"How could it happen here in this nice, quiet, middle-class community?" -- Columbine, Part 2: Corrupting the Suburban Sanctuary

By Doctor Comrade

[This is the second part a three-part series on school shootings, the media, and discourse about abnormality. You can read the introduction herePart 3: "The corrupting influences of modern American culture": The Technologies of Deviance]

The media represented the members of the Columbine community as isolated from violence. Both the media and residents of Columbine were quick to characterize the events as attacking their innocence. Immediately following the events, teacher Paula Reid said, “There are no guns at Columbine. At least, that’s our perception of things…. I just keep thinking that this does not happen at our school.”[1] Another teacher also remarked, “We’re not immune from the problems you see in other parts of the country… Perhaps our innocence is lost today,”[2] which indicates that members of this community understood how violence was a natural occurrence in other areas, but not in Columbine. The Denver Post declared, “Tuesday…was a day for worrying about the tragic loss of life and innocence and any sense of security.”[3] These comments, and the news media outlets that chose them as the quotations to broadcast, underscored the myth that suburban communities are supposed to be particularly safe from violence. By relating Columbine to the other parts of the country, these teachers demonstrated how Columbine High School embodied the positive aspects of the suburban haven. They illustrate the perception that Columbine belonged to its own separate sphere, where violence was foreign and the members of its community formed a cohesive whole that protected the sanctuary. The school occupies a space where students and teachers are expected to be safe, and where violence is particularly repugnant to a community’s values. By claiming that violence was shockingly foreign to their school, these teachers juxtaposed the affluent community against the impoverished communities where violence was more prevalent. They drew the equation of violence to poverty as well as asserted that suburban schools are supposed to be superior because they were safer from violence.

Schools are also outside of other public aspects of society because they harbor children’s innocence, something young people retain because they have not been exposed to the outside world. In effect, the sanctuary shields them because children are vulnerable to attacks from outsiders. As minors, they are usually seen as weaker and more vulnerable, and therefore they need to be protected for their own sakes.[4]  Furthermore, children are not agents in this view. They do not act, they are acted upon. And while concern for the safety of children from outside influences is well-precedented, the “child-victim” concept garnered more media attention starting in the 1970s, especially with regard to deviant adults who would cause them harm. Public safety campaigns and reports about child abuse, kidnappings, Satanists, and child molesters identified how children would be victims of these social “syndromes,” and expert sociological and psychological testimony gave this movement legitimacy so that society’s problems could be blamed on cultural deviance because they were attributed to “objective social conditions.”[5] This media attention during the 1970s and 1980s marked deviance in society, rather than blaming individual deviants, as the cause of child victimhood, which shifted blame to social diseases that would infiltrate and infect normal communities. This view proposed that children would be safe in schools as long as these syndromes were kept out, which could account for the suburban self-perception that saw suburbia as isolated and safe from dangers like poverty.

This points to how school violence was portrayed as impossible in white, suburban areas. News outlets kept asking, “How could it happen here in this nice, quiet, middle-class community?”[6] These questions implied that Columbine was not an area that contained impurities which could corrupt the sanctuary, and that affluent, suburban, white schools are not violent and they are not in violent areas; they are supposed to be exceptionally strong sanctuaries. This belief derived from two main sources: suburbanization and white-flight after World War Two, and the tension and social strife in schools in the 1970s and 1980s, when most school violence was disproportionately against other racial groups and perpetrated at much higher rates by impoverished students.[7] Housing growth after the war was not only a product of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration policies that helped the middle class purchase new homes. Emigration out of the urban areas was “more than a function of urban population growth; that it [was] in many cases driven by class and racial antipathies.”[8] As urban middle-class whites prospered in the postwar years, they left the cities and their black neighbors while African Americans were held back by racial prejudice.[9] As a result, new prosperous neighborhoods formed and were largely ethnically homogeneous. Controversies over school bussing, racial violence in cities like Boston, disparities in school district funding, and white-flight to the suburbs underscore how white neighborhoods in the late 1990s believed they had overcome these struggles.[10] Suburbanization caused municipalities to redraw school district lines, which often created stark racial divisions between urban and suburban areas, allowing suburbs like Littleton to be almost completely white.[11] The media’s questions on this topic illustrate how Harris and Klebold could not simply be threats to the safety of their peers, but they were products of larger cultural patterns that threatened the sanctity of suburban life, affluence, and whiteness. In this way, the media were able to explain why two prosperous teens could pollute the sanctuary. Their corruption mirrored the anxieties inherent in the myth of sanctuary because corruption and violence can challenge and dissemble the idea that the suburbs are safe from violence.

