MO legislators to Mizzou: Fire professor who tried to “muscle” reporter

posted at 8:41 pm on January 5, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Legit sanction for abuse of authority, or an infringement on academic freedom? Missouri state legislators want Melissa Click canned for her actions in a protest at the University of Missouri, in which she threatened a student journalist by calling for “some muscle” when he insisted on covering the demonstration. The letter sent to Mizzou has the signatures of a majority in both chambers of the state’s assembly:

The University of Missouri professor who called for “some muscle” to toss a reporter out of a demonstration on public property could be the one who gets bounced, after state lawmakers on Monday demanded that she be fired.

Communications Professor Melissa Click made national news in November, when she tried to have a student reporter on assignment for ESPN thrown off the quad during a racially charged protest.

“Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” Click yelled out after reporter Tim Tai refused to leave in an incident caught on video. “I need some muscle over here.” …

Now, more than 100 House Republicans and 18 Senate members from the state Legislature have signed a letter to the school’s board of curators demanding Click’s “immediate firing.”

“The fact that, as a professor teaching the communication department and the school of journalism, she displayed such a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of reporters should be enough to question her competency and aptitude for her job,” reads the letter, penned by Rep. Caleb Jones and Sen. Kurt Schaefer.

Golly, if they kick her out, how can Mizzou undergrads properly study Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight? The threat to shut down speech at Mizzou has the Kansas City Star’s Barbara Shelly unhappy. Not Click’s threats to shut down speech, but the state legislators’ implied threat to Mizzou funding in their letter to the university:

Click was unprofessional and wrong. She called for “some muscle” to help her confront one journalist, while ignoring the fact that the university quad, where the protests were ongoing, is a public space and therefore open to the media and others.

Maybe she should be fired. Or maybe the greater body of her work argues in favor of her remaining on the faculty. I really don’t know. Neither do most of the legislators who signed the letter.

But the purpose of the letter isn’t just to get Click fired. It is to tell the University of Missouri system that the state legislature is prepared to meddle in personnel matters and other internal affairs that shouldn’t be the jurisdiction of politicians.

And the not-so-implicit threat is always this: We fund you, so do what we say.

Well, Click was more than just “unprofessional and wrong”; she threatened a student with violence for accessing public space and tried to intimidate him from reporting on a legitimate news story. She didn’t act just to “confront” the journalist, which Click had already done — she went to find someone else who would push Tim Tai out of the area, or worse. That is, after all, what “some muscle” means. If a professor under any other circumstances threatened a student with violence in order to intimidate them into silence, would Shelly be so quick to shrug it off? Perhaps, say, if a school administrator threatened to find a student to push an Occupy protester around in an attempt to intimidate him/her?

Shelly misses the point on her other argument, too. Public universities are — and should be — accountable to the people’s representatives for how they spend their money. If one wants to work for a university without any public funds, the state of Missouri must have a number of private colleges with professorships, although the demand for Fifty Shades of Grey majors might be on the low side. Perhaps Click might have better luck in California on that score. The nonsensical and unserious nature of her topics should have legislators asking questions about how Mizzou spends its money, although the demand issued in the letter clearly is meant to address the threat rather than the silly, pop-culture, lightweight academics of Click’s oeuvre.

Don’t expect Mizzou to get the hint, though. They seem to have trouble understanding the scope of the First Amendment in areas other than public access, or at least the law professor now serving as “interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity” does. Chuck Henson clearly needs a primer on First Amendment law, emphasis mine (via Newsalert and The College Fix):

The backlash against the changes at Mizzou is likely to continue, led by self-styled defenders of the First Amendment (which protects free speech). Yet the First Amendment does not give people a free pass to go round saying hateful things, points out Mr Henson. To help students and faculty realise this, Mizzou has developed a new guide to “inclusive terminology” which ensures a healthy level of respect for all minority groups. It includes terms such as “adultism” (prejudice against the young), “minoritised” (when under-represented groups are made to feel inferior) and intersextionality (obscure). Some will see this stuff as movement in the right direction. But it is also likely to increase the ire of those who watched the protests and thought they saw a group of privileged college students complaining about how terrible their lot is.

Yes, actually, that’s precisely what the First Amendment does. It protects unpopular speech, because popular speech doesn’t need much protection. There are limits to this, of course, but those have to do with specific incitement to violence, copyright infringement, and libel/slander laws. “Hateful” speech might be unpleasant, but the state has no authority to silence it.

