As yet another child sexual-abuse scandal begins to unwind, this one in State College, Pa., I find myself moved to ask:
What sort of person, upon entering a college locker room later in the evening and hearing “rhythmic, slapping sounds” he believed to be sexual activity, and who walks further into that locker room and sees a boy “whose age he believed to be 10 years old,” with his hands up against the wall and a man in his late 50s having vigorous anal intercourse with that boy — what sort of person immediately leaves the room, “distraught,” goes home to tell his father, and supposedly tells the head coach of the football program, but doesn’t go into specific detail, so that the coach later says he only heard the two were “showering together.” What sort of person does that, I ask you?
The reeling back, I understand. The brain does that, asks, did I really see that? But give it a few seconds, and it sinks in: I just saw an AARP-eligible adult fucking a 10-year-old. What do I do now? The fact this graduate assistant did nothing of consequence, this I find astonishing. This wasn’t a teenager, but a boy. This was rape by even the narrowest definition. Who doesn’t walk back in and break things up? And even if he had a reason to leave, who doesn’t call the police immediately? And if he had a reason not to do that, who then would tell others but somehow leave out the nature of the act he witnessed?
I just don’t believe it. If Penn State football coach Joe Paterno claims he was told the boy and his former defensive coordinator were merely “showering together,” I say he’s lying. And if he isn’t lying, he’s taffy-headed. And if Penn State doesn’t have a row of heads — taffy, silver-haired and otherwise — on pikes by the end of the week, then I guess we have a situation like that Stephen Colbert quote people keep passing along, which I will modify to suit: That either we accept that criminal sexual abuse of children is wrong and we are morally and legally obligated to stop it whenever we can, or just admit that when it conflicts with the interests of the most powerful church in the world, or a college football program, we simply don’t want to do it.
What’s most disgusting is the fact the boy in this case was one the alleged perp, Jerry Sandusky, found through his special charity to help “at-risk” kids. I’ll say they’re at risk. And the thing is? Predators know this, and cut kids like this out of the herd like jackals. I recall a case in Fort Wayne, a lawyer of extremely minor reputation who would contribute columns to our op-ed page. He owned rental property, and one day he put aggressive moves on the daughter of one of his Section 8 tenants, pushing her against a wall and feeling her up. Fortunately, the girl and her mother refused to be cowed by this stuffed shirt, called the law and got his ass charged.
If you want to know why youth organizations now have to have elaborate, creepy policies regarding contact between teachers/counselors/coaches and the young people they serve, now you know. Thank Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, et al.
OK, then. Eastern Standard Time arrived this weekend with the usual fun of an extra 60 whole minutes of sleep, followed by nightfall at dinnertime, and friends? Not ready for that yet.
Do we have any interesting bloggage? Let’s see…
Dahlia Lithwick hardly ever writes a lousy column, but this one, about Herman Cain and sexual harassment in general, is particularly good. And in keeping with today’s rancid theme, I might add.
If you’re young, chances are you’re worse off financially, in comparison to your elders, than any time, ever.
Gee, can you tell I hate Mondays? So have a Monday, then. I’m off to have mine.
coozledad said on November 7, 2011 at 9:30 am
I thought that was just the way we do sports in America, Nancy. Our wrestling coach carried us on a character building retreat where we were made to fetch a big marble off a block of dry ice with our ass cheeks while he looked on.
Pillar of the community, he was.
If they don’t separate that bullshit from education, we’ll wind up with a class of predatory amoral fucks shaking us down for our money.
Deborah said on November 7, 2011 at 10:04 am
My niece, my right wing sister’s daughter was sexually harassed on the job at a very large and mainline corporation, she was very young, barely 20. It really messed with her head and her mom was not very supportive. She accused her daughter of being schizophrenic of all things and made her feel like she was delusional. My niece did report the harassment and became horribly stressed. She quit her job and moved out of that city to a small town. Whenever I ask my sister how her daughter is doing these days she gets all nicey nice as though nothing happened.
Bitter Scribe said on November 7, 2011 at 10:05 am
You are absolutely 100% right about bastards like this cutting their victims out of the herd. When I was a community newspaper editor years ago, we covered a case where a wrestling coach was charged with molesting a 14-year-old boy in special education classes. Not only are these kids more vulnerable, but if the SOBs do get caught, the victims have credibility problems.