In this sense, the media coverage had to reconcile the ways a sanctuary could be corrupted from within. Simply put, Columbine was not invaded by people from the outside, but by outside ideas. As the coverage suggested, Columbine had fallen prey to something insidious and foreign. Essentially, the narrative that the media crafted focused on all the ways in which the shooters were abnormal: they did not dress, act, or consume like normal teenagers. The news media showed that the shooters had been corrupted by foreign influences. The purity of Littleton could not be corrupted from inside because it was peaceful, affluent, and normal; it was supposed to be a cohesive and homogeneous community. The shooters became products, “victims of pernicious media ‘effects’ – with the ‘influence’ of film and TV” on their behavior.[12] The events of Columbine highlighted the media’s ability to reinforce the realms of normality and abnormality, which echo the culture’s pre-existing beliefs about morality.

To the question of how a safe haven could be corrupted from the inside, the answer the media crafted was that the shooters were strange, and by implication, more dangerous than normal students. To accomplish this, the media mobilized several different stories that placed the shooters’ interests beyond the normal, as illustrated by a story that appeared in the New York Times the day after the shooting. This story reported that they were members of an outcast clique called the Trench Coat Mafia, they adorned “bizarre” Gothic clothing, they were fans of Marilyn Manson and foreign music, but most of all, they were “outsiders.”[13] They were set apart from the Columbine community because they could not fit in, so the conclusion was that they had to stand out. They were “virtually invisible among the athletes and popular classmates,” which can be read as these kids were too weird to be accepted into this community. It shifts the blame to their abnormality, the things that set them apart rather than the aspects of their lives that aligned with their classmates. These kinds of stories blamed their outsider status, which in turn was linked to abnormal entertainment. Not only did these stories turn out to be false, but the media broadcast them anyway because they were easily identifiable scapegoats within the existing moralistic metanarrative condemnations of alternative forms of cultural consumption. These narratives conformed to how abnormality was linked to immorality. Nonconformity within the suburban community indicated a departure from the superiority of suburban life and cracks in the cohesiveness that preserved suburban affluence, therefore abnormality would be intolerable and incommensurable with suburban values. The supposed invisibility of the shooters before the shooting portrays them as abnormal because they were too strange to conform to the standards of popularity and acceptability.

The allusion to Marilyn Manson, the purportedly satanic musician that the shooters were reported to be fans of, was also important because of the ways he had already been a target in the media. Two years before Columbine, the US Senate held hearings on reasons for censoring popular music. The news media fixated on one parent in particular, Raymond Kuntz. Along with shocking video from one of Manson’s music videos, CNN broadcast a single quotation from Kuntz’s testimony in which he blamed Manson for his son’s suicide because he “failed to recognize that [his] son was holding a hand grenade and it was about to go off in his mind.”[14]  The hand grenade is an appropriate metaphor in this case because it is a kind of bomb that takes time to explode. During that time, corruption can sneak into a sanctuary and destroy it from the inside. The danger of a hand grenade derives from it being propelled from somewhere outside into the bunker of unsuspecting victims. The idea of targeting Manson had existed for years before the Columbine Shooting, and the events presented the media with an opportunity to recast that discursive hand grenade; he was a well-established scapegoat that audiences would understand to be evil and corruptive, thus linking his strange music and violence in several instances across recent history.

The most potent and long-lasting accusation was that Harris and Klebold belonged to the Trench Coat Mafia, a shadowy organization with neo-Nazi ideology. Out of an entire news conference, the only quotation that CNN showed from Sheriff John Stone linked the shooters to Nazis, saying, “I have a real concern with people that identify themselves, their heroes in life being people like Adolf Hitler. And if these people are tied in with one of these Hitler-type movements... then we’ve got a sick society.”[15] A story in the Denver Post the following day echoed this sentiment. They ran quotes from two students who said, “‘They sing Marilyn Manson songs and joke about killing people,’ …. ‘They're into Nazis. They take pride in Hitler. They're really, really creepy.’”[16] Ted Koppel provided perhaps the clearest indication that the media was overreaching its sources when he announced, “It may not be relevant, but today would have been Adolf Hitler’s 110th birthday.”[17] This willingness to imply that Harris and Klebold were honoring Hitler also shows how reporters like Koppel were already convinced that the shooters had to exist beyond any acceptable American identity. Relevant or not, they were going to report those Nazi connections.

