Meredith Vieira had an interview on The Today Show this morning with Kayla Manson, a 13-year-old girl charged as an accomplice in the vicious beating that almost left a 15-year-old dead, and while she obeyed all the rules of journalism, she broke cardinal rule of talking to young people: don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer.
The incident involved a series of text messages that the victim, Josie Raitley, sent to 15-year old Wayne Treacy. Apparently, Treacy was set off by what Raitley had to say because he went after her, attacking in such brutal fashion that she had to be airlifted to a hospital with life-threating injuries.
So what did the texts say? That’s what Vieira asked. And Manson, displaying the type of unabashed openness that teenagers only seem to possess when you don’t want them to, answered. Explicitly. Which led her to drop the c-word. Twice.
The camera was on Manson when the c-word was uttered, so we didn’t get to see the look of absolute horror that must have passed across Vieira’s face. Vieira responds “We just have to be careful with our language, sweetheart,” and quickly moves on.
Manson went on to apologize, saying that she didn’t take Treacy’s threats seriously. “If I knew he was going to do it, then I probably would have done something about it,” she told Vieira.
But I’m pretty sure neither Vieira nor the moms across America who were having that first cup of coffee, heard anything other than a thirteen-year-old say the c-word, which isn’t exactly how anyone wants to start their day.