I thought we were in a news lull, a pre-Inaugural hiatus that was long overdue. We deserved a couple of weeks where there were no nightclub bombings and all the kids were out of Aleppo.
We didn’t get it.
Along comes the live-streaming torture of a mentally disabled white man, 18, in Chicago. His torturers were four African-American young adults who shouted insults at him during the 25 minute ordeal.
I, for the sake of my soul, did not watch.
Surely, this must be a mistake. No. This is what the news has come to. Dylan Roof’s murderous racism and these thugs. Sweet Jesus, what is left?
I recommended to a friend recently that she take a break from the news. Do a news fast. She, like many of us, is afraid to see what the “disaster of the day” is. Children dying in by Assad’s hand? Airport bombings? Trucks running through Christmas markets? We are all battered and bruised from the election, from the steady stream of wild and improbable invective passing for news. It is traumatic — not just for the people highlighted, but for the viewers. All the “good news” is produced for the closer, the last segment of the news. Nothing can rinse the taste of torturing an innocent man-child from our mouths.
News anchors are there to explain and, sometimes, comfort. How can I respect, much less like, anyone who puts this filth in front of me?
My friend — and I — need to get the news from a source we can control: the newspaper. We can skip what is bothersome and head straight to the funnies and the horoscope. If she wants to see what weirdos humans can be, she can read Dear Abby. It is at least articulate and free of the verbal garbage that passes for speech. I can only imagine what the letters themselves look like. I doubt the Four Torturers can even write. Sure, we can surf news sites, but there’s something comforting, even nostalgic, about newspapers. They are obviously a human product.
Never before have people been able to make news AND simultaneously report it — unedited. It is a disgusting turn of events. Editors exist for a reason. They validate the information and tidy it up. Enter the Four Torturers video.
I’ve often said that if regular people saw real violence (the stuff that rolls into the ER), they’d turn their backs on it. Hopefully, this video will push people to shun these morally challenged, uncivilized morons and their violence.
This will be prosecuted as a hate crime. I believe that more evil intent means a more evil crime. If they tortured him, that’s one thing. If they tortured him because he was disabled, that’s worse. If they tortured him because of his skin color, that is three degrees of heinous.
It would be nice if the “immediate, unedited release” qualified them for more jail time. Live-streaming your own crime is more offensive to the peace and dignity of society than just doing it. It is a video, in-your-face, “F*** You!” to civil order. Not only are they doing it, they are shoving it into our faces, rubbing our noses in their filth. Hopefully a jury will keep them off the streets, for as long as the law will allow.
It’s a shame, really to avoid the news. I enjoyed being a news junkie. I enjoyed being a health reporter. But I just can’t take it any more. I’m going to watch “I Love Lucy.” If I’m in the mood for something gritty, I’ll watch “Law and Order” re-runs. That’s about as much gore as I can stand.
Forget a New Year’s Diet, I’m going on a New Year’s News Fast.
Send me a memo … on newsprint … is there’s something I need to know.
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