Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Woke Disney's Toy Department Serves Up Sentimental Hogwash

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In serving up "The Paterno Legacy," ESPN, the official toy department of the woke Walt Disney Company, has soiled itself, misled the public, and dishonored journalism. 

Don't get me wrong, what's urgently needed in the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal is a serious journalistic re-examination of what really happened there.

But that's not going to happen. Why? Because I know from my own painful personal experiences from too many Zoom conferences with several documentary film makers and honchos from TV news departments that today's cowardly woke journos are actually scared to death of this story.

So on the tenth anniversary of the scandal that was ignited by an illegal grand jury leak from a certifiably corrupt prosecutor to a useful idiot of a reporter, the woke ideologues from Disney's toy department decided it was a convenient time to reprise the scandal by allegedly reexamining the so-called Paterno legacy. But the sports reporters at ESPN clearly weren't up to the job.

Instead if educating the public about startling but long-suppressed facts contained in leaked formerly confidential records, or digging through layer upon layer of now-documented corruption in the case, the ESPN documentary had a different goal in mind. Based on the "reporting" of John Barr, the ESPN show at every turn resorted to cheap, weapy emotionalism and sensationalism, served up with a healthy heaping of intellectual dishonesty. 

The aim was to perpetuate a 10-year journalistic cover-up and completely rehash a now discredited story line that was the product of a media frenzy fueled by the hysteria and pack mentality of woke but moronic sports reporters.

As a result of shoddy reporting, the entire 48-minute Paterno legacy "documentary" can be dismissed in just two words famously uttered by Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life -- "sentimental hogwash."

Here's the kind of nonsense that went on during the "reporting" of the Paterno documentary. 

ESPN interviewed Graham Spanier, the former Penn State University president who lost his job in the scandal, on camera for more than two hours. 

To get the interview with Spanier, ESPN had claimed that they were actually looking to correct the record on Penn State, admitting that they had botched the initial story, Spanier told host John Snedden on his Search Warrant podcast last week. 

After he got through answering "probably a hundred questions with factual information," Spanier told Snedden, "none of that was referenced" during the documentary. 

Instead, when Spanier was on camera during the documentary for a minute or two, the ESPN camera focused on the ankle bracelet attached to his leg. 

Spanier had to be shackled while on house arrest after he was falsely convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, a charge that a federal magistrate correctly concluded was unconstitutional. 

"That was just theater," Spanier said about ESPN's bracelet fetish. 

The ESPN documentary reported that Spanier was also arrested for alleged perjury, but they didn't mention why that charge was thrown out -- because of the unconstitutional actions of the lead prosecutor in the case, Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina.

Fina subsequently had his law license suspended by the state Supreme Court for a year and a day because off his "reprehensible" and "inexcusable" misconduct during the grand jury investigation of three Penn State officials that he accused of orchestrating a cover up.

What Fina did was repeatedly threaten the defense lawyer for the three Penn State officials with an indictment for obstruction of justice until he got her to flip behind closed doors, and testify against her clients in the grand jury, without notifying them of her betrayal.

That's the kind of epic corruption that went on in this case, which is tainted by misconduct from every angle.

Not to mention how does a criminal defendant in a complex sex abuse case with multiple accusers go from indictment to conviction in just seven months?

He does it by having the trial judge talk defense lawyers into waiving the preliminary hearing in the case -- the defendant's only chance to confront his accusers -- and going to trial without his lawyers having the time to read thousands of pages of grand jury testimony, as well as prepare their own witness list.

Because the corrupt trial judge refused to delay the trial, even though Sandusky's lawyer repeatedly stated that the defense was completely unprepared, comparing the situation to Custer at Little Big Horn.

Why the rush to judgment? Because Sandusky was riding on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the stampede was on to save Penn State football from the death penalty threatened by the NCAA.

But don't expect a bunch of sports reporters to figure any of that out. Instead, they were more interested in getting their on-camera subjects to cry. So they could put the finishing touches on their maudlin documentary that shed crocodile tears over the lynching of the mortally wounded Paterno, previously one of the most revered men in sports, who was soon to die of lung cancer.

While it was woke journos like the sports reporters at ESPN who placed the noose around Paterno's neck.

