IT TOOK a lot of courage to report the Bill Conlin story, and the Inky and Daily News should be commended for not protecting one of their own. If any good has come from the Sandusky controversy, this may be it: a need for people to step forward, be heard, and for abusers to be held accountable.
I do, however, wonder what was the thought process for not allowing reader comments. I think the community would value a place to view their opinions about the story. Moderated properly, this too could be a landmark move by the paper.
Again, I think this is a rare and exemplary example of courageous reporting, and very much appreciate Larry Platt's comments in his column today. Please keep up the great work. We need it!
Mr. Platt: I greatly appreciate your honesty in this matter. Historically, I do not always agree with the opinions of the Daily News, but your integrity is one reason that I am a faithful reader.
I wish you and your staff the best as this story unfolds.
Mr. Platt: It is crystal clear how you will report on your own: three articles on Philly.com, two won't allow for comments and one story ("Papers share outrage") cannot be found! Sure, this is a server problem.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression - and the first impression is one of a journalistic, smug visage.
Stephen J. LaPenta
Mr. Platt, your editorial gave me chills as I read it. You and your staff stand as a great example of how to address childhood sexual abuse when one of your own stands accused. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I applaud your courage, honesty and willingness to stand with the victims and feel for their pain.
Hopefully, others who witness your approach will do the same.
Larry: You are no different from anyone else. In this day and age everyone is held accountable, and because your profession writes the stories does not preclude you from being the story. The Philadelphia media has blasted Penn State, Joe Paterno and, lastly, Jerry Sandusky for months and now should not sweep Bill Conlin under the rug because he is a friend, colleague and co-worker.
The double standard that exists in today's media is sickening, to where the ends are the only justification for the means. The story that was written about Penn State was more about the downfall of Paterno and not Sandusky due to the simple fact of selling papers and page clicks. You (media) camped outside Paterno's house and not the accused's house for weeks like vultures and, yet, you are going to show restraint, not pass judgment, let the "facts" come out in this case? Michael Barkann and "Daily News Live" spent a grand total of 1 minute, 50 seconds "discussing" Conlin that more or less consisted of three "no comments." Angelo Cataldi and his morning "sports" show talked about the Wing Bowl all morning and barely touched, pardon the pun, this story. Philly.com has a little corner piece of a Ford C. Frick Baseball Hall of Fame inductee who has been accused by adults, including his niece who is a prosecutor, of sexual molestation.
The media has lost its credibility, and for that I have zero respect for the profession that once was honorable. To top it off, the editor of philly.com puts a piece out there about how to cover this story. Are you kidding me? You report the whole story and nothing more, nothing less, and maybe you should think about exercising some responsible journalism in the near future so it doesn't come back in situations like this where you are even asking this rhetorical question.
Larry Platt: The subject of my letter may be confusing, but after reading your piece about the fallout regarding the accusations surrounding Bill Conlin, I just wanted to pass along a quick note congratulating you on a job well done.
For some reason it seems as though it's no longer acceptable to admit that one is in a position that he is unprepared to face. Everyone feels the need to rush out a hastily prepared, ill-conceived letter/article ensuring the public that while it may seem that something unexpected has happened, there is really a plan in place to deal with it. I see it all the time (I'm a teacher in South Jersey). Kudos on admitting that this particular incident is as unexpected as it is unsettling.
Also, you obviously did a fine journalistic job of covering the bases. I just wanted to point out the lost art of humility that you demonstrated.
Keep up the good work.