I suspect Mizzou’s going to feel a lot of adultism in the coming months, most of it directed at the supposed adults in charge. And they will deserve every bit of it.


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Comments

Carrot tops are in the news a lot recently and not in a good way. This woman, and that woman with the affluenza kid.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Ah yes, the tolerant, enlightened left – shaping future tolerant, enlightened leftists.

ghostwalker1 on January 5, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Carrot tops are in the news a lot recently and not in a good way. This woman, and that woman with the affluenza kid.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 8:46 PM

That’s because the majority of red heads are evil and have no soul.

RickB on January 5, 2016 at 8:51 PM

Anti CivilDiscourse.

Electrongod on January 5, 2016 at 8:53 PM

She’s not tenured so it would be easy to fire her. I believe she grabbed his camera at one point, which is simple assault. Make them play by their own rules, she isn’t fostering a “safe space”

rbj on January 5, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Click was more than just “unprofessional and wrong”; she threatened a student with violence for accessing public space and tried to intimidate him from reporting on a legitimate news story. She didn’t act just to “confront” the journalist, which Click had already done — she went to find someone else who would push Tim Tai out of the area, or worse. That is, after all, what “some muscle” means.

That’s the kicker for me. A professor instigated violence against a student. She called for violence to be committed against him. In what world should such a person be allowed to continue teaching other students?

JS on January 5, 2016 at 8:56 PM

I do quite a bit of E/O work and yes, this type of action will lead either to her dismissal or a non renewal of her contract. Which will lead to a Suit. Bear in mind that if she is a “Tenured” “professor” she cannot be removed for cause.

These liberal art students and professers got it made. Thankfully Tenure is getting to be a thing of the past.

The past: When teachers and professors were honorable and had some shred of integriy

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:59 PM

I live in Missouri and you wouldn’t believe how cheap Mizzou memorabilia is these days. No one wants to be caught wearing anything identifying themselves as supporters and/or alumni. The university is an embarrassment. The legislators are taking action I believe the majority of Missourians support.

This article may very well explain why we are seeing this type of nonsense on college campuses:

http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/01/campus-turmoil-begins-in-high-school/

manateespirit on January 5, 2016 at 9:00 PM

I suspect Mizzou’s going to feel a lot of adultism in the coming months, most of it directed at the supposed adults in charge. And they will deserve every bit of it.

.
My Option A

… may seem over the top – but it’s the only way to be sure.

Option BDefund Mizzou – completely and permanently – and let the faculty spend one night locked in an auditorium the night before their gravy train ends. My money is Click isn’t alive the next morning.

PolAgnostic on January 5, 2016 at 9:02 PM

…she needs to be fired… Just for being UGLY!
…to show they don’t discriminate against good looking educators…which as far as I can tell…seems to be mandatory in Missouri

JugEarsButtHurt on January 5, 2016 at 9:03 PM

Give us money! But don’t attach strings to it! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! -mantra of the left

Flange on January 5, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Enough Muscle to Not be Mocked

Bertram Cabot Jr. on January 5, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Every time I see that picture I’m pretty sure its’s okay to punch some women … really, really hard. Like, back foot planted in granite, skull-crushing right hook hard.

M240H on January 5, 2016 at 9:08 PM

She threatened a student and tried to enlist others to kick his ass. She should have been fired weeks ago. This is the very definition of a no-brainer, except in the asylum that is modern academe.

Rational Thought on January 5, 2016 at 9:11 PM

The all powerful Nanny speaks again….this time deciding what type of Body Wash you will have….

All hail the kind hearted tyranny of the Ruling Class that know better than we do.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/12/30/obama_signs_law_banning_plastic_microbeads_in_bath_products.html

More to come.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 9:12 PM

she will go to california and will be welcomed with open arms

birds of a feather

telephone2 on January 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM

That ugly man in the picture with the red hair and glasses had his parents name him “Melissa”? Heck, I’d be angry if that was my lot in life, too.

alchemist19 on January 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM

She’ll have a job on MSNBC in 5….4….

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 9:20 PM

We fund you, so do what we say.

