Dear Dr. Pinsky;
Hi! I wrote about you in a blog post you can read here. I’ve had a big crush on you since I was a teenager. I hope that doesn’t embarrass you—I’m sure you get that all the time. For what it’s worth, my feelings for you were never indecent. I never really fantasized about having sex with you—that would be weird (though I have always thought of you as Dr. Pinsky, rather than Dr. Drew, because the title is more authoritarian and formal and therefore gives me a bit of a charge, I admit).
See, I became acquainted with you when I was in high school, listening to the sex-and-relationship advice radio program Love Line. Audience members—usually people around my age—would call in with their questions and concerns about health, drug abuse, their love lives, abuse in their homes. The show was very popular. I remember listening to it while driving around in my car at night, or hanging out with my friends. You played the straight man next to Adam Corrola’s abrasive, jocular meathead. You were the voice of caring, reasoned expertise. You never took pot shots at the callers, however clueless or obnoxious they were. Sometimes I could hear you sighing in concern or distress over what you were hearing. You had the patience of Job. In your pictures, you wore glasses and a necktie and had that glowing-clean crispness physicians often have. You perfectly embodied the mature, responsible, protective adult archetype. You were the man who would never flirt with you or try to molest you. The teacher who never made you feel stupid. The adult who always did what he said he would do.
“That’s not okay,” you would firmly, calmly tell some kid who called the show to fearfully confide that her new stepfather was always walking around the house in his underwear and drinking beer while her Mom was at work.
“It’s not? But he doesn’t do anything,” the girl would say.
“No. Absolutely not okay. This is not a good environment for you. This is wrong and he knows it,” you would insist. And it was so easy to believe you. You always sounded so sincere.
For years, you never lost your touch, even when your career branched out of Love Line and you became a celebrity in your own right. Miraculously—and to my huge relief—you maintained your street cred through increasingly tabloid-esque cable news interviews and borderline exploitation TV shows like Celebrity Rehab. As the years passed, I didn’t seek you out much—I was always worried about what I’d find if I paid too much attention—but your public persona remained solid as a rock. You were the same Dr. Pinsky in 2010 as you were when I was in high school. If anything, your media appearances made you seem even more grounded and serious-minded, given the wackadoodle parade appearing around you. I thought my relationship with you was safe, Dr. Pinsky! A love that would endure forever! Surely, I thought, the last two seasons of Celebrity Rehab would be the biggest test my devotion to you would ever face. They were really bad television, but you weren’t, so I could blame it all on the program directors.
Then you got your live TV show, Dr. Drew, on the HLN network.
One day I found it on TV and left it on to watch while I cleaned my fish tank. Bad idea. It was like being at Pearl Harbor. You were interviewing some talking head about the verdict in the Casey Anthony trail, which had been announced earlier in the week. It was devastating to watch. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. You were trying to be serious and earnest, but not even you, Dr. Pinksy, could carry that material and make it endurable or relevant to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together. I kept waiting for you stop the interview, take off your glasses, rub the area above your eyebrows as if you’d gotten a hell of a migraine, and announce to the camera that this entire topic was an insult to your human intelligence.
I waited in vain.
|Please tell me this is not happening.|
In the days ahead, like any victim of trauma, I tried to forget about what I’d seen. I was badly shaken, however, and intrusive memories of the show kept preoccupying my mind.
A few days later, I gave your show another chance. Who were you interviewing? NANCY GRACE! Really? Really, Dr. Pinsky? Why? Why? Did you really go to college for 13 years for this? Was it for money? Didn’t you already have a zillion jillion dollars?
|HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US?|
I checked the website for your show this evening. You are discussing the trail of Conrad Murray, personal physician to Michael Jackson. How can this not be personally humiliating to you? I am embarrassed for you, and I’m not even watching it up close and personal.
It is with regret but without hesitation that I revoke my feelings for you. Unfortunately, you are no longer the man I thought I knew.
Perhaps if you return to your senses, we can reconnect at a later date.