Those Unhinged Missouri Students and Faculty Members Threatening Reporters Are Real Heroes

• November 10, 2015 4:57 pm


Faculty in the media department asking for "muscle" to remove a student reporter. A student calling a photographer unethical for not "respecting our space." A young woman saying she has the "right to walk forward," as if that right was in question.

No doubt these intolerant people consider themselves heroes, hence a SuperCut of some of the craziest moments from Mark Schierbecker's footage of University of Missouri protesters. As campuses are increasingly roiled by attempts to stifle free speech, the entire exchange was a telling one about the state of collegiate discourse.

A toxic stew of stupidity, thuggery and self-righteousness at Missouri made for one of the more absurd videos to go viral this year, as students and faculty blocked, taunted and threatened young journalists seeking to cover the protests. Their arguments made no sense, their chants were childish and their behavior was abhorrent.

Photographer Tim Tai calmly explains several times that the same First Amendment allowing students to protest in the quad afforded him the right to free press, but this does not stand with the kids making a perimeter around other protesters to protect their space.

"Forget a law," one protester cries at him. "How about humanity and respect?"

Another student smugly says he'll just raise his hands in the air to block Tai from taking pictures, to sniggering from his fellow protesters.

Janna Basler, an official with the school's Greek Life department, pushes into Tai and then snaps at him, "Don't push me." At one point, she jumps up to block him from taking a picture, and after making contact with him, claims she didn't touch him in any way.

"You're infringing on what they need right now, which is to be alone," she says at one point, apparently unaware that a person seeking solicitude would likely not attend a public protest.

When Tai asks for her name, she replies, "My name is 1950," a reference to the #ConcernedStudent1950 protests. Tai, to his credit, does not laugh in her face at this attempt to be profound.

A professor of assistant communications, Melissa Click, recruits "muscle" at one point to get rid of Schierbecker when he gets inside the perimeter, pushing his camera and yelling at him repeatedly to "get out." Ironically, it was Click who posted on social media that there should be more press covering the unrest at Missouri earlier in the week. Click later apologized for her actions.

Sonny Bunch has a good recap of the madness here. Clay Travis of Fox Sports called the nonsense a "charade:"

You should be ashamed of yourself, Mizzou. This is what happens when today's delicate flower children grow up believing that college should be a place where no one ever says anything to make them sad and those of you on campus with working brains don't stand up and call them out for being pathetic losers.

Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple called for the faculty who blocked students from reporting to be fired, saying watching the video was the equivalent of experiencing "constitutional angst."

As we already know, though, college is terrible.

Note (8:51 p.m.): This article has been updated to show Click apologized for her behavior.

Published under: Missouri