Friday, April 27, 2007

Hey! Look Over There.

Yesterday the Penn State propaganda portal had an item about a big gift to Penn State from J. Lloyd and Dorothy F. Huck. Now I know how Penn State operates and above all else it is a PR machine inhabiting the body of a university. Hence the first thing that came to my mind was that Old Main wants to grab the headlines in tomorrows papers with a positive story in order to distract from a negative one. Typically, there would only be one bad news story with which the University would be concerned. My initial guess was that that story would be the announcement of the arrests of several Penn State football players in a news conference which had already been scheduled for today. However, it turns out that today there is a double dose of bad news for Graham. In addition to the football player story, I was greeted this morning with stories in the CDT and Collegian about eight women faculty members at the Hershey Medical School who have filed a discrimination lawsuit.

To its credit the Collegian didn't pick up the donor story, however the CDT went for it hook, line and sinker. Here is a screen shot of their quick link section on the top of the front page of their web site.

Notice that the donor story is the first one and that it is labeled "Penn State". The story about the lawsuit is the third story and it is labeled "Bias Claims". Well, I guess you can't go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the editors of the CDT.

This donor story isn't even that big of a deal because Penn State hasn't even seen a cent of the donation as of yet.
Penn State alumni J. Lloyd and Dorothy F. Huck have announced their intention to provide a $20 million endowment to support teaching, research and other academic activities at the University's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

I wrote about this PR tactic once before when the Schreyers' recent donation was announced. There too Penn State has yet to see a penny of the money.
Penn State's Schreyer Honors College has received a $25 million gift commitment from its namesakes, William and Joan Schreyer, to support scholarships and other student and faculty programs.
Basically what is going on is that these fat cats have made Penn State a beneficiary in their wills. Penn State holds on to the information until they have some distracting to do and the CDT falls for it everytime.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You could also say that since the bias claim has not been tested in court, it's no more newsworthy than you say the bequests are.