A caller to our newsroom complained about the extensive coverage of the Jerry Sandusky trial, about the sordid details of sex and abuse.
“Put it below the fold,” he said. “We don’t need to see that.”
Don’t need to see it? On the contrary, it would seem we need to see more of those photos of the former Penn State coach and his lawyers entering the courthouse.
We need to read the ugly testimony of the alleged abuse of young boys, and we must be told again and again how Sandusky reportedly stalked kids through The Second Mile.
We need to read more about how the top officials at Penn State apparently went to great lengths to cover up allegations.
And we need to remember.
We need to remember the alleged abuse of these kids every time we see a neighbor child who is out of sorts, who seems to be especially angry or depressed.
We need to remember the vile details of the shower abuse every time we see an adult look at a child in an odd way.
Put it below the fold? Please!
This whole sordid affair has been out of sight for too long.
We need to think often of Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and Graham Spanier — once pinnacles of the Penn State community — reportedly exchanging emails about how it would be “humane” to Sandusky to keep his alleged affairs to themselves.
Humane to Sandusky! We must remember the school officials — yes, even the parents — who refused to listen when children built up enough courage to cry out for help.
We must think of those decisions whenever we’re tempted to look the other way when a co-worker says he or she is being sexually harassed, or when our instinct is to hush the employee or staffer who realizes that the numbers just don’t add up.
We must think of the situation and be angered.
And that anger must become action whenever we see a wrong being committed and feel tempted to not get involved.
We must read more about family and community members who may have decided to look away instead of acting on instinct, or perhaps based their inaction and indecision on Sandusky’s reputation.
And we must recall those stories when our own child complains that a neighbor is acting strangely, that a relative touched him or her in a way that felt wrong.
At the top of the front page?
Yes, that is where the Jerry Sandusky story belongs — right there where everyone can see it.
Until we truly understand what happened here.
And until we are all committed to making sure it never happens again.