Exactly!

myiq2xu on January 5, 2016 at 9:22 PM

That ugly man in the picture with the red hair and glasses had his parents name him “Melissa”? Heck, I’d be angry if that was my lot in life, too.

alchemist19 on January 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM

when did Carrot Top start wearing glasses?

myiq2xu on January 5, 2016 at 9:23 PM

I hear the Dems are looking to replace Debbie what’s her name…

… Maybe this guy can fit the bill.

Seven Percent Solution on January 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

when did Carrot Top start wearing glasses?

myiq2xu on January 5, 2016 at 9:23 PM

When he changed his name to Carrotlyn.

Flange on January 5, 2016 at 9:26 PM

she will go to california and will be welcomed with open arms

birds of a feather

telephone2 on January 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM

California universities welcomed Janet Napolitano and Jennifer Granholm.

bw222 on January 5, 2016 at 9:30 PM

Seems to me she should have been charged with inciting violence and assault, charged, jailed, and be awaiting prosecution in a trial. Why isn’t the legislature going after the university cops and the local prosecutor?

earlgrey on January 5, 2016 at 9:32 PM

So, where’s the trolls?

cozmo on January 5, 2016 at 10:05 PM

If the foo sh!ts, wear it

Fortyback on January 5, 2016 at 10:07 PM

Her username on HotAir is CivilDiscourse. Go figure.

HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2016 at 10:19 PM

She should be gone. Long gone.

CWforFreedom on January 5, 2016 at 10:20 PM

Give her the hook. Classroom advocacy should have reasonable protection. Call for violence must not. “Would you like fries with that?”

Mason on January 5, 2016 at 10:27 PM

So, where’s the trolls?

Looking for some muscle? ;)

xNavigator on January 5, 2016 at 10:42 PM

And the not-so-implicit threat is always this: We fund you, so do what we say.

No chit, Sherlock. And the day Ms. Shelley pays *my* bills, she can tell me what to do too.

Really — is this some novel concept to these special little snowflakes? The person/entity who foots the bill calls the shots.

Just ask the parents of any teenager out there.

Dark Star on January 5, 2016 at 11:43 PM

when did Carrot Top start wearing glasses?

myiq2xu on January 5, 2016 at 9:23 PM

Take the glasses off and you’ve got a dead ringer for the guy with the bone deformity in that 80s movie Mask with Cher.

alchemist19 on January 6, 2016 at 12:43 AM

Take the glasses off and you’ve got a dead ringer for the guy with the bone deformity in that 80s movie Mask with Cher.

alchemist19 on January 6, 2016 at 12:43 AM


Rocky Dennis.

tanked59 on January 6, 2016 at 12:51 AM

Legit sanction for abuse of authority, or an infringement on academic freedom?

You’re kidding, right ?! How does flexing your crowd muscle on the quad have a damn thing to do with “academic freedom” ???

deadrody on January 6, 2016 at 6:29 AM

The fact that, as a professor teaching the communication department and the school of journalism, she displayed such a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of reporters should be enough to question her competency and aptitude for her job

Seems to me there are a lot of professors at many universities and colleges that fit this description as well.

sadatoni on January 6, 2016 at 7:02 AM

Is it news that GOP lawmakers are calling for the firing of a government employee who used the threat of violence to censor the press?

Or is it news that leftist Democrats are either silent on the subject, or openly supporting her?

Maybe she should be fired. Or maybe the greater body of her work argues in favor of her remaining on the faculty.

Isn’t that rather like saying the mass murders of Mao are okay because he did good things for his country’s economy?

To be fair, I must admit that I know more than one leftist who thinks the above proposition would be legitimate.

GrumpyOldFart on January 6, 2016 at 7:48 AM

But the purpose of the letter isn’t just to get Click fired. It is to tell the University of Missouri system that the state legislature is prepared to meddle in personnel matters and other internal affairs that shouldn’t be the jurisdiction of politicians.

First, Mizzou is publicly funded and those funds are managed by legislature so, in the end, it is their jurisdiction.

Second, they wouldn’t be taking this action if Mizzou had properly chastised this idiot. The little slap on the wrist did not go far enough. She should’ve at least been suspended without pay for a period of time.

Occams Stubble on January 6, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Weld a cowbell choker to her and dump her in the middle of Harlem at midnight.

