Yesterday the jury in the Ward Churchill lawsuit against University of Colorado decided the verdict. I listened on the phone (no live feed from the courtroom) to the reporter who repeated the judges words as the verdict was read. I shouted out what the reporter told me and I Tweeted it at the same time. I shout a lot in the newsroom when I need to get out information or move crews! It had been hectic leading up to the verdict because we only got a 15-minute warning before it was read. We had one photographer there monitoring the courtroom but no reporter. The reporter and another photographer got to the courthouse in time to hear the verdict. I thought it would be smooth sailing for me from there and was enjoying the Twitter conversation the verdict created.

Then we went on the air at 5pm and many heard the verdict for the first time. The phones started ringing. I was shocked. The majority of the Twitter conversation was in support of the verdict, with only a few who were against. The phone calls that came in were all upset by the verdict. Some of the callers just wanted to leave a comment and were polite. Others yelled their opinions and insisted I do something about the outrageous outcome. They hung up without me even uttering a word. Then I answered the phone and heard, "Yes, dear, this is Jane Doe. Did I just hear right? Ward Churchill won?" The voice was that of a curious elderly woman. I sighed a breath of relief at hearing the kind voice.

"Yes, ma'am. The jury ruled in favor of Ward Churchill."

To my complete surprise at hearing my answer the seemingly kind, elderly woman went OFF. I can't remember all that she said to me, but for five minutes she bellowed about ignorant jurors and lawyers. She claimed to have a background in law and was just beside herself at the stupid people now in law.

I kept quiet and just listened. Then she switched angles and decided I had some part in the jurors decision. "And you, young lady, you're the media, how could you let this happen!?"

My internal monologue scrambled in confusion to what I was no hearing. My initial reaction in a situation like this is to stop the caller from saying such ridiculous statements. But, the words just jumbled in my throat. I couldn't talk back to this woman. I just kept hearing my grandma in my head say, "Don't sass me, young lady."

So I didn't. I took the blame for the verdict. When she calmed down and finished I simply said, "Yes ma'am. Thank you for calling. Good bye."

I hung up feeling eight all over again after being scolded for fighting with my younger sister.