10/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ted Johnson, Variety Editor, Discusses His St. Paul Arrest:

Surrounded by police in riot gear on the Marion Street bridge in St. Paul on Thursday night, along with about 300 protesters and members of the media, I thought they surely can't arrest all of these people.

When it became clear that they intended to take reporters away as well, my reaction was a bit more dumbfounded. They have got to be kidding.

But no: I got arrested. Even handcuffed.

And my computer and my camera got confiscated. By the time we were freed, we'd spent about four hours in custody, and I was stuck with a misdemeanor charge of being present at an unlawful assembly. The experience was a combination of mild amusement, bewilderment and anger.

The arrest of journalists last week at the Republican National Convention got a great deal of coverage in local media, yet little play elsewhere, as has been the case when similar incidents occurred at past conventions. (Strangely, it seems the media harps on these kinds of arrests in foreign lands more intensely than they do when they occur in their own backyard.)

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