Witch-hunts, whitewashes, and coverups

I am often amazed by the varying responses
of the political/bureaucratic/media conglomerate
to events, which they sometimes designate as “scandals.”
Consider three in particular:

The Bernard Madoff scandal
The Penn State/Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno boy sex charges
The Secret Service sex incident in Columbia.

Note how I have characterized the three incidents:

The Bernard Madoff scandal surely was just that.

The Penn State etc. issue involves charges
that have not yet been addressed in court.
It seems premature to call it a scandal until guilt is proved.

The Secret Service incident, in my mind,
even if all the charges made to date (2012-04-24) are proved,
does not rise to the level of a scandal.