This particular bastard played the system like a steam calliope. He had been caught before, in a similar case in Wisconsin. He persuaded the Illinois authorities to give him a slap on the wrist in light of the Wisconsin situation so that the Illinois victim would be “spared the trauma of testifying.” He then got the Wisconsin authorities to drop the charges.
Oh, they can be unbelievably devious. I heard of a case where a teacher even made his students take psychological profiles so he could pick out the most vulnerable ones.
You’re also right about youth orgs having to guard against this. In yesterday’s Chicago Tribune, there was an article about “the Harvard of Santa Claus schools” wherein prospective Santa Clauses were advised never to say things like “I love children” and to wear white gloves so their hands would be more easily visible.
I hate our world sometimes. Specifically, I hate how a handful of depraved asswads can spoil things for the rest of the world.
MichaelG said on November 7, 2011 at 10:37 am
Alex, I’m really sorry for the situation you find yourself in with your spouse. The illness is terrible enough without the added insult of threatening financial woe. I hope the figure it out soon and that’s it’s not anything serious.
I’m appalled by that Sandusky story. They’ve known about this guy for almost fifteen years and nobody has done anything about him. Of course all those senior university people including Paterno know about him. How could they not? Just like the Catholics. It’s a small inbred organization and everybody knows everybody’s business. Disgusting.
Dave said on November 7, 2011 at 10:58 am
How do these people live with themselves, knowing what they know and covering it up. I can never understand that. Allegiance and loyalty to hide repulsive behavior is something I cannot understand.
Over three years ago, at my workplace, there was a huge sex scandal. Two men were fired and both were veteran employees, we’re talking about thirty-plus years. The company wouldn’t stand for it, previously, they had fired two mid-level managers for sexual harassment issues that had come to light.
I had a female co-worker tell me things that men had said to her, I asked her why she tolerated it. She told me their time would come. She, quite honestly, was rather tart-tongued herself, and may have sparked some of that. I know how that reads and what I’m saying but I don’t say that makes it right. I felt conflicted about her, I worked there a long time and she came up with some of the oddest ideas about the way things should work there of anyone I ever met. Yes, I confess to biting my tongue.
I’m straying off topic, these were all male-female issues at a place where there were few females and I wouldn’t even say that much except for my belief that no one I worked with reads nnc.com.
cosmo panzini said on November 7, 2011 at 11:14 am
Re Penn State: Before everyone jumps on the Let’s- String-Up-All-Those-Baby-Rapin-Bastards(And their enablers too) bandwagon, it might be well to reflect a bit on the position a whistle-blower (no pun intended) puts him or herself in when they report something as incredible as a middle-aged man boning a 10-year-old. Without going into too much detail here, and assuming the guy isn’t making this all up, I think what could very well happen is that the whistle-blower is put on the defensive, and is challenged to more or less prove the allegation, which obviously he cannot do. Then the shit really hits the fan as people begin to question the accuser’s imagination, or maybe something along the lines of “Is this some kind of locked-away fantasy you’re hiding here?”. All-in-all, seems like a lot of people would do what the guy did at PSU: report it, but don’t get too exercised over the whole thing. Not saying it’s right, but just sayin’.
All told, I think there’s just too much here that is not yet known to be gettin all het up.
Joe Kobiela said on November 7, 2011 at 11:19 am
While I won’t apologize for anything I have said on this bored, if you took it the wrong way sorry. I would be glad to meet up some time, but let me ask you something, reread your last post, particurly the last paragraph, why would you say those type of things to me? and why would speaking like that make me want to sit and talk to you. As far as I know since Lauria and Tony took over the airport close to 5yr ago, they clean there own toilets, and I have never had anyone clean my airplane but me, and we do not allow smoking on or near our planes. I just can’t figure where or why you come up with these things. I trulley hope your partner comes thru ok. I’ll keep you both in my prayers toward the God I believe in, and hope you can let a little of the negative thoughts toward me go.
