ROUGH TIMES IN THE CAPITOL
In Washington, D.C., the White House Press Corps is famously at odds with President Donald Trump and his staff. But so far, at least, no one has reported any physical confrontations. Some measure of decorum has prevailed.
But that can no longer be said about Our Fair Capitol in Juneau. Today, tensions between the media and one conservative lawmaker boiled over.
Alaska Dispatch News reporter Nat Herz reported to Juneau police that he was slapped by Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, in the Capitol building on Tuesday.
The police report records it as “harassment”. The slap, offensive as it may have been, may not have risen to the level of assault, since no physical injury was evident.
The ADN political reporter said the exchange between him and freshman Sen. Wilson occurred on the ground floor of the Capitol. Herz was recording the conversation.
Herz returned Must Read Alaska’s phone call and said he didn’t want to make a statement, that he had work to do and wanted to get working on a different topic.
The Alaska Senate Majority Press Office issued this statement: “The Senate expects professional conduct and decorum from all members. Until all the facts surrounding the situation described are available, we have no further comment.”
The last time a reporter was roughed up by a politician in Alaska may have been in 2010 when Senate candidate Joe Miller’s bodyguards handcuffed Tony Hopfinger of the old Alaska Dispatch, when Hopfinger tried to interview Miller in the hallway of Central Middle School.
Granted, many Wasillans would be more likely to punch than slap a person, if sufficiently irate. But for Herz, that observation may not have taken the sting out of the blow.