Ten days ago Harvey Araton, a New York Times sports columnist, mentioned to me on Twitter that his first attempt at a column on the Penn State scandal – written within 24 hours of the indictment of Jerry Sandusky on child molestation charges and of university officials on perjury charges – got spiked by the editors because Araton has a son who is a student there. Araton added that he was working on an “angle that would get around the conflict of interest concerns.”
Today The Times published a column by Araton headlined “They Are Still Penn State, but They Aren’t the Same.” See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/sports/ncaafootball/they-are-still-penn-state-but-it-will-never-be-the-same.html.
With no disrespect intended to Araton or his family, I think this piece is a dud. Last Monday, on NBC’s Rock Center, correspondent Kate Snow did a piece about how her father, a Penn State professor, got his feelings hurt by the scandal. Araton now writes about how his son Alex got his feelings hurt by the scandal.
“Demagoguery dies hard,” Araton père sums up.