The ESPN documentary was also happy to report that Jerry Sandusky's appeals for a new trial were all turned down in state courts. But they didn't mention that in rejecting a new trial for Sandusky, one appeals judge after another based their decisions squarely on the alleged integrity and honesty of Frank Fina, which no longer exists.

There was more intellectual dishonesty when reporter Barr attempted to cover alleged whistle-blower Mike McQueary's emails to Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach, six days after McQueary read the grand jury presentment on Penn State. 

The headline in the grand jury presentment charged that McQueary had witnessed Jerry Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the showers, a charge that even the Sandusky jury didn't buy, a charge that was eventually revealed to be the product of fiction writers in the corrupt state attorney general's office.

Barr quoted McQueary as writing, "I cannot say 1000 percent sure that it was sodomy. I did not see insertion. It was a sexual act and or way over the line in my opinion whatever it was."

But Barr didn't quote McQueary as writing to Eshbach, "I feel my words are slightly twisted and not totally portrayed correctly in the presentment."

And Barr also didn't mention what Eshbach wrote back, essentially telling him to clam up.

"I know that a lot of this stuff is incorrect and it is hard not to respond," Eshbach emailed McQueary. "But you can't."

In his crusade to uphold the existing story line, Barr also didn't mention that McQueary contemporaneously told five people what he had allegedly witnessed in the shower -- his father, John McQueary; his father's friend, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, who, as a doctor, was a mandated reporter when it comes to sex abuse; Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley; senior Vice President for finance and business Gary Schultz; as well as Paterno.

And all five men have testified under oath that Mike McQueary never told them that he witnessed anything sexual going on in the showers. Instead, Paterno, Curley and Schultz characterized what McQueary told them about as "horseplay."

ESPN also interviewed Philadelphia lawyer Tom Kline, who said of Paterno's legacy, "It's become saint or sinner." But ESPN forgot to mention the $8.1 million that Kline collected from Penn State on behalf of alleged victim Michal Kajack.

ESPN also interviewed the first alleged victim Aaron Fisher, whom a grand jury didn't believe, without mentioning the $7.5 million he collected from Penn State.

Of course it was beyond the scope of a bunch of sports reporters to disclose that Penn State had written out $118 million in checks during the Penn State scandal to 36 alleged victims.

And that the negligent Penn State board of trustees had handed out all of that cash without undertaking any of the usual methods to vet any of the far-fetched and constantly evolving stories told by the accusers.

Such as having them questioned by private investigators, deposed by lawyers, personally examined by forensic psychiatrists, and/or subjected to polygraph tests. 

Penn State didn't even bother to run any background checks on any of the alleged victims. When Snedden and I checked that out, we discovered that a dozen of the accusers had criminal records. 

ESPN also didn't blink an eye when Aaron Fisher said about his current condition, "I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot. I don't think of him [Sandusky] any more."

Fisher, like many other victims in the case, needed countless hours -- in Fisher's case, years -- of scientifically discredited recovered memory therapy from a quack therapist before he could recite his tales of abuse at the Sandusky trial. 

But according to science writer Mark Pendergrast, who wrote an entire book about the Sandusky case,   there’s nothing scientific about the claim that people can repress memories of traumatic events. 

“Everything we know about the science of memory shows that the things that we remember the best are the most traumatic events that happen to us," Pendergrast told Big Trial. The problem people have with traumatic memories, Pendergrast said, is they can’t forget them. 

“That’s what PTSD is,” Pendergrast said, referring to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “There’s no convincing evidence whatsoever that people can forget years of traumatic events.” 

But according to Fisher, the memories he once repressed about the monster who had repeatedly abused him are now so faded that he doesn't even think about Sandusky any more.

Instead, maybe he thinks about his bank account. 

The ESPN documentary also reported as fact a lot of crazy opinions that former FBI director Louis Freeh spewed at a press conference to announce his since-discredited $8.1 million civil report on what he imagined as a cover up at Penn State allegedly conducted by top officials such as Spanier.

Of course, ESPN never mentioned that besides the corrupt criminal investigation at Penn State conducted by the corrupt state attorney general's office, and Louis Freeh's flawed civil investigation, the federal government had conducted a contemporaneous but previously unknown internal investigation into what happened at Penn State.

