Joe Arpaio's Shoes Spit-Shined by Phoenix Magazine
Kudos from Joe: the last thing any journalist wants...
Most of the media types in this town have no problem donning their kneepads for Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
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Even in the wake of Judge G. Murray Snow's decision finding Arpaio and many in his beige stain of a department to be serial racists, the local TV news idgits fall all over themselves to pander to Joe's every move. Like auctioning off his sling from his slip-and-fall.
Why should Phoenix Magazine be any different? I'm amazed it took the pub this long to blow Sheriff Joe in print, as it does in the July issue, finally kicking the Valley's top doctors and summer getaway tips off the cover.
The only surprising thing about PM's heave-inducing profile of our octogenarian autocrat, titled, get this, "Notorious J.O.E.," is that it was penned by former New Times scribe Niki D'Andrea.
Sure, D'Andrea was not a hard news gal during her time with us. But given New Times' battles with Arpaio over the years, and given that D'Andrea always had solid editors here, I would've expected more from her, if not the mag.
The issue will be on newsstands June 20, but a subscriber sent me a copy of the article. I don't think I'm exaggerating by much to say that it hits a new low in obsequious puffery.
Arpaio has Tweeted about it, calling it a "fair article." This, before he headed over to the mag's July issue "launch party."
The profile could have been composed by Arpaio's chief flack Lisa Allen. The title alone, a hip-hop reference sure to be missed by Arpaio and Phoenix Magazine's many ancient readers, telegraphs a motive: PM wants to make Arpaio seem cool.
"You know Joe," reads the subhead. "But do you know the Elvis-busting, opium-seizing, Sinatra-singing, racially profiled Notorious J.O.E.?"
Catch that "racially profiled"? The phrase here refers to Arpaio's claim to D'Andrea that he's been a victim of discrimination.
"The irony is, they accuse me of racial profiling," he says. "When I grew up, they used to call me 'wop' and 'deigo' [sic] and 'goombah,' all this shit. Now if you say one word -- Hispanic -- you're a racist and everything else."