2001, as was the mandatory reporter, the Second Mile. The law in 2001 stated that a mandatory reporter was one who in the course of his or her profession comes into contact and is responsible for children. THIS IS THE SECOND MILE, who was in charge of every single one of these victims. In order to “cause a report to be made” SEcond Mile was notified. Yet Raykovitz is still walking the streets and investigators did not serve a subpoena on 2nd mile for 15 months! Mysteriously, the “S” for Sandusky files were missing.

        • MJK

          Sorry Omalley, but there is a problem with your narrative. “It was Paterno and his cohorts that received the report directly from McQueary.” Please tell us what this “report” said. If his “report” that he gave directly to those in charge was that he saw a child being sexually molested by Jerry Sandusky in the shower….then you are indeed correct. However, there is STRONG evidence that this is NOT what anyone was told. (read the testimony of Dr Dranov given during the Sandusky trial…he was present the night that McQueary told his father what had happened…this would be the same night the event occurred) The evidence is STRONG that they were all told that McQueary didn’t see ANYTHING (only heard sounds) and that the boy was in no distress and no pain. Sorry, Omalley….but if you CHOOSE to believe the very week evidence that these men were all told of an anal rape and did nothing….over the strong evidence that they were told no such thing…..then you are just as clouded and jaded as you believe the “Paternoists” to be.

          • omalley610

            MJK, McQueary’s testimony has been believed by every court/jury he has testified before, and it only the Paterno Truthers that disbelieve him.

            You can convince yourselves that the narrative is changing, but this is only in the eyes of the Paterno Truthers. The rest of us have moved on.

            I will conclude by saying that I find it ironic that this story basically needs people like you Truthers to exist, and like other conspiracy nuts to never give up, to prove the point that the cult was real.

          • jambs

            “McQueary’s testimony has been believed by every court/jury he has testified before”

            This is false. Sandusky was acquitted of the charge of sodomy in the showers based on McQueary’s testimony. They did not find his testimony credible enough to charge him of the charge, something which many people are unaware of because of the reporting on the case. It’s clear you lack a full understanding of key points involved and are not making your claims on substantial evidence.

    • theberklands

      Media lap dog! I can tell by your barking.

    • Scott E Phillips

      Your understanding of the facts is troubling, that’s why we’re still talking about it. The truth is there for anyone to see, but the truth isn’t captivating enough to sell papers, so it is ignored in favor of a story that enables the ignorant. A falsehood that let’s the lazy climb up on their soapboxes; A lie that generates ad revenue.
      You need to learn the truth to learn the lessons from this travesty. Lessens lost behind your ignorance.

    • JZ was right

      I am a PhD researcher who has written more than 100 peer reviewed articles across a 20 year career. I have been part of the editorial team for ten research journals. In this role, I decided which scientific papers should be published and which should not. I have made these decisions for well over 500 scientific papers.

      I have read the Freeh report carefully. The conclusions of the Freeh report are simply not supported by the evidence. That, Susan, is reality and I assure you that I have a firm grip on it.

  • theberklands

    Simon you must have missed that class in Journalism 101 that taught about approaching each story without bias and with objectivity but apparently you got an “A” for your use of descriptive words. Good job shuffling through your thesaurus but epic failure for content. And, if Ray Blehar was “tired looking” it’s probably because he has a real job where he makes a real impact… should try it sometime.

  • MJK

    I love it that you include Ziegler’s admonition to you just before you said goodbye to one another. “I’m sure you’ll do a hatchet job. But thank you.” At least you were honest enough to put that in when you did, indeed, do a hatchet job. You are clearly very young. You obviously had an agenda. You will get nowhere in the press writing articles like this. Sports casters don’t become famous by predicting the favorites. Good luck.

