Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Update on Melissa Click (University of Missouri Professor Who Tried to Interfere With Campus Reporter)

Professor Melissa Click was caught on video trying to throw a reporter off of public property. (Screengrab)

A group of Missouri lawmakers are demanding the firing of University of Missouri journalism professor Melissa Click over her actions at a University of Missouri Black Lives Matter demonstration in which she tried to interfere with a campus reporter's right to film in a public place. Click also tried to get help in removing the young man by "calling for some muscle".

To me this is not a question of Click's right of free speech or her right to join a student protest. A couple of points justify her firing in my view.

1 As a professor of journalism, communications, or whatever she wants to call it, if she didn't realize the First Amendment rights of the young reporter to video in a public place, she is woefully unqualified for her position. She is equivalent to a baseball umpire who thinks there are two outs to an inning.

2 When she called out to her fellow demonstrators "for some muscle", she was calling for physical force to remove the young man from a place he had every right to be. I dare say had the young man been physically assaulted, she could have been charged and arrested.

As my readers know, I have videotaped many speaking events at UC Irvine and have had my right to do so challenged regularly by the Muslim Student Union. On one occasion, UCI Campus Police accommodated the MSU and wrongfully prevented me from videotaping. They later apologized and affirmed my right to videotape after I made a stink about it. The law was clearly on my side, and I continue to exercise my rights in that regard.

The First Amendment is under assault on college campuses by people who want to limit it only to themselves. Firing Ms Click would be a good start toward re-affirming the free speech rights of all-not just a select few.

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