We are Americans, and have the right to print and speak of any issue that concerns us and of any elected official. Keep up the good work.
James Jacobs, Cave CreekWrite on, right on: When I heard for the first time that the Sheriff's Office had not only attacked your newspaper (our "fourth estate" is supposed to be protected by the Constitution) but also that government was in the process of investigating readers, I was appalled.

So I went online to read the article, even though this action might very well have put me in line to be charged and arrested. Well, I didn't participate in the sit-ins or marches of the '60s and '70s, but I did read Thoreau. And my mother raised me to believe that no one has the right to censor what we read — at least not in this country. Write on.
Karen Baker, PhoenixHearing your calls for help: I have heard many Arizona natives say they are willing to give up some of their freedoms to protect the flag — the true symbol of America.

Thank you, New Times staff, for holding the true ideals in your heart and fighting for these rights. Facing a grand jury is scary, but you faced it.

There was a poster at a meeting hall I used to frequent that said: "When they came for the shop owner, I looked the other way. When they came for my neighbor, I did not listen to him calling me. Now they come for me, and who will help me?"

New Times, thank you for hearing my call for help.
Richard Chantala, MesaPorn, perfume, and us? We’re honored:I'll spare Joe and Andy the trouble of subpoenaing my Internet-viewing habits. I look at porn, perfume reviews, and New Times. There, nothing diabolical about that. Just tell me where the protest is for this blatant injustice, and I'll be there with bells on.
Kelly Battese, PhoenixWe will, Jon: I just want to congratulate you on your stance against this government intrusion. As a loyal reader since 1976, I had come to expect you to take a strong stand. Keep up the good fight.
Jon Bennett, TempeTime will tell: What a political liability the obviously stupid-as-shit Dennis Wilenchik turned out to be for the County Attorney! Trying to influence a judge behind the scenes. What an idiot!

I can't believe anybody would hire this fool to represent them after this. Hopefully, he will be forced to stop practicing law. There's no justice if this clown continues to keep a law license.

Guys like Wilenchik make me glad that I moved to a civilized state where the rule of law must be followed, or else.
Ted Johnson, Los Angeles

Andy doth protest too much?: Andrew Thomas needs to be put on a bus to Mexico along with Dennis Wilenchik, Barnett Lotstein and Joe Arpaio. Nothing but Nazi pigs they all are.

Once again, Thomas and Joke Arpaio have shown their true colors. The only reason Thomas backed off New Times was that he was headed down a street of no return public opinion-wise. Otherwise, you can bet he would have taken this the full limit.

Don't think this clown didn't know for a minute what was going on through the entire ordeal. Both Thomas and Bozo Joke need to go.
Jim Cozzolino, Phoenix

Get on the bus: Congratulations to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey for their victory over a corrupt sheriff and his County Attorney pal! The insular and extensive corruption of the Phoenix establishment has suffered a blow from which it won't soon recover.

Let's hope it emboldens reporters at other local publications who have lain back and watched for too long.
Joe Shea, Editor-in-Chief, American Reporter Reputable. Who knew?: This is great! Finally somebody realized they were walking on the Constitution. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are to be commended for standing up to these bullies!

Also, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office should be investigated for denying New Times its right to see public documents. However much some people may hate New Times, it is a reputable newspaper and should be given the same consideration as every other news outlet. Thank God the Constitution won the day!
Name withheld by request

Fight the power: I would just like to tell you to keep up the fight against Joe Arpaio. I'm 46, grew up in Phoenix, and I am really tired of the way he intimidates anyone who opposes him.
Steve Moser, Prescott Valley

Joe wants attention? No problem: I have been an online subscriber for many years, but I really haven't paid much attention to your magazine for the last couple of years. However, after this latest display of Sheriff Joe's overly inflated sense of self-importance, I will definitely be a more loyal reader!

Sheriff Joe, you have obviously been in office too long and the power that you think you have has gone to your head. I pray that your career does not survive the next ballot count. You are out of control and need to retire.

Unfortunately, I don't think that you could handle the lack of global attention that you seem to crave so much. Michael Lacey, Jim Larkin, and staff, keep fighting the good fight. You have the support of the people behind you.
Rikki Hatara, via the Internet

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5 comments
Eric Payne
Eric Payne

As a former newspaper reporter, I'm simply dumbfounded at the more than heavy-handed shenanigans of Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe, not just at their dealings with the "New Times," but at just what they consider "business as usual." How did they think they could ever get away with such manuevering?

Of course, in the national overall climate set by both the Federal Administration and the media over the last 6 years, I really shouldn't be.

Judith Miller "goes to jail" to protect her sources and freedom of the press from judicial interference, only to have it revealed later she willingly volunteered to become a journalistic stooge for the Administration, so that precedent could be set for the government to subpoena, and expose, "confidential sources."

