Monday, October 18, 2010

When Push Comes to Shove (Updated)

A Palin Internets Smear Squad And Naysayer Team (P.I.S.S.A.N.T.) blogger was restrained and detained at a Joe Miller town hall event after push came to shove. What actions led to the reaction? You decide:

The Anchorage Daily News story is here. The Alaska Dispatch's version is here.
The Miller campaign's statement is here.

Ed Morrissey comments, as does Ian Lazaran (here and here), Dan Riehl (here and here), and former TX4P contributor Thomas Lamb (here). Although Tom is a Miller supporter, and although we have some major differences of opinion with him concerning Gov. Palin, we can vouch for his personal integrity. He was there, and he calls 'em as he sees 'em.

Update: This just in from Anchorage television station KTUU (excerpt):
The owner of the firm hired to protect Miller, William Fulton with Dropzone Security, said in a statement Sunday that he was responding to Hopfinger’s actions.

“The Dispatch reporter repeatedly pushed a camera into the face of Mr. Miller,” Fulton said. “He continued to aggressively pursue him. I told the reporter several times that he needed to stop and that he was trespassing, he ignored me. He then proceeded to stalk Mr. Miller and even shoved an individual into a locker. Based upon this trespass and his assault, we detained him and escorted him from the premises.”

In a subsequent interview, Fulton said he didn't know at the scene that Hopfinger was a journalist.

“I didn't even know he was a reporter until he told me,” Fulton said. “Normally we would assume that he's just some crazy guy from the audience.”

Fulton says he was trying to do his job when he arrested Hopfinger.

“After I told him he was trespassing, he said he was a reporter,” Fulton said. “I said, ‘Sir, that doesn't matter: you've been asked to leave, this is a private event.’ At that time, I told him again he was trespassing, then he hit the guy -- he pushed the guy, well, pushed the guy, into the locker. And at that point we decided he had become violent and would effect the arrest.”

In a statement on the incident Sunday evening, Miller said Hopfinger appeared irrational, angry and potentially violent.

“While I've gotten used to the blog Alaska Dispatch's assault on me and my family, I never thought that it would lead to a physical assault,” Miller said. “It's too bad that this blogger would take advantage of a ‘Town Hall’ meeting to create a publicity stunt just two weeks before the election.”

- JP

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