Why “Joe Pa” Deserved the Axe

Listening and reading about the molestation scandal at Penn State, I have been outraged at the worry over the “legacy” of Joe Paterno.  Sure, he is considered a legend, but he lost his place when he decided to look the other way at child abuse.  This wasn’t just a whisper campaign against Jerry Sandusky, but another trusted employee saying he saw Sandusky in a sex act with a child.  Paterno chose to not fire Sandusky, but merely pass the information up the administrative chain.  How could he turn a blind eye to a child molester?

I tried to answer this question for myself.  First, I thought about his age, but he was still in control of his mental faculties, so he did know right from wrong.  Then I thought about the differing social mores of the era in which Paterno would have developed his “moral consciousness.”  Even as late as the 1980s, spousal and child abuse were considered a “family matter.”  Still, attitudes have changed and I think you would have to have been dead to not notice the new emphasis on child and spousal abuse as personal and societal crimes.

So, I cannot give him a pass.  Not for being old or old-fashioned.  Basically, children were sacrificed to keep a coach in place.  Shame on the administration that kept these coaches on since an investigation has been going on since 2009.

On to receivers coach McQueary, another huge failure in moral character.  He says he witnessed Sandusky  having a sexual encounter with a ten-year old boy.  He was there!  He chose to do nothing, not confront the situation, not call the police and especially, not to jeopardize his job.  It has been reported in the media that he has received “threats.”  I completely understand why.  When we sit back and watch abuse happen, we are just as guilty as the perpetrator.  So McQueary can out on the side of money.

I hope there is a continued fall-out at the school.  It should not just be relegated to the sports page.  This is not a story about sports, but about human degradation and greed.

John Edwards case will come to Greensboro, NC

John Edwards can still make me swoon.  He is a vision of intelligence and vitality not seen in many politicians – present or former.  With the ruling of U.S. Middle District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles, he will now also be appearing in a courtroom near me.  Edwards, who went to court to seek dismiss the charges against him, now says “I want my day in court.”

Those are brave words.  I cannot imagine anyone on the defending side wanting their day in court.  Court is messy, emotional and the outcome is not assured.  John Edwards, from his days as a prominent attorney, knows this – yet he keeps a calm persona for the public.  I wonder, how does his former mistress Rielle Hunter feel about seeing the man she was so intimate with being brought up on charges that occurred over their consensual relationship.  Both parties knew they could be found out, Mr. Edwards certainly knew he was married and that his wife was cast in the role of saint for her on-going cancer battle.  Ms. Hunter knew about the marriage and yet she too ignored it and went along with the subterfuge afterwards.

I think they have both already made their shameful beds and have to lie in them.  I don’t see how spending thousands of dollars of public money to air the terms of an extra-marital affair does anything more than satisfy our collective urge to see the mighty stumble.  Neither parties will ever have a life without this shadow cast over it.  That itself is worth more than any money or slap on the wrist Edwards can face.

Sadly, I will still be watching this slow-motion wreck along with everyone else.