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In Wake of PSU Scandal, Corbett Takes National Stage

By Natalka Karaman, Contributing Writer

The Penn State sex abuse scandal dominated the news this weekend, and a somber Governor Tom Corbett made the rounds of the national Sunday talk shows.

Corbett discussed the many ways in which he has been involved in the investigation, from the time he took up the case as Attorney General, to his tenure as Governor, to his duties as a member of PSU’s board of trustees.

Here’s what the national news audience heard from the Governor on Sunday:

Meet the Press with David Gregory:

Corbett had a one-on-one with Gregory, who asked about the possibility of more victims coming forward and if people like assistant football coach Mike McQueary who did not report accounts of sexual abuse to the police, should or should not be charge with a crime. Corbett explained that according to Pennsylvania laws regarding the reporting of sexual abuse, Paterno did exactly what he was legally required to do: report it to the institution. He broke no laws, but Gregory and Corbett wondered aloud if he fulfilled his moral obligations; Corbett expressed that he believed the law should be changed and predicted a bi-partisan effort in that direction in the near future.

The internal functioning of Second Mile, the charitable organization managed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, was also discussed. Gregory questioned Corbett about the trustworthiness of the lawyer for Second Mile, who used to be a lawyer for Penn State and was aware of some of the earlier charges, as well as about the board of the charity. Corbett stressed that this is an ongoing investigation and implied that more information will come to light in due time. The interview concluded with a discussion about a possible “culture of indifference” at PSU or the lack of communication. Corbett mentioned his first attendance at the meeting of the board of trustees on Friday to better understand how things work there, stating that people should wait until the result of the investigation to issue any opinions.

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace:

Chris Wallace’s first question was why the board of trustees had voted to fire Joe Paterno, asking what he did wrong and why Corbett had stated that they wanted to go in a new direction. Corbett responded that they had fired both Paterno and Spanier “because they lost confidence in their ability to lead.” Corbett refused to go into further detail about the board’s reasoning but said he agreed with their unanimous decision. Corbett explained that he only said one statement during the entire deliberation of the board: “We have to remember the children”.
Wallace grilled Corbett about his opinions and the alleged “secrecy” surrounding the Governor’s feelings on the case. Corbett said that he was not being secretive about his reactions to the investigation but reminded him that he is under ethical obligations and could not disclose more information. He again stressed that the investigation is ongoing and all information is not yet available.

This Week with Christiane Amanpour:

The interview began with a look at the first Penn State football game in the post-Paterno era, during which the team lost to Nebraska 17-14. Both acknowledged the outpouring of support from PSU students at the game, which included a moment of silence for the victims. Amanpour major concern was why this story had been covered up for so long. When asked whether Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, Corbett said it wasn’t for him to figure out what’s going on in Paterno’s mind.

“Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he’d just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State,” Corbett said. “And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him.”

The Govenor has had his share of positive print media as well. The New York Times ran a favorable profile about Corbett and his involvement in the investigation and how privately, he worked to move the board to fire Paterno and PSU President Graham Spanier.

It was a subject explored also by The Morning Call, which took a second look at interactions between Corbett and Spanier earlier in his term.

2 Responses

  1. Well, if Sestak runs for Governor, his “concerns” that Paterno didn’t get “due process” could be an issue.

  2. Excerpt from Rep. Marsico’s response to constituent’s request of support to HB 832 and 878:

    “During my time in the legislature and particularly as a member and now chair of the judiciary committee, I have consistently sponsored and supported legislation that enhances public safety and supports victims and will always continue to do so. I hope I have adequately articulated why I cannot support these particular bills and that you will understand that my inability to do in no way suggests a lack of support for these or other victims of child sexual abuse.”

    REP. RON MARSICO OPPOSES HB 832 AND 878 and still has not indicated, despite his opposition, when or if, he will schedule hearings for these important bills sponsored by Reps. McGeehan and Bishop of Philadelphia.

    Mr. Marsico, you describe your “inability” to support these bills; what you mean is that you have made a conscious, deliberate, thoughtful and individual decision as an elected official to oppose these legislative initiatives. You were clearly “able” and decided not to support them.

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