  • Nellie R

    Simon, with your creative writing skills, it looks like you are in the wrong field, you should be writing fiction novels! Unless you care to admit that you were mis-assigned by your editor, who should have sent an investigative journalist armed with the facts of the case and prepared to learn some new facts as well. Must be why you bailed on the Blehar report, you cannot handle so much factual information at one sitting and it taxed your brain. If all you got out of it was descriptions of how people look, then you are truly a shallow human being that is not in the least interested in how PA welfare systems failed children miserably in this case.

  • Tim Berton

    Ziegler sure had it right when he said ” I’m sure you’ll do a hatchet job.”

    • Nellie R

      I’m sure if he had asked an educated question it would have been answered. Ziegler’s statement was a challenge to ask such a question and the uninformed fashion editor did not have one because he did not LISTEN to the reports.

  • nlkoebel

    Actually reporting on the content of the presentations would be a really new concept to bloggers, many of whom are not trained journalists, although that’s not saying a lot these days. The fact that the Freeh Report has been discredited is not news, it’s now being accepted by many mainstream news sources (sorry, yours isn’t one). The fact that Mike McQueary may not have seen what the attorney general claimed he saw also isn’t news, as the jury in Jerry Sandusky’s trial felt the same way and exonerated him on that charge. Maybe you should visit Centre County CYS or the State DPW or better yet the Second Mile itself and ask them how they let this stuff go on under their noses too. That would be a story.

  • Bruce Lee

    This is one of the most immature writing styles, taking on a serious subject and focusing on snark, not substance. And people wonder why PSU alumni are mad? This twit, like many other, ignore the facts in favor of rhetoric.

  • JZ was right

    You did do a hatchet job. “With goatee, he bears a passing resemblance to Todd Palin.” “Harris lumbers on stage” “a fortysomething PSU alum with spiky black hair” “a tired-looking federal government employee.” Making fun of a person’s personal appearance is about as lazy and cheap as it gets.

  • Charles Shaffer

    People’s loyalty to Paterno and Penn State is clouding their judgement. What Sandusky did was horrible and he was allowed to continue doing it because he was one of the boys. Paterno had to know enough that he should have stepped in and done something, but he chose not to. There is no conspiracy except the cover up. There has been a full investigation and the courts and the NCAAA have made their decisions. Let it go.

    • JZ was right

      Charles, you managed to offer multiple falsehoods in just a few sentences. That’s a fact not a “judgement.”

      Let’s take them in turn. “Paterno had to know enough that he should have stepped in and done something, but he chose not to” — why did he “have to know”? Because you believe so? Beause ESPN says so? Pedophiles are skilled at fooling people. Read what a very learned observer said

      Not enough for you? Read up on pedophile John Wayne Gacy, who even fooled the US Secret Service:

      “There has been a full investigation” — no, there was a consulting report prepared by Freeh. Investigations involve putting people under oath and interviewing all important parties. Freeh did neither. Paterno asked to speak with Freeh and the offer was declined. Does that sound like an “investigation”?

      “and the courts and the NCAAA have made their decisions.” — No, the courts have yet to try anyone other than Sandusky. Meanwhile, the NCAA imposed its will on the feckless Rodney Erickson via a process that violates it own by-laws.

      When you say “let it go” what you really mean is “accept the lies.” No can do, Charles

      • Michelle_Leonard

        Excellent response! The only statement in Mr. Shaffer’s post that is not erroneous is, “What Sandusky did was horrible”.

    • Nellie R

      Charles, looks like only watching TV or reading false media reports is clouding your judgment. What full investigation are you talking about? As far as we know, there are still investigations going on in this case. Freeh was not an investigator in the real cases (plural, there is more than one case and they are still being adjudicated). Like many others, you have been fooled by his former title into thinking he was. He was hired by the Board of trustees to do an internal investigation, and they have NEVER taken a vote to accept his report!

