Meet The Mizzou Media Professor Who’s Trying To Ban Media Coverage

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/09/meet-the-mizzou-media-professor-whos-trying-to-ban-media-coverage/

 

After desperately trying to gin up media coverage of student protests at the University of Missouri, one of the school’s media professors is nowfuriously trying to “muscle” the press off campus to prevent them from covering student protests that rapidly spiraled out of control Monday.

Mizzou president Timothy Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday after members of the school’s 4-5 football team announced they wouldboycott team activities unless the school acceded to certain demands surrounding racial equality. Unsurprisingly, Wolfe’s resignation did little to quell the mob.

On Monday afternoon, activists who had demanded Wolfe’s resignation abruptly demanded that media stop covering their activities on the public campus of the taxpayer-funded university. At the center of those demands was Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media within Mizzou’s communications department.

In the video below, you can see Click ask for “muscle” to help her bully a Mizzou student into not covering the ongoing mob protests:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRlRAyulN4o

 

“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!”

According to her bio on the University of Missouri website, Melissa Click specializes in “audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy”:

Her research interests center on popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture. Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy. Current research projects involve 50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children’s television programs.

Click’s dissertation for her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst was about the “commodification of femininity, affluence and whiteness in the Martha Stewart phenomenon,” according to her CV. You can read the full dissertation here.

Before today, Click had furiously tried to gin up coverage of the Mizzou protests. On Saturday, Melissa Click posted on Facebook a request for national media coverage of the Mizzou grievances:

https://twitter.com/kevinmhardy/status/663871983755526145/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The interactions captured in the full video prior to Melissa Click’s anti-journalist interventions were no less Orwellian.

“You need to back up if you’re with the media!” a voice in the background yelled to the journalists trying to document the protest. “You need to respect the students! Back up!”

“I am a student,” Tim Tai, a student photographer trying to cover the protest, responded.

After Tai protested that the crowd was trying to push him, several people in the crowd laughed, tried to cover the camera with their hands, and responded, “Okay, then we’ll just block you.”

“You don’t have a right to take our photos,” one of the protesters asserted, apparently unaware that he was on taxpayer-funded public property that is by law open to the press.

Later in the video, the crowd aggressively started pushing the reporter around in an attempt to get him to stop covering their behavior.

“They have an education to get and a life to live,” a woman identified asJanna Basler, the assistant director of Greek Life & Leadership at the university, yelled at the photographer.

“I’m trying to document this for history,” Tai, the photographer, told the crowd.

“Everybody else has documented it,” Basler declared. “You gotta go.”

“You are infringing on what they need right now, which is to be alone,” Basler, a taxpayer-funded university employee, said of the assembled crowd. Basler did not elaborate on how participation in a large, anti-speech mob was consistent with needing to be alone.

At some point on Monday, Melissa Click locked her Twitter account to prevent the public from viewing any of her tweets. In 2013, she published a paper on the use of social media in pop culture. She has not published any peer-reviewed research since then, according to her resume.

 

 

 

Mizzou And Yale Show Why It’s Time To Burn Universities To The Ground

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/09/mizzou-and-yale-show-why-its-time-to-burn-the-universities-to-the-ground/

Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri—known as Mizzou—resigned early today, brought down by…well, it’s kind of hard to say.

A helpful timeline of the case indicates that it started with two cases in which black students at Mizzou said they had racial epithets shouted at them, and one in which a swastika was scrawled on the wall of a bathroom in a university building. In all three of these cases, nobody knows who did it or why. But they were taken as proof of “systemic racism” at the university, and protesters howled for Wolfe’s resignation. Throughout the case, Wolfe issued condemnations of racism, acknowledgements of the justice of the protester’s cause, and apologies for not seeming to take them seriously enough—which, as we should know by now, are all the signs that he’s doomed and will eventually be forced to resign.

Wolfe was targeted, as one protest group put it, because he was “‘not completely’ aware of systemic racism, sexism, and patriarchy on campus.” I love the “not completely.” It reminds me of the old rule about totalitarian revolutions: first, you go after the counter-revolutionaries, then you go after the insufficiently enthusiastic. So Wolfe had to be removed for failing to show immediate and total compliance toward their political agenda.

This reaction makes sense only as a raw power play, as student agitators demonstrating that they can get rid of anybody they want to, that they run this place.

The Mizzou case, along with others like it, raises a question about whether our institutions of higher learning even deserve to exist—not because they are really “systemically racist,” which no one actually believes, but because of their inability to assert any kind of rational response to the student agitators. If administrators don’t have the nerve to re-assert the actual educational purpose of the institution, this makes a pretty good case that it’s time to burn the universities to the ground (metaphorically speaking, of course) and start over from scratch.

Take a similar case from the higher end of the higher ed. Yale is in the middle of a similar upheaval that brings the issues more clearly out into the open. This one began when a Yale dean circulated an e-mail warning against “culturally insensitive” Halloween costumes. One Yale professor, Erika Christakis, replied with a reasonably worded e-mail that basically asked everyone to relax and stop being so uptight and condescending. It reads, in part:

Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious…a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.

It’s interesting to note how much this is an expression of the old liberal pieties about freedom of expression that the contemporary left hasthoroughly rejected. So you all know what’s coming next.

The response was an angry mob of student activists demanding the resignation of…her husband, Nicholas Christakis. Because every good progressive knows it’s a husband job to control his little woman, don’t you know. Actually, they went after Nicholas Christakis because as Master of Silliman College, he was slightly higher up the administrative pecking order. And when you’re after power, you want to take down the most important target.

The key part of the exchange, which was caught on video, comes when a frenzied student screams at Christakis, “It is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students…. It is not about creating an intellectual space!”

 

Well, there you have the issue in a nutshell. There is an old debate about whether the purpose of education is to “socialize” students, to train them in conformity to the assumption and norms of the era—or whether the purpose of education is to, you know, actually teach people stuff, to give them the knowledge and tools they need to become effective, independent thinkers. The mob at Yale knows where it stands. To hell with all that intellectual stuff. We want the university to enforce conformity by complying with whatever demands we laid down in our latest tantrum.

Notice also that all this claptrap about “safe spaces” is a dodge. The protesters are so concerned about “safe spaces” that they formed into an angry mob to surround a lone individual and shout obscenities at him. Where is the safe space for the Christakises?

Obviously, this isn’t about safety and comfort at all. It’s about raw power. It’s about whose demands will get met whenever they make them—and who will be sacrificed to those demands.

The most prescient thing said about this kind of student protest culture was an observation made by Ayn Rand back during the first go-around, in the 1960s. The purpose of all the marches and sit-ins and riots, she wrote, was to condition students to accept mob rule. Here we are fifty years later, and this is quickly becoming the openly declared purpose of universities.

This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies.

The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou.

They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.