Thursday, August 02, 2012

Penn State Crimes, Moral Failures & Journalism Part 2 - on Joe Paterno & Freeh report

After the Penn State scandal first broke and now convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky was indicted, I did the blog post "Penn State Crimes, Moral Failures & Journalism" linking to a few pieces of great writing on the horrific subject. It's now been a few weeks since the Freeh report came out putting a large amount of blame on late coach Joe Paterno for knowingly covering up Sandusky's crimes and especially in the few days after the report published, there was some new remarkable writing done that's very much worth linking to.

The first two pieces that come to mind were by preeminent sports writers on how they were deceived by Sandusky. Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post wrote "Joe Paterno, at the end, showed more interest in his legacy than Jerry Sandusky’s victims" and Rick Reilly "The sins of the father" for ESPN. Both were very well written and an additional column that stood out at the time was "The Deadspin Five-Point Plan To Rescue Penn State Football" by Drew Magary for Deadspin. Magary generally writes very funny stuff and his piece was both caustic as well as seemingly spot-on.

In line with my blog post idea of preserving some of the best writing on the subject were two posts I came across by others. On his personal tumbler site, LA Times writer Baxter Holmes did "Round-up of fine sentences, part 36 (feat. pieces written about Penn State/Joe Paterno)" and Wired Magazine contributing editor Jason Fagone published "The 5 best and 5 worst sentences written about Penn State in the aftermath of the Freeh Report" on his blog. Both noted some excellent work and Fagone's piece especially stood out with his analysis of the writing he found notable.

Finally, it's another approach altogether, but I thought excellent a recent ESPN The Magazine back page column by Chris Jones. Titled "Statue of limitations" it looks at the now mothballed statue of Paterno and the craftsman who built it. It was an interesting story idea and very well written work.