Sherri said on November 7, 2011 at 11:31 am
I think Joe Paterno just had his Woody Hayes moment, and needs to retire. There’s no way he comes out of this with his reputation intact. Sandusky was his assistant for 30 years, and was considered his heir apparent for a while. That’s not just a casual relationship; I find it inconceivable that Paterno’s only knowledge of the situation came from a GA’s report of one incident in 2002. Especially when a high school mom reported Sandusky to the police in 1998 because of his conduct with her son, before Sandusky’s retirement from Penn State. If Paterno didn’t know about that, it’s because he didn’t want to know.
crinoidgirl said on November 7, 2011 at 11:35 am
I’ll post here so that it doesn’t get lost on the last thread, but I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, Alex. Thankfully, I work in Ann Arbor, so I’m one of the lucky few who gets to fully insure their partner. Her appendix burst a few months ago, and it would have cost us $23,000 that we don’t have to fix it.
caliban said on November 7, 2011 at 11:40 am
I’ve always found Dahlia Lithwick to be an extremely attractive woman, even before I saw her on TV. I hope she doesn’t take that the wrong way, but Good Lord, she is brilliant. I was once working for a female boss that most certainly harrassed me sexually. She was quite physical about it, and it bothered the hell out of me. She did similar embarrassing things to female co-workers. Omniverous in predation. If I had said a word to anybody, I’d have been a laughing stock.
The question I have, is how do you happen upon a grown man sodomizing a kid and not fly into a rage and beat the living shit out of the mofo? That is exactly what I would do.
Judybusy said on November 7, 2011 at 11:47 am
Alex, I’ll add my support to you and your partner right now. I hope they figure out quickly what is going on. And damn those who say we don’t deserve the same rights. I so wish I had an answer for the financial stress this is slinging your way.
Julie Robinson said on November 7, 2011 at 11:52 am
Sherri, I think you’re right, and there should be more resignations/firings to provide the program with a clean slate for the future. 30 years–there had to be suspicions.
Last week I learned that pedophiles are now targeting churches, because many do not have the same stringent background checks as other organizations. They need to be implemented NOW, as well as policies such as two adults always being present for youth groups.
Every woman has experienced sexual harassment. It’s hurtful when families won’t even acknowledge it, like Deborah’s niece. I count myself very fortunate, it happened to me in a summer job where I never had to go back.
Edit: Alex, Judybusy just said it perfectly.
moe99 said on November 7, 2011 at 11:57 am
So the media seems willing to give Herman Cain and, eventually, JoePa a pass for their behavior, or lack thereof. As someone who quit her first job as a lawyer, because my married boss was pressuring me to go to bed with him and punishing me when I said “no,”
I am damn well steamed about Cain skating past his sordid deeds and am appalled that Paterno is not being formally held responsible for his most Catholic behavior of looking the other way. I worked hard on my church’s formal policy on the guides for adults who work with our youth and these stories anger me severely.
Alex, I wish only the best for you and your partner. You are in my prayers. I hope that Joe and you will finally meet. And that it will be whatever it will be.
Off to surgery, myself this afternoon. Should be day surgery to remove a possibly cancerous lump on my head. I’ll be glad when it’s gone.
brian stouder said on November 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Moe – here’s wishing you strength (and a clean biopsy, on the lump).
Dexter said on November 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm
The wheels are in motion and Jerry Sandusky will have his day in court. I’ll be following it through the media and if Sandusky is found guilty of rape, he’ll do prison time. Let the chips fall where they may for old Joe Pa and all the others.
Child sexual abuse has been a mainstream topic for over twenty years now; at least I believe there are more reportings, more cases taken to court, than before the late 1980s.
Every so often, SARAH’s house, an organization promoting “a place to go” for an abused child,and also promoting education for the public (it’s mainly referred to as a place for victim assistance—SARAH means sexual awareness—) distributes guidelines for kids and adults when an attack has happened.
I don’t remember all of it, but kids are encouraged to report any attack from anyone, and they are told in a gentle manner that any inappropriate touching is as much grounds to report as a horrible penetration. I know, you have to think about that last one for a little bit, but I do remember that part.
It takes everyone in the family to keep kids safe. Parents who disbelieve a kid are as bad as the perp…well, almost.
In short, these cases must be reported. The families certainly are torn apart , but with treatment, life becomes better, hopefully, anyway. Is the whole topic sickening? Oh yeah, but at least the law doesn’t get to look the other way anymore. Hopefully.
Fifteen years ago Robert E. Freeman Longo, MRC, LPC, CCJS lectured locally..my wife and I went to hear him…if you can’t get enough info on this topic, here’s some more:
LAMary said on November 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm
I had a boss who wanted me to sleep with him. I said no but he told everyone I said yes and that was the reason I got a promotion. I quit.
