Reporter Cuffed by Joe Miller's Guards Speaks Out

Tea Party press treatment chilling, says Tony Hopfinger

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 19, 2010 3:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Alaskan reporter handcuffed by bodyguards for Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller and threatened with trespassing charges said it was a frightening, intimidating experience and that he wanted the guards to call the police to protect him. Tony Hopfinger, editor of the online Alaska Dispatch, was cuffed and held in a corridor out of sight of others after he tried to question Miller following a town hall meeting at a public middle school. "For 25 minutes no one even knew where the hell I was," Hopfinger tells the Huffington Post. "They said they were going to call the police and I said, 'Fine, call the police!'"

Hopfinger complained about the chilling treatment of the press by Tea Party candidates. "The media is having a hard time doing its job in this political cycle because, whenever we ask questions, there are certain candidates who decry the 'lamestream media,'" said Hopfinger. Miller "believes he shouldn't be questioned about his background and yet he wants a job for six years" held by only 100 people in the nation. Miller has since modified his version of events about the Hopfinger incident, now saying the reporter was cuffed after he followed the candidate into the bathroom, which he said "absolutely crossed the line." The candidate said he's a "big proponent" of the First Amendment. For more on that, click here.

Alaskan Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger sits in a corridor held by Joe Miller bodyguards who handcuffed him for trespassing at a town hall meeting in a public middle school.
Alaskan Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger sits in a corridor held by Joe Miller bodyguards who handcuffed him for "trespassing" at a town hall meeting in a public middle school.   (StartLoving3)
In this Sept. 16, 2010 file photo, Alaska Republican Senate candidate  Joe Miller gestures in Juneau, Alaska.
In this Sept. 16, 2010 file photo, Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller gestures in Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Chris Miller, File)
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Local news report details confrontation between Joe Miller bodyguards and journalist Ton y Hopfinger.   (StartLoving3)

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