I will freely admit to not following the news. I don't have network TV in my house, and I generally leave the house before the paper is inside. I realize that, at many times, I probably seem like a complete nincompoop to those that do, after all, know what is going on in the world.
So, knowledge of said goings on tends to come to me accidentally. My new job uses MSN as its default home page, and the headline "Child Sex Abuse Case at Penn State" caught my attention. I don't think I'm alone when I say that child sex abuse is a hot button issue with me, particularly when adults that could or should have stopped it don't do so.
There are a lot of people that failed the "underprivileged" boys that Jerry Sandusky bothered, fondled, molested and raped over God alone knows how many years. Some of them have paid the price for their lack of action. Never having been a sports fan, I don't know "Joe Pa" from Papa Smurf and I don't wish to. I think it's very sad that someone that clearly tried in many ways to keep the usual taint of big money college sports from ruining his players should have lost his job in this way, but it is clear to me that he should have lost his job. If he knows that a player skipped a class (as one of the stories I read this morning asserts), then he surely knew what his former assistant coach was doing. The grand jury report makes it clear that Sandusky was not particularly stealthy about it. He and the boy he was raping in the showers both saw Mike McQueary standing there, and he still DID NOT STOP. This is not the action of someone that fears the consequences of discovery. And who would he have to fear? By all accounts, Joe Paterno.
Speaking of Mike McQueary, what kind of career-protecting monster sees something like that, has the power to stop it, and then walks away? He was distraught and sickened and very upset. Boo Hoo.
A normal human reaction, I would hope, would be to at least yell, "Stop that!" and rescue the child, who at last report, was yet unknown today. Yet unknown today, in spite of being seen with a grown man's dick in his 10-year-old ass by another grown man. What did McQueary do? Ran to call his daddy. This is a natural reaction if you're eight, not twenty-eight. What's more, he didn't call the cops right after he hung up with his daddy. He didn't call the cops the next day, when he reported what he'd seen to Joe Paterno. He didn't call the cops a WEEK AND A HALF later, when he FINALLY got a meeting with the athletic director and the finance guy (why the finance guy, anyway? That puts a very mercenary slant on the story). He was, from accounts I have read, a decent player, and he's a good enough coach to rise to the rank of college assistant coach. From what I read this morning, he's a more than decent football recruiter. But he is NOT a decent human being. If anyone were to witness a grown person raping his daughter (god forbid), I hope Mike McQueary realizes that he is dependent on that person to stop it.
Yards of column inches have already been devoted to Curley, Schultz, Paterno and Spanier reducing the anal rape of a 10-year-old child to "inappropriate horsing around in a shower," so I'll not add to it. Nor will I needlessly comment on the "punishment" - being barred from bringing children onto campus. "Jerry, if you want to rape kids, please don't do it here." The "punishment" wasn't even enforced, as another of the victims cited in the Grand Jury report recounted an incident that took place in the Penn State shower fully three years later. Nor was this heinously punitive punishment extended to all Penn State campuses, as Sandusky was still holding sports camps (aka, victim recruiting events) at another Penn State campus, fully sanctioned by the university, as late as 2009. Oops, I commented, didn't I?
I have a great respect for the law, and therefore for lawyers. It is popular to paint them all as sleazeballs out to make a buck, a reputation, or both. I have two sisters and a niece that are or have been practicing attorneys and my mother nagged me to death about having a mere Masters Degree without going on to law school. My future daughter-in-law plans to enter that profession, and is currently majoring in human rights. For all the good they do and the benefits society gains from their work, lawyers do not deserve the abuse heaped on them as a class.
Some lawyers, however, are extra special snowflakes in the sleazeball rat race. Yes, all people accused of a crime are entitled to legal representation. Yes, the battle for the hearts and minds of jurors, and by extension potential jurors is the bread and butter of trial attorneys everywhere. But it takes an extra special sleazeball to say this:
“He’s helped thousands of kids,” [Sandusky's] lawyer, Joseph Amendola, said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a shame this comes down to this stuff. Whether it comes down to being factually based, his reputation has been tarnished.
"This stuff" being the bothering, fondling, molesting, and raping of little boys. So, Mr. Amendola, we should just gratefully pay the tax of having little boys and teenagers raped by a grown man in order for "thousands of kids" to be helped?
Or, for a winning football team?