Volcanic, Volatile Versailles or A Day in the Life of the NU Foundation

July 23, 2012


They say great journalism will keep newspapers relevant. So why – when the biggest story in Nebraska is the past and ongoing shenanigans amongst the NU Foundation, NU, and NELNET – does this potential Pulitzer-prize winning series go unreported collectively by the Cornhusker media.

For the next few months, I’m going to share with readers the extent to which all one has to do for NU to be Penn State is substitute “financial/academic” for “physical/sexual.”

Both campuses – where Football is King – engage in identical campus-wide cover-ups when wrong-doing is exposed. That’s their m.o. and I would know.

The Omaha World-Herald (I’ll focus on them because they purport to be Nebraska’s Paper of Record) takes a hands-off approach to the NU Foundation, in particular and NU, in general.

Admittedly, both the OWH’s Steve Jordon & Henry Cordes have covered NELNET’s various misdeeds. However, neither has ever Connected-the-NELNET-Dots to NU and the NU Foundation.

This reminds me of the response I got to one of my appearances before the NU Regents. An irritated Regent said to me afterwards, “You connect dots that shouldn’t be connected.”

Truly, I was stunned. I responded sweetly, “That’s what journalists do. That’s what they’re supposed to do anyway.” He just looked at me as if I’d said that I was Nelson Mandela. Meaning, it was if he’d never actually considered what precisely journalists are trained to do because he’s so familiar with the reporters who cover NU being another arm of NU’s public relations machine.

Honestly, he gave me a genuinely perplexed look that said, “Oh, I thought they were here to write whatever we spoon-feed them; how great NU President Milliken is and Chancellor Perlman and Bo Pellini and of course, all of us up-standing Regents even the ones who steal shovels from their neighbors.”

Because I can say with all certainty that those journalists who do cover NU – literally – take NU press releases, rewrite them (not always, even) and then merely add a positive quote or two from either a rah-rah Rubberstamping Regent or a perky Vice-Chancellor who makes a quarter of a million dollars, which is $90 (ninety thousand dollars) more than the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts.

Stay tuned, folks, for more NU-NELNET-NU Foundation blogging. Two more Posts will be filed today.

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