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The Freeh Report and Joe Paterno

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Part One: The Philadelphia Inquirer Mangles the Flawed Freeh Report

What do you do when reporters from a major metropolitan daily newspaper--in this case, The Philadelphia Inquirer--demonstrate that they are completely incapable of reading a published report--in this case The Freeh Report--and providing their readers with a coherent summary of its contents? What do you do when the egregious misreading of that report by these reporters presents its readers a very false picture of how officials at Penn State handled Mike McQueary's allegations of child molestation by Jerry Sandusky in February 2001? Perhaps you would recommend that the Philadelphia Inquirer receive the "death penalty" and not be permitted to publish its sludge for a full year!

Readers of my website might recall that, on 9 February 2012, I wrote a scathing critique titled "Incompetent Journalists at the Philadelphia Inquirer Slandered Joe Paterno". Especially outrageous was the Inquirer's 4 December 2011 editorial, which asserted: "Instead of alerting authorities, university officials and staff participated in what has all the markings of a cover-up. Their dismissal of the reported rape of a boy in a locker-room shower as mere "horsing around' was an outrageous example of a mind-set that the university must now eradicate""

As we now know, thanks to my investigation into that "reported rape," the Editorial Board's outrage was misplaced, directed at a pseudo-event created by the person who falsely summarized McQueary's testimony in the grand jury presentment. As I made very clear in my article, "Three False Assertions by the Grand Jury turned the Press and Public against Joe Paterno and Penn State," McQueary's first-hand sworn testimony contradicted the summary of his testimony found in the widely reported grand jury report.

McQueary's first-hand testimony contained his assertion that he "did not see insertion," He also insisted that he never used the words "anal" or "rape"-- since day one. Finally, McQueary testified that he never used the words "anal intercourse," "anal sex," or "rape" when reporting what he saw to Paterno, Curley and Schultz. In fact, the jurors who convicted Sandusky multiple times found him not guilty of the charge of anal rape of Victim 2.

The Philadelphia Inquirer never took any steps to correct the record, notwithstanding my repeated emails to its reporters, columnists and editors.

Nevertheless, one longs for the abysmally poor journalism practiced by the Inquirer then, especially after reading the garbage that is found under the Inquirer's front page headline for Sunday, 15 July 2012: "The Penn State Paper Trail."

Consider the first two paragraphs of that article: "Three days after Mike McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky molesting a boy in a shower in 2001, two top administrators at Pennsylvania State University had begun to craft a plan."

"They would not notify authorities."

The reporters who reached this conclusion--Jeremy Roebuck and Craig R. McCoy--cited a memo dated 2/12/2001, written by Penn State Vice President Gary Schulz as proof. The memo states: "Talked with TMC [Athletic Director Tim Curley] reviewed 1998 history.
- agreed TMC will discuss with JVP [Joe Paterno] + advise we think TMC should meet w JS [Jerry Sandusky] on Friday.
- unless he "confesses' to having a problem, TMC will indicate we need to have DPW [Dept. of Public Welfare] review the matter as an independent agency concerned w child welfare
- TMC will keep me posted."

If this memo supposedly proves that "They would not notify authorities," my first questions for Messrs. Roebuck and McCoy are these:

1. What were the chances of Jerry Sandusky actually confessing?

2. Has Sandusky ever confessed?

3. If the probability of gaining his confession was extremely low, doesn't that mean (according to the very memo you cite) that the next step would be to tell Sandusky that this matter will be turned over to the Department of Public Welfare?

4. Is there any evidence in the memo to indicate that Schulz and Curley had no intention of carrying out their threat?"

5. If the Schultz's 12 February 2001 memo proves, as you allege, that "They would not notify authorities," why did Schultz call the University's outside legal counsel on 11 February 2001 to discuss "Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse? Why waste the time, if you have no intention of reporting the abuse?

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Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San (more...)
 
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I appreciate all of your work on this and would li... by Barry Bozeman on Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 7:39:12 PM
I know we've talked at least once before and I've ... by Walter Uhler on Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 8:25:26 PM