McIntyre on the Penn State fiasco

Steve McIntyre writes about what many of us have been thinking about Penn State’s failures at investigating its own, such as the appearance of a whitewash investigation done about Dr. Michael Mann and Climategate. He writes:

On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State’s hugely profitable football program. The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.

CA readers are aware of Spanier’s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:

Spanier was fired not because of any personal role in the Sandusky football scandal, but because of negligence on his part in ensuring that the allegations were properly investigated. This was not the only case in which Spanier failed to ensure proper investigation of misconduct allegations. As noted above, Spanier had falsely reported to the Penn State trustees and the public that the Penn State Inquiry Committee had properly interviewed critics and had examined the Climategate documents and issues “from all sides”.

Full story here


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Dave N

I wouldn’t want to be standing too close to Mann right now for a variety of reasons, least of which his underpants might be thoroughly soiled.
It’d certainly be a crime against nature itself if they didn’t re-open the investigation on this news.

William McClenney

OMG! The chickens be comin’ home to roost!

Leon Brozyna

When you develop a habit of rationalizing the turning of a blind eye, it has a way of coming back to haunt you.


The ethical standards that PSU applied to Mann applied to Sandusky.


Penn State has been trying to get rid of Paterno for some time. Still, it begs the question, “Why is Mann still there?”


One has to wonder how they explained to Spanier why he was being fired.
“Look buddy, the investigation into Mann was one thing, this is different. Mann is just doing climate research. So maybe he faked the results and you buried it, so what. Whose gonna care? So they tax fossil fuel until old people can’t afford it and freeze to death and poor people die of hunger because they can’t afford food anymore, yeah, that could be bad for a lot of people. But this is different. You tarnished the reputation of our football team. we’ve got no choice but to fire your sorry *ss. I mean, its FOOTBALL! How stupid are you? Get out, and take this $3 million severance package with you, you pr**k.”


davidmhoffer has said it better than I could.

Ben U.

The coverup went far and wide. Penn State is now properly referred to as Perp State. Vide Wendy Murphy recently on MSNBC.


Can we hope for some clarity and an honest Penn State President? I think covering their arses is much more important than a stupid thing call integrity.
Nothing will change in the hallowed/shallowed halls!

Doug in Seattle

I agree with Steve’s theme. If the Penn State academic and police officials would overlook something as evil as pedophilia for the sake of money, what possible scruples could they have had that would prevent them from doing the same for Mann’s rather petty crimes.

Matt in Houston

The saga of the incompetent and unethical continues. I can only imagine their will be more of these types of scandals on the warmista lefties side – this is precisely what they build with their post normal garbage science and their refusal to abide any scientific or moral principals whatsoever. Morally bankrupt disgusting scumbags. I wouldn’t take an education from Penn St if they offered to pay me. Sad, I used to consider them to be a good school.


Jesse says:
November 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Penn State has been trying to get rid of Paterno for some time. Still, it begs the question, “Why is Mann still there?”
Jesse asked
“Why is Mann still there?”
Answer: MONEY by the truckload.

Gary Hladik

It seems in both cases (that we know of so far) President Spanier was trying to protect Penn State’s revenue stream with his “internal investigations”, or lack thereof. Dang, and here I thought that our hallowed universities were above such conflicts of interest. /sarc

John F. Hultquist

Isn’t the proper football analogy that of a blown coverage?
And because football is at the center of this it will be investigated and reported on until everyone is sick of it. As it should be.
Dream on if you expect much notice of the climate issue when a powerful football story is happening.

John West

Looks like Mann isn’t the only one that should be in the State Pen instead of Penn State.


So how many bad apples in Penn State’s administration and faculty are really there? My guess is more than two or three. Corruption begets corruption… that is why it is called corruption!

No Whining

[SNIP: Over-the-top, classless and libelous. -REP]

David Falkner

I hate to sound so crude, but after covering up the rape of a minor in your locker rooms, what’s whitewashing an investigation into scientific papers that would bore the eyelids off of most of the people who might try to read them?
Addendum, if you are thinking about doing a Vet’s day post, this is what our boys fight to protect, so well put in this piece:


So they cover up what is going on in the Football Team.
No wonder they protected the Hockey Team.
This is worse than we thought.
And totally unprecedented!

