Missouri Meltdown Continues: Local Papers Largely Silent on Protestors Roughing Up News Photographer

Mark Schierbecker/YouTube
Mark Schierbecker/YouTube

Where’s the outrage?

The video of student photographer Tim Tai getting roughed up by University of Missouri student protesters has gone viral and been covered extensively by the national press. Yet two of the three local papers have not mentioned it at all and the third has only run a short AP story.

Tai, a still photographer who is a senior at the university school of journalism and who was working alongside video photographer Mark Schierbecker, attempted to get close and take pictures of the tent city created by student protesters that housed Jonathan Butler who was on a hunger strike protesting racial incidents that have allegedly occurred on campus.

The tent city was surrounded by students who would not allow journalists close. Tai attempted to break through, though the video shows he did not use his hands or any aggressive behavior, still he was blocked by a scrum of students that also included a university employee who works in the fraternity and sorority office.

Tai is seen and heard trying to talk his way through the recalcitrant crowd who shouted at him, chanted “hey, hey, ho, ho, journalists have got to go” and generally made it impossible for Tai to carry out his First Amendment-protected assignment from ESPN to photograph the tent city.

Demonstrators pushed Tai with their bodies all the while telling him to stop pushing them, though it is clear from footage that he was not pushing anyone. At one point, the video photographer got past the group and ran into university professor Melissa Click who now famously shouted for “muscle” to keep him out.

Scouring the websites of the the two city dailies published in Columbia, Missouri, one finds mostly silence about the encounter. The main city day, the Daily Tribune, appears not to have run a story about the melee. A call to the news-room confirmed they had not run anything as of 1 pm the day after the event.

The Columbia Missourian, the city daily run by the Journalism School at the university had run a single short story from the Associated Press but has not yet run a piece by any of their reporters on an incident that occurred to Tai, who is a senior in the Journalism School and a contributor to the paper.

The Maneater is the student-run paper and they had not run anything as of 1 pm today either, though editor in chief Elizabeth Loutfi told Breitbart News they have something in the works that should be published later today.

The university and the local town are proud of what many consider to be their world class journalism program. It is surprising to many that the local papers would have ducked covering the roughing up of a photographer.

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse