When a Pulitzer-winning investigative female journalist — in this case, ex-Patriot News/current CNN contributor Sara Ganim, she of the diligent pursuit of convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky —- is harassed by a group of profane, misogynist Joe Paterno apologists, what’s the right response? Ignoring the creeps? Calling them by name out publicly? Or, if you’re Philly Mag’s Joel Mathis, you pen an open letter to Ganim’s abusers, suggesting that such grotesque attacks are bad for the school.
Let’s put aside how incredibly tedious, tiresome and unavoidable the “Paterno truther” brigade has become for anyone who dares write (or even tweet) credulously about the downfall of Saint JoePa. What even the truthers should understand is this: Fighting back against Paterno’s critics by using sexually demeaning and degrading language is really not the best way to demonstrate that you have your priorities in the right place when a sex abuse scandal—and the ease with which it was overlooked—is at the heart of the whole neverending mess in the first place.
You don’t have a ton of credibility, truthers, except with each other. You reduce it further every time you call Ganim a “bitch” or suggest she’s been sleeping around. And you reduce it when you keep your silence in the face of such misogyny, just because you don’t like Ganim and her work. All of which will actively short-circuit a renaissance for Paterno’s memory, or Penn State itself.