11 September 2004

I don't know what he's talking about

The words of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in response to Phoenix New Times reporter John Dougherty's questions about his public records requests. The Arizona Republic article only briefly mentioned what Dougherty's reporting has uncovered on questionable doings at the Maricopa County Sheriff Office. I don't believe the Arizona Republic (or even the city's flagship AM news station) have even given a peep to the substantive charges brought forth by that alternative weekly periodical. The article in the Arizona Republic even put the onus of a disturbance on the reporter asking questions, and not the heavy handed treatment dealt out to inquiries made on behalf of the public.
Dougherty was quickly headed off by a contingent of sheriff's deputies, who blocked his path and jostled him into onlookers, including Andrew Thomas, the newly nominated Republican candidate for Maricopa County attorney.

Arpaio kept mum as Dougherty repeated his question, and the security scrum grew as the room quieted.

Yeah, such a security risk, asking all those questions…

One of the Arizona Republic "official" bloggers even trumpeted Joe's victory, celebrating "egg on their face", directed at what Mr. Genrich termed Phoenix New Times "hit pieces".

The New Times recently published a hit piece about Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio handily won his primary race.

Which leads me to ask why is the Arizona Republic such a chickenshit publication that's serving as nothing more than a shill for the corporate and governmental local power base? Again, the investigative reporting by Dougherty has revealed some serious issues on how MCSO is being managed:

  • Gestapo type tactics in harassing political opponents.
  • Refusal to release public records.
  • Preferential treatment to celebrities and sons and daughters of the privileged, in return for campaign coffer contributions. This, to me, is a serious charge, and I cannot believe that the state's "paper of record" would ignore this scandalous discovery.
  • Arpaio's concealed commercial real estate transactions and any possible impropriety from such dealings.

The lack of attention to these reports by both Arizona Republic and KTAR is an affront to responsible journalism. It's become nothing more than a glorified PR organ. Minus the AP news releases reprinted, I can't see much else of substance there…