Journalist fired for staging ‘promotional stunt’ during George Floyd protests

Conservative newspaper, The Washington Examiner, terminates popular reporter for pretending to do community service

Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin
Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin fakes community service as boyfriend takes her picture and the two dash away in their Mercedes Benz

A journalist was fired for posting online a staged picture of herself with a power drill, appearing to help rebuild a store in Los Angeles, after a weekend of civil unrest related to the George Floyd death.

Up until this week, Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin had worked for The Washington Examiner, a conservative newspaper. However, after the news of the deception was made public, the 15-year-old paper terminated her.

READ MORE: Man who pointed bow and arrow at protests now behind bars

Footage emerged of Moriarty-McLaughlin faking as she was helping a worker to repair or board up a building destroyed by looters was posted on social media. The video dispels the notion that she was actually engaged in the noble act of community service.

A man said to be her boyfriend snapped the photo of her pretending to drill a hole in a piece of wood on the side of the store. After he finishes taking the flick, he then returns the power tool back to the construction worker and says, “Thank you so much” before walking away and driving off in a Mercedes Benz. 

Someone is heard sarcastically saying, “Good job guys! BLM [Black Lives Matter].”

The video was first published to Twitter by @ewufortheloss, who captioned the clip, “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.”

Social media users were quick to slam Moriarty-McLaughlin for pulling such a move after she previously criticizing protests over Floyd’s death.

In a follow-up thread, the poster of the clip 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,” the message read.

“Influencers: use your platform for ACTUAL good, not the PERCEPTION of good,” the user added.

Director Ava DuVernay was among the Twitter users condemning her actions, writing: “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.”

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The user who posted the clip also asked that the haters not ‘doxx’ or release personal information about the woman.

“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.”

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