“The Daily Show” host has a few words for students who flooded the streets of State College in support of Joe Paterno.
The attention-grabbing nightmare at Penn Sate University has been dominating news headlines, talk radio and water cooler discussions. Over the course of the past week the president of the school has resigned, the athletic director has stepped down and legendary coach Joe Paterno has been fired. The scandal surrounding former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse of multiple young boys is perhaps the worst in college sports history. According to the grand jury documents multiple high-ranking officials at the nationally renowned university turned a blind eye to Sandusky’s horrific and unforgivable actions in an effort to keep the reputation of their school and their infallible coach intact.
The result of Sandusky’s disgusting behavior and the school’s subsequent coverup has been the equivalent of nuclear fallout on a college campus — it has been a public relations disaster of historic proportions. The failure on the part of the administration to report Sandusky to the proper authorities is criminal, and Paterno’s complacency since 1998 when he first knew of his assistant’s actions is equally terrible.
As Jon Stewart pointed out, the thousands of students at Penn State who rioted in the wake of Joe Paterno’s firing claimed it was unjust after all he had done for the school. The real injustice is what happened to the children who continued to be raped and abused by Sandusky because Paterno kept his mouth shut over the years. Sure, he reported the offense to his superior and fulfilled his legal obligation, but morally and ethically, he is guilty as sin.
Speaking of sin, the Sandusky situation and the school’s coverup has drawn many unflattering comparisons to the Roman Catholic Church, however no one has made the analogy more eloquent or heartbreakingly poignant than Stewart.