Melissa Click just doesn’t get it and should be fired now!

November 12, 2015
Melissa Click

As of this morning, the much-maligned assistant professor of mass media from the University of Missouri Melissa Click still has a job. She shouldn’t. She should have been fired, and made an example of for failing to understand the most treasured and principled ethic of journalism: Access breeds truth, and the world is best-served by open ideas and a free media. Instead, this fine woman, who has dedicated her life to studying Lady Gaga and 50 Shades of Grey rather than real reporting, defaulted to the very steady state used by fascists since time immemorial, she called for some “muscle,” and sought to blot out the truth.

Now, I make my living as a public relations professional. People might think that means I too am charged with denying the press access to topics and issues that put my clients at risk. The truth is, that even when I sometimes sit in opposition, I have never called in some “muscle,” escorted media off the property, sought to squelch or deny. My respect runs way too deep for those who gave us the right to free speech and those who sacrifice to execute on that promise in the work that they do.

Seems Melissa, even though she teaches it, doesn’t understand it. She blamed her actions on a long, tiring day. I blame them on the cloistered, artificial world of big academia, where mindlessly siding with the outrage of the day gets tenured and trumpeted. She doesn’t revere the principles of free speech. Hell, she doesn’t even know them or the price paid by real reporters who do their jobs in 2015. Perhaps, it might help Melissa to meet a real journalist, or at least read a post recently tacked up on his Facebook page. I won’t give his name, less it be seen as me trading on our relationship, but it’s telling that Melissa Click would resort to fascism while others go on to do the difficult work of truth telling:

“Many people, even people I once thought were close to me, don’t have a full understanding of how passionate journalists are about their job. We sure as hell don’t do it for the money and many of us suffer for that. We work second jobs. We freelance. We play shell games with bills. Many work way past their shift and never hand in an OT slip and come back the next day, eager for more. We affect change in the world, though, hold the frauds and phonies accountable and tell the stories of people in the gutters and the penthouses. Sometimes we have little banquets to pat ourselves on the back and that’s nice and sometimes we get a card in the mail from someone we wrote about, thanking us for telling their story and that means just as much. Dozens of people at my paper lost their jobs today, people who never imagined doing anything else. I watched many of them cry right in front of me in the newsroom. Dozens of broken hearts, thousands of stories that won’t be told.”

Fortunately, Melissa, your story is being told, by the very people who you sought to thwart and deny.

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