And that a 110-page report, written by former NCIS Special Agent John Snedden, concluded that there was no cover up at Penn State because, as Snedden will tell you, Mike McQueary's shower story made no sense, and McQueary told so many versions of the shower story that he wasn't a credible witness. 

So, according to a federal investigation, there was no sex crime in the Penn State showers to cover up.

ESPN also didn't get around to reporting that although the Freeh Report was supposed to be completely independent, a contemporaneous 79-page diary written by decorated former FBI Agent Kathleen McChesney, who caught serial killer Ted Bundy, disclosed that there was rampant and regular collusion, including illegal grand jury leaks, going on between the AG's office and Freeh's investigators.

And that the Freeh investigation was personally directed by the corrupt Frank Fina, to the point where he told Freeh's investigators who they could interview and when.

John Barr knew about the federal investigation done by Snedden.

And he knew about the book written by Pendergrast. 

And he knew about the McChesney diary. 

And he knew about McQueary's claim that his words were "twisted" in the AG's grand jury presentment, and that deputy AG Eshbach had responded by telling him that he should clam up.

Barr was also made aware of many more layers of official misconduct in the case committed by prosecutors, judges, quack therapists, cops, and journalists. And then we have those two alleged pillars of virtue, ethically-challenged Louis Freeh, who had a conflict of interest because he used the Penn State "investigation" to successfully land the NCAA as a client, and of course, the aforementioned Frank Fina.  

How do I know all that?

Because I personally emailed Barr last December to divulge all of this information, and let him know that he was on the wrong track. Because it didn't take a genius to figure out that despite the claim that ESPN was going to look at the other side of the story, another sports reporter was instead going to rehash all of the same old nonsense.

"Besides being a legal travesty, the Sandusky case is a shining example of journalistic sensationalism, malpractice, and negligence," I wrote to Barr.

"That's because the entire news media, with the exception of a few bloggers, has never taken the time to investigate the original hysterical rush to judgement in the Penn State case, based on a completely false but incendiary story about a 10-year-old boy being anally raped in the showers." 

"As a side note, the reporter who was the recipient of that original leak about the boy in the showers has demonstrated once again, on the 10th anniversary of the case, why her reporting on Sandusky is false and libelous, and can't be trusted:"

"Please don't continue this shoddy and fraudulent kind of journalism," I wrote Barr, who never got around to responding. 

But sadly, that's exactly what Barr and ESPN chose to do, present more shoddy and fraudulent journalism to continue a shameful, decade-long cover up of what is now both a legal and journalistic travesty.


  1. This is an absolutely fantastic, absorbing piece of journalism from indubitably the finest journalist in the city of Philadelphia, and probably the entire United States of America. Thank you, Ralph, for your many seemingly underappreciated but superb publications. I, and many others I'm sure, greatly appreciate your diligent efforts.

  2. Great Piece, Ralph, This Post truly typifies the Power of Great Journalism, when the reporting is honest.

    Your Crusade to Free Sandusky should enlist the Kardashians. If they get killers, drug fiends, rapists, and Career Democrats off of Death Row, there may still be hope for Jerry.

    If You follow the HBO Series, Showtime, and see that the Sports Journalists who profited from slandering Jerry West and now face a Defamation Suit, are of the same School who claim Freedom to Dramatize and Destroy Lives and Careers.

    Name the School of Law or Journalism that has been supportive of Your Many Causes and I will write a fat check directed to advance the Cause of Honest Journalism not tampered with by Gangster Politicians and Prosecutors.

  3. The media loves a good story, regardless if there is little truth in it. Most journalists must be frustrated superheroes trying to save civilization. Bending the truth to fit their views on how to save us.

  4. Thank you Ralph for your dedication to true journalism, diligence in investigating, vetting your information, and fair and honest reporting. Just like the truth behind the Covid fraud..suppression of data, info and truth about vaccine
    adverse events as well as the source, spread and treatment of Covid, the truth and actual facts and evidence needs to be reported repeatedly on as many platforms as possible to as many people as possible so freedoms can be protected. We pray truth and Justice will prevail. EVERYONE needs to be aware that any one of us, our friends, or family members could fall victim to a life destroying tragedy of this kind of bias and rush to judgment. Please keep up your excellent work. May God bless you.


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