Melissa Click doesn’t like journalists. The Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri generated headlines when she called for “muscle” to help eject journalists who were trying to cover the ongoing protests on campus. Now she has hastily resigned before being excommunicated by her colleagues.
Footage emerged this week of Click confronting a journalist, grabbing his camera and telling him to “get out.” She then yelled to the crowd of student protesters, asking “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!”
It isn’t surprising that Click, who clearly sympathises with the PC hysterics of Mizzou protesters, doesn’t seem to believe in a free press. Opposition to free expression and intolerance of dissent is one of the key features of today’s campus crazies. In many cases, they receive support from authoritarians in college administrations and faculties.
An undercover journalist recently convinced administrators on a half-dozen campuses to rip up the US constitution in the name of “sensitivity.” Little wonder campuses across the country are descending into frenzies of intolerance. Melissa Click is not unusual. But who is she exactly?
According to her faculty bio, she’s an Assistant Professor of Mass Media. Yes, that’s right: a media professor called for the violent ejection of the media from a public demonstration. Still, maybe Click is simply too valuable to the University, to academia and indeed to the sum of human knowledge to be bothered by journalists.
Yeah, no. Her current research projects include “50 Shades of Grey readers” and “the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga.” Click’s bibliography includes such important works of scholarship as “Bitten by Twilight: Youth culture, media, and the vampire franchise” and “The romanticization of abstinence: Fan response to sexual restraint in the Twilight series.”
It goes without saying that the academy has seen fit to bestow Click with numerous awards for her contributions to mankind. She’s won the University of Missouri College of Arts & Science’s Purple Chalk Award and has been recognised by the University of Missouri Chancellor’s Committee on The Status of Women. And why not? The woman is clearly an intellectual powerhouse.
Click is paid over $55,000 per year for her valuable work. But there’s more. The professor who wanted to eject journalists from the protest not only called for media coverage of the event on her Facebook page, but also chairs a committee that oversees student news publications at Missouri. If I was a student journalist, I’d just give up now.
Click certainly seems to have a love-hate relationship with journalism. She previously wrote about her conflicted feelings on American news media for the University of Wisconsin. Although admitting that she finds national news useful for coverage of natural disasters, she also stressed that she detests “its lack of historical context and investigative journalism, and its drive for ratings through fantastical and voyeuristic stories.”
Click’s disregard for the free press has not gone unnoticed by David Kurpius, dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He distanced Click from his department on Tuesday, stating that she held “a courtesy appointment with the School of Journalism” but was not a permanent faculty member. Kurpius said that “faculty members are taking immediate action to review that appointment.”