Sherri said on November 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm
AS for the GA, he’s certainly not blameless, but there are a few mitigating factors. The GA has been identified as Mike McQueary, current wide receivers coach for Penn State. McQueary is from State College, played football at Penn State while Sandusky was coaching, and so probably did freak out when he saw his respected coach doing something despicable. I’ve discovered (the hard way) that most people won’t confront other people doing something wrong.
I can fault him more for standing by after that while Sandusky continued to be involved with young boys, and evidently not saying anything until the grand jury. Maybe he was responsible for the grand jury being called, but it still took too long.
nancy said on November 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm
So many women I’ve known through the years have stories like that, and it simply boggles the mind that pinheads like John Derbyshire can dare to say sexual harassment doesn’t exist. It’s not a matter of “paying compliments,” guys. I’ve known women who were literally chased around the desk. I’ve known women who had to hear crude remarks about their bodies. And in one memorable case, a crowd of three gathered near a woman’s desk to watch her eat her lunch (it included a banana).
Alex, you know all the above goes for me, too. I’ll call you later.
Connie said on November 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Dalia Lithwick is a brilliant writer. Caliban, why does it matter if she is attractive? Why do you constantly bring up looks and body when evaluating women, even when, like Lithwick, those things are irrelevant to what she does?
caliban said on November 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm
Herman Cain, blithering idiot.
The hilarious thing is how internet right-wingers are trying to hang all this on “MSM liberal press”, as if such a thing exists. Regular commenters on the LATimes site claim that that paper has a liberal bias. That is truly, nuts beyond salvage. Did they never read Politico? Did they hear Hermanator’s campaign blame Perry?
Good thoughts and wishes Alex.
Kirk said on November 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Moe, the notion that the “media,” whatever that means to you, are willing to give Herman Cain and Joe Paterno a pass is laughable. Last time I looked, both guys’ possible indiscretions and other problems were receiving plenty of attention, and I’d wager that much more is to come.
moe99 said on November 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Kirk, you’re right. I misspoke. The media right now seems like a group of hyperactive terriers–ankle biters. The folks that count, the Republican voters in Cain’s case and the PSU administration in Paterno’s case, seem to be willing to ignore the obvious.
caliban said on November 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm
Connie. That is nonsense, and I do not do anything constantly. (Man that would get old.) What I said about Ms. Lithwick was pretty clearly admiration for her intellect and verbal skill.
Bitter Scribe said on November 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Isn’t Derbyshire the guy who sneered at the VaTech shooting victims as cowards for not “rushing” the gunman? God, I hope that jerk finds himself in a similar situation and tries to follow his own advice.
Jeff Borden said on November 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm
John Derbyshire is a loathesome hunk of fecal matter and has been for a very, very, very long time. He is, in fact, the fine fellow who pontificated on the National Review’s website that women’s breast peak at 15-years-old and go downhill from there.
No one should be surprised to hear commentators embracing atavistic attitudes at NR. This is the publication that right up until the late 1950s was absolutely fine with “separate but equal” segregation. And yes, it was the witty and charming William F. Buckley who was editing the rag at the time.
If all that has been said of Mr. Sandusky is true, I do hope he winds up in prison for the rest of his life. It’s hard to imagine the agonies his victims will endure for the rest of their days. And yes, Joe Pa needs to go. Now.
KLG said on November 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Sherri, there are no mitigating factors, period. I don’t care who the graduate assistant is or was, or what he is doing right now. And if he is the person you mention, he will be out of a job soon and will be hard pressed to find another in coaching. Which is as it should be. If the account is true, he caught a grown man raping a small boy and did nothing to stop it. Did not immediately call the police. Effectively, he did nothing. Whether he should have flown “into a rage and beaten the living sh*t out of (Sandusky)” might be a good question. I’m not a violent person, but that seems the proper response in this case. But it takes only minimal courage to react decisively, at once, no matter how great the shock. This wasn’t two consenting adults having sex. It was child rape. To answer Nancy’s question, “…what sort of person immediately leaves the room, ‘distraught,’ goes home to tell his father, and supposedly tells the head coach of the football program, but doesn’t go into specific detail, so that the coach later says he only heard the two were “showering together.” What sort of person does that, I ask you?” That’s easy. An abject coward.
del said on November 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm
Best of luck this afternoon Moe!
I agree with Cosmo, it can be incredibly tough on whistleblowers who are frequently attacked, often lose, and are left poorer and with tarnished reputations — insult upon injury. With the Catholic church, for example, consider the thousands whose claims of sexual abuse were squelched before the floodgates finally opened.
