A Witness to MurderDid anyone happen to catch Dateline last night?
If so, did your throat constrict, your jaw clench, your stomach jump, heave, slide from your abdominal cavity and ooze down your leg?
Never have I felt so weird while watching a television show, never. It was a feeling of disgust, embarrassment, righteousness, sadness and hardcore disbelief. As I watched one obviously disturbed individual remove his clothing and enter the home of a supposed young boy, twelve pack of beer in hand, all atremble with the hopes of engaging in a sexual tryst with a minor, I swear my bowls loosened just a little bit.
And the rabbi? Oy! No, this can’t be happening, this can’t be…
Did you see, as I did, the face of hopelessness, of true and naked terror on that man?
When he realized that he would be featured nationwide, exposed for the sick fuck he is, his body actually surrendered in a way I’d never seen before -- it was utterly horrific the way his arms flew up, almost as if warding off a physical blow, the way he staggered over to the camera crew, to Chris Hansen , and disturbingly pleaded like a child would -- his whole persona changed from a cocky, horny monster man into that of a little boy.
They all became frightened children, all of them, the doctor, the teacher, the naval officer. Some collapsed, some ran, some just sat there, heads hung low, and admitted defeat. It was the most sickening hour of television viewing I‘ve ever experienced, not only because of the obvious reasons, of being witness to depravity in the making, but by witnessing the destruction of the human spirit. As much as I loathe those men and wish nothing but misery for them, there was a tiny piece of my heart that felt extremely sad for them…Not an empathetic sadness, no sympathy from me, thank you very much, but a deep, nauseating sadness for any vestiges of humanity left in their dangerous minds. I am not a sadist, and watching another human being crumble, no matter how despicable his actions, is not my idea of a good time.
I thought about their wives, children, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers…I couldn’t help but feel the pain those innocents must’ve felt while watching this nightmare unfold. Good Christ, how will they deal with the knowledge that life as they knew it would never be same again? How will they survive their neighbors’ whispers, the hate mail, the loss of personal faith? Oh, and the anger I felt is indescribable, just total rage toward those men for choosing a life of deviance over the safety and well-being of their wives and children, for putting themselves in a situation that would cause irreparable damage to those who love them.
Those men murdered their families last night by publicly humiliating them, spitting on their very existence, and Dateline, I’m sorry to say, was an accomplice to those murders. Yes, it made for “good” TV, and yes, I know that Dateline’s report was a public service tenfold, but did the producers and journalists ever stop to think about the hundreds of silent spiritual deaths their report would cause? I know that I certainly did, and that, unfortunately, overshadowed any righteous joy I may have felt -- those men sacrificed their own souls and the lives of their families in the name of perversion, but Dateline, despite all good intentions, helped dig the graves.