OT - Engler Claims Nassar Survivors enjoying "spotlight"

Submitted by clarkiefromcanada on January 15th, 2019 at 5:44 PM

I had not seen this on the board (looked a bit) and the story from Metro Times now picked up by the national media. Apparently comments made to Detroit News editorial board over the weekend from Engler indicated: 

You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … there are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight,” Engler told The News. “In some ways, they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition.”

I thought Sparty couldn't go lower. I was wrong. 




January 15th, 2019 at 5:51 PM ^

It is fairly obvious that Engler saw that UM had taken some of the negative publicity for the Nassar scandal away from MSU by hiring Faehn. He wasn’t going to stand for not getting 100% of the well deserved scorn, so he had to tweak and disrespect the victims to try and grab all the bad PR from wannabees like Warde.


January 15th, 2019 at 5:53 PM ^

"The Detroit Metro Times highlighted Engler’s comment today, noting that when he was governor “Engler fought hard against a lawsuit brought by dozens of female inmates who had been raped by state corrections officers. Despite Engler’s efforts, it ended in what at the time was the largest payout in state history.”

The chairwoman of the MSU Board of Trustees, Dianne Byrum, distanced the board from Engler’s statement in a statement to the Chronicle of Higher Education: “His remarks were ill advised and not helpful to the healing process, survivors, or the university.”


If John Engler had intentionally set out to make MSU look as bad as possible in the wake of the Nassar scandal, it's hard to envision him acting much worse than he already has. I have to think hard to come up with a more damaging performance by a public official in response to an institutional scandal than Engler's. To say he has stepped on his dick in every conceivable way doesn't begin to capture it.

Section 1.8

January 15th, 2019 at 10:03 PM ^

He literally HATES women. 

That is literally a lie on your part.  I have a very strict, personal rule about the use of politicians' kids in any public debate.  I hate to do it, but since it has been widely reported in multiple press reports, Engler is proud of his triplet daughters who attended a trio of colleges that happen to be located in Palo Alto, California; Williamsburg, Virginia; and, uh, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

My only personal shame in connection with the Engler triplets is that it was a Michigan graduate, the erstwhile Michigan Democratic nominee for Governor (demolished by Engler), Geoffrey Fieger, who shamed himself and debased our political discourse by suggesting that the Engler triplets, then baby girls, were born "with corkscrew tails."


January 15th, 2019 at 10:24 PM ^

Seems like a lot of politics are going into this thought process. If what Engler is saying and doing can be overruled with “he has 3 girls” and look what this democrat said.. we’ll I just don’t know. Maybe he is a stand up dude but it sure doesn’t look like it. I’m still scratching my head on the lawyers quote being placed there. The “Whataboutism” is rampant. 

Section 1.8

January 15th, 2019 at 9:49 PM ^

Don, do you or any of the other readers here actually know about that prison case settlement?  Do you know the history?

The case began during the Engler administration, and during his tenure as governor, the State of Michigan was defended by the Attorney General.  The governor's office had very little to do with it.  The case continued during most of two terms of the Granholm administration, before it was settled.  And it was never settled as a matter of "policy" by any governor.

The case was a really shitty mess all along.  The wrongdoers weren't in any gubernatorial administration; they were union-protected corrections officers.  Blaming that case on Engler in any serious way has been a left-wing trope that has no basis in reality.  Just the thing I'd expect from the Metro Times.

But I actually give the Metro Times some credit, for at least making it clear that on the face of his comments, Engler was talking about "some" of the Nassar victims.  Not all of them, not most of them.  A few of them, that have put themselves in the public sphere and into policy debates.  And to be clear, I think that those Nassar victims have every right in the world to do that.  But as policy-debate participants, they don't get treated with unquestioning adoration.  Again, not most Nassar victims.  Not ANY 'private' Nassar victims.  And not even Nassar victms who want to speak to their own heartfelt experiences.  When has Engler said a word about such a person's victimhood?  Engler's one and only complaint all along has been the business of the litigation.

Maybe $165 million, going to the plaintiff attorneys.  Hell, I well remember the shock and outrage among the MGoCrowd when the publicly-disclosed fees of the defense attorneys was published and the MGoBoard threads popped up about what a public ripoff it was.  The last reported total for MSU defense attorney fees I saw was around $17 million.  THAT'S ONE-TENTH OF WHAT THE PLAINTIFF ATTORNEYS MAY BE MAKING OUT OF THE $500 MILLION SETTLEMENT.  And the MSU attorneys aren't taking their fees out of the victims' settlement.  Engler has spent his whole political life fighting the plaintiff attorneys' bar.  This is his cause.

And yes -- yawn -- Dianne Byrum, the second-generation Democratic politician from Ingham County has been at war with John Engler as was her mother from before the time that Dianne could vote.  I don't need to go into that political rabbit-hole.  Everybody knows it.

Sorry to jump down your throat on this, Don.  I don't mean to.  You've been a long-time commenter here and I don't expect that you wanted to jump into this kind of fight.  It's not personal with you, I hope you understand.

I know that I am swimming against the tide, with this blog and this demographic and particularly when you mix college sports rivalries, politics, etc.  Of course I don't care; I just want to push the debate in a different direction from sportsfan bathroom-joke trashtalk.  There really ought to be a much more serious, informed discussion among Michigan grads.