To be a litigant requires enormous courage and fortitude, it may even require heroism.
Jim Neill said on November 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm
KLG nailed it. The victim was 10 years old, and McQueary ran away. No excuse for it.
Sherri said on November 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm
KLG, I’ve found that many people are abject cowards, especially when it comes to confronting people they’ve been taught to respect from an early age. I’d like to think that I would have behaved differently from McQueary, even as a mid-20’s GA with my coaching career on the line facing a coach I knew and respected, but at least he behaved better than his superiors in this matter.
It’s not my personality to walk away, but I’ve paid the price for not doing so, and I’ve learned not to expect that other people won’t.
moe99 said on November 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm
The wonderful sound effects guy on Prairie Home Companion died. He was a communications major at MN:
KLG said on November 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm
Sherri, you wrote the truth when you noted “that most people won’t confront other people doing something wrong.” But this was not something simply “wrong,” such as finagling the expense account, gossiping at work, cheating on a test, lying to the boss about your absence, sandbagging a coworker, or even embezzling the petty or payroll cash. It was a violent assault by a grown man on a 5th-grader. Which calls for something other than “confronting people.” Coach McQueary was a responsible adult when he witnessed this event (again, if the account is true). By not responding as a normal human being, he has destroyed something very dear to himself. And that is a tragedy. BTW, I clicked on Nancy’s link to the presentment. Joe Paterno is toast. He may have eased Sandusky out of his job as Defensive Coordinator. But at the same time he allowed Sandusky to continue his presence at Penn State, knowing something was very, very wrong somewhere. That his career has come to this end is also a tragedy. It makes no difference that he finally caught Eddie Robinson. No one will remember that. Much.
Sherri said on November 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm
KLG, I hope Joe Paterno is toast. He eased Sandusky out of his job, but he knew that Sandusky was involved with a foundation that worked with needy kids. Paterno did the minimum he thought he needed to do the protect the name of Paterno and Penn State football, not the children of Happy Valley. St. Joe, indeed.
What McQueary did is bad, but what Paterno did is worse.
alex said on November 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Thanks to all for your kind words and thoughts. My parents are putting my partner up in one of their guest rooms and the hospital is helping him get all the free meds he’ll need in order to get through the next two weeks or so of mandatory bed rest. They don’t know what it is other than that it is a viral infection causing liver inflammation, but it’s not any of the common strains known as hepatitis.
Pilot Joe, my partner cleaned airplanes there probably 25 years ago when there were cigarettes on planes (not to mention some other amazing findings at times). Sorry if I was misunderstood.
Suzanne said on November 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm
Holy cow. I missed a couple of days and had to go back and see what had gone on!
I’ve been reading about the Penn State mess. I know that at 20, in the situation that the Grad assistant found himself in, I would most likely have freaked out, cowered in a corner, tried to convince myself that I didn’t see what I thought I saw, gone home, freaked out some more, and then told someone at which time I would have beat myself up for not doing something immediately knowing that by waiting, my character and the veracity of my story would now be called into question. I would have been way, way too afraid to confront a respected higher up. Of course, I also did not play football or any other sport, which is supposed to be so fabulous for character building and the like. Or not.
I’m just sick of athletic programs getting a pass on so much so often. Our local high school has had a number of incidents in the past where student athletes are caught at loud beer bashes filled with underage drinkers, and nothing ever happens. Ever. One man who hosted an underage beer party that was busted went on to be elected to the city council the next year.
Jolene said on November 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm
The LGM post Moe linked to at #22 is on target. At the heart of the Penn State case is the desire to protect people and a program that had been allowed to become way too important. However the grad assistant reacted in the moment or the immediate aftermath, the senior people at the top of the institution had plenty of time to do the right thing, and they all failed.
Dexter said on November 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Here’s a positive , coming out of another Big 10 football camp:
caliban said on November 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm
The Cainster campaign responds:
“All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold ‘9-9-9 Plan’, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.”
Clear foreign policy vision? It that supposed to be a joke? On what planet?
Bitter Scribe said on November 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm
It’s clear if you leave out the little details, such as the president of Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan. And whether China has the bomb.
Dexter said on November 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm
And now it’s my goddam turn to vent. I am sick and tired of these Neanderthals , almost always men (such as right-wing lawyer Bill Cunningham, WLW-AM, Cincinnati) , columnists, commenters, callers… all making snide remarks about how “why is it nowadays these hot teachers are screwing their students..why weren’t teachers like that back when…” and that’s almost always what these reactionary, backwoods, stupid bastards say.
