Scarborough and guests scold reporters for making Ferguson unrest all about them

posted at 10:41 am on August 18, 2014 by Noah Rothman

The media loves talking about the media, and will embrace any excuse to do just that. Ferguson police provided the press with an opportunity for self-indulgence that they just could not pass up when they detained without explanation two journalists during protests in Missouri last week. From that point on, those two reporters were not merely chroniclers of but active participants in this story, and they comported themselves in that fashion in their many subsequent interviews with various press outlets.

On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and his guests, who have broadly been more hostile to the Ferguson protesters than their MSNBC colleagues, scolded reporters for making the story in Ferguson about the treatment of the press rather than the grievances of local protesters.

During Sunday night’s violent protests in Ferguson, KARG Argus Radio reporter Mustafa Hussein was targeted by a police officer and forcefully asked to leave the area. “Get the f*** out of here, or I’ll shoot you with this,” one unidentified officer told the radio reporter.

Some, including conservatives, implied that the officer’s threat was over the line. The hosts of Morning Joe apparently disagreed. They noted that coordinated attacks on police and the introduction of weapons including reports of Molotov cocktails have changed the calculation for the first responders.

This is a fairly well-deserved critique, and it is an important example of how changing circumstances should change opinions. Yes, a heavy-handed police response to peaceful protests which was not especially dissimilar to the police response to looting made the situation in Ferguson worse. Yes, the evolving nature of the protests in Ferguson, which are now an unquestioned threat to public safety, require a robust and significant police and military response to quell. Absolutists on either side of the argument about how the police have comported themselves during this episode of violence are doing the debate about the militarization of the police a disservice.

Moreover, the self-righteousness of reporters in America’s comfortable newsrooms on the coasts does not seem representative of the opinions of reporters on the ground in Missouri. Far from expressing unqualified revulsion at what many have considered the undue force applied to both protesters and reporters alike, some in the press are now openly hoping for a stronger police response.

This sentiment was perhaps best exemplified on Sunday night just prior to a news conference from Capt. Ron Johnson.

“They need to shoot some people to stop this,” an unidentified photographer said off camera. “I hate to say it, but it’s true.”

While America’s commentators are more concerned with a police response to the violence in Ferguson, a justified reaction which the early responders to this crisis brought upon themselves, some reporters on the ground now appear to be more concerned with their own safety.

The situation in Ferguson has changed for the worse, and the moral authority of those who continue to insist that the police should stand down is waning.


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The media loves talking about the media, and will embrace any excuse to do just that.

Which Noah records here without any hint of irony.

Bitter Clinger on August 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

In related news, Salem to change name of “Hot Air” to “MSNBC In Review”.

Bitter Clinger on August 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The situation in Ferguson has changed for the worse, and the moral authority of those who continue to insist that the police should stand down is waning.

Dear Liar has passed his expiration date. The Left needs something new. Trayvon Martin was an exhibition game. Now they are trying a regular season game.

rbj on August 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Once the mob decides that they don’t like what the press is seeing/photographing, and they start assaulting the reporters, then the police have to go in and protect reporters from the mob. The police don’t want to have to do that.

RBMN on August 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

The situation in Ferguson has changed for the worse

The Trayvon Play Revival Tour, Act 5, coming to a town near you.

faraway on August 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

The media specializes in provocation.

The sooner people realize this, the sooner certain controversies will run their course without being elongated just for the sake of antagonizing people and treating dire circumstances as a circus show.

Aizen on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Salem to change name of “Hot Air” to “MSNBC In Review”.

Well to be fair, I started out with Fox N Friends but Doocy and Kilmeade are both back and either bloviating with Donald Trump or talking Brian’s thighs and pina coladas. So I switched to Schmoe then turned it off.

Marcus on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

#Carnage4Justice

#Loot4Change

portlandon on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

You mean the same group that rushes to our coastlines to confirm what has been forecasted for 7 days—hurricanes bring wind and rain—that group>

hillsoftx on August 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Could the agendas of the “journalists” be part of the problem…?

d1carter on August 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Glad to see the cops realize who the real enemy is.

Anybody who remembers the riots of the 60s has seen this all before.

That’s a war they’re fighting and they can be killed just as dead by one of da yoots,

formwiz on August 18, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Was Noah added to the staff for balance or something?

HotAirian on August 18, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Remember, one of the “journalists” that was arrested/detained at McD’s thought orange foam earplugs were rubber bullets….?

d1carter on August 18, 2014 at 10:55 AM

While America’s commentators are more concerned with a police response to the violence in Ferguson, a justified reaction which the early responders to this crisis brought upon themselves, some reporters on the ground now appear to be more concerned with their own safety.