FEMA holds press conferences that are completely fraudulent, merely to boost its own public image.

A male prostitute is given a bogus identity and credentials by the White House Press Office, and given access over real, established journalists, so that he can lob soft questions, and partisan innuendo, at press conferences.

The media's not free of blame, either. How is any of the following possible:

In the run-up to the 2000 election, the overwhelming attitude of the press seems to have been: "This guy's just too stupid to be elected." In the week prior to the election, what would have been a front page story for any other candidate - the history of a drunken driving arrest, and seeming favoritism shown in sentencing to Bush - doesn't even make the front page?

Using the media, a draft-dodging Executive Branch, which is making war an election issue, manages to subvert a combat veteran through innuendo?

Walden O'Dell, Chief Executive Officer of Diebold, who lives in Ohio, and manufactures the electronic voting machines used nationwide, publicly states he "will do everything in (his) power" to ensure Bush's re-election, then the media simply lets it go when Ohio poll numbers vs. registered voters by party alliance are completely skewed (thousands of more votes cast, for Republicans, than are registered Republicans in the state.. as well as thousands of more votes cast than are simply registered voters in the state)?

Despite decades of being there is a fail-safe system in place to ensure nuclear weapons cannot be used without Presidential authority, a plane full of nuclear weapons are "accidentally" loaded, and on their way to Iraq, before being recalled?

Not to mention Blackwater, no-bid contracts, energy policy being formed by oil company executives... all without hard scrutiny by the press.

Locally, Sheriff Joe has acquired, without accumulating any debt, properties for which he paid, in cash, almost three times his annual salary, and the media - save for your publication - don't seem to be the slightest bit interested.

The Sheriff openly violates laws concerning the dissemination of press releases and public information, even acknowledging his violations, but using as an excuse he "doesn't think" the publications being shunted aside are "real newspapers"?

Gee, I guess the real question should be: "How come they didn't get away with it?"

And that answer is simple. Because Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin looked them in the eye, figuratively speaking, and said: "Fuck you, assholes."

For six years, I've been wondering where the newspaper reporters were - not journalists, looking for the next prize and arguing with their publishers about font size on their byline - but newspaper reporters.

I know where two of them are, now. It is my sincere wish the Cronkite School of Journalism commemorates, in some fashion, the actions of Lacey and Larkin.

Sincerely,

Eric PayneGlendale, AZ

Mark
Mark

Having recently moved from the Dust Bowl, I am relieved to know that there are placed in this country that are safe, more free of crime and do not have people in law enforcement that crave for attention like the Sheriff and Andy Thomas. Nickel Bag Joe, thats what you are - a nickel bag. You sound more and more like a racist windbag by claiming you are going after the source of all the crime in Maricopa county. Get real and do your job. Go after the true criminals in the county that commit the serious crimes, like drive by shootings, gang related activities, home invasions etc. The simple man on the street trying to survive is not the hardened criminal you want us to believe. You need to retire to SUN CITY with all the other OLD out of touch people and just wither away.

Candy Andy, I want to know where your lollipop is? When you come out and state that you did not know what was happening within your department, it shows that you are not the leader you claim to me. How did you ever get where you are? Are you a spitter or a swallower? I would venture to guess the latter, because of the position you are in. Why was you office demanding so much information from this newpaper, but yet when it came to releasing the grand jury proceedings, you have not released any information written (electronic or otherwise) which would show the fine people why you were so determined to go after this newspaper.

My other though in this is a bit demented, by was Dennis in the middle between you Candy Andy and Nickel Bag? If so, isn't that a lewd act that is against the law? Realize you bit off more then you could chew and now you have an uprising. Are your goons now going to come after us and bust our heads every time they stop us? You all need to really look at your position, and ask if the public has the confidence that you can continue to do your jobs, and realize that it would do everyone including yourself to own up to all these transgressions and RESIGN. Your egos are not what is needed now!!!

peter
peter

When Larkin and Lacey were arrested, I could swear I read a quote in AZCentral from either Wilenchik or Thomas, which referenced Mike Nifong. The gist of the quote was, "If you don't like what I'm doing, there is a process you can pursue--just ask Mike Nifong." Well, it looks like bringing up the spectre of the disgraced Duke prosecutor may prove prophetic! I hope so...

mikel weisser
mikel weisser

Congratulations on the victory for the public's press and against the creeping constriction of freedom in general. The structure that once was "our" government has turned against the ideas of freedom of speech and the information for American people and the American press. Though there is no clear link to the war on terror this could have been another excuse to further limit all American liberty. Your victory is a victory for us all.

mikel weisser

Dave Drost
Dave Drost

when did the constitution get ammended to NOT allow free speech? Andrew Thomas should leave office and pay back the $ 1 mil he misused.

 
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