The harm done to these young boys can be equal. no…IS equal to the harm done to kids such as anal rape victims. Maybe you reading this don’t know this. Now you do.
So I submit a great big “KUDOS!” to prosecutor Michael Hess of Steuben County, Indiana Superior Court, and to Judge William Fee for getting a plea that will see a child rapist woman behind bars for twenty years for having intercourse with a boy. You will rarely see a plea getting that much time…she would never do the maximum fifty years in this society. No more mere few days of house arrest for these heinous criminals…justice is served, Steuben County style. Great job.
Sue said on November 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Moe and alex, I’m sending good thoughts your way.
It has been a depressing Monday, full of frustration and anger at the world. I for one am counting the minutes until International Nigel Tufnel Day, because we need a reason to turn it up to eleven.
Little Bird said on November 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Not to seem…. overly picky here, isn’t “showering together” with a ten year old boy kind of…. well…. creepy?
caliban said on November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm
Places to go when you win Megaabucks.
Jeff Borden said on November 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm
Little Bird, yes. Even news of that should have provoked Joe Pa to do something. Now, his legacy is not the winningest coach of all-time, but an enabler to a child rapist. If you read that grand jury report, it’s hard to keep down your lunch. This is shameful beyond measure and I’m inclined to agree with a couple of the sports yakkers in Chicago who said this story ranks with the slaughter of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and the death of the Marshall University football team in a plane crash as the worst news related to sports. Steroids? Point shaving? Recruitment violations? What are they compared to a grown man raping little boys –repeatedly– for more than two decades by using the Penn State brand to attract his victims.
And for Mr. Herman Cain? If the woman Gloria Allred represents is telling the truth, he did NOT commit sexual harassment. He committed assault. What a shithead.
brian stouder said on November 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Little Bird – exactly.
This whole turn of events just turns my stomache; and as a father, it hurts my heart.
And indeed – everyone should look upthread, and click on Moe’s link. It immediately set me to clenching and grinding my teeth – and then I got a little chuckle out of a turn in her story wherein she had stress-related jaw problems(!), back in the day
Aside from the cataclysmic (and self-administered) moral, legal, and institutional implosion over at Penn State, the ubiquitous and abusive way that men with a little bit of power routinely mistreat women generally is disheartening; and the way other men (and particularly strident women whom, one suspects, really know better) justify/rationalize/minimize/dismiss what these cockroaches do only makes it all the more depressing. (Nancy’s link to Dahlia Lithwick is not to be missed)
My wife was harassed, back in the day. In fact, the harassment was aggressive and persistent enough that it could fairly be said she was assaulted, on at least one occasion.
It is not a joke, and it is not natural; it is the essence of selfishness and inhumanity; not dissimilar to a mugging.
As for Penn State, I just almost cannot believe it. I cannot believe that one of the most outstanding institutions of higher learning in the United States of America could have allowed this sort of atrocity to go on within its walls, let alone at the hands of one of their most visible coaches, in their premier sports program.
I don’t know where this genuinely atrocious story will go from here, but whatever happens, you can just hear the apologists clearing their throats and getting ready for Act II, wherein all evil gets focused on the rapist; and dead silence or cold dismissal gets shoveled on top of any notion that a larger problem lives within the walls of that place.
KLG said on November 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm
Suzanne: Mike McQueary was 28 years old when he caught a grown man raping a 5th-grader and then did basically nothing. His career is so over, if there is any justice in this world.
Suzanne said on November 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm
OK, by 28, I would hope I would have acted more appropriately. But I agree with Little Bird. Just the fact that the guy was showering with a 10 year old after hours should have at the very least prompted a talk with Paterno and whoever else knew about it. Ick. I read part of the transcript and it turned my stomach.
Dexter said on November 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm
Boy, bad day is right,and yesterday was worse. Yesterday the news was posted on my other blog-home, craigcrawford dot com, that our blogger pal Patsi Bale Cox, the famous Nashville biographer to the Country Music world, has died from emphysema.
Pasti was friend to so many people, she was an ardent feminist, a non-repentant smoker, and we loved her stories and her feisty comments when she didn’t agree with someone…she even got into it with Craig and they only patched up their feud recently…once, she ran a bully-troll clean off the board with her wit. And oh how she loved Hillary Rodham Clinton. And now she’s gone. Two days of tributes on the blog; Christ, I wonder how many flowers are cramming into the funeral home.
