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PATERNO ISN’T THE ONLY ONE WHO FAILED TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN
UPDATE July 24, 2012: The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s $60 million penalty for Penn State’s football program has underscored the severity of the crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky, the assistant coach found guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse of minors.
In addition, the NCAA officially stripped legendary coach Joe Paterno of his victories over the past decade, denouncing his role in a system-wide cover-up of the sex crimes which including including a rape of one boy in the team shower that was reported directly to him by an eyewitness.
I’m with NCAA executive chairman and Oregon State President Ed Ray who said yesterday, “The fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”
Joe Paterno isn’t the only one who failed to protect the children, so let’s not stop our public repudiation with the one guy who’s already dead. Yes the president of Penn State was pressured to resign as was the chairman of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, but it shouldn’t stop there.
It is now time to hold accountable Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett who was attorney general during at least six of the 15 years Sandusky was molesting children and, as governor, was automatically given a seat on the Penn State Board of Trustees.
BRINGING NEW MEANING TO “AT-RISK YOUTH”
Public records show that Tom Corbett, during his campaigns for attorney general and governor, received $647,481.21 in political donations from present and former board members of The Second Mile, the non-profit charity for at-risk youth founded and run by Jerry Sandusky.
What’s more, despite personal knowledge of the Sandusky child molestation investigations, Gov. Corbett approved a $3 million state grant to The Second Mile. The grant has been put on hold, but Gov. Corbett should now address possible conflicts of interest, influence peddling and, at best, his failure to lead.
If an interview with the First Lady is, indeed, a litmus test for the strength of a new morning show anchor, Gayle King has lit up the internet. Based on the first two inaugural days of the new CBS The Morning, void of any real news, who knew the woman previously known as the BFF of O would nail the first real news-making interview of the week.
To start, there was something smart and intimate about conducting the interview in the First Lady’s office, away from the West Wing and the grandure of the White House public rooms.
Michelle Obama’s office , which I don’t remember seeing on television before, felt a bit more cramped than expected, sending a subliminal message of the humility she was trying to express as she and King addressed some of the more sensational content of the new Jody Kantor book about the Obamas.
It wasn’t just the interview questions that made this interview particularly engaging. King’s unique poise, warmth and, yes, star power ensured this viewer was glued to the set for part two. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: Now that Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse of minors, it’s time to examine how he got away with hurting so many children for so long: who knew what and when did they know it? To that end, I begin with reposting my November blog on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett who was that state’s attorney general during at least six of the 15 years Sandusky was molesting children. To date, Corbett has refused to address why the Sandusky case stalled under his watch citing “grand jury restrictions.” Will he now step forward to explain how and why this investigation got derailed on his watch, then help assure the people of his state that future serial child molesters will be stopped much earlier than Jerry Sandusky?
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has launched one of the most effective cover-your-ass campaigns in memory, in public everywhere weighing in as a moral compass on everything from the firing of Joe Paterno (“It was the right thing to do”) to the question of whether or not to fire the graduate assistant coach who reported seeing Jerry Sandusky rape a 10-year-old but did nothing to intervene (he failed “to meet the higher moral obligation.”)
Sadly, it appears the man who became Pennsylvania’s governor in 2011 failed to meet a higher moral obligation as well. For at least six of the 15 years Jerry Sandusky is alleged to have molested children, Tom Corbett was Pennsylvania’s attorney general, the top law enforcer in the state. The case began, then stalled on his watch.
Corbett’s priorities towards the end of his AG tenure now seem more curious: he used the grand jury not to finally close in on Sandusky, but to launch a criminal investigation against two anonymous political critics and to subpoena Twitter to reveal their identities.
Gov. Corbett has spent much of his time since the Penn State scandal erupted dodging personal questions by saying he isn’t allowed to talk about the case because of grand jury restrictions.
