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Poll Shows National Ignorance In Sandusky Scandal

A recent poll led by Paterno supporter John Ziegler and the WPA Opinion Research firm show that nationally, most people are misinformed about the Jerry Sandusky scandal and more specifially, Joe Paterno’s malfeasances.

Most shockingly, according to the poll of 1000 randomly sampled adults, 28% of America believes that Joe Paterno was accused of molesting children, with an additional 15% unsure. That means 43% of America isn’t completely sure that Joe Paterno was never accused of molesting children.

Some other unfortunate nuggets:

  • 41% believe that Jerry Sandusky was still an assistant football coach when Mike McQueary saw him molesting a boy in the locker room. 34% were unsure, meaning only 23% were correct when they responded that Sandusky had already retired.
  • 87% of respondents either didn’t know or incorrectly stated that Victim 2 — the then-unidentified boy McQueary saw in the shower with Sandusky — came forward and testified at trial.
  • 79% of respondents incorrectly answered “yes” or were unsure of the statement “The Freeh Report found emails written by Joe Paterno directing a cover up of the scandal.

The full results of the poll can be found here.

What the results seem to indicate is widespread national misinformation, as perpetrated by the media. Indeed, it’s not hard to see why people tend to answer negatively about Joe Paterno when the national media — specifically ESPN — have incorrectly focused the story on him over the last nine months.

And when the Freeh report came out that indicted and addressed Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and the Penn State culture at a much higher level than Paterno, the national focus for days was still squarely on Paterno — a man who was no longer around to speak up for himself. In fact, throughout the 267-page report, the most damning evidence against Paterno are a couple notes that indicate that “Coach” is interested on how things were going during the 1998 investigation.

It may be important to note that these poll results were commissioned by John Ziegler — a staunch  Paterno supporter and proprietor of the “Framing Paterno” website. However, the poll was conducted not by Zielger, but by Wilson, Perkins, Allen Opinion Research, so there is reason to believe that the results hold impartiality.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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