Well, that wasn’t enough, no…Craig’s best friend and another friend to that blog, journalist Sean Holton, is suffering from the devastating effects of brain cancer and all the radiation and chemo from the past three years, and Craig had to fly down to Orlando ASAP…the end may be near, and Sean himself has been planning his own memorial service.
Patis and Sean, one gone and one suffering badly, and yeah, I have felt like shit for two days.
MarkH said on November 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm
Holy cow, folks. A whole passel of accomplices and enablers, and we’re singling out McQueary? The guy who finally did say something to the people he thought would care? His career, as it was, was over the minute he laid eyes on that sordid scene. He was toast no matter what action he took, or didn’t take. He knew who Sandusky was and that he would be protected, so why bother? Just shut up. But that scene was just too disturbing and I’m sure he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t do something. He just didn’t count on Paterno hanging him out to dry when he “knew” Joe would do the right thing once he was made aware and honestly report it.
I’m a Pittsburgh native and from a family with strong ties to Penn State. Two older sisters, a brother-in-law and a nephew, all with advanced degrees earned at State College. Been to the campus a number of times. We love PSU football and we are sickened by this. Beginning about ten years ago, even Paterno became a joke among us. Every year, “He’s back? AGAIN?” He can’t be that fully engaged in running the football program, not at his age, so what’s the deal? At some point, the longer he keeps this up, the bigger chance it could all end badly for him; his health suffering (which it has) a series of humiliating defeats in the way of going out on a high note (in danger of this in the last five years as well). Or just flat-out collapsing on the field. But who figured something like this? Then you read the grand jury details and none of that matters anymore. And you know that Paterno is not/was not engaged.
This Sports Illustrated article sums up the moral failure in the Penn State football program, indeed the campus and perhaps the Centre County community in general. The worst example of protecting a college football program and its icon.
moe and alex, thoughts and prayers to you both in your struggles.
MarkH said on November 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm
When I read about Cain’s 999 plan, I think if this as a response. From Inglorious Basterds. with liberties taken.
Larkspur said on November 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm
I can understand that someone witnessing this type of attack may not physically intervene. It’s scary and confusing, and you might doubt what you’re seeing right in front of you. But I can’t understand why that person wouldn’t step away to dial 911, right the hell now, even anonymously. Wouldn’t any of us expect help? Even if it appeared to be two adults. Even if it appeared to be consensual. First, how can you be sure it isn’t an assault? Second, if it’s a totally adult consensual romp in the shower, WTF? Get a damn hotel room.
But it was a child. You should physically intervene. I get why someone might not. You might panic. You might not want to have seen what you just saw. But how could a person not recognize that however uncomfortable you are with the situation, it’s a whole lot worse for that child?
alex said on November 7, 2011 at 11:57 pm
Moe, I just read your link above and it reminds me so much of what I’ve experienced. If I complained, back in the day, I was told that whatever I got I deserved for being a freak. Never mind that the people exploiting me were the freaks. (It’s true—you can be abused into the mentality where you think you deserve some of what you’re getting and that it mitigates what your abusers are doing when it doesn’t.)
Pilot Joe’s daughter works for a small newspaper chain where I got fired after a week back in 1985 because my dirty little secret got found out after a week—that I was a dog that didn’t hunt. Dex is friends with the sumbitch who called me on the carpet. After having praised my work to the heavens, the publisher called me in and told me to my face that someone had dropped a dime on me, that he knew I was a fag and that my services wouldn’t be needed. That’s when I left the state. If I had it to do over, I’d be demanding to know why it frigging mattered and how dare he make assumptions about my life if I haven’t divulged them that are none of his fucking biz anyhow.
I worked in some shit jobs as a college grad because of this kind of crap, and even there the bosses accused me of “seducing” their customers who couldn’t control themselves when drunk, or sober for that matter. If the customers did it to the women that was fine and if the female employees complained they were told to tolerate it or leave, but when it happened to me I was the villain, how dare I seduce men when they’re supposed to be doing this shit to the women.
God those were some confusing times.
Jolene said on November 8, 2011 at 2:00 am
The disinclination to get involved is shockingly common, although we’ve seen itanifest so often that we should no longer be surprised, let alone shocked.
In the DC area (Bethesda, to be specific), we’ve just come to the end of the trial for a horrible murder that involved one of the most egregious cases of bystander non-intervention I’ve ever heard of.