  • AMC

    There was a time when “real journalists” took pride in their objectivity and ability to dig up facts and verify those facts with numerous sources in order to seek the truth. The fact is right now, because media outlets are more concerned about ratings and hits on their sites, those agencies that were responsible for the safety of the victims have been given a pass and Pennsylvania’s children are no safer today than they were in 1998. If you truly understand the facts of the story you know that The Second Mile, Children & Youth Services, the Department of Public Welfare, The District Attorney’s office and the Attorney General’s office, all with trained professionals, all failed the victims. That is the disturbing truth that needs to be addressed. As far as the involvement of Joe Paterno, think about this. Mike McQueary told what he saw to his dad, Dr. Dranov ( both mandated reporters), Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz, Tim Curly ( and Tim told the CEO of the Second Mile) The description in the Grand Jury presentment is not what Mike told these men. It would seem if the information Mike shared with these men rose to that level, the mandated reporters would have reported it. If you are familiar with Pennsylvania law and policies and procedures associated with reporting this information, you would know that Joe Paterno did what was legally and ethically what he was supposed to do. If you are an intelligent critical thinker, you would understand that this story is more complicated than the ratings driven media is capable of understanding or reporting fully and justly.

  • georgemcmurphy

    Simon — There are serious issues here to be confronted by you and others in the media. Please take time to get to the gist of what these people are trying to accomplish. You have a forum; use it. Take time to map out a time line of events:

    1998 – incident reported by mother re inappropriate behavior by Sandusky with her son; investigated by state and local agencies; confidential to need to know people only; no charges filed even though a psychologist recognized grooming tendencies by Sandusky and informed the investigating agencies.

    1999 – Sandusky retires (discussions in progress prior to 1998 incident) to spend more time with Second Mile; given access to PSU facilities by the provost, not the athletic department (Paterno never wanted kids around the facilities due to potential liability issues injuries); he was no longer an employee of PSU.

    2001 – Sandusky seen in PSU showers by McQueary who reports to his father and Dr. Dranov, both mandated reporters, who understood from what McQueary said that nothing rose to the level of reporting to the police; (McQueary’s story has changed several times).

    McQueary reported to Paterno, who reported to his superiors, who reported to Second Mile (Sandusky’s employer); in matters involving such allegations, the person reporting (i.e., Paterno) is not allowed by law to tell anyone so as not to put either party in jeaopardy.

    2011 – the grand jury presentment stated that McQueary saw “anal rape”; McQueary never said that, but the media took that and ran with it.

    Who is more culpable here: the state? the mandated reporters? Paterno (who by law was not allowed to know about the 1998 complaint) but did report?

    Why would the prosecutor (grand jury presentment) use such an explosive term like anal rape?

    Most importantly, what is going on with the state child protective agencies on this and other matters?

    Additionally, if there were no charges filed in 1998, how could Paterno be held responsible for anything, especially if he didn’t know? And how could the football program be punished for what happened between 1998 and 2001, let alone everything else?

    This should give you a start. Then look into why it took so long to protect kids like Aaron Fisher . . . .

    • theberklands

      Let’s go one step further George….why is Jerry Lauro, who is the DPW agent responsible for closing the investigation into Sandusky, who didn’t initiate a safety plan as required by law and who claims he never saw Dr. Chambers report (even though she made a call to ChildLine which is managed by DPW) currently working as a trainer for newly hired DPW counselors??? Of course, Simon’s head is currently spinning because he doesn’t know the names Lauro, Chambers or any of the others and probably doesn’t even know what DPW stands for….it wasn’t in his thesaurus and he doesn’t know what any of those people are wearing.

  • calhounite1

    Thanks for the invite, but think I’ll pass. Seen enough movies to know the deal. Can’t serve a purpose like this reporter or a lawyer, you[ll serve as both a midnight snack and a forced convert.

  • jim mannion

    Have you looked in a mirror? Pretty scary out here in the real fact based world looking in at writers (term not a compliment) like yourself.

  • msmkj
  • Guest

    Bias from the get go. Another “reporter” who wants to make facts fashionable instead of reporting the truth. Hatchet job indeed and amateurish coverage at best. Simple Simon.