This illustrates the fear in these suburban communities of their peaceful way of life coming under the threat of subversive politics. Hitler is a particularly strong indicator of the kind of monster the media was trying to associate with Harris and Klebold; he is a near-universally despised figure in history. The shooters’ own writing was trotted out as evidence of their sinister affiliations. In an inscription in Harris’ yearbook, Klebold says “So many people need to die… You know what I hate? People.”[18] These kinds of writing seem to make more sense when considered within the attributions to Hitler because it makes them sound not just angry or angst-ridden, but also genuinely genocidal. When the media characterized Harris and Klebold as corrupted by subversive political ideology, it was another strategy to link their supposed subversiveness and abnormality to danger. This trend echoes through the twentieth century, when countersubversive forces demonized non-mainstream political allegiance.[19] Demonizing the boys for their alleged Nazi connections does not overtly denigrate Nazism because Nazism was already assumed to be a discredited, evil political ideology with adherents that were essentially irrational and ignorant. However, by linking these kinds of Nazi demons to the shooters, the media further isolated and marginalized them from the suburban community. This is why the concept of the metanarrative illuminates so much of the Columbine story’s construction: the media attempted to illustrate how Harris and Klebold were already violating society’s standards of justice by aligning them with discredited politics, so they were natural caricatures of villainous outsiders.

Another familiar example of corrupting influences was membership in satanic cults. Moral panics over the presence of Satan in society linked demon-worship to violence, disease, and numerous other social maladies. The quintessential moral panic over Satanism occurred in the Renaissance, in which a multi-year panic targeted witches who were “conspiring with Satan in a fiendish plot against God to engage in evil,” which led to the idea of punishing witches becoming so pervasive in Western culture that the term “witch-hunt” is still used to indicate specious investigations.[20] It was also the term Marilyn Manson used to describe his treatment by the media in Columbine’s aftermath.[21] The phrase witch-hunt refers to the way moral panics create “folk devils,” or “visible reminders of what we should not be.”[22] Society perceived witches as evil because they communicated and served forces that were against God, personified metaphorically or mythically as Satan. From the European witch-scares in the 1650s to the Salem Witch Trials in America, the power that mythologies have over social structures of punishment is undeniable. Moreover, those myths did not disappear over time; their propagation in the 1980s surrounding alleged child abuse in daycare centers shows how those myths endured by attaching to the superstitious aspects of American culture.[23] The media’s moral panics redeployed those fears. Similar to Columbine, later information showed how “there was not a single case where there was clear corroborating evidence for… a well-organized intergenerational satanic cult.”[24] But over the course of a decade, news outlets repeatedly reported that Satanism was the cause of over one-hundred cases of child abuse across the country.

This fear of Satanism became realized again when the Columbine Shooting occurred. The media imposed the narrative of how impurity of the shooters attacked the Christian purity of the victims, which called up the metanarrative that abnormality threatened the morality of the community. The funerals of several victims were nationally televised from inside their churches. The media captured grieving classmates who proclaimed that the victims were “servants of Christ” who had “personal relationships with Jesus.”[25] Most of funerals were held in Trinity Christian Center, Foothills Bible Church, and West Bowles Community Church. Stories about Cassie Bernall painted her as a martyr. She was supposedly killed after she told the shooters she believed in God, which transformed her into what the Los Angeles Times called, “a teenage icon of faith… a modern day martyr.”[26] During the subsequent church sermons honoring her memory, her pastor declared, “Millions have been touched by a martyr.”[27] The Rocky Mountain News reported a quasi-fictionalized narrative that read, “‘Yes, I believe in God,’ she said. That was the last thing this 17-year-old Christian would ever say…. Bernall entered the Columbine High School library to study during lunch. She left a martyr.”[28] These characterizations ensured that the victims would be perceived as normal, Christian kids who were attacked by evil, non-believers. Accounts of the shooters targeting Christians heightened the attention towards their own alleged involvement with Satanism. The Denver Post speculated that Harris and Klebold were “interested in the occult, mutilation, shock-rocker Marilyn Manson and Adolf Hitler.”[29] The focus on the Christian victims actually caused proclamations about Satan to be heard, including one classmate who was reported as saying, “We feel the presence of Satan, operating in our midst!” and national newspaper polls revealed that a significant portion of the public believed Satan caused the shooting.[30]