Younggod on January 6, 2016 at 8:27 AM

or better yet . . . East St. Louis

Younggod on January 6, 2016 at 8:27 AM

It’s not as if the Legislature has made a snap decision, this happened a couple of months ago.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Maybe she should be fired. Or maybe the greater body of her work argues in favor of her remaining on the faculty.

Isn’t that rather like saying the mass murders of Mao are okay because he did good things for his country’s economy?

To be fair, I must admit that I know more than one leftist who thinks the above proposition would be legitimate.

GrumpyOldFart on January 6, 2016 at 7:48 AM

I’ve heard Osama Bin Laden also built roads and schools

Mitoch55 on January 6, 2016 at 9:44 AM

I’m, I’m…speechless.

vnvet on January 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM

She’ll have a job on MSNBC in 5….4….

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 9:20 PM

And have viewers numbering 5… 4…

dominigan on January 6, 2016 at 10:59 AM

She should have been sacked a long time ago. I thought she had been. Her behavior was shameful and the worst kind of example for the students.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Isn’t that rather like saying the mass murders of Mao are okay because he did good things for his country’s economy?

GrumpyOldFart on January 6, 2016 at 7:48 AM

Or making the trains run on time?

GWB on January 6, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Missouri state legislators want Melissa Click canned

Click bait.

Pain Train on January 6, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Her username on HotAir is CivilDiscourse. Go figure.
HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2016 at 10:19 PM

Maybe you missed this:

She should have been sacked a long time ago. I thought she had been. Her behavior was shameful and the worst kind of example for the students.
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM

So I’m repeating it special, just for you. Any more projection you’d like to engage in?

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Maybe you missed this:

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Maybe YOU missed this:

HumpBot Salvation on January 5, 2016 at 10:19 PM

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM

GWB on January 6, 2016 at 12:59 PM

That’s because the majority of red heads are evil and have no soul.

RickB on January 5, 2016 at 8:51 PM

Thou hast insulted the honor of my Queen! I demand satisfaction!

Also, please don’t tell the Red Head’s and my kids about “adultism.” If they ever use that term in anger I will have to smack them, and I don’t like doing that.

Xasprtr on January 6, 2016 at 1:01 PM

GWB
And your point is …

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM

^ … What, exactly? That you think I’m going to take a position counter to what I believe just to curry favor with HumpBot? Have you seen our interactions? No, I believe she’s a farceful disgrace and should have been sacked a long time ago. HumpBot doesn’t get to define my positions by pretending I believe otherwise.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:14 PM

And your point is …

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM

My point is that you acted as if the commenter had not read your comment or ignored you. That’s true – because they posted it 13 hours earlier. Yet you were indignant about their comment.

Or, are you attributing time travel, along with racism and general mean-spiritedness, to your opponents, now?

GWB on January 6, 2016 at 1:16 PM

GWB
I acted in no such way. I merely highlighted it for HumpBot lest he/she continue to operate under the delusion of pretending to know my beliefs. Nice try though.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM

GWB
We agree on an issue here. Why not just accept and move on, rather than troll-baiting. My beef is not with you.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:23 PM

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:23 PM

You said “maybe you missed this” and quoted something that you posted 13 hours after HumpBot’s post. It’s fine that you are mad at them, but what you actually posted was silly, at best.

Whatever. Have a civil day.

GWB on January 6, 2016 at 1:28 PM

I hear the Dems are looking to replace Debbie what’s her name…

… Maybe this guy can fit the bill.

Seven Percent Solution on January 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

.
Her name is ‘Debbie Wazzername-Schmutz’, D-Fl.
She is a national spokesperson for Hellman’s Real Hair Mousse.

meerbock on January 6, 2016 at 1:49 PM

GWB
I think it’s just a matter of your interpretation. You’re taking it to mean that I’m calling him/her out for ignoring something I posted before he did. I meant it to highlight the fact that he’s/she’s trying to paint me as the opposite of what my actual position is, which HumpBot didn’t know but presumed to. It’s kind of like an ICYMI statement. Pretty minor, in the larger picture, but I do understand the confusion. Be well.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:51 PM

So I’m repeating it special, just for you. Any more projection you’d like to engage in?

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Projection. Cool, we found yet another word you don’t know the meaning off. Neat.

