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Tea Party Candidate Handcuffs Member Of The Fourth Estate

There is no communist or socialist ideology that is as poisonous as the one held by radical Republicans these days. No fascism as insidious as the warped political creed that drove Alaska senate candidate Joe Miller to hire the kind of private security team who operates as if it has the right to take the law into its own hands. The fantasies Miller has foisted on the Alaskan public about his past life are unraveling before his very eyes, making his own calls for more personal responsibility and accountability in government look exactly like the hollow platitudes that charlatans and imposters often hide behind.

Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by security guards at a Joe Miller town hall event Sunday afternoon. Hopfinger says he approached Miller to ask questions, but was arrested for half an hour until police arrived. According to Hopfinger, Miller’s security team pushed him and he pushed back because he felt his personal space was being invaded. He says guards detained him and accused him of trespassing, although the town hall was a public event held at Central Middle School, a public building.

“At some point I was suddenly surrounded by more guys, more security guards I guess,” Hopfinger said. “They were kind of putting their chest into me, and at one point I put my chest in too — it got to be too much.” Hopfinger says the incident escalated so fast he barely remembers what happened, and that next thing he knew he was in handcuffs.

The Alaska Dispatch is one of several news organizations suing for access to Miller’s employment records at the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Miller worked at the FNSB as a part-time attorney from 2002 to 2009.

Miller security handcuffs journalist at town hall

The worst thing about the political candidates who crow the loudest about personal responsibility and accountability is they are usually unwilling to apply to their own behavior the same set of standards they are demanding that their political opponents maintain.

The saddest thing about this whole spectacle, though, will be tonight, and tomorrow night, when the thousands of members of the media refuse to acknowledge that Hopfinger is one of their own. On an issue that speaks directly to the entire purpose of the Fourth Estate, you should hear a collective howl from the lowliest tabloid style newsrag to the bowels of FOX News itself, a howl that should include stinging and unrepentant editorial rebukes from Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams on their nightly news broadcasts all week long.

But you won’t.

You will hear more devil’s advocate positions and more questioning of Hopfinger’s motives than anything else, as if handcuffing credentialed journalists by the security teams of political candidates is now in vogue, and is about to be the next big fad that sweeps the political world.  

Make no mistake about it, Mr. Miller, you and your Drop Zone private security guards clumsy, ham handed efforts to control the political narrative are not going to work. There are too many voices out here this time, too many voices that aren’t controlled by Rupert Murdoch or GE or whoever owns the other major networks this week. We see you. We know who you are. And we are willing to go toe to toe with you every day of the week and ten times on Sundays. We already have your place on the wall in the Do As I Say, Not As I Do Hall of Fame reserved, between Lou Dobbs and Newt Gingrich, right above Michelle Bachmann’s slot.


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