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So much for a free press

Joe Miller's "bodyguards" put the editor of the Alaska in hand cuffs while Miller's handlers discussed that Hopfinger was known as the editor of a newly formed news blog. As soon as a policeman arrived on the scene and understood the situation he took off the handcuffs and sent Hopfinger on his way.

Having rented the gymnasium for the meeting, Miller's "Private Security group Drop Zone" said that the whole school was rented and that it was all a private function. A political meeting open to the public is a private event?

So much for the First Amendment and the Tea Party.


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can something be public, yet private, at the same time?

Can attendance be controlled, some accepted, others rejected? What about a football game at a stadium? It's public, yet entry is controlled, some accepted, others rejected. The criteria might be a ticket there, but does that mean no other criteria is acceptable to decide who can attend and who can not?

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If it really was a First Amendment issue..

I doubt authorities would be contemplating charges of, "assault, trespassing or disorderly conduct" against the alleged journalist.

I see no mention of the Tea Party in the story. A red herring, IMO.

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If you rent a facility to hold an event it is a private event even if you invite the public at large. Restaurants are open to the public at large and still reserve the right to refuse service to whomever they choose.

BTW, the 1st Amendment says that Congress shall make no law infringing on the freedom of the press, not Joe Miller at his own political rally. Perhaps you should try and actually read what the Constitution says next time.

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Ticket, p[lease

Larger facilities are rented or gained access to as whatever the event will allow greater density to fulfill whomever comes. Whether it be private/public that regard is required for fire safety reasons, alone. The planners usually try to match or get some facility that will accommodate those that show up. On the issue of private/public access, it should be clearly understood to prevent mishaps of any kind that may warrant intervention as the lesser term to be used here and trespass becomes the reason for detainment(arrest?). At the same time, it has been custom to grant access to the journalists, but then again that's beforehand. To simply show and then been challeged is not uncommon, but someone is charge can grant immediate approval or not. Just because you didn't follow procedure (if one is in place) then don't expect it be granted, outright. At the same time, one can generate negative interest or disapproval if it falls short of "bullying" or be so underhanded that only the approved journalist get in, rather the media in general. In this case, the recent "new" blogger wanted in and then was disapproved. In light of the events, it may have been proper, but in defense of the organizers to have such a recent journalist(blogger) become newly made, does on the surface rise some doubts. Regardless, the vial of the media has been clearly stated by the Constitution of "freedom of the press", but again, you can't expect it to always be so black and white.

IMHO, I would have been under the impression the metting was open to the public to exclude excessive levels of people. So, why was this journalist so easily detained? What he on a list? Was there a media challenge? Applied but not approved beforehand? Then, later to grant access but the podium as well? -----Willy Happy

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His behavior seems tot be the issue..

"The behavior that was demonstrated while I was there was assaultive. It was certainly over the top. There's no question that that hounding was something that shouldn't have happened. And it was unfortunate," Miller said. "But, you know, this was a professional team that was hired according to the contract that we had and ? and I'm sure that they did the right thing."

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