Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Out-Foxing Fox

Penn State Outfoxes Fox News
by Dick Mac

Penn State's ComRadio released an "exclusive" audio clip last night.  They were lucky enough to get a personal statement from convicted child-rapist Jerry Sandusky, on the eve of his sentencing.

This was not an interview, or any journalistic endeavor.  This was a three-minute, rambling diatribe allowing a criminal a forum to excuse himself.  He was already given this opportunity in the appropriate forum:  the courtroom.  In a legal maneuver, Sandusky refused to make any statement, and refused to take the stand, at his trial.  That is his right.

It is also ComRadio's right to air pretty much any crap they want to air.  One only need look at the example set by News Corporation's Fox News outlet to see that anyone can air any crap they want.  ComRadio has taken this paradigm to the nth degree, and given a convicted rapist a forum to accuse his victims and proclaim his innocence, unchallenged.

This is not journalism.  This is not news.

Given the criticism of Penn State's handling of, and cavalier attitude towards Sandusky's behavior and crimes, ComRadio shows that the University is still unable to accept their failure and shortcomings, and take responsibility for their role in this unfortunate series of crimes and punishment.  They still need to paint Sandusky as a guy who was just helping some underprivileged kids.  This broadcast further taints the University, and shows them as criminals continuing to cover their tracks.

To grant a convicted rapist a forum in which to claim innocence and denigrate his victims, after he refused to make those proclamations under oath, in a courtroom, is beyond the pale.

Does ComRadio plan to give each victim the right to sit at home and produce a three-minute audio tape that makes baseless and lass-than-factual claims about Sandusky, then air it unchallenged on their network?

Of course not.

By granting Sandusky this forum, ComRadio and Penn State have drawn a line in the sand.  They stand on the side of the line that supports Sandusky's claims of innocence, at the expense of his victims.  Penn State continues to spin this as if something is wrong besides this man's crimes and their complicity in covering-up those crimes.  Let's be clear:  the only wrong decisions made and the only crimes committed here were made and committed by Penn State and its employees.

This broadcast was irresponsible, at best.  That irresponsibility should be a news story, not the content of ComRadio's exclusive three-minute audiotape.

I don't think that even Fox News would stoop this low.

ComRadio audio exclusive: Jerry Sandusky statement from jail

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