October 21, 2005

Hey Man, Nice (Non-)Jump

A Philadelphia city councilman, who had just received word that he was a target of a federal corruption probe and was about to be indicted, made his way to the observation deck at the top of City Hall last night, and allegedly threatened to jump. Rick Mariano, however, was talked down from the roof by Mayor John Street, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, and others.

The Mariano incident is reminscient of that of Budd Dwyer, the former Pennsylvania state treasurer who, shortly after agreeing to plead guilty to corruption charges, committed suicide during a televised press conference in 1987. (See the Wikipedia page, for a conspicuously long list of "pop-culture references" to the Dwyer suicide.)

Somehow, this hasn't become a national story. Because the news networks wouldn't want to shift away from 24-hour coverage of that legal analyst whose wife was killed. Because a loss like that for a commentator on the Laci Peterson case is a loss for each and every one of us. Yes, I broke the dam.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 21, 2005 04:15 PM
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