Ira Lubert is a fool

Published January 17, 2012

I just spent the last five minutes making a combination of laughing/screaming sounds after reading a piece by Laura Goldman in the Philadelphia Business Insider. That’s because she happened to run into Penn State Trustee Ira Lubert, who said something that is laughable, outrageous and completely unbelieveable at the same time.

Naturally, I wondered why Penn State did not consult with public relations professionals before the media maelstrom. Lubert said, ‘I do not see any advantage in talking to the media.’ He apparently miscalculated that the media would want to talk to him. “

That is the understatement of the century.

His comment proves that Lubert, who Goldman said is “about to open a money printing casino in Valley Forge,” so completely misunderstood what he and the other trustees had to do in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Doesn’t he understand by now that it was all about talking to the media? That was the game. The entire Penn State family knew it, and he and his cronies were so out of touch with the real world that they just couldn’t see what the rest of us could.

Now, people make mistakes. Lord knows I’m far from perfect. And that’s why I’d be willing to forgive any one of these guys who admitted they handled the situation entirely wrong. But we haven’t heard anything to that effect. Instead, they’ve holed up even more.

That’s a typical reaction of corporate America. They don’t have to say jack, so their first reaction is to hide until the storm blows over. But Penn State is an institute of higher learning that is supposed to espouse values beyond making as much money as humanly possible. It’s supposed to stand for something greater. Principle No. 1 should always be telling the truth. It must be difficult for Penn State’s Wall Street trustees to understand that.

For the record, my politics are far from liberal. I see nothing wrong with people making gobs of money. But their board positions come with a completely different set of responsibilities than their business activities demand.

Also interesting to note, Lubert told Goldman he’s on the trustees’ powerful Executive Committee. I checked this list, and he’s not listed. So how did he get on this group of decision makers? Someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.