Our political and media-related Quote of the Day comes via a Huffington Post interview with Tom Hopfinger, who talks about his being handcuffed by Tea Party movement hero and GOP candidate Joe Miller’s security forces after he would not stop asking unwelcome questions at an event on public property:
“Getting handcuffed by somebody you don’t know at a public school, no one had said it was a private event or cast it that way, I mean intimidated, yeah [I was]. But I guess I was more pissed off. Miller, I felt, was going to answer my question on the reprimand part,” said Hopfinger.
“I think, just like in other parts of the country, the media is finding itself having a hard time doing its job in this political cycle because, whenever we ask questions, there are certain candidates out there who decry ‘lamestream media’ or whatever. Mr. Miller has had plenty of time to answer questions. He has been given plenty of opportunities. He somehow believes he shouldn’t be questioned about his background and yet he wants a job in six years, to a post where there are only 100 in the entire country, and we are not supposed to ask questions about anything of his past. There is a little bit of shoot the messenger. It is happening up here, and other parts of the country. There are certain candidates who just want to turn this around and act like it’s the media causing the problem. That has always been there, that element. It is just more ramped up this political cycle.”
What’s sad is in blog posts and comments on some blogs you can see some Republicans automatically defending Miller. No, this is NOT about being “liberal” or “conservative.” It is not about being Republican, independent of Democrat.
It’s about the fact that when a reporter maybe a pain in the A a)a candidate’s security members handcuff him b)it comes in the context of some candidates only willing to be questioned by unabashed partisan promoter Sean Hannity where they can do de facto fundraising commercials or ask people to go to their website and get softball questions, c)candidates virtually fleeing reporters, d)politicians who don’t like reporters suggesting they are somehow impotent.
We don’t handcuff reporters who are pesky and ask tough questions. You can blow them off, ignore them or give them a non answer.
I suspect most Alaskans won’t be pleased with this episode and, at the least, Miller has not helped his campaign and will lose some voters.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.