Chris Matthews on the need to talk about the Sandusky trial


Let me finish tonight with this Sandusky case, this whole Penn State mess.

It’s interesting, don’t you think, that this is the first such case that we’ve really covered on television. It’s the first time we’ve heard the graphic details of what goes on in these cases. We’re learning what the charges are, what the conduct that’s being alledged really was. We’re getting the skin-crawling truth, and it’s about time.

Journalism has to be respectful. I understand that. But for years, these cases of adult sexual abuse of children has been softpedaled in the media. We’ve gotten used to words like “molested” without any idea of what’s being described. There’s been too much avoidance of what should have been described clearly. The result has been an unintentional downplaying of the charges.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this has helped the perpetrators, and those covering up for them escape the full public outrage, and with it rebuke, that finally occurred but didn’t for so long in such cases. I’m referring to my church here. Like so many millions of others, I never got the picture in the early going. I never understood what was going on in these cases of priests abusing altar boys, never could get my thinking around it properly because of the hesitant manner in which the cases and allegations were reported.

This case in Pennsylvania up in Centre County is teaching us all what crime looks like — serious crime. There will be no more averting our glance after this. No more of that, thank God. From here on in, the people are going to know and the criminals are going to pay.