Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blaming Everybody

I suspect most of my readers (three of the five of you) don't know who Jason Whitlock is. He's a sports columnist who wrote for the Kansas City Star and is syndicated nationally. He also writes for, where he's been among the ignorant masses howling for Joe Paterno's head on a pike.

I usually like Whitlock. Not that I always think he's right, but I think he's a pretty straight shooter. But on Penn State he is allowing illogical emotion to run roughshod over things like reason and truth.

In a hyperventilating Nov. 8 column, Whitlock claims Paterno could have reprimanded a non-employee, knew information Paterno says he didn't know at the time, should have contacted the police with the nuclear option of all possible criminal charges based on hearsay, and somehow delegitimized every victory in a 46-year career.

In his Nov. 17 column, Whitlock defends Mike McQueary thus:

I bring all this up because I think I understand the situation Mike McQueary faced when he walked in on Jerry Sandusky allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy in 2002. I bring it up because I believe many of the people loudly and quietly crucifying McQueary for apparently doing next to nothing to stop Sandusky would make the same choice as McQueary.




He's got to be kidding me. He's got to go on a few more paragraphs before typing, "Ahhh, I'm just messing with you!" Right?

Not at all. Whitlock, the man who says Paterno's reasoned nonresponse to a rumor deserves condemnation, says McQueary's senseless nonresponse to witnessed child sex abuse deserves understanding.

Whitlock says we hate McQueary because we see ourselves in him. To which I say, don't you dare tell me who I see myself in, Jason. First you claim Paterno has some sort of moral shortcoming that should bar him from his past accomplishments, and then you claim every American has a far-worse moral shortcoming. If we're all McQueary clones, then why can't Paterno keep coaching? Whitlock isn't giving up his columnist position. Everyone's terrible, but only Paterno has to lose his job for it.

Whitlock thinks replacing an S with a $ amounts to a cogent argument. In the first article he writes, "There should be an asterisk next to JoePa’s 409 victories. And if not an asterisk, at least a dollar sign, America’s favorite religious symbol, our justification for valuing institutions more than human beings." Then in the second column he writes, "Brooks wrote that people 'suffer from Motivated Blindness.' Not that I disagree with Brooks, but I believe he would’ve strengthened his column by referencing Motivated Blindne$$, America’s most powerful force when it comes to willfully ignoring lapses in ethics and adherence to law, common decency and morality."

A kid in my fifth-grade class, Marc, had a habit of repeating things he couldn't understand that he'd heard from his grandfather. Among his repertoire was the phrase "the almighty dollar." He'd bring it out at random, hoping he might one day stumble across an appropriate setting. (Sadly, fifth-grade never yielded one.) Aside from differing in age, name, and race, I'd swear maybe Marc grew up to be Whitlock. Blaming Paterno, exonerating McQueary, blaming dollars (and calling on Obama to fix it!) seems like the work of a guy making arguments he can't possibly understand.


Kimberly said...

"Kansas City Star thats what I are" by Roger Miller.

Cristin said...

I thought that McQueary was claiming now that he DID do something, i.e., stopped the rape. Is it bad that I want to know exactly what he did. Did he scream? Yell? I don't get it. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I don't get how these people couldn't be more proactive.