Joe Arpaio Cries Wolf, Links Self to Lou Dobbs Threat, Slanders Activists
Is Sheriff Joe "America's Toughest Sheriff," or "America's Biggest Wimp"? That's what I can't help wondering as I read this latest press release from his PR staff. It lamely attempts to link the folks who protest Joe almost daily outside downtown Phoenix's Wells Fargo Building -- where Arpaio keeps two floors of ultra-expensive executive offices -- to Lou Dobbs' recent report that a gun was fired outside his house three weeks ago.
"The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office security detail is re-examining the level and methods of security it provides to Sheriff Joe Arpaio," reads the statement, "in light of news coming out of New York City today that CNN TV host Lou Dobbs may have been the target of pro-illegal immigration activists when his New Jersey home was shot at three weeks ago."
Dobbs related the tale of the gunshot on his radio show and suggested that it had to do with the "atmosphere" created by critics of his extremist, nativist views. Was this unknown shooter was motivated by hatred of his persistent brown-bashing? The New Jersey State Police are investigating. As there's a campaign by Latino activists to remove Dobbs from CNN, this incident comes at a good time for Dobbs to paint himself in a sympathetic light for his bigoted fans.
What does a random gunshot in New Jersey have to do with Sheriff Joe? Nada. Zip. Zilch. But, all the same, Joe wants to piggybank on it, and have us buy the hooey that his security team is really worried about this, that somehow he might be "targeted" by Latinos, even though no one yet knows who fired this random shot at Dobbs' residence.
"Sheriff Arpaio and Lou Dobbs were called the `two most unpopular figures with millions of American Latinos,'" states the release, "on national television by Fox talk show host Geraldo Rivera this past Saturday, October 24th."
Actually, that quote is a little off. Rivera actually called Joe, "With the exception of CNN's Lou Dobbs...for millions of American Latinos, the most unpopular person in this country..." But close enough, I reckon. Still, um, so what? I thought Joe was, like, the "Toughest Sheriff in America," or something. Apparently, Sheriff Tough Guy is spooked by a random gunshot that hit no one 3,000 miles away.
Even more absurd is the suggestion that the people who peacefully protest outside Wells Fargo -- members of civil rights activist Salvador Reza's Puente Movement -- will somehow inspire an act of violence against our scaredy-cat sheriff.
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