USA Today Reporter Says She And 'Other' Protesters Stung With Tear Gas in Ferguson

Look no further for an example of why police in Ferguson, Mo., don't trust the media.

USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor appeared on MSNBC shortly before midnight on Aug. 18 for an interview with Rachel Maddow on the chaotic situation in Ferguson since the shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a white police officer two weeks ago. (Video after the jump)

While it's gotten considerably calmer in the last few days, tensions were still high when Alcindor uttered an unfortunate Freudian slip while speaking with Maddow --

MADDOW: I want to bring in now Yamiche Alcindor, she's a national breaking news reporter for USA Today. Yamiche, where are you and what are you seeing now?

ALCINDOR: I'm about a block away from the Quiktrip (ahem, the burned-out and looted Quiktrip) and people where I am are hiding behind buildings and trying to get away from the tear gas. The farther we get away from West Florissant (Avenue), the better you can breathe. As soon as I and other protest-, and protesters walk anywhere near West Florissant, your eyes begin to burn and your eyes begin to tear up, so people are really just kind of trying to duck and take cover behind these buildings to try to see if they can breathe more clearly.

Notice how quickly Alcindor realized she should not lump herself in with protesters.

It comes close but doesn't top my favorite moment of MSNBC coverage in Ferguson, which came when protesters heaved rocks at Chris Hayes and MSNBC colleague Craig Melvin. Fortunately, neither man was injured, and Hayes' reaction was priceless -- "People are angry, man. They're really angry." Aww, how empathetic. I half expected him to ask protesters if they could all share a hug.

As for Alcindor's politics, she tells us all we need to know with her header photo on Twitter  -- appearing as a guest on the weekend show of Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC's most annoying Maoist.

Alcindor made another memorable media appearance from Ferguson when she spoke with PBS's Judy Woodruff on Aug. 14 --

WOODRUFF: First of all, reaction to the governor's announcement that the Missouri Highway Patrol is going to be taking over law enforcement there.

ALCINDOR: Residents here for the last two days that I've been here have really been complaining about what they consider military-style policing. People are welcoming this announcement. I just talked to a woman who said she was scared to have her child out in the street and that she was going in extra early. I think people are really excited about this and, even though they don't know what exactly is coming and they're still kind of wary about what the Highway Patrol is going to do, people think if it's not going to be tanks or tear gas, that maybe something will be better.

The question Woodruff couldn't bring herself to ask: Where exactly are those tanks you mentioned ...?

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts