WALLACE: Should actions be taken against the charity or the CEO who allegedly was told about some of these abuses as far back 2002?Did Corbett just reveal that there were other individuals within Second Mile who functioned in grooming children for Sandusky?
CORBETT: ... I'm going to be very careful here.... If you talk to people who have worked with Second Mile, it has done great work.... But in this case, as the allegations indicate, some of it was used to pick on some children and the term was used, grooming, groom those children for Mr. Sandusky's purposes.
Corbett also appeared on "Meet the Press" this morning, and I thought David Gregory was much less successful in breaking through Corbett's controlled facade. It was interesting to compare these 2 interviews. Gregory expressed outrage on behalf of the children. ("You have to understand people, those of us who are parents, including myself, I have a nine-year-old boy at home....") Wallace, by contrast, came off at first — to my ear — as a Paterno fanboy. ("But, Governor, let me point out -- these are just allegations. Joe Paterno, who had spent half a century at Penn State, did not have an opportunity to offer a full defense. Why not let him finish his season and retire as he offered to do?")
I don't know whether Gregory and Wallace were showing how they really felt or using a strategy to lure Corbett into making revelations, but the Wallace interview was more revealing.
ADDED: Wallace also interviewed Franco Harris, a football star who came out of Penn State, and he seemed very much in service of the pro-Paterno attitude that I thought I detected in Wallace. It got a little odd when Wallace grilled Harris about the distinction — a vitally important distinction — between criminal law and morality.
WALLACE: Franco, Joe Paterno may have followed the letter of the law, or complied with it by informing his superior. But on a moral basis in the end, he was fired because of his failure not any kind of legal breach. Shouldn't he have called the cops when he heard about this abuse, or at least followed up with the person he tell the athletic director to find out where this investigation stood?Harris's perspective, which looks benighted today, is exactly the way the NYT presented it in one its earliest reports, as I discussed here ("NYT says Joe Paterno "not implicated of wrongdoing in a grand jury report.") Later, Maureen Dowd — in the NYT — focused on the moral requirements that transcend law.
FRANCO HARRIS...: Hey, Chris, let me go back for a minute. As you know there was a grand jury investigation, and at the end of that investigation, they found that Joe Paterno cooperated fully with them and had good testimony and there was no charges against Joe Paterno.
And then, all of the sudden, something came out about a moral obligation, and everybody jumped on that. And everybody said it should be a moral procedure. It should be a moral procedure. And like that is subject to people's own train of thought with that.
So, I thought that was unfair and I think it is unfair how people were treating Joe with this issue, because Joe is highly moral person and great moral character. And so, it's very disturbing to me when somebody said this, everybody else jumped on this.
On "Meet the Press," David Gregory, talking to E.J. Dionne and David Brooks, brought up the Maureen Dowd piece, which, he said "helped to really sort of bring it home to me." Brooks took the opportunity to generalize:
I don't think it was just a Penn State problem. You know, you spend 30 or 40 years muddying the moral waters here. We have lost our clear sense of what evil is, what sin is; and so, when people see things like that, they don't have categories to put it into. They vaguely know it's wrong, but they've been raised in a morality that says, "If it feels all right for you, it's probably OK."... If you're alert to the sense of what evil is, what the evil is within yourself and what evil is in society, you have a script to follow. It's not a vague sense. You have a script to follow. And this is necessary because people do not intervene.We don't know what sin is anymore. That's vaguely crazy when we're talking about raping a 10-year-old child, but Brooks seems to be working on some larger, brooding meditation about what's wrong with all of us these days.