Running these statements allowed the media to show how the shooters had already chosen affiliations outside the social norm. They were outcasts, and elements of impurities were already present, at least in the consciousness of their peers. These kinds of statements prompted one newscaster to assert, “Those who knew these teens best say the Trench Coat Mafia is more than just black clothes. These boys were dangerously strange.”[31] What the reporters did not mention was how the students that reported that the shooters were in the Trench Coat Mafia were relaying rumors and hearsay, because while the shooters did wear trench coats to school, they were not members of the outcast clique.[32] But the trench coat symbolism was an easy connection for the students to make, and the media reported their mistake without corroborating information. By drawing these linkages between the shooters, Nazis, and other outcasts, the media could easily show that Harris and Klebold had been corrupted by influences outside of sheltered Littleton. They were “dangerously strange,” abnormal from the start, and showed that their presence in the community disturbed its identity and threatened its cohesiveness.

Another telling characterization was how Harris and Klebold were identified as Goths. The Gothic subculture emerged from punk, but differed in its inclinations towards romanticism, valorization of death, and androgyny; its most recognizable characteristics were its adherents’ unisex clothing and white makeup.[33] With only student speculation, the media linked Harris and Klebold to the Goth subculture, even though neither Harris nor Klebold were Goths.[34] The AP reported that “They call themselves ‘Goths,’… a subculture of youths who wear black, listen to shock rocker Marilyn Manson and think a lot about death.”[35] Brian Ross, a correspondent for ABC, reported that the shooters were both “self-proclaimed members of the Gothic movement,” which had “[fueled] a new kind of teenage gang… built around a fascination with the grotesque and with death,” responsible for an earlier double-murder.[36]According to the media, that meant their tastes were “foreign,” and they listened to the German band Rammstein’s “dark heavy metal,” which only strengthened the German-Nazi connection from the Trench Coat Mafia.[37] The news media mistakenly identified the Trench Coat Mafia as Goths, even though Goths typically despise violence against other people.[38] Goths were natural social outsiders because they eschewed traditional clothing and music, so the strangeness of the Goth subculture gave the media perfect targets for news coverage searching for ways to make the shooters appear different.[39]  

The rumor about Harris and Klebold’s supposed homosexuality was also particularly sinister, especially because there was absolutely no evidence that it was true (and the contradictory evidence was not broadcast). The news media often interviewed jocks, who were self-described bullies of Klebold and Harris, which helped spread baseless allegations about the shooters. One news account reported, “‘They’re freaks,’ said…an angry sophomore from the soccer team…. He said students picked on the pair” because “The majority of them were gay. So everyone would make fun of them.”[40] Littleton had a high percentage of Evangelical Protestant families, which could possibly indicate that a majority may have harbored homophobic beliefs.[41] Homosexuality has a long history of being demonized as perverse or deviant.[42] In effect, the news media could use first-hand accounts to call Harris and Klebold gay freaks, all the while appearing impartial because their evidence came from students. There are also inconsistencies with the portrayal of the shooters as gay by jocks. By calling them homosexuals, the popular students could ostracize their supposedly undesirable peers and label them as feminine and weak, which is also illustrated by the jock-geek divide that often pervades American high schools: the jocks are masculine and strong, while the geeks are physically weaker but intellectually stronger. This raises the problem of how jocks could reconcile the belief that Harris and Klebold were weaklings with the recent events in which the shooters had asserted masculine dominance through violence. By calling them homosexual and implying feminine weakness, the jocks had a platform on which to reassert their masculinity after it had come under attack from a supposedly weak faction of their peers.

