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Journalist vilified for posed photo in front of boarded-up store in LA amid George Floyd protests

A conservative journalist has been accused of 'performative activism' after she posed with a power drill outside a boarded-up business in Los Angeles amid George Floyd protests. 

Video emerged on Monday of a woman borrowing a drill from a construction worker as he erected plywood outside a 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 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. 

Commenters quickly identified the woman as Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin, whose Twitter bio described her as a 'Commentary' journalist with the Washington Examiner.   

The critics pointed out that Moriarty-McLaughlin had previously denounced protesters taking to the streets to demand justice after George Floyd, a black man, died when a white Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest on Memorial Day.  

Video emerged on Monday of a woman - identified as Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin - posing for a photo with a power drill outside a boarded-up store in Los Angeles amid George Floyd protests

A man snapped a photo of the woman pretending to drill a hole into the wood before she thanked the construction worker and handed the drill back. She was then seen running over to a Mercedes Benz and driving off

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. 

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.' 

Among the users condemning the woman's actions was filmmaker and director Ava DuVernay, who tweeted: '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.' 

'So utterly awed by this,' the official Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) Twitter account wrote in response. 'Influencer culture at its worst.' 

@ewufortheloss asked people not to expose the identity of the woman in the video, but her name came out regardless 

Among the users condemning the woman's actions was filmmaker and director Ava DuVernay

New York Times reporter appeared to be the first one who identified Moriarty-McLaughlin

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. 

Despite that warning, Moriarty-McLaughlin was quickly 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.  

Moriarty-McLaughlin is shown above in her Twitter photo

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.  

Monday's video marks the second time this week that Moriarty-McLaughlin has 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 wrote.   

Moriarty-McLaughlin garnered negative Twitter attention on Sunday when she criticized a Los Angeles protester for spray painting an Ouai billboard with the words 'Black Lives Matter'

Ouai founder and celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin replied to the video Moriarty-McLaughlin posted with a message of support for the protesters

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