Sudden Impact takes a look at some negative responses to the Sollers report (Paterno family rebuttal to the Freeh report).
We here at the Turkey, being of sound mind, try to present several angles on a story. We’ve certainly devoted a fair amount of column space to the “pro” side of the Sollers report. Now, in order to be “fair and balanced” (as Fox News purports to be), we should share some of the “con” artists — I mean naysayers — we’ve dug up around the media world.
It is late and I’m sleepy, so I won’t say much about each story. If you’re a fair weather fan, you might be driven off by some of the titles alone, but if you like to get a broad perspective on such nuanced issues, you’ll be impelled to read these stories.
First, Forbes has one entitled “Why the Paterno Family’s Rebuttal to the Freeh Report Will Not Restore Joe Pa’s Legacy.” The following sentence extracted from it will piss lots of you off: “Mr Freeh had no prior ties to Penn State, and he had no motives to draw any specific conclusions.” Then, in conclusion, the less than eloquent writer adds this sentence fragment: “Because common sense dictates that their father and husband, Joe Paterno, was among several individuals who could have spoken out and saved the lives of countless abused children.” The vvvvvvvvvvictims. Easy way out.
The New York Daily News jumps on the negative bandwagon with “Critique of Freeh Report unsuccessfully tries to portray Joe Paterno as a victim, rather than an enabler of child sex offender Jerry Sandusky,” describing the Sollers report as “an eloquent and highfalutin report drafted by a venerable white shoe law firm” and dubs it the “Exoneration Report.” Later it states that the Paternos are “pulling out all the stops to restore the tarnished legacy of their patriarch,” and “[The Exoneration Report's] authors, who strain mightily against the collective weight of the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the facts and good old-fashioned common sense, should be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.” Oh, yeah. Then, we conclude, of course, with the vvvvvvvictimmmmmmms. “Joe Paterno was not the devil incarnate. He did much good for many people. But he also permitted a child rapist to sexually assault children on his watch.” By the way, the photo of Joe associated with the story has to be the worst ever.
Deadspin.com plays it pretty straight with “What The Paterno Family’s Investigation Got Right And Wrong About The Freeh Report.” However, they dug up a pre-trial motion in the Gary Schultz case filed in September that says on Page 21, “Schultz testified that McQueary’s allegation was sexual in nature.” And in a table on Page 22, the Schultz Particulars say, “Admits it was sexual.” They include the document in their story and then conclude by saying that Joe didn’t do enough. They’re entitled to that opinion, which is shared by many people including me. Nevertheless, it’s worth reading the Schultz motion if you haven’t yet done so elsewhere.
Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst Michael McCann thinks we should take both the Freeh and Paterno Reports with a grain of salt because they’re internal investigations commissioned by groups with a point to make. He believes that the commentary by Jim Clemente was effective, though. Listen to an audio interview with McCann in which he also advises Franco Harris to lay low.
Finally, you all know that Sudden Impact likes to try to conclude with something humorous. While we were all reflecting over the Sollers report, the rest of the world was watching the Grammys. (Yeah, super-exaggeration, I know.) CBS, who provided broadcast coverage of the event, had issued an edict last week demanding “please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered.” This is the same network whose standards and practices department had forced the Ed Sullivan Show to use camera angles that would show Elvis Presley only from the waist up as he gyrated through “Hound Dog” in 1956, but I digress. Katy Perry apparently did not get the message, because her green dress exposed some succulent boobage. When Ryan Seacrest spoke with her, somewhat flustered by the shining headlights, she claimed that she was inspired by Priscilla Presley in the ’70s, although she quickly added that she was referring to “big hair.” Later, a photographer happened to catch Ellen DeGeneris checking out the situation, patrolling for other potential dress code violations (see photo). Foiled again, CBS!