How influential is the AMC TV show Breaking Bad ? It can even make a penny-ante meth bust in East Texas seem like national news.
Or at least fodder for Gawker's Neetzan Zimmerman, who blew out the story of 43-year-old Linden junior high chemistry teacher William Duncan with a post headlined "Life Imitates Breaking Bad— Again — as Texas Chemistry Teacher Charged with Cooking, Selling Meth."
(The "again" refers to an actual Alabama meth manufacturer named Walter White, same as Breaking Bad 's lead character, who made headlines in August.)
Jena Johnson of KLTV in Longview also had the story , explaining that Duncan was charged with "manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance" after an 8:20 a.m. undercover bust in the parking lot where Duncan worked. The sting was part of a five-month operation.
"We had bought off of this person a few weeks back," said Linden Police Chief Alton McWaters. "We set-up another buy from him. He sold it to us at the school, at the junior high school where he teaches."
As with the television character "Mr. White," Duncan was not somebody the community would readily suspect—including the chief himself.
"I was real surprised because I've known him for a long [time]," said McWaters. "I just never thought it."
Duncan, who has been placed on administrative release, was not selling to any students, KLTV's report said.
This tweet from Fort Worth's Nicholas Tallant was apparently the first to make the pop reference (complete with the "Better call Saul," punch line, invoking the show's cheesy criminal defense lawyer Saul Goodman).
— Nicholas Tallant (@TheRealDelaware) September 14, 2012
Below, KLTV's clip: