PG cartoon is unfair to Joe Paterno

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Most of the time, I find a lot of humor in Rob Rogers’ cartoons; they are funny and, to an extent, very thought-provoking. Yet I don’t find the cartoon that depicts Joe Paterno as the “see no evil monkey” (May 12) to be appropriate or fair to anyone, including Jerry Sandusky’s victims. The cartoon characterizes Coach Paterno as naive or, worse yet, a person who would intentionally turn a blind eye to heinous criminal activity.

Evidence shows that Coach Paterno received secondhand information from a staff member about a former employee and properly followed the chain of command by promptly phoning his superiors about what was hearsay at that juncture. Questions have never been answered satisfactorily as to why the initial witness, Mike McQueary, didn’t immediately and instinctively respond to Sandusky’s actions. Further, why didn’t anyone in the 14-year span when these crimes were committed, including our elected governor, the attorney general at the time, intervene sooner? Did these facts enter into Coach Paterno’s mind also as he listened, pondered and worked to internalize what really happened in the shower between Sandusky and the victim, an innocent child?

Decades of evidence shows that Joe Paterno promoted values like respect for all people of all ages, education, good sportsmanship and overall fairness, qualities that our society, particularly our youth, should be embracing.

People can only assume as to the exact content of the conversation that occurred in Paterno’s office other than Mr. McQueary’s credible testimony. Yet there is no proof that Paterno intentionally ignored or enabled child abuse to occur. Let’s call anything that would suggest anything to the contrary by what it is, “gossip.” Is it appropriate for the Post-Gazette and Rob Rogers to add fuel to a fire that directly attacks the character of people like Joe Paterno who, evidence shows, was nothing less than a model citizen and a shining example for our young people? Ultimately, should we be making jokes and laughing about a very tragic situation that hurt a lot of innocent people? I, as a longtime Post-Gazette reader, expect higher standards from your publication.

Pleasant Hills

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