Ferguson Feeding Frenzy
It doesn’t take long for the publicity seekers to swarm.

Rapper Nelly in Ferguson (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Michelle Malkin

The most poisonous “-ism” now infecting Ferguson, Mo., is not virulent racism. It’s viral narcissism.

Over the past week and a half, the impoverished St. Louis County suburb has become a magnet for self-absorbed publicity seekers of all colors and agendas.

Perhaps the most repulsive species on display in Ferguson is the Journalisto Vanitatis. This breed of egotistical East Coast reporters can be easily identified by its ever-present appendages: a smartphone and smart glasses. For the J.V., the story is all about “me, me, me!” Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were among the first and most prominent Beltway journos to parachute into the Ferguson protests.

Admiring media colleagues hang on the J.V.s’ every tweet and selfie. When Reilly and Lowery were “arrested” (that is, detained briefly and released) amid the chaos, they morphed into civil-rights heroes. Both complained indignantly about not being read their “Miranda rights.” Never mind that they were neither arrested nor interrogated, the two basic preconditions for Miranda warnings.

The J.V.s have been hailed for their “courage” on the “front lines” — like veritable 21st-century versions of Audie Murphy and Ernie Pyle! Of course, Audie Murphy and Ernie Pyle would know real bullets when they saw them. But Reilly revealed his abject cluelessness this week when he hysterically tweeted a photo of what he thought were “rubber bullets.” They turned out to be high-capacity . . . earplugs.

Not to be outdone, J.V. Chris Hayes of MSNBC squealed about being threatened with Mace and whimpered about being confined in a press area — created by police for the safety of meandering interlopers gawking at rioters and looters. Later, he breathlessly trumpeted seeing a “dead body,” which turned out to be neither dead nor a body.

While New York journalists have applauded reporters making themselves a part of the story, locals demonstrated their own opinion of MSNBC’s journalism on Monday night — by pelting Hayes and one of his co-anchors with rocks.

A close cousin of the Journalisto Vanitatis is the omniscient Albinus Hipsterex. These white progressives can’t resist the opportunity to raise their fists and chant “F**k the police” to show they’re down with the cause. Leftovers from the defunct Occupy Wall Street movement are now occupying West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson to make excuses for the vandals and thieves victimizing immigrant-owned convenience stores. The absurdity of these critters was best illustrated earlier this week in a candid photo of a trio of Albinus Hipsterii: two bandana-clad, tattooed anarchists strapping a gas mask onto a young woman sporting a tie-dyed shirt stretched across her heavily pregnant belly.

Next on the scene: Canis Celebritus — also known as the Celebrity Hound Dog. Rapper Nelly best epitomizes this attention-seeking creature. He jetted down to Ferguson to preach peaceful social justice. Some in attendance took note of the wealthy rapper’s ostentatious protest attire: massive diamond earrings as big as some of the rocks that protesters hurled at hapless Hayes. Not-so-wise Nelly told residents not to “overreact,” while in the same breath he accused police of purposefully inflaming protesters. He lectured the crowd to have a plan. But when asked to outline his own, he said he didn’t have one, and his large megaphone went silent.

Accompanying Canis Celebritus are members of the infamous class of hucksters who belong to a class I’ll dub Divisio Demagogus. Chief agitators include Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Marc Lamont Hill, Van Jones, and Malik Shabazz. These race-hustling pot-stirrers have made their names concocting hate-crime hoaxes, inciting violence against police, and deepening racial and ethnic division for decades. Their total lack of self-awareness never ceases to amaze. Hatemonger Shabazz, who repped the Duke lacrosse-rape-case liar, dropped into Ferguson to proclaim: “We’re not going to let agent provocateurs ruin things tonight.”

From the L.A. riots to Hurricane Katrina to Ferguson, an eternal truth endures: Tragedy is the mother of poisonous pretension.

— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies. Her e-mail address is [email protected].© 2014