What this also shows is tension within the media’s account of the violence. After initial reports that the shooters were trying to stand out, other reports showed that Klebold and Harris were habitually bullied. Ironically, these reports often came from jocks and other popular students as they attempted to explain the events. The shooters sought their own kind of refuge with other outcasts and victims of bullying.[43] One account claimed, “They hated authority, minorities, student athletes, and anyone who picked on them.” In the same story, a student named Alex Marsh said, “If they hated you, you better watch your back.”[44] And one jock commented that they were gay freaks and that was why “everyone would make fun of them.”[45] These quotations illustrate that the school was not as perfect and peaceful as other parts of the stories had described. Nevertheless, this information could also be incorporated into existing moral attitudes. On one hand, the media often emphasizes conflict to drive interest in a story.[46] In this case, the media highlighted the identity conflicts between “normal” kids and “outcasts.” Even though the jocks had bullied Harris and Klebold, the news media crafted a message to illustrate that Harris and Klebold were inherently strange, in a sense that they were so different that it made sense that they were bullied. This reverses the bullying by holding Harris and Klebold responsible for how weird they were. Student Matthew Good said of one of the shooters, “You could tell he hated a lot of people. There was just a lot of hate in him.”[47] This aligns with previous assertions of how strange the shooters were, and if they had been less strange, perhaps they would never have been bullied, or become killers. Contrasting the jocks with the shooters did not absolve the shooters because it merely heightened the distinctions between those who had been corrupted and those who were normal, allowing a hardening of the sign systems in play.

By giving coverage to the bullying alongside the claims of abnormality, the media asserted that the bullying alone was not sufficient to cause the events. Piling on additional stories about the Trench Coat Mafia, Nazis, music, and homosexuality constructed the story in such a way that causal links could never be drawn between their actions and any one particular factor, but instead drawn between all the abnormal cultural tastes the shooters had. Therefore, bullying could be safely included as a possible factor, but never as the deciding factor. In essence, these jocks were asserting how normal bullying is in a school environment, and they were taking offense at how abnormally Harris and Klebold reacted. It became clear that there was a well-established social hierarchy inside Columbine High School, and that was normal because jocks and other popular students were naturally at the top. As the New York Times pointed out, the only way for the shooters to become visible was to attack the bullies.[48] However, this discourse does not excuse the shooters as reacting in-kind to violence against them. Instead, it defends the bullies, who were only carrying out the prescriptions of the natural social hierarchy. The media showed that if the shooters had conformed, if they had acted like the popular kids acted or accepted the hierarchy, then they never would have had to assert their weird identities in a burst of extreme violence. While violence anywhere is tragic and out of the ordinary, the media demonstrated that deviating from the norms of hierarchy was to blame for violence, not the actual hierarchy itself.

Part 1: "These boys were dangerously strange" -- How Media Discourse Targeted Outsiders after the Columbine Shooting
Part 3: "The corrupting influences of modern American culture": The Technologies of Deviance]

[Read more of my long-form writing about history, the media, and American culture: "The Strength of Street Knowledge": Media Representations of the Political Discourse of Gangsta Rap and the Pathology of Blackness: Colonizing Harlem in Collective Memory, 1964-1995.]

