MEDIA

Eric Alterman Drinks Free Wine at Dem Debate, Gets Arrested

Nation columnist and HuffPo contributor Eric Alterman was arrested yesterday in the CNN "Spin Room" following the democratic debate, charged with criminal trespass and frogmarched down to the station in handcuffs. Per the CNN report:

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.

Per Alterman:

We went over to the commanding officer and I, calmly and politely, sought to explain that I didn't know why this cop was continuing to hassle me. The first cop kept interrupting me as I tried to explain myself and finally I turned around and said, "Can I please finish a sentence here?" That's when the first cop decided to arrest me.

CNN's original story had reported that Alterman had been asked seven times to leave; in the subsequent version, after speaking with Alterman, that assertion was attributed to the police.

Alterman called the incident a "misunderstanding" and claimed to have zipped in and out of the clink iinside 45 minutes. We're glad Alterman is safe and sound beyond the scary prison walls, and we're sure his good friend Rick Stengel is, too.

Columnist/author arrested in spin room [CNN Political Ticker]
Eric Alterman: "Top of the World, Ma!" [HuffPo]
Journalist Arrested For Confrontation At Party [KUTV]