Reporting from Ferguson, Missouri this week, Huffington Post “Justice Reporter” Ryan Reilly tweeted this picture of orange earplugs he discovered with the question: “I believe these are rubber bullets, can anyone confirm?” As they say in the comedy biz, hilarity ensued. Here’s a look.
Twitter users immediately slammed Reilly. Wrote user Joe Walsh: “This is top notch work from a ‘justice’ reporter. Can’t distinguish between rubber bullets & earplugs.” PadTriot was even harsher: “U R An Amazingly ignorant individual and should not be reporting anything. Ever.” Others offered their own snarky research inquiries at the hashtag #CanAnyoneConfirm. Here’s a look.
“Here's a weapon Ferguson Police used to attack protesters. #CanAnyoneConfirm if those are tear gas cartridges?” (Sam Valley, @SamValley)
“My nephew left this on his porch. I think it’s an assault rifle of some sort. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kelly, @flyoverangel)
“This appears to be an assault rifle. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Danny Robinson, @TheStormCro)
“Disproportionate use of Force in #Ferguson? #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (JavaJoe, @JavaJoeX)
“I believe these are hand grenades. Can @ryanjreilly or anybody else confirm?” (Jay Caruso, @JayCaruso)
“I believe this is pepper spray #CanAnyoneConfirm” (RoboCane, @RoboCane1)
“I believe this is a taser. Can @ryanjreilly confirm?” (Matt, @mdrache)
“In the aftermath. Reports are that these were launched to gas the crowds of protestors #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Jefferson Tea Party, @JeffersonTeaPar)
“I believe this is some un-detonated C-4, can anyone confirm? #ferguson @ryanjreilly @AmericanGlob #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Doug Ross, @directorblue)
“I believe this is a secret Air Force assault plane #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Solvang, @Solvang84)
“This looks like a detonation device. Not sure though. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Olliander, @ollieblog)
“I’ve found what appears to be an expended bomb shell in #Ferguson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Leslie, @LADowd)
“I think the sharp metal thingy on the right is a Samurai sword - Can you confirm, @ryanjreilly” (Cameron Gray, @Cameron_Gray)
“Chris Hayes: We think these are rocks. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Barry Johnson, @ItsBarryYo)
“I believe this is a Ferguson protestor with hands in the air. #CanAnyOneConfirm?” (Bernie Gilbert, @Bernie_Gilbert)
“I believe this is a cop in riot hear harassing a #Ferguson protester in rain gear, #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Vigilant Veteran, @VigilantVeteran)
“I believe this is one of #Fergurson PD's new hateful supercops spoken of by Alex Jones. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Dr. Kanko Swag, @kankokage)
“First known photo of #DarrenWilliams #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (MrGasMaskMan), @MrGasMaskMan)
“I believe this is Officer Darren Wilson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (The One Who Knocks, @Goodie1969)
“#Ferguson police now setting up road blocks to prevent children from crossing street. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Bro-Lo El Cunado, @BigDustinC)
“This MRAP sure has an odd siren. #CanAnyoneConfirm why?” (neontaster, @neontaster)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm Is the Army sending tanks to #Ferguson?” (VodkaVulcan, @VodkaVulcan)
“I believe this is an urban as-salt vehicle. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Chris Ryan, @thestreeter)
“I just spotted a Sooper Seekrit Audio Noise Connection Weapon Thing, It's white and looks racist #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Laura Rosen Cohen, @LauraRosenCohen)
“I think it's illegal to carry this many clips in D.C.” (TocksNedlog, @gypsyluc)
“I believe I’ve found evidence that POTUS was in Ferguson last night. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Mr Odell Hayes, @WOODROWNGUS)
“I believe this is a failed president, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Charlie Johnson, @SemperBanU)
“I believe this is Cy Young. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kregg, @DrActorKJ)
“I believe these are 80 pound dumbbells.” (The 57th State© ℅EF™, @EF517_V2)
“I believe this is a concussed Grandma making a gang sign. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The 57th State© ℅EF™, @EF517_V2)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm I think the hotel @ryanjreilly is staying in has “blueberries” on complimentary breakfast” (O Bow Mao Truth Team, @BowMaoTruthteam)
“These bullets look like they wrap around someone’s feet like bolas… #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (AOTUS, @The_Autopen)
“Free candy in the restroom. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The Barbecutioner, @BBQGiant)
“I believe these are face masks #CanAnyoneConfirm” (OldSchoolBYU, @OldSchoolBYU)
“I believe this is a time machine. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (David Burge, @iowahawkblog)
“This is the wrong way to drink milk… #CanAnyoneConfirm? (O Bow Mao Truth Team, @BowMaoTruthTeam)
“It’s about to get real. Military moving into #Ferguson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Mister Brent, @therightplanet1)
“I believe this is a US destroyer #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kim, @mrskimcarn)
“I believe this needs more guacameowly. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Justice Don Willett, @JusticeWillett)
“I think I’ve found evidence of chemical warfare. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Michael Frisbie, @PastorFrisbie)
“Are these Armor Piercing Bullets? found on the scene #Ferguson… #CanAnyoneConfirm” (JavaJe, @JavaJoeX)
“Empty clips found all over the streets of #Ferguson #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Jefferson Tea Party, @JeffersonTeaPar)
“Looks like we might have found more dangerous rubber bullets. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (GunRightsAcrAmerica, @GRAAmerica)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm This is the new NOAA global warming forecaster???” 9Steven Thompson, @Thunderstixx)
“I believe this is the getaway driver from the Ferguson store looting last night. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Jimini27, @Jimni27)
“Hard to unsee this. Saw some gang graffiti tags. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Catherine, @museofhistory)
“This is tear gas, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The Barbecutioner, @BBQGiant)
“I believe this is a mutant elephant, caused by the Fukushima radiation leak. Can anyone confirm?” (Matt, @mdrache)
“Apparently evidence of water boarding in #Ferguson, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Pundit Review, @PunditReview)
“Not sure if this is what police refer to as "razor wire" or stun device. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (If Itsthisname, @Ifitsthisname)
“I believe this is one of the horse-mounted police horses used to kick protestors into submission. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Dr. Kanko Swag, @kankokage)
Updated: Aug. 20, 2014