Sheriff Joe by Any Other Name: Euphemisms Used in National Media Coverage of Arpaio
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Sheriff Joe by Any Other Name: Euphemisms Used in National Media Coverage of Arpaio

Since former Joe Arpaio announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in early January, virtually every national media outlet has felt compelled to publish an article or two acknowledging this bizarre development.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the polite euphemisms that have been used to describe the famously racist former sheriff in those stories:

"Combative lawman"

"Controversial former sheriff"

"Embattled former sheriff"

"Faced plenty of controversy"

"Firebrand sheriff"

"Firebrand lawman"

"Fiery former sheriff from Arizona"

"A no-nonsense sheriff who punched back"

"Retired Republican lawman"

"Has been the subject of national controversy"

"Known for his hard-line immigration tactics"

"Known for having a tough stance on immigration"

"National provocateur"

"85-year-old immigration hardliner"

"The tough guy sheriff of Maricopa County"

"A lightning rod for critics"

"A polarizing figure in Arizona"

"Polarizing yet iconic"

"Populist and polarizing former sheriff"

"A close ally of President Trump and former sheriff known for his provocative approach to combatting illegal immigration"

Are you an out-of-town reporter who's been assigned to write 2,000 words about Joe Arpaio? Here are a few suggestions for starting points:

• He encouraged a culture of unconstitutional, racially discriminatory policing where Latinos were routinely targeted and harassed.

• He installed jail cameras that allowed anyone with an internet connection to watch female inmates using the toilet.

• His SWAT team conducted a raid on the wrong house, burned it down, and forced a puppy into the fire.

• He staged a fake assassination plot against himself for publicity.

• He ran a jail so brutal that women lost pregnancies, inmates were beaten and left to die in their cells, and people hanged themselves at a rate that dwarfed comparable facilities. He jokingly referred to it as his "concentration camp" and refused to provide working toilets and sinks with toilet paper and soap until he was hit with a federal court order.

• He's cost the county more than $92 million in out-of-court settlements and legal fees.

• He arrested the publishers of this paper after we criticized him.

• He spent so much time trying to enforce immigration law that he failed to investigate hundreds of sex crimes, many of which were child molestation cases.

As a sidenote: Please, liberals, stop describing Arpaio as a "convicted felon" as if that's what makes him a terrible candidate. There are many, many worse things you can say about him.

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