Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey

United States District Judge, Sharon R. Bolton’s ruling regarding President Donald Trump’s pardon issued to the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Jim Arpaio proved to be no surprise to the myriad of people affected by his reign.

Filled with a list of unethical policies and practices, Jim Arpaio’s time as Sheriff of Maricopa County, led him to clash with a number of angered citizens in the Phoenix area, most notably, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.

Speaking to the media, Michael Lacey echoed the sentiments of Rex Tillerson, stating that President Trump is a “moron,” while also calling the relationship between him and the former sheriff as “the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals.”

Throughout his time as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio was accused of a variety of unconstitutional practices, including the implementation of his notorious “tent city,” which he, himself, referred to as his own personal “concentration camp.”

At the onset of the 1970’s, the social and political climate of the United States was in flux, due in part to the nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War. With protests mounting in record numbers on college campuses around the country, the anti-war movement steadily began growing traction, and alternative news publications began popping up in every major U.S. city.

When the Kent State killings, also regarded as the May 4 Massacre, happened, Arizona State dropouts, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey decided that they’d had enough, and promptly distributed the inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times.

With the help of fellow students, Frank Fiore, Karen Lofgren, Nick Stupey, and Hal Smith, the duo of newspapermen began growing the brand, with Michael Lacey handling the editorial duties, while Jim Larkin focused on the marketing of the alternative publication. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

Over the next two years, covering a wide range of social and political issues, they began garnering the attention of a number of reputable organizations, most notably J.C. Penny, who took out several full-page ads in the Phoenix New Times.

The hiring of Bob Boze, who introduced the world to the comic strip, “Honkey Tonk Sue,” proved to be a wise investment, as the implementation of satirical cartoons within the publication was an immediate hit.

Throughout the decade, Phoenix New Times experienced a series of peaks and valleys, eventually overcoming the downturns, and in 1983, they acquired their first major separate publication, the Denver-area, “Westword.” Westword, which had been started by Patricia Calhoun in 1977, had begun experiencing a number of setbacks but rose back to prominence under the New Times brand.

This move would lead to the acquisition of 17 publications, including LA Weekly, Miami New Times, Nashville Scene, OC Weekly, and the originator of alternative news, the New York-based, Village Voice.

Over the next four decades, Phoenix New Times, and the like-minded publications under the New Times umbrella would garner a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, while being recognized for its consistent investigative reporting and narrative journalism.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *