No crime is more inconceivable, more horrific, than a parent killing his own small, innocent child. So the story from Illinois of a very evil man reportedly punching, then stabbing his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old friend to death for going out on a Mother's Day bike ride past curfew chills the bones.
Can we officially cringe when both the TV news business and Hollywood see this story and silently think, "Ka-ching"?
Lisa Marie Presley is trying to make it as a pop-rock singer again by doing a dull carbon copy of the old Don Henley news-satire song "Dirty Laundry," which talks about the "bubble-headed bleach blonde" who chirps through horrible news with a gleam in her eye because "it's interesting when people die, we love dirty laundry." That song comes to mind as the network news people wring every shocking second out of the Illinois murders, pausing over every little detail of how the father stabbed his own daughter 20 times, including once in each eyeball.
The thought quickly emerges: What if young boys or girls are sitting around the breakfast table watching "Today" or "Good Morning America" with their parents? I know this scenario. More times than I can count I've been watching the news only to have to lunge for the remote control when a child walked in the room. Surely, children could know that someone this evil exists, but they don't need the blow-by-blow details every day on the tube.
In the land of TV entertainment, the exploitation of children under 10 has become so reliably shocking it can't be milked enough during the May sweeps. On May 2, the NBC show "Medium" had its psychic title character dream about a little 4-year-old girl being kidnapped, raped and buried alive. Our psychic's dream actually happened in the show's reality 10 years before, and the show includes a graphic depiction of the young girl's rape and burial. That's in addition to a detective on the case wildly guessing what horrible thing happened to the little girl's body -- was it run through the "meat grinder" or fed to the "tree-chipper"?