Or so the lyrics go…
Penn State is going through an emotional roller coaster ride right now, but to be sure, the PSU students do not deserve the bashing they are receiving from the media.
These students are young for the most part and because of that fact alone, they will make their share of the mistakes – but they are absolutely NOT bad kids – in fact, after reading numerous posts on the various PSU threads, I am confident the world will be a much safer place thanks to them and other future graduates across the country.
One thing I also know is that PSU students, fans, and alumni LOVE Joe Paterno, aka JoePa. How can anyone not love someone who has a nickname like that?
The crisis at Penn State is evolving at warp speed and people, including students, are responding in mostly a “knee jerk” reaction and then evaluating the results of their actions after the fact.
The alleged sex crimes and the rumored PSU Administration cover-up are not mutually exclusive – they are intertwined and never will one be discussed without bringing up the other. Too many in the sports news and the investigative news areas want you to think that if you are “for” JoePa then you are by default not sympathetic to the victims of pedophiles.
But from a young student’s perspective, one can be focused on the firing of JoePa without being disrespectful of the other. Are students angry – you can be sure they are? On the other hand, one might ask, are students deeply saddened regarding what happened to the young boys who are mentioned in graphic detail in the Grand Jury report? Again, you can be absolutely sure of that.
This generation of kids is not much different than other recent generations before theirs. The only difference is that we have a media who can now race to a scene with their fancy remote “news centers” to record anything and everything they can paste on Youtube and Facebook, and other Social Media sites – as well as their own cable channels. Unfortunately, the more titillating and salacious the topic, the greater chance it will go viral. In the process, the current cable media will take these stories and throw in a few of their radical bobble heads and before you know it, they will crucify a person or group and then beat the coverage to death until the story becomes way out of proportion and very soon their audiences will fall into lock step agreeing with them – no matter how far off base they are in their reporting.
So, exactly what did this terrible generation of kids do at Penn State do the other night to warrant all the negative publicity?
Jane Velez-Mitchell, of HLN fame said that “Penn State” is imploding in violence and scandal. She also said that Sandusky’s potential number of sex victims soars to 17 (based on only one source) and she said “What does it say about our society when football trumps morality?”
I have seen quite a few news videos and Youtube videos of the student protests at PSU and for the most part a good percentage of the students were wandering aimlessly – some in shock because of what they were seeing. Very few students were “rioting” per se – the majority were protesting the fact that JoePa was let go and they wanted answers and were willing to do, in their eyes, what was necessary to get answers that they needed to better understand the whole situation.
Okay, I will put myself out there and say that I admire them for wanting answers and insisting that someone take the time to give them honest answers.
So, the one thing that set off the media bobbleheads was that a news vehicle was overturned in the street. Wow, (in the eyes of the media) those who did that should be put away FOREVER. Yea, right! Even though there are 10’s of thousands of full time students on main campus, it is a small rural community and students were upset to see the media converging en masse to cover both the sex scandal and the alleged cover-up.
To me, these students were in shock and the last thing they needed was a group of scandal seekers to push cameras in the faces of students. These students did not ask for this and they just wanted it all to go away long enough so they could get their heads back on right and come up with a plan to find out the truth.
Arnie Spanier, a radio host for Sporting News radio said (uninterrupted, I might had), “Look at the picture – look at the scene – that’s what’s wrong with America youth today. Are you kidding me, how stupid do you have to be to protest while we are TAKING DOWN A RING OF CHILD ABUSERS.” “Are you serious? They should have tear gassed those kids and split them up. Sickening. Anyone that gets in the way of this investigation, you get exactly what you deserve, we should have tear gassed the students and said “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE AND GO HOME”, you are a bunch of knuckleheads.”
The above paragraph is an exact quote of Arnie – please do not misinterpret any of it as mine. (even though I ramble at times and sometimes leave people confused as to where I stand. I am still learning to be a blogger – so hang in their with me – I am one of the good guys and I will always stand up for the underdog and not let any lies get in the way. I promise.
Jane never interrupted Arnie – nor did she take exception to his inflammatory remarks – nor did she come to the defense of the PSU student body – in fact she was eating up the “riot” videos while wearing her normal half smile and thanking God for the PSU scandal because it put her in the limelight for a few days.
There were approximately 3,000 students involved in the protests – the majority were standing around, some chanting, some carrying signs – and even a smaller group were actively confronting the police who were dressed in riot gear and shooting powerful tear gas canisters into the crowd. These tear gas canisters appeared to be the AK-47 of canisters because they were spraying students who were 50 – 100 feet away.
I think if any other vehicles were overturned instead of the news van, the videos would never have gone viral. How dare this hodgepodge army of angry kids go against the behemoth media companies. (per the media!)
For the past few days, I was on the PSU Facebook page reading blog after blog and the hundreds of comments each blog contained.
Believe me, these students care about the sex crimes and the young victims – they really do. The biggest problem that I see is that there were no student leaders on hand taking control and asking the protestors to take it down a notch. All the students appear to have wanted was for someone in authority to explain a few things to them. Were they asking too much? Were they asking for answers that the establishment felt they just were not entitled to ask?
The punishments “dolled out” by the Board appeared to be unequal. Two administrators who were told about Sandusky were given paid leave to work on their respective cases. Yet, Paterno, who has given almost 50 years of his life to Penn State, was told, over the phone, that he was fired. Are you kidding me?
The board also released this information to the public via media microphones – almost immediately after their decision was made. Why didn’t they sit on the decision until the weekend was over? Why didn’t they have the decency to ask JoePa to come to the Board on Monday to discuss the termination?
What was behind the board’s decision to come down on JoePa so quickly? I am beginning to smell a skunk in the woodpile.
The board was in damage control mode and would have done anything to keep the monkey off their backs.
Again, do PSU students care more about Joe Paterno coaching Saturday than they do about the victims of Sandusky’s alleged crimes? Hell no! – let me repeat that – Hell no!
It is all about timing. At the moment they heard that JoePa was fired, they attempted to deal with that matter in real time, so to speak.
Just like the defense and prosecution determine a court date and then pick a jury and then go to trial, students were trying to make sense about JoePa’s firing by the board.
To prove my point, look at all the videos of last night’s prayer vigil and you will NEVER see a student body showing so much love and compassion.
Arnie Spanier of Sporting News Radio, you owe these students an apology.
Jane Velez-Mitchell, of HLN, who hosts her own “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell”, “you owe these students an apology. You let Arnie rant for quite a while and did not offer any kind of rebuttal.”
And Jane, these students deserve equal time coverage. Show news coverage of the vigil and make sure it lasts as long as the garbage you were spewing about PSU students.
The majority of students fell in love with JoePa over the years and all they wanted was information about the sex crimes and the alleged cover up so they could understand the “divorce” that the Board was imposing between JoePa and the student body.
They knew they were going through a difficult divorce – they just wanted to know why and they were demanding answers. Was that too much for them to be asking for?