Here’s a cookie O for making a comment 12 hours after my comment that she should be fired. And so what, it’s obvious to all who read your comments that your beliefs and ideology don’t stray too far from carrot tops. Sorry for it…but it’s obvious.

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 2:52 PM

HumpBot
So now if I agree with you on an issue, I don’t really agree with you, because your narrow mind doesn’t allow for the possibility. Got it. Carry on. But don’t pretend this isn’t a troll move on your part. This is why you can’t be taken seriously.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:10 PM

She’s not tenured so it would be easy to fire her. I believe she grabbed his camera at one point, which is simple assault. Make them play by their own rules, she isn’t fostering a “safe space”

rbj on January 5, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Actually, the threat she made was the assault.

When she grabbed his camera, that was battery.

And she was clearly guilty of both, and caught on video.

Why are we still debating whether she should still be employed at a school???

runawayyyy on January 6, 2016 at 3:15 PM

HumpBot
So now if I agree with you on an issue, I don’t really agree with you, because your narrow mind doesn’t allow for the possibility. Got it. Carry on. But don’t pretend this isn’t a troll move on your part. This is why you can’t be taken seriously.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Reading comprehension fail on your part. Maybe you should reconsider if this whole internet commenting thing is really your thing.

LOL, yeah because you agree on this one minuscule issue that Ms. cray-cray in MO should be fired means we share the same ideology and that you share conservative beliefs with those here. You truly are stupid and that is why NO ONE takes you seriously, troll.

Share some other conservative beliefs that you’ve espoused on this website. I’d be interested to see them.

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 3:25 PM

HumpBot
This is why you’re a troll. You’ve gone totally OT to make the thread about me. I’ve been critical of Hillary, the coddled campus movement and overly PC-stances, just to name three off the top of my head. I’ve spoken out against many points from the so-called trolls on here when their statements have been ridiculously overreaching. Not that you’d allow that I’ve really been critical of them, amirite?

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM

HumpBot
This is why you’re a troll. You’ve gone totally OT to make the thread about me. I’ve been critical of Hillary, the coddled campus movement and overly PC-stances, just to name three off the top of my head. I’ve spoken out against many points from the so-called trolls on here when their statements have been ridiculously overreaching. Not that you’d allow that I’ve really been critical of them, amirite?

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM

No sweetie, I’m responding to you. That’s not off topic..and my comments are directed to you not inflaming the commenting base here. Sure my first comment was to ridicule you but as you’ve proved on most threads…it was welled deserved.

And no…you haven’t spoken out against any of the trolls here. In fact, you’ve +1 them many ,many times.

Cool you named 3 things and two of them are basically the same issue. Wow, critical of Hillary…I must have missed that. Point some out to me.

Why you are so ashamed of your liberal leanings?

Stop pretending…that’s what makes you a liar.

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 3:45 PM

I’m responding to you
HumpBot

Uh, go back upthread to your first comment—you were talking about me when I hadn’t even commented on this thread to begin with. It’s plain for anyone to see. I know it’s hard to recognize your own obsessions, but you might want to look into it.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Uh, go back upthread to your first comment—you were talking about me when I hadn’t even commented on this thread to begin with. It’s plain for anyone to see. I know it’s hard to recognize your own obsessions, but you might want to look into it.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM

More reading comprehension fail on your part. You should try something else. Maybe, knitting.

Sure my first comment was to ridicule you but as you’ve proved on most threads…it was welled deserved.

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 3:45 PM

And you want to compare OT comments on this thread alone or any other thread. LOL, you’d lose.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 12:41 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:14 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:23 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:51 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:10 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 4:24 PM

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 12:41 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:14 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:23 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 1:51 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:10 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM
CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Wow—all that effort copying and pasting. You might want to seek help.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Wow—all that effort copying and pasting. You might want to seek help.

CivilDiscourse on January 6, 2016 at 4:27 PM

wow, 5 seconds = all that effort.

Thanks for confirming your defeat. You’re dismissed.

HumpBot Salvation on January 6, 2016 at 4:45 PM

As a native Kansas son I’m used to the KC Star’s lunatic left tower of babbling, like deranged Barbara Shelly’s infantile whining hypocritically giving vile Click a free pass you can be sure she’d never do for one who wasn’t of her own sick ilk. How ironic the surest bastion for anti-free speech solidarity should now be universities!

russedav on January 6, 2016 at 5:32 PM