We’ve seen documentary filmmaker and Paterno supporter John Ziegler making the rounds of the all too willing mainstream media of late, no doubt to promote his forthcoming film on the framing of Joe Paterno. Waving a three-hour-plus personal interview with the Tickle Monster in their faces provided appropriate bait to the sensationalist scumbags of the Fourth Estate. NBC and CNN slurped it up, giving Ziegler the national platform he craved to expand his sphere of influence far beyond the Paternoist backwater caverns of the PSU blogosphere.
“Quoting Sandusky as saying that Paterno didn’t know about the sexual abuse allegations is like saying that the iceberg didn’t mean to cause the sinking of the Titanic.” —Holly Swanson, StateCollege.com
Drunk with the success of this ploy, however, Ziegler might have done himself considerable harm by attempting to leverage his knowledge of the Sandusky victims. Exploiting Sandusky is one thing, although the verdict in his child sexual abuse case has rendered anything Sandusky says as self-serving bullshit. It is quite another thing to blackmail victims of Sandusky’s abuse, which is precisely what Ziegler did by threatening “Victim Two” with exposing his name if he did not submit to an interview with Ziegler. If Ziegler is seeking to obtain friends and supporters, this is a pretty funny way of doing it.
Holly Swanson of StateCollege.com has expressed her negativity toward Ziegler’s recent departures from propriety in this morning’s piece entitled “When the search for facts trumps the facts themselves: Filmmaker Goes Too Far by Naming Names“. This turkey agrees with much of what she wrote. Ziegler needs to understand some boundaries here. As we mentioned in the previous post about Ziegler, public sentiment is not likely to turn in Penn State’s favor anytime soon, and Ziegler’s shenanigans are doing their part to keep the wounds open and festering in the public’s mind. Ziegler was on a good course with his vendetta to clear Joe Paterno’s name, but he took a turn southward with his heavy-handed tactics. Both the Paterno family and Penn State have distanced themselves from Ziegler through their spokespeople. Swanson agrees.
I support the effort to look closely at the media reaction to the Sandusky scandal and to examine the errors of the Freeh Report. And, most importantly, to educate ourselves about child sexual abuse and how it happens. But focusing on getting the exclusive or developing new theories that aren’t central to the goal isn’t moving us any closer to the truth. I don’t think the Paternos or Penn State needs this kind of help.
Why do people become so full of themselves that they shoot themselves in the foot? Maybe Plaxico Burress can tell you.
We need to get back to football soon! This Sandusky/Freeh/Paterno stuff is really annoying, right? I can stop anytime. Really, I can. I wanted to get out but they keep pulling me back in! Aaaaaaargh!