Earlier this week, a Texas judge ruled there was no law to keep the arrest video of Randy Travis from becoming public.
The ruling was in response to requests from several media outlets, who for five years have been arguing that the tapes should be released because the public has a right to view them “as a matter of principle”. Travis’ legal team had been arguing against the release, stating it was a matter of privacy.
Travis was arrested near Tioga, Texas in 2012 after running his 1998 Trans Am into a light pole. On the video, Travis is seen as intoxicated and belligerent. He’s also cut up and bruised from the accident and, for some reason, very, very naked. It’s not his finest hour. In fact, it’s pretty much rock bottom for a man who had a long history of battling alcohol abuse. The following year, Travis suffered a stroke which he is still struggling to recover from.
The day after the tape’s release, Travis issued an apology for his behavior and language that night, which his legal team said was due to a combination of alcohol, a concussion (from the accident) and exhaustion.
But here’s the thing…all that aside…sure, yes, legally the video CAN and was be released. But did it really NEED to be? What does it add to the story? Anything? Nope. It’s just more digital salaciousness, a chance for bottom-feeding media outlets to post a gratuitous curiosity for online clicks. There was nothing controversial in the video–no accusations of police brutality, no imminently-dangerous behavior on the part of Travis, or anything else that needed to be teased out and examined. It’s simply a voyeuristic look into one awful night of a man struggling with some powerful demons. A man who, for the last four years, has been fighting his way back from a stroke that nearly took his life and certainly took his livelihood. Nothing in life is fair, I get that. But sometimes we can sway the scales of what is fair, and what isn’t. So….
If you’re curious about seeing the video, we suggest you go to YouTube instead, and pull up one of Randy’s better videos–of him singing one of his classics like, “Forever and Ever Amen” or “Three Wooden Crosses” or “I Told You So”. That way, you’re not virtually kicking a man when he’s down–especially when he’s had no chance to really fix things and get his life back on track like I’m sure he wanted to.
Let’s leave him some dignity, and leave that video alone.