Blogging the Bookshelf

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The Human Chain – “Columbine” – Dave Cullen

November 23rd, 2011 · No Comments · Crime, Journalism, Sociology, The Media

“What’s the human chain for?” a reporter asked. “To shield the students from you folk,” district spokesman Rick Kaufman said. Most media would be excluded. A small pool would be escorted in. Reporters were incredulous. One print reporter? The White House didn’t limit its pool that tightly. Reporters for the big national papers huddled in the back of the room, discussing options to “lawyer up.” The district wouldn’t back down, Kaufman said. In fact, the pool would come only with major concessions: no helicopters, no rooftop photographers, and no breach of school grounds. “If we can’t get agreement, then there’s no pool,” he said. Try it, reporters threatened; it will backfire. “As long as parents understand that by saying no to everything, again it’s going to be a situation where we’re coming out of rocks and stuff in order to get sound and pictures,” a TV executive said. “And I wonder if the parents really understand, if they think they control us by just saying no, they’re really not; they’re forcing us to go in other directions.”

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