June 4, 2007

"The image of Alterman in handcuffs is not only funny, it is, on a conceptual level, just."

Ooh! Dennis Perrin is exulting in the Alterman arrest:
... I must confess that reading about Eric Alterman's brush with the law in New Hampshire gave me a happy jolt this morning, for the image of Alterman in handcuffs is not only funny, it is, on a conceptual level, just. This guy is one of the biggest pricks in American political journalism, a classic liberal elitist devoted to the US corporate state, and a firm believer in the "gatekeeper" role of what passes for intellectual culture in this country. And, naturally, Alterman considers himself one of the gatekeepers....
"Ever since the beginning of blogging-time, I have worried -- in public and on blogging panels -- about the loss of the media's gatekeeper function . . . Particularly when the media profess to strive toward objectivity, punditry/gatekeepers play a crucial role. My problem with the punditocracy has never been that they are pundits, but that they are so incompetent at the job they do."
Right. What we need are "competent" gatekeepers to make sure that the rabble know their place. And Alterman is more than willing to help keep this arrangement in place.

Sadly, Alterman got off easy, with not so much as a single baton strike to the gut, or a brief shot of pepper spray in the face.
Yikes. I had something to say about the Alterman arrest in my 7:15 post, and I considered going into my extraneous antagonism to Alterman, but decided to leave it at just a reaction to his presentation of the incident. But now that Dennis has raised the larger question, let me remind you of this post of mine, attacking Alterman for saying we need "some sort of, you know, blogging -- you know -- council, where we could condemn people." And this one. And this NYT column I wrote (free IHT reprint), where I said I "rankled" at his "impulse to control." So I've got to agree with Dennis that there's some poetic justice when the wannabe gatekeeper gets ousted.

26 comments:

Doyle said...

Had Alterman's "gatekeeper" criticism referred to keeping out pundits from private areas at debates, or those who mouth off to the cops and get arrested, there might be something here.

But of course one has nothing to do with the other.

Love the tags, btw!

Emy L. Nosti said...

For someone who seems to have such an authoritarian personality, he doesn't seem to respect cops very much. You know, the gatekeepers of the New Hampshire debate. Guess suppressing speech is all good and well--until someone has the audacity to tell him what to do.

(If only we were all as objective as Ann Coulter and Michael Moore! Does he really think he could shut them up or wish away the public's demand for them?)

AlphaLiberal said...

So, Ann, you have some disagreement with Eric and want to use this arrest to stick it to him. Classy.

As far as the arrest, there are lots of problems with cops and such misusing their authority. Asking the person's name is entirely appropriate and his question should have been addressed.

Nice new picture, though, Ann. The old one was a bit sour.

Doyle said...

I actually preferred the drawn, ghoulish portrait on "truth in advertising" grounds.

Now people will wonder how such a nice looking woman could have such an unpleasant personality.

Doug said...

I saw him on an episode of bloggingheads, and he is an upbearable little prick. He called for a purge of the writers at Time magazine because of Iraq. He also complained about how liberal writers have to put up with snipping from other lefties that they aren't true enough to liberalism.

Yet a couple minutes later, he was calling out other liberals for not being pure enough.

SteveR said...

But of course one has nothing to do with the other

Except for a certain amount of arrogance. I doubt he's too stupid not to know that arguing/not complying with a police officer, no matter the circumstances, is a sure way to get arrested. He just thought it wouldn't happen to *him*. Just like he thinks he knows better what people should blog about.

Doyle said...

He doesn't tell people what they should blog about, but thank you for demonstrating how big of a stretch it is to connect his media criticism to his getting arrested.

SteveR said...

Oh come on Doyle. You don't like it, fine, but don't act like its such a big stretch that a reasonable person couldn't do it.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Of course this is a prime example of a elistist leftist in action.

The trouble is, they intend to use the same system to deal with the terrorists.

If the person your dealing with won't listen to your superior intellect, then ask for a supervisor.

The apt part of the analogy is winding up in handcuffs, just as any terrorist will use their force to overcome his mouth.

Talking about one arrogant idiot getting a comeupance, so what?

When the handcuffs wind up on the entire nation beacuse the terrorist won't play fair and listen to a 'superior' reasoning is an idea that scares the livin' Hell outta me.

Emy L. Nosti said...

"Asking the person's name is entirely appropriate and his question should have been addressed."

Huh? The man wasn't identified as a cop, and Alterman himself implied that he merely wanted the name so he could write about what a jerk this guy is on his blog. Yeah, it's really rude and irresponsible of him to not volunteer to let someone disparage him online, where it could get permanently attached to his name.

Mike said...

That's a good point, Emy. If I knew I was dealing with Eric Alterman, I wouldn't give him my name, either.

I must confess that reading about Eric Alterman's brush with the law in New Hampshire gave me a happy jolt this morning, for the image of Alterman in handcuffs is not only funny, it is, on a conceptual level, just.

Man, I wish there were pictures!

Hattie said...

I guess all you have left is sneering at Alterman. Pathetic.

AllenS said...

Mr. Alterman, is simply the left's version of a male Paris Hilton. Let's see how it works out.

Revenant said...

The moral of this story is: if you're going to act snotty to the cops and question their authority, don't do it while breaking the law.

Everyone with common sense knows that if a cop catches you committing some minor infraction, the smart play is to "yes sir" and "no sir" until he lets you go -- not take the opportunity to Take This Matter to the Highest Available Authority and browbeat them with your version of events.

dave™© said...