  • Liz Bligan

    Wow. I spoke with you that evening, Simon, and I wanted to know why the media — that’s YOU — refuses to even listen to the facts and evidence being presented. You just stared at me dumbly. Now I read this and find you didn’t even stay to listen to any of the facts. Rather, you concentrated on the appearance of the speakers. Franco “lumbers”?? John resembles Todd Palin?? Eileen has spiky black hair?? How is any of that relevant??
    You fail as a journalist. Your profession USED to be about digging for the truth. If you truly wanted to excel in your profession, you would be reading everything — the entire Freeh report (which I’d bet good money you haven’t read), all of Ray Blehar’s (yes, he’s a federal employee — an INVESTIGATOR) analyses, all of Eileen Morgan’s analyses, and all of Rob Tribeck’s legal analyses.
    If you were to do that, you’d see that CYS and DPW failed these children, not PSU or Joe Paterno. In 1998 they had three victims and a mother, and they let Sandusky go. They had an expert say that Sandusky was a pedophile and they ignored her report and put a non-expert in her place. There is not only zero evidence that anyone at PSU who is alleged to have “known” actually did know what Sandusky was doing, there is evidence that they did report what McQueary told them to the proper authorities — TSM and CYS. That’s hardly evidence of a “cover up.”
    Ah, but these are facts, and you clearly have no interest in those. They don’t sell magazines.

  • Nanc G

    There is an organized movement now within the Penn State community, especially the alumni, to ‘re-polish’ Paterno’s, and therefore their own, ‘value’ and legacy. Apparently the community’s egos cannot handle the truth of what happened, and the role played by either Paterno’s actions, or his inaction.

    This current attempt to exonerate Paterno is infuriating. It speaks ugly volumes about this crowd’s rampant egotism, their willingness to ignore truths, their apparent comfort in trying to redefine truth itself – to change ‘reality’ – so that they can serve their own silly vanities tied into Penn State.

    The ‘report’ done for this effort contains its own damnation – – it states: “At worst, he [Paterno] believed….Sandusky….had boundary issues.” Boundary issues! ‘Boundary issues’ – otherwise known as fertile ground for repeated, profound, life-shattering, sexual abuse.

    The people pushing this report were willing, and apparently are still willing, to ignore the vicious and continued victimization of so many children at Penn State – ignore it, all for the ‘honor and glory’ of Penn State, and of an ultimately meaningless football program. They are willing to sacrifice the truth, and sacrifice the victims, for their own personal goals. I think that is beyond reprehensible.

  • Jeff Williams

    Why is it that Louis Freeh isn’t labeled a “conspiracy theorist” when HE is the one who said there was a “conspiracy to conceal” Sandusky’s crimes?

    Seems like Louis Freeh’s narrative is the false one here – cherry-picked data, leaps of faith, “assumptions” – yet if someone starts to pick apart the Freeh conspiracy theory, then they are labeled the conspiracy theorists?

  • Rebecca Knowles

    You don’t understand something? Read, think, re-read, think some more, ask questions (any and all), listen closely to the responses, then repeat the process until you do understand. Depending on the thing that you don’t understand, this may be a long process. Could be the answer isn’t known. Then your inquiry could help reveal the truths! Wow!

  • Mary Burke Blase

    I know this feed is older, but found it while seaching for “penn state truther” after the Today Show interview with Ziegler. I can’t believe the “snarky” comments left for the review of this event. So in other words, if this reporter doesn’t agree with your point of view that a known serial pedifile is guilty, right along with the people who covered up, then he’s wrong? Or a hack? Or lacking integrity? Well the way I look at it, anyone who defends a known convicted serial pedifile & the known cover-up “crew” is lacking integrity. Political correctness run amok, indeed! The only people who deserve any compassion are the attackers, right, the rest of us just need to SHUT UP & TAKE IT!!