The inmates are running the asylum.
Campus politics got nasty Monday, with a mob attempting to intimidate the media out of documenting a protest at the University of Missouri, and getting even uglier when the Internet realized at least two of the protesters weren’t just students.
While trying to photograph the scene where a hunger protest had been held, young journalist Tim Tai was confronted by a group of protestors who told him to leave.
Tai stood his ground, reminding the crowd of his First Amendment right to photograph on a public space.
But the crowd gradually forced him to retreat, chanting at him to get out of their “space.”
Many of the people facing Tai look like students in their quad at a protest.
But the blonde woman in the middle of the screenshot below is Assistant Director for Greek Life & Leadership Janna Basler, according to the Columbia Missourian.
And the woman in the right of the photo below is allegedly Assistant Professor of Mass Media Melissa Click, according to CNN’s Dylan Byers.
You need to get out, you need to get out,” Melissa Click demanded of the person filming the protest. “You need to get out,” she continued before trying to grab the camera out of the videographer’s hands.
“I actually don’t,” the journalist told Click.
“Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here,” the media professor then hysterically exclaimed to the assembled mob. “I need some muscle over here!”
Ironically, Click wasn’t always opposed to journalists being involved in the story, having previously sought media attention for the protests, according to a screenshot of a Facebook post tweeted by a Des Moines Register reporter on Monday:
“Hey folks, students fighting racism on the MU campus want to get their message into the national media. Who among my friends knows someone who would want a scoop on this incredible topic?
The story involves the failure of administrators, a student on day 6 of a hunger strike, and creative, fearless students. If you can help, please let me know!”
Basler and Click are just two members of the staff at Missouri, and they were rapidly called out for their behavior Monday.
But to see a college professor calling on the use of physical force to deny a journalist the First Amendment is deeply concerning for Americans worried about the future of free speech.
Watch the video below.