Penn State Town Hall in NYC

The last place any sane person wanted to be this past Friday night was the Marriott hotel in Manhattan’s financial district. The hotel’s grand ballroom would be a good setting for a bad prom, complete with an ugly red carpet and garish inverted-pyramid chandeliers. An uneasy crowd of about 300 Penn State alums had gathered inside. They’d come to put questions to PSU president Rodney Erickson during the final stage of Erickson’s three-act Sandusky-apologia roadshow. A town hall, it was called. (The first two towns had been Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.) I’d come to witness the stagecraft involved. The press, me included, was stationed at the back of the room and admonished to “respect their observer status.” That meant no questions from us. Which was fine. Erickson wouldn’t have answered anyway.

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