Matt Smith of ABC's affiliate WBAY in northern Wisconsin read my Slate XX Factor piece on the Marinette tragedy, and asked me to discuss it on-air.
We spoke yesterday afternoon by Skype. Matt did a really nice job, and you can watch the 2-minute segment or read the transcript. (The video segment starts with a 15-second commercial that you can't avoid.)
I had to chuckle when the anchor introduced me as speaking from my New York City office.
Wow, that sounded official. I guess I was, actually, though it's a tiny little imaginary home office sectioned off on the edge of my bedroom. As we did it, I thought of my location as my bedroom, but that would not have sounded right. Haha.
I guess the little room divider I put up to fool myself into feeling I was out of my bedroom, which worked for about a month on my own brain, still works for the outside world. (Until I confess, which I'm ever so prone to do.)
I also nearly did the interview in a dirty T-shirt. I put on that button-down shirt to do it earlier in the afternoon, but a few breaking stories caused a couple delays, and I got comfy again. Then just as we were about to start the skype and I was already in position, I realized I was still in my jammies, and delayed for thirty seconds to redress.
(And yes, I was still jammified below the waist, but that was intentional--the wonder of TV.)
None of which, hopefully, detracts from the seriousness of the story. Just my innate goofballishness. I kept all that out of the interview. Here's a bit of what we discussed:
Reporter: "Dave, let's start with your article yesterday in Slate. You write that the way the teacher, Valerie Burd, acted on Monday when she was talking with police could have actually saved her life?"
Dave Cullen: "The adult in the room is very frequently the target, and the authority figure is most often the target, so if there were a target the teacher by far was the most in danger, and by acting as kind of his mediator she almost became part of his team where he needed her, he was relying on her."
I was also really happy to see the station post this on their site, alongside the transcript:
The Marinette school district is thanking people for their support.
In a statement Friday the superintendent writes:
"Hundreds, if not thousands, of well wishes and offers of services have been received across the district, mostly from the local community but also from across the state and country.
"The district especially appreciates the loving support shown by the greater Marinette community. It has certainly enhanced our ability to begin the healing process.
"This positive support reinforces our believe that Marinette is a great place to live, work, and receive an education." That's very nice to see. Those people in Marinette are going to have a rough time for awhile. They can use the help. I know the Columbine community was really touched by the outpouring they received. So if you're thinking about sending something--well wishes or something more tangible--do it.