This election season--the vote's just weeks away--is a good time, surely, to celebrate freedom of the press.
Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller's campaign didn't see it that way the other day. Private security guards working for his campaign arrested and handcuffed a reporter for the Alaska Dispatch, an online news site, who was trying to question the candidate.
The reporter, Tony Hopfinger, followed candidate Miller down a hallway trying to ask a question about Miller's time as a government lawyer in Fairbanks last year. Miller did not answer, having said earlier that he would no longer speak about has past work experience or his personal life. Now there's a new approach to running for office!
Hopfinger said he got wrapped up in a pro-Miller crowd and some guards as he followed the candidate. Then a guard grabbed him. "He throws me up against the wall. He handcuffsme." Hopfinger also said the guards took his video camera and when they gave it back later the contents had been erased.
The owner of the security firm
said Hopfinger was technically trespassing because the Miller campaign had rented a room for its town meeting, which it considered a private event.
Another first, maybe--a private campaign for public office.
We reporters used to sing a little song--I think it was back during the Nixon years or thereabouts. The chorus went, "The lying press deceives/ the lying press deceives/ Beat the Press and Mace the Nation/ the lying press deceives.
Guess things don't change much - at least not in the eyes of the Miller .