Wait, so the rioting that came after the shooting is the police’s fault?

chrisbolts on August 18, 2014 at 10:57 AM

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”

Schadenfreude on August 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Until God is black they’ll mope and riot.

A black preezie did nothin’ for them, nothin’ at all.

Schadenfreude on August 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

#Carnage4Justice

#Loot4Change

portlandon on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Out: Hope and Change

In: Loot and Riot

Thanks Obama.

faraway on August 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

“They need to shoot some people to stop this,” an unidentified photographer said off camera. “I hate to say it, but it’s true.”

This is why the OLD SOP for looters was to shoot them. The libs are scared witless of killing any more low life’s.

The only thing law abiding people can do is move away. During daylight.

dogsoldier on August 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM

I get the feeling that Dear Leader wants to step into this mess…he’s already got Eric Holder, who’s in Contempt of Congress, working behind the scenes. Valarie has said he views the Ferguson riots from the view of a father….

d1carter on August 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Turdhead Scarborough and his bimbo co-host always make everything about themselves.

Pork-Chop on August 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Ferguson’s 15 minutes are over — move on

jake-the-goose on August 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Yes, the evolving nature of the protests in Ferguson, which are now an unquestioned threat public safety, require a robust and significant police and military response to quell.

OH NOES!!!!
Hot Air Pearl clutch team

katy the mean old lady on August 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Wait, so the rioting that came after the shooting is the police’s fault?

chrisbolts on August 18, 2014 at 10:57 AM

According to the media.

It had nothing to do with the lies that Brown’s cohort in crime told to save his butt. The entire the is the cops fault. It’s sad when even a “conservative” blog is pounding this meme.

talkingpoints on August 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Turdhead Scarborough and his bimbo co-host always make everything about themselves.

Pork-Chop on August 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Howard Stern and Robin Gwivers wannabe

jake-the-goose on August 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Wrong, Noah, the cops DIDN’T arrest the journalists without explanation. There were told to leave by the cops dozens of times and they refused.

rexbatt on August 18, 2014 at 11:06 AM

The situation in Ferguson has changed for the worse, and the moral authority of those who continue to insist that the police should stand down is waning.

An odd statement to make after writing this …

Absolutists on either side of the argument about how the police have comported themselves during this episode of violence are doing the debate about the militarization of the police a disservice.

Sounds to me like Noah is one of those “absolutists”.

I think though, that Noah’s argument is … “Well the police really eff’d this thing up – but we still need to kill some people to set this straight.”

And, while he’s making this point … I suppose the “balance” in this piece is when he says …

Yes, a heavy-handed police response to peaceful protests which was not especially dissimilar to the police response to looting made the situation in Ferguson worse.

But his argument is to up the ante and get heavy handed.

???

Noah – what do you know about what is actually happening in Ferguson? After Hurricane Katrina – the press all but told us that organized “rape squads” were roaming through New Orleans. That was false – and most of the violence was played up by the press. It wasn’t presented in any fashion even close to it’s actual context.

And now – you want to believe the MSM and the Cops when they say we need to nuke the place from orbit? Just to be sure?

The Cops lost.

The National Guard may actually fix this since they are a third party – not connected to the cops and the shooting that caused this. They are also led by an officer who knows he’s ACCOUNTABLE for his fuc* ups – and can’t fake reports and cover the corrupt actions of his subordinates – or himself.

The residents need to take this opportunity to stand down and help the NatGuard restore order. Point’s been made – the cops were defeated. And – it may be a LONG TIME before the Ferguson police have the credibility to actually police that town again.

HondaV65 on August 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

“They need to shoot some people to stop this,” an unidentified photographer said off camera. “I hate to say it, but it’s true.”

They start shooting looters, the riots will end quickly. If Sharpton and Jackson want to throw fuel on the fire, throw their asses in jail.

GarandFan on August 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

They start shooting looters, the riots will end quickly. If Sharpton and Jackson want to throw fuel on the fire, throw their asses in jail.

GarandFan on August 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Yeah just shoot some people … and throw some clowns in the hoosegow … and all will be well. Mission accomplished … we’ll all be able to sleep better then won’t we?

This is a systemic problem – it ain’t going away bro. You can kill some people … it won’t go away. It may die down … for a time … but it ain’t going away until you ADDRESS the root causes of it.

Until then – idiots like Sharpton and Jackson will have the power to make this happen anywhere they want.

HondaV65 on August 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I can’t believe that Baden is allowing himself to used by these morons

rik on August 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Until then – idiots like Sharpton and Jackson will have the power to make this happen anywhere they want.

HondaV65 on August 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Yep. The very fact that Sharpton and Jackson are even capable of sticking their noses into situations like these goes to show that the root problem still hasn’t been fixed and isn’t being addressed.

