Fox reporter Mike Tobin threw cold water on some Fox gloating over assault charges for a professor who called for “some muscle” to remove a videographer from a campus demonstration. But nobody pointed out that cohost Andrea Tantaros has made more overt threats of violence that have been shrugged off by her employer and colleagues.
You may recall that Fox has demonized Melissa Click, the University of Missouri professor who is now charged with third-degree assault over her tussle with student reporter Mark Schierbecker. He has also accused her of grabbing his camera and pushing him during their confrontation.
Fox’s Outnumbered cohosts called for more punishment.
Cohost Harris Faulkner complained, “Despite the charges there are no plans by the school officials, they say, to fire this professor or do something different with her other than have her on the payroll.”
But the show’s #OneLuckyGuy, Fox News reporter Mike Tobin, didn’t go along with the program. “The whole thing is backwards,” he said. Although he agreed with others that Click should be fired, he said, “The criminal charges are an overreach.”
Faulkner interrupted. “You think so? What if something had happened to that student?”
“It’s a mean old world out there,” Tobin replied. “If you want to grab your TV camera and cover it, you’re gonna get roughed up.”
Faulkner, obviously not happy, yelled over him. “But ‘some muscle’ denotes a fight!”
Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis often doubles as cohost of this opinion show. “I totally disagree,” she said. She read the definition of third-degree assault and argued that Click’s actions met it.
“If I were to press charges against everyone who did that to me in the field…” Tobin began.
“Well, that’s because you’re a real man,” Francis shot back.
Cohost Sandra Smith, also a supposedly objective Fox Business talking head, said, “Isn’t this different, though, Mike, that this a college student and a professor that acted this way?”
Tobin said he and his camera guys get “shoved around all the time” and that Schierbecker seemed to handle himself pretty well on the video tape of the incident. “If he’s the one who went to the prosecutors later on and went and whined and cried, I think he’s gotta toughen up a little bit,” Tobin answered.
Faulkner again played up the seriousness to Tobin, obviously suggesting that Click deserved the assault charges. “This is a student and it’s my understanding that when she called for muscle… she’s gonna get what she’s asking for,” Faulkner argued. “He calls for muscle, he might have just been left standing there alone and you’ve been in some pretty dangerous situations just in the last year or so you’ve seen what can happen. Particularly around the issue that they were talking about. It can get crazy pretty quick.”
“The camera man’s gotta take it,” Tobin insisted. However, he agreed that Click should be fired.
Last to chime in was cohost Andrea Tantaros who, as we have previously reported, more overtly tried to incite violence by telling her radio show listeners, “If you see any of those people [Obama supporters] today, do me a favor, punch ‘em in the face.”
“What if she were a man shoving around a woman?” Tantaros asked. “We know that men aren’t gonna whine and complain. But what if the situation were flipped?”
Tobin replied, “There are many female camera people out there and they take it just like the rest of them do.”
No matter how much Harris and the others tried to make Click a criminal, Tobin was having none of it.
Watch it below, from the January 26 Outnumbered.
Very nicely said.
What we see on the video is a situation where Tim Tai was repeatedly told to respect the space of the people who were in the protest area. One of the students practically begged him to respect their space “in the name of humanity”. Tai refused, and in fact escalated the situation by screaming and shouting that he would not leave or move. Other journalists have pointed out that Tai had a right to stand there, but showed very poor judgment in deliberately escalating the situation, as he clearly did. Schierbecker then took advantage of the situation to get into the tent area and provoke the professor, which he was happy to get on video.
Again, the proper course of action for both women who have been pilloried here would have been to calmly remind the two provocateurs that what they were doing was their right, but that they were disrespecting their fellow students in a fairly outrageous manner by their behavior. Not by wanting to document the protest – by refusing to abide by the wishes of the peaceful people who were there. We should remember that the Greek Life Director wouldn’t have been involved had Tai simply respected what he’d been asked by the other students. When he got belligerent and began screaming and yelling, the Director clearly thought she needed to look out for them.
I’m not sure that there was much of a valid story here, particularly in the way it was covered. You could have a discussion about the situation – noting the bad behavior by everyone and noting that nobody handled this particularly well. But the tone of OUTRAGE we’ve heard from right wing media frankly reads as false to anyone who knows anything about the past fifty years of history. Outrage is something I’d apply to the killing of the students at Kent State, to the repression of students expressing their rights in Berkeley in the 60s. In this case, we’re talking about something that was avoidable by all parties and was sadly escalated by two students who decided to make themselves the story.
So yes, this whole rabbit hole is a sideshow. And not a particularly interesting one – just another attempt by the right wing to falsely claim that college campuses are full of “left wing indoctrination” or “coddled liberal arts majors”.
I’d agree that problems were outed in this video – including poor judgment by some emotional people who reacted badly in a crisis. But this wasn’t an “institutional problem” by any means. The institutional problem continues to be the racism that provoked these protests in the first place, and which still has yet to fully be answered or corrected.
While I can empathize with the students, assault, particularly by two employees of the university, was wrong, should not be condoned, and absolutely should have been covered as a valid story. That the right wing media outlets chose to focus on the self-inflicted “sideshow” is a no-brainer. There are major and varied institutional problems at Mizzou, and two of those problems were outed in this video.
It looks like two journalists decided to go into the middle of the protestors to get photos and video, even after being asked to leave the protestors alone and not invade the protest space. I’m still unable to determine if their refusal to honor the protestors’ wishes was due to their feelings about First Amendment rights or if the videographer in question here was thinking of pulling something like a Steven Crowder or a Jesse Watters. It really does look like the latter was happening, in that I can’t see what the purpose of the video was other than to make the protestors appear to be typical liberal students. (Sadly, the videographer has gone to Breitbart’s inexplicably continuing website and referred to the protestors as “coddled liberal arts majors.”)
The video from the scene shows the protestors repeatedly asking the photographer to leave, apparently not realizing that the videographer was not from their group. When the photographer refused to leave, the group simply moved forward and physically forced him to back off. The videographer then decided to turn into the open protest area and walk up to a professor who was part of the protest. Their comments to each other at the moment are clear. She demands that he leave the area, and he gets nasty with her. She tries to grab the camera to get him to stop shooting and he refuses, adding more nastiness. At which point, she yells for more people to help get him out of the area, since she isn’t physically strong enough to do it by herself. And that’s where the whole right wing nonsense about this has stacked up.
I’d agree that reporters should have the right to cover the protests and to be able to interview people. But this wasn’t a First Amendment situation. This guy was deliberately provoking people in the middle of an emotional and politically charged protest, and then refusing to comply with their wishes. His behavior since the event seems to have been built around promoting himself – and right wing media outlets have been all too happy to help him. At the same time, those outlets have also been very happy to attack the professor, including repeatedly publicizing her name, photograph and position on the campus. Now, I don’t condone her asking anyone to attack the videographer, and it’s more than appropriate that she has apologized and pled guilty to the misdemeanor charges that were involved here. But it’s obviously a case of her losing her temper after being provoked by someone along the lines of a Crowder or a Watters, and that person then happily catching the moment on video and putting it on the internet.
All of this was a complete sideshow from the actual issues that were being discussed at the University of Missouri campus – of racism, of continuing racial intolerance, and of the campus administration’s inability to deal with the problem. Let’s not forget the real story here. To focus on the provocateur would be to fall down the rabbit hole that Fox News and the right wing would prefer.
They’re probably still stung over the indictment of the videographers who made the edited Planned Parenthood videos . . .
Time to rearrange the deckchairs,
Captain Ailes – the SS Propaganda will soon have sunk without trace.