January 15th, 2019 at 11:24 PM ^

First, I don't take your response personally.

Second, I'll set aside the issue of the prison-related lawsuit, since it's the Nassar case here that's relevant.

"the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition.”

It's this statement that has sparked this new round of controversy. That Engler believes some of Nassar's victims are somehow "enjoying... the awards and recognition" is mind-boggling in its own right, but the use of "enjoying" in this context is particularly noteworthy, because it's a weaselly way of bringing the old notion into play that women who are sexually assaulted actually sorta really enjoy it. Sure, Engler would strenuously deny intending that if directly questioned, but such a denial would be in the character of a withdrawal of an inflammatory question in a trial that is objected to by opposite counsel.

But let's say that I'm misconstruing the meaning of his statement, and that he intended nothing inflammatory. Even if that's the case, his language and phrasing is extraordinarily tone-deaf from a public relations or optics standpoint, and as somebody who has spent his entire career in the public arena with a considerable amount of retail political success, it's really rather bizarre that he's so orally ham-fisted. 

If you don't agree that his statement is tone-deaf, then we have little common ground on that aspect. All of the people I know who have read it—men and women—are beyond disgusted.


January 16th, 2019 at 1:12 AM ^

Impressive that you found a way to bash unions in your thinly veiled partisan rant. What business is it of yours or Engler’s what attorneys fees the Plaintiffs’ lawyers collected?   That’s a contractual agreement between the Plaintiffs and their attorneys. His (and your) focus on attorneys’ fees is an attempt to muddy the waters and take the focus off of the horrible acts committed. 


January 16th, 2019 at 2:33 AM ^

Thank you Ricky Powers I couldnt of said it any better myself. Politics could be fine in the world if people could put judgement and reason before party affiliation. I mean every wrong doing directly affiliated with one side? Really? 

I am always telling myself to STOP trying to reason with the unreasonable but let me give this one last shot. 

Board is discussing Engler and what he is saying. Young girls that were sexually molested right? Ok. So now there is a qoute of him saying these young girls (we all agree they were sexually assualted correct?) are enjoying the limelight and the attention. Someone than says “He hates women”. I gotta tell ya seems like a pretty reasonable observation. But then there is the “non politically motivated rebuttal” because someone has been called out as a liar. Pretty strong words lets see what ya got.

1. Engler has 3 daughters and here is how impressive those girls are they go to these schools. And also he loves women because how impressive those schools are. ok good counterpunch WTF?

2. Some whack job (lets align him with a party of course) who didnt like Engler said something to hurt Engler. Now there is real woman hater. - Whoa how did we get on this topic? Im actually ok with just saying he is an all around wack job and we all just agree everyone has them regardless of party affiliation.

3. The union raped some female inmates- or something to that extent. -Good god man you gotta step away for a few minutes. 

Ok to all you reasonable folks a 1000 apologies. And shame on me for not following my rule of not trying to reason with the unreasonable. TL;DR 


Arb lover

January 16th, 2019 at 7:51 AM ^

Of course I don't care; I just want to push the debate in a different direction from sportsfan bathroom-joke trashtalk. There really ought to be a much more serious, informed discussion among Michigan grads.

What part of "no politics" do you not understand? If I wanted to hear conspiracy theories about how liberal leaning administrators chose the most sexist Republican they could find to deflect blame in this horrible scandal, I'd read the opinion section of a newspaper. 

You can want to have your rational political discussion with Michigan grads, but do it elsewhere please, you bring in politics pretty frequently.

Honk if Ufer M…

January 16th, 2019 at 5:30 PM ^

Dude, your definition of vile is upside down.

According to your interpretation, vile people that systematically do vile things to as many people as possible for the benefit of the fewest number of people, who are the least deserving and least needy of benefits, are so acceptable to you that not only should they not be punished politically, civilly or criminally, but even to be called out as the vile pigs they are and harshly condemned in the strongest terms possible is too much for you, and those who hate and are against and aghast at the worst of humanity are the vile ones to you!

So in your world the worst people are the ones that express hatred or anger at the people that do the worst things to the most people, who should not be attacked or vilified for their villainy!?

While I have never heard the story behind the idea that Mineral King is Shea, I don't believe it. However I'd have no trouble believing that you are actually THE Steve King. Let me ask you, do you ever lay awake nights and wonder when, how and why the terms White Nationalist or White Supremacy became offensive?

Goodnight Steve.


January 15th, 2019 at 5:54 PM ^

I don't follow Michigan politics as close as I used to (don't live in Michigan anymore) - but didn't the MSU BOT elections in November 2018 tilt against Engler?

I know Engler still has his allies on the BOT, but that's the sort of statement which should make A LOT of people say "OK, that's enough ... period.  We'll find some other interim President for a few months, you're done right now immediately."





January 15th, 2019 at 6:02 PM ^

I'm not religious. There's very little that makes me believe there's a Heaven and thus, conversely, a Hell.  But I'll be damned if the things this guy says haven't started to turn me into a true believer.  I hope he ends up as a bunky with Nassar and that he's forced to wear a leotard for eternity.