Friday, June 05, 2015

A “friend” of Hastert’s victim speaks

What is that saying Michael Corleone used in the Godfather? “...keep your friends close and your enimies closer.” I think this saying applies to this story.

The Stefano Esposito of the Chicago Sun-Times interviewed Mike Thanepohn about allegations that Denny Hastert molested Steve Reinbolt in back in 1967-71 at Yorkville High School. Don’t bother reading the article. It’s one-sided and single sourced. The major points are described below:

  • Mike Thanepohn alleges that he was a friend and teammate of Steve Reinbolt. 
  • Thanepohn claims Hastert never did anything inapropriate. 
  • Thanepohn does not trust Reinbolt’s allegations. 
  • Thanepohn alleges that Reinbolt made a pass at him which was not receipricated. So, Thanepohn is establishing that Reinbolt is gay and that he was not. 
  • Thanepohn alleges Reinbolt was using drugs 20 years after graduation.

I somehow doubt anything like friendship existed between the two men. Plus, Thanepohn seems motivated to establish his straight bonafides. Right? To restate the Thanepohn’s interview...

He was not molested. He is not gay. He does not use drugs. And... that Reinblot guy was a lying gay drug user."

Is this good reporting? Does it add to the Hastert story in any meaningful way?

Another issue I have with this story is its dependance on recollections from 50 years ago. I’m ten years younger thatThanepohn and I have trouble remembering the names of the people I played basetball with in the late 70s, let alone the names and actions of my coaches. Can I say that any one of them did anything inappropriate? No. I can’t remember anything clearly and I was too young to recognize preditory behavior. I’m think one of the kids on my team was gay, but I can’t remember that for sure either. I may have it wrong. It may just be speculation that stuck with me over the years. Recollections of the past are unreliable. Why should we believe any of this?