The current attacks on the media by President Donald Trump follow a well-known path in the view of Village Voice Media executives, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
The two journalists have recently been discussing the case of Arpaio and the Presidential Pardon he received following decades of attacks on the Latino community of the Southwest. Larkin & Lacey established their Frontera Fund as a direct response to their own arrest for publishing details of the criminal activity at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department headed by Arpaio. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey Make The List of Civil Rights Protectors | Philly Purge
Larkin and Lacey had been aware of rumors of concentration camp style holding centers in Maricopa County, and the racist profiling of Latino’s by the Sheriff’s Department for some time when they began their investigation.
Not only did their investigation in the early 2000s expose the former Sheriff as racist, but uncovered financial irregularities within the department. After the allies of Arpaio began to see Larkin and Lacey as a threat to their careers, the journalists were subjected to harassment headed by a special investigation team.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were served with a subpoena they believed to be a breach of the right to free speech of themselves and their readers.
Sheriff Arpaio’s office illegally demanded the two men turnover all records detailing the readership of their Phoenix New Times newspaper and its Online platform. Detailing the subpoena led to the two men being arrested in an illegal raid on their homes with no reasons given for their arrests.
The Village Voice Media executives would eventually settle their case for $3.7 million and use these funds to fight for the rights of the Latino community along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Larkin & Lacey agree the pardoning of Arpaio is one of the most controversial of all time and is a move on the part of both the President and the former sheriff to appeal to a nationalist underclass. What will happen to Arpaio next is something of a mystery but a potential run for the Senate remains a distinct possibility.
Pardoning the former Arizona Sheriff shows the lack of respect Trump has for the Latino community, in the view of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. A potential pardon for Joe Arpaio had been mooted throughout the Presidential campaign which saw the real estate mogul appeal to nationalists who view Arpaio as some form of hero.
However, Larkin and Lacey believe Arpaio proved his abilities as a shrewd politician by jumping on the Trump bandwagon when his candidacy was still viewed as a publicity stunt.
The success Larkin and Lacey can point to includes the fact their work has publicized the racist and illegal behavior of the former Maricopa County Sheriff to the world.