Aizen on August 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

up when they detained without explanation two journalists

They were impeding the police, refusing to leave and were taken out of the situation. You aren’t too bright are you, noah?

peacenprosperity on August 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Hey Noah, I’m going to an NFL game next week. There are going to be lots of security and police officers. Should I bring my Molotov cocktails?

peacenprosperity on August 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM


“They need to shoot some people to stop this,” an unidentified photographer said off camera. “I hate to say it, but it’s true.”

Well, gee, THANK you for allowing us the leeway to finally do our jobs in SOME way..!

/Ferguson PD

BlaxPac on August 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

What’s the world coming to when human scum can’t throw Molotov cocktails at the police, it must be racism. It always is.

arand on August 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

BlaxPac on August 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Yeah that was fortified snark there…

Obviously, it isn’t the job of the PD to shoot willy-nilly ANYONE in spite of their race/what have you…but it’s like the MSM is saying “We finally decided, yeah you guys you need to do your job THIS way: it’s okay we’ll let you do it…”

All because some of their perfumed princes were…Le GASP…had their lace sleeve besmirched by these disgusting peasants.

BlaxPac on August 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Get the f*** out of here, or I’ll shoot you with this,” one unidentified officer told the radio reporter.

With what? Was he talking about a gun, mace or a taser?

Cindy Munford on August 18, 2014 at 11:44 AM

What’s wrong with the comment that they need to start shooting some people? It’s the truth; shoulda done it the FIRST NIGHT. All this APPEASEMENT has allowed the thugs to burn, loot, rampage more property and threaten more people with violence. The job of the police is to keep the peace; Nixon obstructed that with his pathetic appointment of black Highway Patrol officer, Johnson; now, THAT was a racist act in itself.

ALSO: The Curfew established by Nixon was a complete JOKE! Midnight to 5 am?! Gimme a break!
The curfew should have been established IMMEDIATELY after the Brown shooting and it should have run from dusk til dawn! Once the thugs have gotten drunk and drugged up and are on a roll by 10 pm, you’re not going to get them to go home when it hits “midnight.”

The actions of Nixon and Capt. Johnson have been pathetic; Johnson should be FIRED for his speech at the Al Sharpton Race-Baiting-Rally on Sunday. That speech was breathtakingly unprofessional.

Sick of this debacle.

mountainaires on August 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Well to be fair, I started out with Fox N Friends but Doocy and Kilmeade are both back and either bloviating with Donald Trump or talking Brian’s thighs and pina coladas. So I switched to Schmoe then turned it off.

Marcus on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Last night I turned on Fox News just before retiring, to see the news from Ferguson. They were rebroadcasting the interview with Bill Ayers, I think for the eighth time.

slickwillie2001 on August 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I keep pushing the back button thinking I was on MSNBC’s website

KBird on August 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Remember, one of the “journalists” that was arrested/detained at McD’s thought orange foam earplugs were rubber bullets….?

Maybe then, the police should start to mistake rubber bullets for earplugs, then. And apply them accordingly.
Just trying to be helpful.

orangemtl on August 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Most of the ‘reporters’ on air nowadays are ‘media personalities’ rather than journalists. They are picked for on-air spots because of their appearance and ‘stage presence’ rather than for their ability to think critically and rationally, and present the facts of a story to the audience. It is about the performance, not the story.

It should be no surprise when they behave like prima donna stage performers, because that is exactly what they are.

s1im on August 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Has the “press” considered wearing hoodies?

Khun Joe on August 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Has the press considered wearing hoodies?

Khun Joe on August 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Why do police officers consider it necessary and appropriate to swear at members of the public? I think they are trained to use it. It is intended as a form of intimidation, just like the M-4s and the camo. But the foul language has become so common, so standard, so insipid, that it has no intimidating effect anymore. It just makes members of the public angry and reinforces the “us against them” mentality on both sides.

Maybe, if Officer Wilson had spoken firmly, without swearing, to Punk Brown, and then used sufficient non-lethal force to push him onto the sidewalk, Brown wouldn’t be dead. Got a taser, dude? Can you radio for back up? Block his path with your vehicle?

Moreover, the idea that deadly force is necessary or appropriate is absurd. With proper police tactics, non-lethal force will be sufficient. Anyone seen police using sensible tactics?

There are no good guys in this tragedy, with the exception of the law-abiding citizens of Ferguson who have stayed home and the business owners protecting their property.

Esaus Message on August 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Why do police officers consider it necessary and appropriate to swear at members of the public?

Esaus Message on August 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Police need to stop using the film ’48 Hours’ with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte as training material…

But seriously, we live in a foul-mouthed society in which many people refuse to take you seriously unless you lace your speech with profanity and obscenity. It is sad and deplorable, but it seems to be a fact of US culture.

Cops are just part of the product that is our ugly society.

s1im on August 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM