For those of you who remember the Chandra Levy scandal, the news headlines this week were like a big dose of deja vu.
For me, it was even weirder. My family was right smack in the thick of things during that time. Family members who have lived here for decades were close friends, confidants and representatives and the hoopla that errupted was incredibly mind blowing. I was asked to monitor emails and internet postings, as well as write a Visiting Editor column about my feelings/thoughts ect. surrounding the scandal involving Gary Condit and the disappearance of Chandra.
Now, as most people know, I come from a very irreverent family base. The day after 9/11 attacks, we were huddled around telephones waiting to hear from a cousin who was at the Pentagon when the plane crashed into the building. We had not heard from him in over 32 hours. When he finally got through it was to my house (his mother wouldn't get off the phone, so he had to call me). The first thing out of his mouth was, "Tell my mom I'm ok. Hey, is Chandra still missing?".
I know, I know...bad joke.
Anyway, as time went by and there seemed to never be a chance the case would be solved I found myself gaining some perspective about the entire incident, perspective that was difficult to get when Dominick Dunne was sitting in the livingroom or Stone Phillips asking if there was any more coffee. I had never liked the immoral manner in which our esteemed public official lived his life. I was uncomfortable with the fact that Chandra had become involved with a married man but I know how incredibly stupid young people can be (having been an incredibly stupid and - yes, I will say it - immoral young person myself I have a tendency to be a bit more understanding about the foibles of youth). However, I hate it when people cheat on their husbands or wives and have a real hard time forgiving that action. I have seen my own family destroyed by infidelity and I have met too many people willing to throw their children into snake pits because they are convinced they have to scratch that itch in their pants.
However, I also wondered if Mr. Condit did have anything to do with her disappearance and I was not quiet about it. I had not problem voicing my opinion that he was so fishy, so slimy and so all-around icky that it would not surprise me if he had decided the best way to deal with a pushy 20-something kid who wanted marriage when he wanted a bed buddy would be to have her disappear.
Ok, and yes...I do watch way too many conspiracy movies.
Anyway...one of the best things about being both sober and a Catholic today is that I have been given the strength to admit when I made a mistake and to acknowledge that mistake to the person I wronged. With that in mind, I took action to do just that...and now I do so publicly....
I was wrong about Gary Condit.
He may have made some really bad choices and his conduct may have been the underlying reason he is trying to sell ice cream today instead of being an elected official...but the fact is, I thought he had murdered her...and I was WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Too little too late? Perhaps. I suppose all apologies are too little and too late...but the reality is, I have to make it and I have to be as public as I was the first time around.
May God forgive me for rushing to judgement.