Feb
21
2009

Racist Sheriff Hates Arizona Media Too

The February 18 Democracy Now! segment on Fox reality TV star Sheriff Joe Arpaio features Arizona's East Valley Tribune reporter Ryan Gabrielson telling Amy Goodman exactly how Arpaio's officers

went to the homes of the two publishers for Phoenix New Times, which–there was an investigation being conducted into a case where New Times published Joe Arpaio's home address in its paper and online. And Arizona has a kind of interesting law where you're not allowed to publish online the address of law enforcement. And so the sheriff had been pushing our county attorney to do an investigation and prosecute the case.

Over the course of that, it sort of snowballed to the point where they–New Times–received these hugely broad subpoenas for basically every bit of information about readers, reporter notes etc., just breathtaking subpoenas, grand jury subpoenas. And they were supposed to remain sort of–you know, they weren't supposed to publish anything about it, and they felt that they had a need, that people needed to know what was going on with this investigation, so they published all the details about these subpoenas.

Proving that Arpaio's abuse of power extends beyond his inmates to local media as well, "that night, after the newspaper came out, sheriffâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s deputies in plain clothes showed up at the homes of these two publishers and arrested them." Arresting journalists for reporting on government attempts to prosecute them for publishing information–interesting interpretation of the First Amendment they've got going there in Arizona.