Although various Sandusky molestation reports had been kicking around for years, the case officially landed on Corbett’s desk in 2009. According to the New York Times, officials at Clinton County high school had reported charges to the local district attorney that Mr. Sandusky had molested a boy there, but, citing a conflict of interest, the prosecutor passed it on to the attorney general’s office to investigate.
Corbett did convene a grand jury back in 2009 which begs the question: why didn’t he bring an indictment?
It’s hard to say. No one has pressed him for an answer.
Instead, reporters have accepted surrogate impressions. The New York Times, for one, quoted Kevin Harley who worked with Corbett during his years as Attorney General is now the Governor’s press secretary: ”He knew what witnesses were going to the grand jury even though he was running for governor. So then he became governor, and he knew at some point that this day would be coming. He just didn’t know when it would be.”
Was running for governor too much of a distraction to bring even the most difficult of grand jury cases forward after more than a year?
David Gregory began his interview with Gov. Corbett with this extraordinary puppy pass:
MR. DAVID GREGORY: Governor Corbett, welcome to MEET THE PRESS.
GOV. TOM CORBETT (R-PA): Thank you, David.
MR. GREGORY: I know you’re limited, because you were attorney general, in speaking about the criminal investigation, but I have to ask you more broadly, are there more victims that we don’t know about?
GOV. CORBETT: I don’t know the answer to that, David. When you conduct investigations like this–and in my career, I have conducted investigations like this–the more that you can get public about what has happened, the more that you can demonstrate that law enforcement and authorities are going to assist the victims of these types of crimes, it is not uncommon to see more victims come forward.
Gregory did begin to probe how Jerry Sandusky slipped through the cracks for so many years, but bizarrely asked a nine-part complex question:
MR. GREGORY: I just have to ask you as a trustee, as the governor of the state, as the former attorney general of the state, how did this happen? I mean, was this, was this a culture of indifference? A culture of cover-up? Did it extend throughout the university? Go beyond the university to the police, to the D.A.? Where?
Gregory’s failure to as a direct question regarding Corbett’s tenure as attorney general allowed the Governor to dodge the issue completely.
GOV. CORBETT: I always wait for the results of an investigation before I issue any opinions.
Why did so many reporters give the governor such softballs when there are so many pointed questions that would have skirted any legal restrictions in the case. Here are just a few:
- What percentage of the resources of your office did you dedicate to the Sandusky investigation?
- When did the grand jury looking into Sandusky begin, end?
- How many grand juries did you convene in your last two years as attorney general?
- How many resulted in criminal indictments?
- What was your pedophile prosecution record during your tenure as AG?
- When did you first read the 100-page investigation of Jerry Sandusky produced by university police?
- What actions did you instruct your office to take based on that report?
- Once you began your campaign for governor, how often did you meet with your prosecutors to discuss the road to an indictment of Jerry Sandusky?
- Did your criminal investigation that involved the Twitter subpoena result in an indictment?
- When was your last official conversation about the Sandusky case and what was discussed?
- Had you decided not to bring an indictment against Jerry Sandusky?
- What, if any, was your “pass down” advice (on the Sandusky case) to the attorney general who succeeded you.
As attorney general, Tom Corbett did create a team to go after pedophiles and other assorted child abusers, although he has more often spoken publicly about a disturbing case he successfully prosecuted as a young district attorney where a pedophile used a Christian charity to recruit his victims.
Maybe Corbett did more or tried harder than it appears. In the scheme of things, he’s probably not any more of the devil than those who did “just barely enough” under legal obligations. He’s also not any less of an ostrich — or a coward in his failure to now say what he could have done, what he should have done and what laws must be changed tomorrow.
After we ask the right questions of our elected officials, perhaps we can find out what Dottie Sandusky knew and when she knew it.
Poor Gloria Cain. I’m afraid Herman Cain’s wife of 43 years is about to suffer some of the indignities experienced by the women who have accused him of egregious groping and abuse of power.
There will be many who won’t believe Gloria Cain’s words, many who think she’s only speaking out for her big payday in the end.
With his poll numbers dropping ever since multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment, candidate Cain has now brought his wife to Greta.
And so, the political wife who has stayed in the background now breaks her silence.
“You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that’s totally disrespectful of her as a woman,” she says. “And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women.”
“I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said,” she says.
Is Gloria Cain a shrewd political wife? Or is she like so many others who never see any wrongdoing either because a) they’re too trusting or b) they are married to a charmer who wears a “mask” at home or c) all of the above. Read the rest of this entry »
LAZY REPORTING, DISLIKE OF BACHMANN FUELS CONTINUED FOG OF PHARMA
Has broadcast news been consciously or subconsciously bullied, compromised by the large amount of ad dollars pharmaceutical companies have pumped into their shrinking flagship programs?
Or was it just too hard to resist focusing on another Michele Bachmann gaffe instead of the most important thing she, or just about anyone has had to say in the Republican campaign for president: that government should not mandate vaccinating our daughters with the controversial drug, Gardasil®.
Some people have all the luck and Dominique Strauss-Kahn is one of them. He’s had good political fortune. He married a billionairess. Now, it turns out, the 32-year-old housekeeper, who accused him of raping her on the job in the Sofitel Hotel, looks like a terrible witness. In fact, if you listen to all the current cable chatter, you’d think she could be the one heading to jail. Read the rest of this entry »
He Called the President WHAT!?
I heard it myself. Today, MSNBC’s senior political analyst, Mark Halperin said President Barack Obama “acted like kind of a dick yesterday” while discussing politics on “Morning Joe.”.
Joe Scarborough seemed genuinely in a panic over Halperin’s language, as he scrunched his face and barked instructions to his control room, “Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing? I can’t believe … I was joking. Don’t do that. Did we delay that? Did that work?”
(Scarborough earned his seven-second delay button, along with a knuckle rap from his bosses, back on November 10, 2008 when he dropped an F-bomb, live on the show. )
Mika Doesn’t Like the “D” Word
As soon as this morning’s “d” word was uttered, Mika Brzezinski recoiled in a full body cringe: her left arm went over her stomach, she turned her head away from Halperin and buried her face in her right hand, all within a split second moment of embarrassment and revulsion. Read the rest of this entry »
The headline on the magazine’s website reads:
HELLO! exclusive: Mildred Baena, the housekeeper who had a child with Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks out for the first time
HELLO! then says that Baena has come out of weeks of hiding to “set the record straight” because of all the fictitious stories circulating in the media. This, they add, will be her first and only interview exclusively to HELLO! magazine.
My first question is: how much was she paid and why would she choose a British publication over an American one if she needed to separate fact from fiction.
Perhaps those fictitious stories included the widely published one that she had to pull her son out of school and deprive him of his middle school graduation to protect him from potential media exploitation. (Imagine those animals lying in wait to grab a photo of the illegitimate Schwarzenegger child and zap it around the world for all to see!) It turns out the likely reason the boy missed that special rite of passage was because his mother wanted to exploit him herself, selling that exclusive mother-son photo to HELLO! — presumably the highest bidder.
Photo: © David Schumacher
CALLING STEPHANOPOULOS AND OTHER WEINER SYMPATHIZERS
Well, if this batch of TMZ pictures isn’t the end of the road for NY Rep. Anthony Weiner, we’ll have to re-write the House Rules, the Articles of Impeachment and maybe the U.S. Constitution to offer us justice, domestic tranquility, and a common defense against exposure to any more narcissistic, self-possessed, self-absorbed, self-snapped photos of Anthony Weiner. I don’t know which tweet repulses me more: the original photo of his nipples or of the newest release where the naked congressman is seen using his penis as a towel hook in front of a mirror in the gym in the House of Representatives. If ever there was proof that all men are not created equal, it is an elected official who worships his own body as if it had served as Michelango’s model for the statue of David. Read the rest of this entry »