Michael Mayhew - I've managed to keep up with Mike Daisey's...:
Thirty or more years back there was a BBC series called Danger: UXB! The series dealt with a London bomb defusing crew during the blitz in WW2. UXB stands for "unexploded bomb." The thing about that show that just seared itself into my brain was that they had this brilliant trick of setting up characters, showing you their home life, getting you invested in their goals and worries and aspirations, and then, after 3 or 4 episodes, blowing them up. Very quickly I came to realize that they could, and would, kill off ANY of the characters. As a kid who had grown up on American television - Star Trek, The 6 Million Dollar Man, various cop shows, where you could count on seeing the same faces week after week - I was shocked and horrified. Danger:UXB! was insanely suspenseful.
These days TV shows are more likely to kill or injure a main character then when I was a kid, but it seldom carries the shock of a random event. Usually you see it coming.
All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I wonder now if Mike Daisey was also a fan of Danger: UXB!