Not Cease from Exploration

Monday, January 23, 2012

We're not really just a bunch of jock obsessed coal-crackers in NEPA...

...although you would not know it from the front page of today's Scranton Times, which was a full page color picture of the late Joe Paterno.

Forget the fact that we are inching towards a possible conflict in the Straights of Hormuz, as the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln crossed Iran's "do not cross" line. (see HERE).

Forget the newly tightened race for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Forget the E.U. voting on sanctions on Iran.

Forget just about anything else that happened in the world.  No, in Scranton, the single most important thing happening...so much so that it blew out all other news reports and was, by appearances, an equal event to the 9.11 attacks...was that a football coach died.

Now I am full of Penn State pride.  Unlike most Penn State fans in NEPA, I actually attended the university and proudly have my Penn State Bachelor's degree proudly hanging in my humble abode.  I am a life member of the Penn State Alumni Society, I have a Penn State license plate, and I proudly served on the Penn State Harrisburg Alumni Society Board of Directors.  I also want to add that from my youngest years I have been a Penn State fan.  Oh, and I have contributed financially to the University for many years (but not in 2011...that was another post).  In short, I am a Penn Stater, and I should care as much...if not more...than most.

I also grieve for the Paterno family.  Coal Region Voice has a great posting on Paterno HERE.  But I realize that the sad passing of a beloved coach is just that:  a sad passing.  It is not the most important thing happening in...

...Scranton
...Pennsylvania
...the United State
...or the world as a whole

Unfortunately you could not discern that fact from today's Scranton Times.

Today the Scranton Times did us all disservice by once again effectively talking down to the residents of the area.  The front page of today's paper basically treats all of us as if we are star-struck pre-teens.  The cover page was the equivalent of the National Enquirer, giving us pop culture (of which sports is a part) instead of real news.

What's that they say about "bread and circuses"?

We deserve better from our local newspaper.

2 comments:

D.B. Echo said...

Yes, the Citizens Voice was pretty much the same today, just a Joe Paterno tribute issue. The sort of thing that would have been nice as a supplement to the news, not a replacement for it. I think local news was reduced to a single page. And the whole edition felt thinner than usual.

I'm no Penn State fan, or sports fan at all, though I've always admired the culture of "scholar-athletes" that, sadly, probably died with Paterno. I've found Penn State Fandom ("WE ARE...PENN STATE!!!") to be the most annoying stuff this side of NASCAR and Pro Wrestling. Still, nothing turned my stomach and boiled my blood more than to read some of the hateful and hate-filled comments being posted on the national news sites that announced Paterno's death yesterday. (And some wags think it's clever to keep chiming in "Get your facts straight, he isn't dead yet.") I would say Rest In Peace, but apparently (according to some of those comments) that makes me a mindless cult member who supports the rape of children.

Stephen Albert said...

Joe Paterno was a great football coach who made a really big mistake. That mistake? He didn't live up to his own high moral standards. Still, if that's the worst that can be said about the man, then he did live a good life, as how many others can say that?

Yes, I say Joe Paterno's passing is news worthy, but the local newspapers payed into the very worst of what detractors say about NEPA:

...that we are superficial
...that we are uncultured
...that we don't care about what happens outside our own little coal patch.

It's never a good thing when the media reinforces negative stereotypes.