Why Police Will Continue to Arrest Journalists in Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
Captain Ron Johnson briefs the media.
At the end of another dangerous night in Ferguson, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson offered an emotional plea to the media on Monday: Please stop putting officers in danger and glamorizing violent agitators in your quest for Internet virality.

Johnson seemed near tears as he illustrated the danger the press face in Ferguson -- earlier that night, reporters disobeyed police orders and fled the media corral to take pictures of a car parked across the street before officers could secure two guns. Johnson said police suspect the occupants of the car opened fire at the Canfield Green Apartments that night.

Journalists defied Johnson's plea, and it's easy to understand why they're even more distrusting than usual. Any journalist covering Ferguson at night has likely been tear gassed, if not hit by debris, rubber bullets, pepper pellets or bean bags. Police have threatened to shoot, mace and arrest reporters, sometimes on live TV or feeds. Officers have detained reporters from the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Getty Images and more, releasing them later without answers.

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Watch Police in Ferguson Arrest, Tear Gas Journalists [VIDEO]

Ray Downs
Demonstrators protest Antonio French's arrest outside the Ferguson Police Department. French, an alderman in St. Louis city, is a former journalist and has been filming the unrest.
As demonstrations against Ferguson police descended into a fourth night of tear gas, rubber bullets and chaos, heavily militarized police officers briefly detained two national journalists, arrested a St. Louis alderman sharing video of clashes and tear gassed a broadcast news crew.

Police actions against the press seem to be part of the reason Governor Jay Nixon finally decided to cut his Missouri State Fair trip short. The governor says he'll arrive in St. Louis County Thursday morning to manage what's increasingly becoming a volatile, violent and devastating time in St. Louis history.

Read all Riverfront Times coverage of the unrest in Ferguson and the aftermath of Michael Brown's shooting.

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Radio Station Owner Airs Medical Marijuana Ads: "People Thank Me for Running Ads!"

Categories: Media

Elmo Donze
It's a dream of every radio station owner, but a dream that has probably never been realized until now.

"They're actually thanking me for the ads," says Elmo Donze, owner of classic-rock station KBDZ (93.1 FM) in Perryville. "This has never happened before."

But it's not the ads for car insurance or ambulance chasers that people are praising. Rather, people are grateful for the $10,000 worth of advertisements endorsing medical marijuana legislation that Donze donated to Show-Me Cannabis earlier this year.

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CNBC's American Greed Airs Episode on St. Louis Conman Priest, Martin Sigillito

Categories: Crime, Media

RFT photo
Martin Sigillito during his time as a priest with the Anglican American Church.
Martin Sigillito, the disgraced St. Louis lawyer and bishop now serving a 40-year prison sentence for orchestrating one of the biggest ponzi schemes to ever befell St. Louis, will be the subject of tonight's episode of CNBC's American Greed, a true-crime series that "examines the dark side of the American Dream."

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The Bachelor: Inside a Reality TV Casting Call

Caroline Yoo
The area's most eligible eye candy auditioned for The Bachelor this past weekend.
Love was in the air Friday afternoon on the sixth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, where a total of 208 single ladies and gents auditioned for the upcoming season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette -- 209 of them to be exact, if you include a painfully out-of-place Daily RFT writer.

The St. Louis casting call was part of the producers' nationwide search for men and women "ready to find true love" on future seasons of both shows. Despite the fact that very few bachelors and bachelorettes attain happily-ever-after endings, most of the contestants I met -- drawn from Missouri, Illinois and even as far away as Arkansas -- told me yes, they are ready to try anything, even reality television, to find love.

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Larry Conners Goes Back On Air Tonight, Will Make IRS Scandal His First Story

Larry Conners.
For the first time since he was fired by KMOV (Channel 4) in 2013, St. Louis broadcaster Larry Conners goes back on air tonight as a full-time host for KTRS (550 AM).

Ever true to his devil-may-care style, Conners says he's launching his return to the airwaves at 9 p.m. Monday with a story about the topic that got him canned: the Internal Revenue Service, which recently came under fire when thousands of e-mails went missing.

"Make sure you are listening, and I won't be fired this time," Conners tells his 5,550 Facebook fans.

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Missouri Gov. Nixon Wins Golden Padlock Award for Excellence in Government Secrecy

The Golden Padlock Award.
Update, June 30: Nixon won the Golden Padlock Award over the weekend! Hooray for secrecy! See below for more details. End of update.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is great at keeping secrets. Maybe too good. Last year, after the state was forced to find a new source for its execution drug pentobarbital, he declared the identity of the execution drug supplier a state secret, alarming journalists and citizens alike who say this is a violation of the state's Sunshine Law.

Which brings us to the Golden Padlock Award, a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek honor presented by the Investigative Reporters and Editors, a professional organization of journalists headquartered at Mizzou's School of Journalism.

Yesterday, IRE announced its finalists for the "award," which celebrates the most secretive government agency or individual in the United States. Nixon made the short list, co-nominated alongside Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin.

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The Soup Takes On Chesterfield Police Officer's Hidden Camera Poop Porn

Categories: Media

Joel McHale on The Soup.
A local news story about a Chesterfield police officer's hidden camera porn site earned a national audience last week on The Soup, Joel McHale's weekly round-up on E! of the most hilarious clips on television.

Chris Hayes' Fox 2 Now investigation helped Chesterfield Police identify one of their own, six-year officer David Cerna, as the twisted mind behind the hidden bathroom cameras in the Mobil On the Run just south of Chesterfield Mall.

(Cerna didn't stop there. Read about the Craigslist ads and the glory holes involved in our Daily RFT story: "Cops Arrest Cop for Secretly Recording Men Using Restrooms and Gloryholes for Porn Site")

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Boss Quits 590 AM "The Man" Radio Station After Host Punches Him Over On Air Insults

Categories: Media

Lindsay Toler
The 590 AM studio where Brian McKenna usually hosts his radio show, The Alpha Males, is now empty during the morning drive time.
Fist fights. Name calling. Jokes about cancer. Racist insults. It was a bizarre (though not atypical) week at KFNS 590 AM, the Grand Slam Sports jock-talk station currently known as "The Man."

In the station's latest dramatic turn, Dan Marshall, president of the radio company, turned in his resignation Thursday after radio show host Brian McKenna punched him in the face and sent him to the hospital.

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Goodbye, Tim Ezell: Our 7 Favorite Moments From FOX2's Goofiest Anchor

Categories: Media

The most trusted face in silly news.
It's true, St. Louis: Tim Ezell is leaving the news business -- for God.

Ezell, the human dose of amphetamine that hosts FOX 2's "AM Show", is hanging up his news anchoring spurs after sixteen years to become a full-time pastor at the The Journey church in south county. He reportedly met with his KTVI bosses Monday -- presumably while hula hooping -- to let them know he wouldn't be renewing his contract. Ezell's last show will be July 18.

It's the end of an era for FOX 2, and 9 a.m. is going to be a much duller hour without Ezell's explosive engery. We're not ready to say goodbye to the goofy gonzo journalist, so we've cobbled together a handful of our favorite (read: ridiculous) Ezell moments.

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