The actions of the higher-ups at Penn State seem to go beyond failure to intervene, shading into cover-up. But decent people failing to behave decently is an old, old story.
Dexter said on November 8, 2011 at 2:25 am
Goddam, Alex…that’s really horseshit what happened to you in 1985.
My association with him is as a sports fan of a particular baseball team, and it’s online only. Man,the stuff a guy learns here. Nothing surprises me, though, and I know how gays were treated in the workplace in that town in the 1980’s. Research was sketchy, but the humor mill sure cranked out the gay jokes, especially with the AIDS punchlines.
My friend’s first obit. She was working on a book with Kenny Rogers when she passed:
Little Bird said on November 8, 2011 at 6:57 am
Alex, that kind of treatment is appalling, there should be some recourse, lo these many years later. But alas I’m sure there is not. People need to hear stories like yours to better understand firsthand what you and many other LGBT people have been through and probably are still going through. When you hear it from someone you know (even when it is virtual) it has a lot of punch. Have others here experienced similar job discrimination?
coozledad said on November 8, 2011 at 7:42 am
From the “if a tree falls in the forest” department: If Paul Ryan and Herman Cain go to a restaurant, which one gets stiffed for the $800.00 wine tab?
Kaye said on November 8, 2011 at 9:06 am
Thanks for sharing about Sean Holton, Dexter. I’ve read his blog since you mentioned it previously and have been concerned about him.
brian stouder said on November 8, 2011 at 9:24 am
If Paul Ryan and Herman Cain go to a restaurant, which one gets stiffed for the $800.00 wine tab?
Well, I think the question ultimately becomes an ‘Invisible Hand’ issue; unless one (or both) of them thought to bring their platinum corporate credit card from their ‘Brothers from other mothers’….(but then they should have been drinking Coke)
edit: OK, the Koch brothers pun was flat, but hey! – it’s election day in Fort Wayne! Nothing as sexy as over in Ohio, but still; our mayor is about to pound lumps on the head of his otherwise sensible Republican opponent, who went all hyper-negative about 6 weeks ago, and has never looked back. This very much pleased our local hard-right am radio lip flapper, and I look forward to his sqeals of disapproval this evening and in the coming days.
Presumably Ohio will consume the whiney-right’s (so to speak) attention, in any case
edit 2: and a total non sequitur: Is anyone else put off by the conviction of Michael Jackson’s doctor? I agree he is a quack, and he should lose his license, etc – but prison? Who went to jail when Elvis died? Or the Blind Mellon guy? Or Ms Winehouse? Or – (fill in the blank). Hell, the white woman who murdered her baby was acquitted, but the black doctor seems unable to catch a break.
Jolene said on November 8, 2011 at 9:57 am
I don’t think there were any doctors present when either Winehouse or Elvis Presley died, Brian. The relation between Jackson and his doctor was a seedy one, but, even in that framework, the doctor seems to have been negligent–beginnin g w/ the idea of administering propofol in a home and proceeding through many details of ill-taken and ill-timed decisions.
brian stouder said on November 8, 2011 at 10:05 am
Oh – of course you’re right Jolene.
I just cannot resist the suspicion that the quack doctor has become an effigy for all the others in MJ’s family and inner circle, who failed him
(and come to think of it, this isn’t a total non-sequitur, given MJ’s interaction with children)
Jolene said on November 8, 2011 at 10:14 am
Probably right, Brian. Conrad Murray certainly wasn’t the first person to indulge MJ in a way that was counter to his real interests.
Also, we don’t know yet that Murray will go to jail. He probably will, but it’s possible he could be given probation.
Deborah said on November 8, 2011 at 11:07 am
That last Little Bird comment wasn’t Little Bird. She didn’t switch back the settings when she commented last. Oops.
KLG said on November 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm
MarkH: I feel for McQueary, but that doesn’t make him any less of a coward. He was in a bad situation, but he was also a responsible 28-year-old adult who witnessed a horrible assault on a small child. This was in 2002, not 1992. He had a cell phone in his pocket. The Penn State Police were only a few minutes away. Going first to his father and then to Archbishop Paterno was wrong in just about every way imaginable. And, no. I am not singling out him. But in Nancy’s words, “What sort of person does that, I ask you?” Not one who can ever be trusted again. He could have put a stop to this sordid story 11 years ago. He did not. Sorry.