Monday, November 14, 2011

Penn State Paterno Media and Society

by Ron Spangler

As a person living in America that does not follow college sports I can honestly say I knew very little about Joe Paterno until the Penn State story broke in the news. I would also bet that I am not in the minority when it comes to Joe. If a survey of the entire country had been taken before this story came out I would bet that 2/3 of America would say, I don't know the name.

It is not only Paterno's actions during the 15 year Sandusky child rape and molestation period that ruined Paterno's legacy, but also the nonstop 24/7 sanctimonious coverage of what we call news. Listening to and reading reports about what happened at Penn State would make a person think Joe Paterno was as bad if not worse than Sandusky. To me there is more than enough blame to go around.

I find it hard to believe that this was going on for over 15 years at Penn State and no news agency in the country heard about it. Where were the parents, the local community, the students, the state and local officials, and everyday citizens of Pennsylvania? In short where was our society and has it come to a point that we sometimes feel it is better to look the other way then it is to get involved.

The media from all areas whether it is print, television, radio, or internet would like for us to believe that no reporter for the past 15 years ever heard of any rumors or allegations of child abuse or molestations surrounding Sandusky.

In 15 years no victim ever told his parents, a friend, a cousin, anyone?

In 15 years no one ever came forth with these allegations to police or local news outlets?

After witnessing the rape of an 11 year old boy and telling Joe Paterno he saw something in the shower that did not look right, did Mike McQueary ever tell anyone else?

It is so easy for everyone to say exactly what they would have done if they had been in the shoes of the parents, Joe Paterno, or Mike McQueary. However when I see people walking buy an injured pedestrian that has just been hit by an oncoming car or watch as a person is being severely beaten by a mob, I wonder how involved would we become in a situation like this.

After all of the self righteous indignation being raised by the media against individuals at Penn State has reached the maximum amount of ratings, it is certain the media will move on to something else to report. Sadly for America we too will move on.

Maybe it is time we as Americans take a long look at our culture and ask what happened to us. There was a time that if any American saw what Mike McQueary says he saw, that American would have taken the law into his own hands. Today I am afraid there are more people like Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno than we would like to admit.

I'm afraid our society has turned into more of a Occupy Wall Street society than we would like to admit. Their attitude is a selfish me first attitude that is willing to overlook crimes in their own encampments if those crimes, like rape or murder, could damage their image. Also politicians and political parties have taken this same attitude. Knowing the general population has a short memory, President Obama has refused to commit on things like Operation Fast and Furious, or Solyndra. For the same reason the Democrat party is refusing to commit and very few are coming to Obama's defense.

Maybe its time we take a look at the direction we as a nation and a society are heading in and say its time we returned to our roots. Maybe we should consider right from wrong and take action when we see something going on that is wrong. Maybe we should not have to worry whether our taking action will somehow effect us negatively in the future. Maybe we should question whether we care more for our individual lives or more for God, Country and Family.

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