Sorry, brownshirts, but Alterman got out on $30 bail.

Let's ask the "law perfesser" where a case that commands that much release money is gonna go.

LoafingOaf said...

I rolled my eyes reading Althouse's previous post declaring it a "Serious Matter." I'm glad she's more honest in this post and it turns out she just had a personal grudge against him.

Do some of you support a police state against us all in general - where cops will harass us for sneezing - or do you just enjoy when people you dislike are put in handcuffs over nonsense and teensy misunderstandings? According to Alterman's account, the cops at the station disowned the arresting officer.

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"According to Alterman's account, the cops at the station disowned the arresting officer."

Of course, Alterman is a disinterested and neutral source who has no reason to do anything but present the unvarnished facts. There's no reason whatsoever to suspect his version of events, which is why the American tradition is that a criminal defendant who pleads innocence is immediately taken at his word as a gentleman and released. Right?

dave™© said...
"Sorry, brownshirts, but Alterman got out on $30 bail."

It's a misdemeanor, not homicide. And by definition, "bail" doesn't mean he's free and clear. He'll either be charged or not charged, we'll see. Either way, as long as it was humiliating and distressing to Alterman, justice has already been done.

AlphaLiberal said...

Folks, you can't just walk up to people without identifying yourself and start ordering them around, which a non-cop did here.

Even a cop should explain demands to control and herd people. Simply barking orders is not accessible.

I'd expect that sort of submissiveness to be expected of people in an authoritarian state, but not a free one.

Oh, wait, everything is different after 9/11....

Gahrie said...

Let's see...a comment thread full of Leftists defending someone who was snotty and rude to a police officer. Check.

Said Leftys then saying it's practically our duty to be rude and confrontational to the police. Check.

Doyle being a rude jackass. Check.

So far it all seems like dog bites man to me.

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: I rolled my eyes reading Althouse's previous post declaring it a "Serious Matter."

Me too. Like Al Queda would attack Democrat candidates? LOL.

Do some of you support a police state against us all in general - where cops will harass us for sneezing - or do you just enjoy when people you dislike are put in handcuffs over nonsense and teensy misunderstandings?

Democrat debate, run by Dems. Talk to them about their security.

But yes, I do enjoy the irony of authoritarians like Alterman being subjected to their own gatekeeper mentality. Like a typical socialist elite, he thinks the rules he proposes apply to everyone but him. I only regret he didn't pull this stunt in his utopian Venezuela or Cuba.

Folks, you can't just walk up to people without identifying yourself and start ordering them around, which a non-cop did here.

Yes, you can. Its a private function. Even Alterman admits to recognizing the authority of the executive who called him out - he wasn't disputing the man's right to toss him out, he was playing the "do you know who I am? whats your name?" card:

"According to police, Alterman was asked seven times to leave and became increasingly loud as he refused. After ignoring a final request, police said he was handcuffed and taken from the building."

"...He then said he was approached by a man and asked if he was invited to the party. Alterman said he asked for the man’s name because he had been treated “brusquely”. He said the man declined to give his name and called for an officer"

Alterman question the exec's attitude, not his authority to remove him.

hdhouse said...

arrogant prig is arrongant prig. both sides have them. both sides need to tell them that their poop stinks the same as everyone else.

neocons need to apply their swarmy smiles to their own as well. you ask us to do it all the time. you do it to.

Revenant said...

Folks, you can't just walk up to people without identifying yourself and start ordering them around, which a non-cop did here.

Neither property owners nor their designated authorities are under any ethical or legal obligation to tell you their names while bouncing your ass out the door.

Now maybe you meant to say people *shouldn't* refuse to give their names while evicting unwanted guests. Me, I think refusing to tell a reporter my name while I'm in the process of doing something he doesn't like is the smart play. After all, had the man been foolish enough to give Alterman his name, the whole lefty blogosphere would know it by now, and the people involved would be facing everything from insults to death threats to attempts to get them fired.

In any case, what got him arrested (rather than simply warned and expelled) was refusing to obey the *cops*, and getting lippy with them.

Fen said...

hdhouse: neocons need to apply their swarmy smiles to their own as well. you ask us to do it all the time. you do it to.

What are you talking about? Can't you simply damn Alterman without reflexing into the "both sides do it" mantra?

And why are do many Alterman defenders appear to be claiming the exec and police were conservatives?

Roger said...

This thread is a prime example of pole vaulting over a mouse dropping. The squished chimpmunk pic above was more interesting and raised many more moral questions.

Pete Bogs said...

if you read the account of the events, you'll see that it was the cop who was mouthing off... how is that possible, you say, when the cop is the authority there? it's sad but very true: many cops simply talk but never listen... they have to keep the upper hand, they think, by not allowing a suspect to explain themselves at all... this is taken as the suspect "being difficult," you see... cops size things up as soon as they encounter them and then dismiss any information that contradicts their initial impression... and because of it, innocent people go to jail... welcome to the police state... well, I don't have to welcome you guys... judging from the post and comments here, you have already welcomed it with open arms... sheep

PS: cops also have a habit of not stating themselves clearly... they told Alterman to leave... he thought they meant the restricted area he was in, not the entire building... a few simple words could have prevented this...

Revenant said...

a few simple words could have prevented this

Yeah -- "ok, I'm leaving."