After the controversial pardoning of Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, U.S. District Judge, Sharon R. Bolton, made it official. Although this came as no surprise, the move did cause the raw feelings of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, as well as the Latino population of Maricopa County, to resurface.
Michael Lacey, in a public statement, referred to the pardoning as a “marriage between two corrupt individuals,” while also reiterating the feelings of Rex Tillerson, stating that President Trump is a “moron.” It has been ten years since Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested by Joe Arpaio’s deputies, due to an article that revealed an investigation of their practices by a grand jury.
Due to its bogus nature, the arrest was quickly deemed to be unconstitutional, and the charges were dropped in less than 24 hours when the district attorney refused to prosecute. Although the charges were dismissed, a three-year court battle ensued, resulting in a resounding victory for Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
The would go on to use the proceeds to create the Frontera Fund, which is geared at protecting the rights of those that Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department violated throughout his 24-year term in office.
The Kent State Killings, which occurred on May 4, 1970, proved to be the spark that would lead to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s creation of the Phoenix New Times; a move that would forever change the way in which news was covered in the United States.
Joined by a group of like-minded thinkers, consisting of Karen Lofgren, Nick Stupey, Hal Smith, and Mike Fiore, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey stepped in the world of alternative journalism, forever changing the landscape of alternative media. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/ and http://james-larkin.com/press/
At this time, as protests regarding the war in Vietnam continued to erupt on college campuses coast to coast, yet the coverage of these protests, as well as the Vietnam War itself, remained steeped in conservative jargon. Fulfilling that missing link, the inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times was initially a modest hit, growing under the direction of Michael Lacey’s editorial acumen, and Jim Larkin’s strong business sense. By implementing striking social commentary, along with satirical cartoons of current events, Larkin and Lacey were able to capture the minds of their peers, while also garnering the attention of several major corporations, most notably, J.C. Penny.
With increased finances due to the ads that were being placed in their papers, the Phoenix New Times kicked off its four-decade run of dominance under the leadership of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
In 1983, Jim and Michael decided to expand their brand of news, acquiring the Denver-based Westword, as well as 16 additional publications, including LA Weekly, Miami New Times, Nashville Scene, and the most prominent alternative news publication of them all, Village Voice.
Throughout their careers, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey remained committed to the protection of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, helping to bring about a number of publications that were universally recognized for their writing style, which resembled magazines more than newspapers, as well as their up-to-the-minute investigative reporting.