Footnotes

[1] “Video: April 20, 1999: Eyewitness Accounts of Shooting,” ABC News (ABC, April 20, 1999), http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/columbine-school-shooting-eyewitness-9956273.
[2] Mark Obmascik, “High School Massacre Columbine Bloodbath Leaves up to 25 Dead: [Rockies Edition],” Denver Post, April 21, 1999.
[3] Mike Klis and Vicki Michaelis, “Kid Games Take a Day off: [Rockies Edition],” Denver Post, April 21, 1999.
[4] Joel Best, Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child-Victims (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 3–4.
[5] Ibid., 6–11.
[6] “NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 21, 1999 - Headline: Littleton, Colorado / School Shooting,” NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 21, 1999 (NBC, April 21, 1999), 629395, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=629395.
[7] Arnold P. Goldstein, School Violence (Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1984), 7, 202.
[8] Gregory Weiher, The Fractured Metropolis: Political Fragmentation and Metropolitan Segregation (Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press, 1991), 7.
[9] Xavier de Souza Briggs, ed., The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (Washington D.C: Brookings Institution Press, 2005), 3.
[10] Katherine S. Newman, Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings (New York: Basic Books, 2004), 52.
[11] Weiher, The Fractured Metropolis, x–xi.
[12] Bill Osgerby, Youth Media (London ; New York: Routledge, 2004), 61.
[13] Brett Pulley, “Students on the Fringe Found a Way to Stand Out,” New York Times, April 21, 1999.
[14] “CNN Evening News for Thursday, Nov 06, 1997 - Music Industry / Senate Hearings” (CNN, November 6, 1997), 412904, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=412904.
[15] “CNN Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 21, 1999 - Littleton, Colorado / School Shooting,” CNN Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 21, 1999 (CNN, April 21, 1999), 430076, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=430076.
[16] Susan Greene and Bill Briggs, “Carnage Puts Spotlight on Trench Coat Mafia: [Rockies Edition],” Denver Post, April 21, 1999.
[17] “ABC News Apr 20 1999.”
[18] Peter Langman, “Jefferson Country Sheriff’s Office Columbine Documents Organized by Theme,” September 2008, 6, schoolshooters.info/jcso-columbine-documents.pdf.
[19]For example, see Michael Paul Rogin, Ronald Reagan, the Movie and Other Episodes in Political Demonology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent (Rinehart & Co., 1954); Harry J. Anslinger and Courtney Cooper, “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth,” in The American Drug Scene, ed. James A. Inciardi and Karen McElrath (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Thomas Torrans, Forging the Tortilla Curtain (Forth Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 2000).
[20] Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance (Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 169.
[21] Marilyn Manson, “Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?,” Rolling Stone, June 24, 1999, http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/columbine-whose-fault-is-it-19990624.
[22] Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980), 10.
[23] Mary Deyoung, “Moral Panics: The Case of Satanic Day Care Centers,” in Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction, ed. Patricia A. Adler and Peter Adler (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2003), 161.
[24] Daniel Goleman, “Proof Lacking for Ritual Abuse by Satanists,” New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast), October 31, 1994.
[25] David Cullen, “‘I Smell the Presence of Satan,’” Salon, May 15, 1999, http://www.salon.com/1999/05/15/evangelicals/.
[26] Larry B. Stammer, “Slain Student’s Act of Faith Inspires Nation’s Christians [Home Edition],” Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1999.
[27] Cullen, “‘I Smell the Presence of Satan.’”
[28] Carla Crowder, “Martyr for Her Faith: Youthful Christian Confesses Her Belief to Rampaging Gunman, Then Pays with Her Life,” Rocky Mountain News, April 23, 1999.
[29] Greene and Briggs, “Carnage Puts Spotlight on Trench Coat Mafia.”
[30] Cullen, “‘I Smell the Presence of Satan’”; David Cullen, Columbine (New York: Twelve, 2009), 107.
[31] “NBC Evening News Apr 21 1999.”
[32] Cullen, Columbine, 72.
[33] Lauren M. E. Goodlad and Michael Bibby, Goth: Undead Subculture (Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2007), 1–3.
[34] David Cullen, “Inside the Columbine High Investigation,” Salon, September 23, 1999, http://www.salon.com/1999/09/23/columbine_4/.
[35] Associated Press, “Spotlight Shines on Subculture: [Final Edition],” Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 23, 1999.
[36] “20/20: High School Terror,” 20/20 (ABC, April 21, 1999).
[37] “NBC Evening News Apr 21 1999.”
[38] Cullen, Columbine, 156.
[39] James Brooke, “2 Students in Colorado School Said to Gun Down as Many as 23 and Kill Themselves in a Siege,” New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast), April 21, 1999.
[40] Cullen, Columbine, 155; David Cullen, “The Rumor That Won’t Go Away,” Salon, April 24, 1999, http://www.salon.com/1999/04/24/rumors/.
[41] Cullen, “‘I Smell the Presence of Satan.’”
[42] For example, Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (Vintage, 1990), 33–36, 54, 104–105, 139–141.
[43] Brooke, “2 Students in Colorado School Said to Gun Down as Many as 23 and Kill Themselves in a Siege.”
[44] “ABC News Video: April 21, 1999: Colorado Community in Shock” (ABC, April 21, 1999), http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/columbine-shooting-1999-colorado-9954944.
[45] Cullen, “The Rumor That Won’t Go Away.”
[46] Michael Schudson, The Power of News (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995), 9.
[47] “NBC Evening News Apr 21 1999.”
[48] Pulley, “Students on the Fringe Found a Way to Stand Out.”