Home Scandal and Gossip Journalist pretending to board up Santa Monica bus/s becomes most hated on...

Journalist pretending to board up Santa Monica bus/s becomes most hated on the internet

Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin Washington Examiner journalist/intern.
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin Washington Examiner journalist/intern.

Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin not loved: Washington Examiner journalist pretending to help board up Santa Monica bus/s for photo op activism amid George Floyd looting becomes most hated on the internet. 

A California journalist posing with a power drill outside a boarded-up business in Los Angeles has become persons ‘non gratas’ after her ‘performative activism’ photo op stoked social media indignation amid the ongoing George Floyd protests.

Video emerged on Monday of Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin borrowing a drill from a construction worker as he erected plywood outside a Santa Monica business to prevent looters or rioters from breaking in. 

A man believed to be her boyfriend snapped a photo of her pretending to drill a hole into the wood to help restorations before she thanked the construction worker, ran to a Mercedes and drove off. 

In the background someone sarcastically says: ‘Good job guys! BLM [Black Lives Matter].’  

The video was met with swift backlash from hundreds of people condemning the ‘disrespectful’ and ‘self-promotional’ stunt. 

Social commentary with a kink…

Moriarty-McLaughlin was identified behind as the woman behind the ‘photo stunt’ with her (since deleted Twitter handle) describing her as a ‘Commentary’ journalist/intern with the Washington Examiner.   

Critics pointed out Moriarty-McLaughlin previously denouncing protesters demanding justice after George Floyd, a black man, died when a white Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest on Memorial Day. 

The video, posted to Twitter by @ewufortheloss, racked up more than 24 million views by Tuesday evening.   

‘This lady stopped someone boarding up a store in Santa Monica so she could hold the drill for a picture, then drove away. Please don’t do this,’ the caption read. 

Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin: Producing journalism that matters…

In a follow-up thread, the poster explained: ‘The problem here is that she’s 1) using this terrible situation to promote herself instead of the man who’s actually helping and 2) completely insensitive to racial / class tensions.

‘Influencers: use your platform for ACTUAL good, not the PERCEPTION of good.’ 

It wasn’t long before Moriarty-McLaughlin found herself widely reviled on Twitter, with commentators piling on expressing incredulity. 

‘Influencer culture at its worst.’ 

Posted filmmaker and director Ava DuVernay, ‘You know what? I’m… I think I’m gonna put Twitter away for a few minutes before I throw this phone across the room.’

Walter Shaub, the former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, commented: ‘Wow, that’s vile.’ 

Pink tweeted, ‘What is wrong with these entitled a**holes?! Who the f*** are you and who are your parents you horrible person. How can anyone defend this???!!!’

While another posted, ‘Influencer culture at its worst.’ 

In a later tweet @ewufortheloss asked commenters not to ‘doxx’ or release personal information about the woman in the video. 

‘Let’s use this as something that helps us understand what’s right and what’s wrong, rather than an opportunity to brand someone for life,’ they wrote. 

Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin. Image via social media.

Despite that warning, Moriarty-McLaughlin was soon after identified by New York Times technology reporter Taylor Lorenz.   

Several other commenters, some of whom claimed to know the woman in the video, confirmed that it was Moriarty-McLaughlin.  

Since the video went viral, Moriarty-McLaughlin appeared to delete her Twitter account and switched her Instagram to private in an apparent effort to hide from further backlash. 

The journalist has not addressed the video publicly and did not immediately return requests for comment from multiple media outlets.  

But there’s more.

And then there was this incident just the day before: Monday’s video marked the second time in recent days that Moriarty-McLaughlin garnered negative attention on Twitter. 

On Sunday she posted a since-deleted video of a Los Angeles protester spray painting an Ouai billboard with the words ‘Black Lives Matter’. 

‘BREAKING: As if vandalizing all the buildings in LA wasn’t enough @Blklivesmatter has taken to the billboards as a crowd of rioters roars in approval. #GeorgeFloyd #LARiots,’ she wrote in the caption.  

Ouai founder and celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin replied to the video with a message of support for the protesters.  

‘Made our sign every better,’ Atkin retorted. 

Come Tuesday evening, New York Magazine reporter Yashar Ali tweeted that Moriarty-McLaughlin has since been fired from the Washington Examiner.

It remained unclear if the commentary journalist/intern was fielding new offers…