Why should there being any association between commonly-accused abuses in college
big-money athletics, and accused-abuses of people having low relationship with with
big-money college athletics?
Suppose a star men’s football player or a star men’s basketball player commits a rape, and the
college/U. responds with “whitewashing”. I find that making the news frequently enough – what
does that have to do with colleges/universities having leftwing bias in global warming issues?
Is it not mostly left-wingers complaining more about colleges/universities whitewashing their rapists on big-money sports teams?
For that matter, Penn State U. has its main campus in the ~85% of Pennsylvania land area that gets described as being “like Alabama” or “more like Alabama than Alabama is”.
Anyhoo, I seem to think that college/U. athletics abuses in big-money sports has low correlation
with abuses typically-done by those of opposing ideology on the right-left political spectrum.
Not that I am claiming so-far that the correlation is outright negative – merely low, due to some
colleges / universities tolerating whatever-brings-in-the-money from all-available-sources “by any means necessary”.


I suppose the analogy is close enough.
I have been wondering for 9 years what the Warmists will say because the models have proven so disasterly wrong. Costing literally hundreds of billions of dollars.
To my shock, they accuse those who point out the discrepancies liars and pretend that the models were correct.


Nature magazine should learn, that in life as in comedy, timing is everything.

Ben U.

Two of Graham Spanier’s top administators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz now face perjury charges, which in a way is lucky for Spanier since Curley testified that he filled Spanier in on what Sandusky did and on the restrictions imposed on Sandusky. But Mann-defender Spanier is now a bum for all to see, and, in further detriment to Mann’s situation, Penn State will be facing civil lawsuits for anywhere from $100 million to a quarter billion dollars and will not have so much energy and funding to keep going to the mat for Mann’s supposed right to opacity.
Penn State’s insane and Spanier-embraced defense of Mann as being too much of a profit center to do wrong was a sign of worse waiting to come to light. McIntyre is totally right to frame Penn State’s operative rationale for covering up for Sandusky and Paterno in the same terms.

Brian Johnson uk

Mann is the Money Man. Money talks……….
Move along! Nothing to see here………..
If only…………

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

No Whining said on November 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm:
“…with his brother climate **********…”
Now come on, that’s going WAY too far! Please, let’s keep this classy!


Sorry I always get the two Penn States mixed up, ones a high walled institution full of corrupt individuals and the others a prison if my memory servers me.


John West says:
November 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm
Looks like Mann isn’t the only one that should be in the State Pen instead of Penn State.
Are sorry memory doesn’t server me. Oh well it’s my funny friday.


Please remove the statement above by No Whining November 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm
It is a completely inappropriate linkage

@No Whining
That’s out of order. We may not like Dr Mann much, but slurs like that, even in jest, are simply not on!

It’s all about the money. Nothing to see here folks … except a complete lack of a morality by Penn State.
Systemic whitewashing.

Doug in Seattle says:
November 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm
I agree with Steve’s theme. If the Penn State academic and police officials would overlook something as evil as pedophilia for the sake of money, what possible scruples could they have had that would prevent them from doing the same for Mann’s rather petty crimes.

To the contrary, the scope of Mann’s crime is the thing. As the basis of all of the global warming belief is the proposition that “Humans are a detrimental virus infesting the world”.
When Mann fakes graphs to prop up that position he is launching Sandusky’s boat.
He’s teaching that it’s not a crime to screw up kids lives, after all they are a blight on the world!
Mann’s crime is on another level than pedo. He’s screwing the whole society.

Larry in Texas

Yes, I have been thinking about Prof. Mann in conjunction with this new scandal, but not just because of the Climategate whitewash by Penn State. The Department of Education is now looking into the matter, because the failure to report child abuse and the systemic cover-up of same violates so many federal laws and regulations, not only those that are part of the grant agreements that Penn State signed. Everyone who gets any kind of Federal money is subject to these rules, particularly when university facilities are used in the course of these violations. Failure to comply could mean loss, a massive loss, of future grant funds in their entirety, and could also result in Penn State having to give back grant money received over the past 12 years, if not further. How likely is that? It’s going to take long enough to investigate that if a GOP administration is overseeing things when the time comes, Prof. Mann and all his fellows could be in for a world of hurt along with Penn State.
Ah, the little ironies of life.


