Friday, April 01, 2016

Eric Zorn comes out for pushing journalists around, ironically he is one.
"The behavior of University of Missouri assistant professor Melissa Click on Nov. 9 was disgraceful.
You've probably seen the viral video. It was shot by student journalist Mark Schierbecker, who was covering a campus protest over the administration's response to alleged incidents of racism, a protest being closely watched by the national media because it also involved a boycott by the Mizzou football team.
The video, shot from Schierbecker's perspective, shows him slipping inside a perimeter established by students on a university lawn,"
Which they had no right to establish.
approaching Click and identifying himself as a member of the media.
" "You need to get out! You need to get out!" she says, moving the lens of his camera away from her face with her hand."
Which is illegal by itself, an infringement of his civil right to record public events.

" After he refuses to leave, she loudly calls for "some muscle" to help her eject him from the area, then mocks his assertion that he has a right to occupy a public space.
Click's lack of respect for or apparent understanding of Schierbecker's press freedoms under the First Amendment was not only disgraceful given her position in the school's communications department, but it was also embarrassing for the university and counterproductive for the protesters, whose tactics, not their complaints, quickly became the focus of the national media narrative.
But it wasn't criminal."
Well the judge disagreed, as did the prosecutor. It was plainly illegal to forcibly remove someone from a public space or incite others to do so.

"At least that's what we all assumed as the weeks went by without a peep from prosecutors about Schierbecker's bleat that he'd been the victim of an assault."
Firstly why would the lack of prosecutitorial action mean something is legal? Secondly charges often take a while to file, why is it a surprise that she was charged now.
"Monday, however, 2 1/2 months after the fact, Columbia, Mo., city prosecutor Steve Richey charged Click with misdemeanor assault in the third degree.
It's a minor offense as such things go — the maximum penalty is 15 days in jail and a $300 fine but overkill nevertheless given that the students who came to Click's aid barely touched Schierbecker as they led him outside the protective ring of students with locked arms, where he continued filming."
No it's not overkill, as you yourself acknowledge she broke the law and used force. How is one of the most mild charges available overkill?
"Technically, yes, you can make the argument that Click broke the law."
As I said, you acknowledge that she broke the law. So why is it "overkill" to charge her?
"Under Missouri law, "A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if … the person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury or … the person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative."
It would be an assault, in other words, if the diminutive Click's call for "muscle" was an appeal for a group of protesters to come and administer a beating or some other kind of physical abuse to the student with the video camera. But was it?"
Well yes, because that's exactly what they did and Click didn't object. They literally pushed him around.

"Given the nonviolent nature of the protests to that point and the subsequent gentle bum's rush Schierbecker received"
The "bum's rush" is the use of force, it is physical abuse, so given the subsequent "gentle" bum's rush we can say she was doing exactly what the law prohibited.

" — students were calling him "bro" "
So what?

"as they tried to block his camera with their hands"
And also AS YOU ADMIT pushing him away.
" — that contention is dubious."
Actually it's confirmed.

"It would also be an assault if Click's efforts to get Schierbecker's camera out of her face, which seems to have included touching his hand judging from the images, was deliberately "offensive or provocative." "
Which they were. He was not being intrusive the camera was NOT "in her face".
"But were they? A fair viewing of the video suggests that, while Click was acting like a presumptuous ninny,"
No he was acting like a competent journalist.
" gently pushing aside the camera was more a defensive than aggressive act."
How? He was not beating people up with his camera. It is not "defensive" to use force to prevent recording public events.

"Click later apologized to Schierbecker for her "actions, language, strategies and behavior," but he did not accept the apology because, he said, "she did not seem entirely sincere."
"Laws against assault are meant to protect us from hostile, threatening, intimidating behavior that falls just short of physical violence, known as battery."
And that's exactly what Click did, if not more.

" They're not meant to protect us from every person who looks as us cross-eyed or warns us to get a move on or else."
Move on or else? What the fuck asshole, how is that not a fucking threat?
"They are certainly not meant to be used as bludgeons in political fights."
Which isn't happening here.
"Click's criminal offense, if any, was so minor that, in any other context — imagine similar circumstances but instead she was trying to escort a nosy interloper away from an outdoor wedding police wouldn't even file a report."
Firstly you don't know this. Secondly if you can't see why judges might view using threats and force to stop recording of a political protest more serious than to prevent filming a wedding you're an idiot. Do you really think that deliberate intimidation of the press isn't more serious than other offences.
"The "victim" would be told to get over himself."
Citation needed and so what?
"Here, the charges landed well after the fact and in the middle of a controversy over Click's professional fate that has split the campus and the state legislature, where Republicans are calling for her ouster.
And they resulted, Wednesday, in an emergency meeting of the university's board of curators that concluded with the announcement that Click "is suspended pending further investigation." "
What investigation needs to be done? She used force on the press, she should get the fuck out.

"As uncomfortable as I am with the idea of a communications department assistant professor creating controversy by displaying an arrogant disregard for the freedom of the press, I'm even less comfortable with the idea of a prosecutor using the cold letter of the law to play a role in resolving that controversy."

So you're admitting that she did break the law right? So why should she not be charged, because it has a political effect? So what? She is guilty and you basically acknowledge this.