The New York Times Magazine carried a paen, July 16, to disgraced former Penn State President Graham Spanier, by Micahel Sokolove.
Sokolove practically acquits him of the charges filed against him stemming from his handling of reports that one-time football coach and retired faculty member Jerry Sandusky was abusing children.
The charges were filed on Nov. 1, 2012 and are one count perjury, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, two counts of criminal conspiracy, which are all third-degree felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines; one count of obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function and one count of criminal conspiracy, both second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to two years in prison and $5,000 fines; and one count of failure to report suspected child abuse, a summary offense punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $300 fine.
“The case against Spanier is at best problematic, at worst fatally flawed,” Sokolove says.
Sokolove writes about how the 66-year-old Spanier’s father flew into a rage at everything and beat him and made him eat everything on his plate and sometimes sent him to bed without dinner.
Sokolove writes that Spanier grew Penn State “from a remote outpost of American higher education into a top-tier public university” and had some of “world’s most decorated architects” design the new buildings on his watch.
He writes that Sokolove “paid his own way through Iowa State.”
Regarding the e-mails that led to the charges, Sokolove says that Spanier says he has no memory of writing it but that using the word “vulnerable” as in “The only downside for us is if the message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road” was a bad idea.
And he blames the late Joe Paterno, anyway.
Maybe Sokolove’s biggest journalistic failure was his omission of any reference to the John T. Neisworth matter in which Spanier was told by a young man in 2002 about how Neisworth, a respected Penn State special education professor who literally wrote the book on autism, molested him. Neisworth would make a six-figure cash settlement to the man.
The contact was made with Spanier two weeks after Spanier had been told about Sandusky.
The New York Times whitewash is almost enough to make one take David Icke seriously.
New York Times Graham Spanier Whitewash