Should be kept top post until Mann is fired


What if it is REALLY worse than we thought; that in the emails they don’t want to publish there is some sort of reference to this sick crime, maybe only that there are rumours about it…
There must be a reason for their total unwillingness to deliver, other than scientific freedom. Money, a scandal, something terrible.
The signs are there. And a fish rots from the head down. This starts smelling really bad now.

Time for Dr Mike to Mann the lifeboat. Oh, noes, it’s been cast adrift. Never mind, at least his bristlecone pine samples will keep him afloat. Oh, wait…

davidmhoffer says: November 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm
oh dear oh dear hahahaha!
Paedophilia cannot, it seems, be covered-up forever by money. Not here at least. But can Penn-Mann-Gate be covered up forever by money?

Dr. John M. Ware

The Penn State mess is bad; but Mann didn’t start there. Here in Virginia we are witnessing the brazen and open cover-up by the University of Virginia in spite of the best efforts of Ken Cuccinelli, our excellent Attorney General. I await the day of some firings and a good housecleaning at UVA. Misuse of public funds is a crime, and Cuccinelli is absolutely right to go after it, regardless of where it occurs. UVA’s resistance is strictly illegal, and all the talk of “academic freedom” is smoke blown into the eyes of the public.

John Levick

I made the correlation right away as the PSU scandal broke. I am profoundly uncomfortable in taking any satisfaction, however, in view of the heinous nature of the crimes against innocent children.


Instead of endless venting here isn’t time we actually started commenting on the Mann connection under every single Paterno/Penn story on the web to elicit interest by media?

chuck nolan

John F. Hultquist says:
November 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm
…………….Dream on if you expect much notice of the climate issue when a powerful football story is happening.
1. Dr. Mann’s documented words actions with the “Team” were not investigated.
2. Dr. Mann ( with univ support) is in the middle of a law suit against Dr Ball.
3. Dr. Mann is being protected from FOIA requests and supported by Penn State administration and their resources and has not given all of the requested documents.
Therefore, I believe Penn State admin has only so much money and so many attorneys to expend. They will have a tough time covering their own behinds with the football scandal without worrying about Professor Mann and protecting publicly owned emails, data, computer code, etc. from FOIA requests.
The first step is for Dr. Mann, Univ of Penn and Univ of VA to demonstrate their honesty, follow the law concerning FOIA requests and provide these documents.

Looks like Karma to me. Or as the old football coach used to say, “what goes around comes around”.
Penn State goes the extra mile to protect the profit its centers. Football and Mann both bring in a lot of dough to spread around.

John Marshall

The trouble with whitewash as a paint it doesn’t cover imperfections for very long.To get a good finish these imperfections must be sorted before the paint is applied.
Mann better pack his bags now.


Discretion is the better part of valor.

University of Pennsylvania, Class of '76

Chuck Nolan, this happened at PENN STATE, not UNIV OF PENNSYLVANIA!


John Hultquist: what you said. This will overshadow the Mann story, which is “old and cold” (so to speak). But the housecleaning has only begun. Give it a few months and maybe, with some well-timed nudges, an independent investigator may want to redefine this as a criminal enterprise that ran a front operation as a university.

Claude Harvey

When human nature is so perverse that numerous parties can ignore a child predator in their midst when the alternative would harm to their vested economic interests, what chance does anyone think they have of extracting possibly damning evidence of mere scientific fraud or misbehavior?

Of course Penn State will rally around one of its faculty, particularly when his work supports a strongly held political belief. But equating the Mann cover-up to the cover-up of the rape of a 10-year-old (and quite possibly other activities) is a bit of a stretch.


In my part of the world defamation can cross the line from being a civil matter to a criminal matter. I’d say you guys have crossed that line.

chuck nolan

At this point I think originally PSU admin believed Mann did good research and was being persecuted by a bunch of wackos. They tried to protect him and that research by conducting a weak investigation and ignoring the noise.
I give my kid 200 bucks to buy a pair of shoes I want to see the shoes and I want the receipt.
I believe when Mann joined the university and took money from taxpayers he agreed to the rules.
When the university accepted taxpayer money they agreed to the rules.
I looks like we have to treat the scientists, academia and the university admin like kids.
Follow the rules………give me the receipt.
I don’t care how much money Mann or any university thinks they lose because some other scientist might have access to their research, I want no more of the ‘why should I give you my data when you’ll just try to prove it wrong’ attitude.
The law says it’s our data and we want it.

chuck nolan

oMan, I hope you’re right.