Opportunistic dot-communists are now making a buck off Sheriff Joke Arpaio's gulag.
Since July, the Web site crime.com has offered live security shots from inside the Madison Street Jail. There are four vantage points -- a provocative shot from "Search Area," a grainy panorama from "Pre-Intake," the grim "Holding Cell Area" and the always pregnant with possibility "Women's Holding Cell."
The feed isn't constant; images change every five or 10 seconds, so it's not unlike watching bad animation, say, like South Park.
The site is getting more than a million hits a day.
Last week, crime.com began posting ads on the Live Jailcam. A click on the camera of choice triggers a slew of banner ads.
"Crime.com believes in Jailcam," a disclaimer reads. "In order to keep Jailcam up and running, we need to support it with these banner ads. Please select a Jailcam sponsor to continue."
The site WebMD was a featured sponsor last week, which is appropriate, because that's about as close as anyone in the jail will get to seeing a doctor.
This week, the Flash got SearchSter, and a list of personal finance remediation opportunities. How synergistic.
The Flash called Lisa Allen, the sheriff's minister of information (who, scarily, is actually returning the Flash's phone calls), to ask what the good people of Maricopa County are getting in return for this gratuitous pimping of images created by cameras that we, the taxpayers, own.
"We get the benefit of deterrence and education," Allen says.
The Jokester and his band of merry sadists originally put Jailcam up on the county Web site. But it took up too much "bandwidth" (for you technophobes, that's not a reference to Crosby, Stills and Nash) and the system promptly crashed.