Hundreds of thousands of people who tuned in to the Today Show this morning just missed seeing a desperate cry for help. A man took advantage of the morning show's open door policy to join the crowd in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza, then he pulled a knife and slashed his own wrists in an apparent suicide attempt.
Photos tweeted out by bystanders who were also on hand to watch the popular morning show taping, hoping to get on air, show a man who appears to be middle-aged, wearing a ball cap, brandishing a knife.
The images are scary.
But more than that, they're sad. Warning -- the video ahead may be upsetting although it's not graphic in nature (and you can choose to not play it).
If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, slitting your wrists on national television -- or trying to get on national TV to do so, anyway -- is perhaps the loudest cry of them all.
The man, as yet unidentified, reportedly was screaming about the IRS having ruined his life and trying to get bystanders to read documents in his hands. Today anchor Matt Lauer said the man made a point to say he was not there to harm anyone else; just himself. He did manage to do so, although security tackled him, and he was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan.
Fortunately the incident did not happen on camera; little girls and boys watching the morning news while getting ready for school did not see what went down.
Even more fortunate: the mystery man is alive.
If any good can come of this morning's very public meltdown, it's that his family can't have missed it all. They can -- and should -- step in now. Now he has a chance to get the help he so obviously and desperately needs.
Did you catch the kerfuffle on the plaza this morning? What do you hope will happen with this man?
Image via lordviperscorpion69/YouTube