David: I think the overall coverage, the ‘overall’ coverage has been better than it has been in years past, but I am not sure that you would blame or credit Skype or Facebook or social media with that. I think the media has just learned from mistakes they made in the past, not to get so far out on a limb, with the notable exception of when it was reported that a suspect was in custody. Now I have no question somebody told CNN that was the case, but sometimes sources don’t know what they are talking about, and it was clearly the case in that circumstance.
Robin: Well, they picked it up from the New York Post who picked it from well, the Boston Police Department says, ‘not us’. So we don’t know.
David: Probably a federal investigator if I were guessing, but who knows. They believed it. Everybody wanted to believe that a suspect was in custody. They had just had the videotape, so putting it all together it seemed only too logical that we have an image, we must have arrested the person in the image. That’s believing, I think, in science just a little bit too much.
Robin: I would say. Now what about the medical care on the spot? How did it look to you? Because Slashdot people, you have seen David Coursey in his journalist role from ZDNet and all that, but what you may not know is he is also an EMT guy. And he does that, he has done it both volunteer and professionally, so he is actually qualified not only to talk about the journalism here but about the actual treatment on the spot. David, how was it?
David: Well, if you were going to pick a place to leave two bombs, right across from the medical tent is probably not the best place, particularly at an event such as the Boston Marathon, and at the finish line of the Boston Marathon where reasonably every resource is already in place. They were already expecting potentially lots of people being old, falls, dehydrated heat related injuries; they were all prepared for that. They weren’t expecting shrapnel. But the emergency doctors were there – EMTs and paramedics were there, the people from that side of the street ran over to the other side of the street, immediately started working on the victims, and doubtless, lives were saved. Because this explosion, if there is a right place for an explosion, this explosion occurred at the right place, at about the right time.
Robin: Now let me ask you another question that also where you are in Tracy, California, if this true. One ER doctor in Boston was on TV saying, ‘Yeah, well, also what helped us is a lot of our docs have been in Iraq, they’ve been in Afghanistan, they’ve been volunteers in Haiti, so we have people including me” he said, who have really good experience dealing with wounds and mass problems.
David: We’ve learned a lot from wars. The Vietnam War taught us a lot about emergency medicine, as have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the most amazing things I’ve seen in the coverage is a researcher at MIT who does prosthetics who said that a year from now, next year’s Boston marathon, science makes it possible that many of those runners who had legs amputated might be able to run, or at least walk again in next year’s marathon. And that is an incredible medical advance.
Robin: Now I am going to ask you kind of a political question. Okay, do you feel terrorized?
Robin: Which are you, afraid or angry?
Robin: Okay. Then how do you feel?
David: I am sorry the incident occurred in a free society - it is hard to protect ourselves; there are a certain number of nuts out there. I am happy that an Al Qaeda affiliate hasn’t claimed credit; I am happy that this doesn’t appear to be a war on America. But we’ll just have to see what happens in terms of arresting a suspect and bringing people to justice for this crime.
Robin: Okay. So if you are supporting a terrorist group, and you want to terrorize America, this is a failure, isn’t it?
David: This would not be the best way to do it. Nobody is particularly terrorized by this. If anything, we are seeing that ‘send us evil and we will throwback a lot more good in its face.’I think that is going to be the long term legacy of this tragedy that yes people died, yes, people were injured, some of them very severely, but the response is going to be what people remember.