A reader grateful that the Flash featured KPNX-TV Channel 12 anchor Jineane Ford's role as a scantily clad, stuttering bimbo in 1983's Chattanooga Choo Choo recently volunteered videotape of another local TV journalist doing her all for the sake of entertainment.
The tape features a reporter who worked at KOOL-TV Channel 10, precursor to the current Fox outlet. To send off a departing cameraman, employees made a gag video which starts and ends with the reporter performing amazing oral tricks on a Popsicle.
Just at the end of the provocative act, the camera pans up so we get a better look at the reporter. It's none other than Lisa Allen, who would later ditch reporting news to fabricating it as Maricopa County Sheriff Joke Arpaio's public relations stunt coordinator.
The one-woman think tank says that she was featured in several such tapes, including one in which she dressed as a prostitute, all in the name of good, clean fun, and she added that she'd like to see the tape again.
The Flash is only too happy to oblige.
Allen's performance can be downloaded from the online version of the paper at www.phoenixnewtimes.com. Take the Flash's word--she's got some talent.
Bearup Couldn't Bear It
The resignation of Joke's political operative Thomas Bearup last week did not come as a surprise to the Joke's severest critics--his employees.
Deputies have told the Flash that Bearup was long out of favor after once being the Crime Avenger's most trusted ally.
But Arpaio's paranoia--his pogroms to rid the sheriff's office of suspected dime-droppers has wrecked nerves in every department--eventually ravaged the Joke's inner circle as well.
Bearup wouldn't speculate on why Arpaio turned on him, but he confirmed that his pay was recently cut by about a third and that he had been moved to an inconsequential office at Madison Street Jail, across the street from the sheriff's office.
"I felt that I could not be part of Sheriff Arpaio's administration any longer and I decided to leave," Bearup says.
"There are things there that I do not agree with. I brought them to his attention and rather than be a part of that, I've chosen to leave," he added. Asked to elaborate on the things that alarmed him, Bearup replied: "I don't want to get into those things at this time."
Poor Sheriff Joke--everybody's picking on him, and not just in this country. Now that Amnesty International has found Joke guilty of human rights violations, at least the local powers that be are rallying round in support of him. Even county Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, whose recent shooting provided Joke with another photo opportunity, says she doesn't believe that anything untoward is going on in his jails. She did express concern as to how his jails got such a nasty reputation.
Ever willing to help support our elected officials, the Flash has decided to join in. So, here goes:
Joke is a wonderful, warm compassionate human being. Prisoners just like to make trouble for him . . . like Scott Norberg, who beat himself to death in custody. Or Richard Post, the paraplegic who strapped himself into a restraint chair, broke his own neck and left himself there for hours. Or Jeremy Flanders, who whacked himself about the head with tent stakes. When are these ungrateful malcontents going to give it up and accept that Joke's inmates are a big, happy family cared for by their stern but loving patriarch?
All Joke, All The Time
A transcript of Joke's September 17 hour with Pat McMahon on KTAR provides additional insight into the conspiracy to discredit the Crime Avenger. It's beyond comical to hear how even a softball pitcher like McMahon can tie the guileless Joke into knots. When the host asked about the Amnesty International report, the Sher groused:
". . . I'm not concerned with it. What does that organization know about jails and prisons? Maybe they should direct their attention to the jails in prisons in Mexico and Turkey and South America, where I have worked. My jails are Ritz hotels compared to those prisons, so why are they coming now to take on the sheriff?"
McMahon pointed out that Amnesty International was concerned about excessive force, use of stun guns, restraint chair misuse, poor conditions at Tent City, chain gangs.
Joke: "First of all they got their information from that initial Justice Department report that gave no names, places, times or anything. Number two, why should they be telling me whether I can have tents or not? I serve the people of this county, I don't serve any organizations in London. Number two (again), I have a chain gang that are volunteers, they volunteer for the chain gang. . . .
"By the way I never said this, because I don't want to look like I have an ego, do you know that people around this nation are copying our program? They're putting tents up, they're putting chain gangs, they're even copying my uniforms, YOU KNOW THAT? Are they going to go across this United States and tell everybody in the United States what to do? This organization, they're never right anyway. . . . Go back with President Reagan, how this organization went after the president, constantly, constantly, and after the final results come in, you'll see that they're all wrong."
McMahon: "What did they say to Reagan? What did they want him to correct?"
Joke: "I don't know, I don't recall every factor, but remember they went against Reagan, I forget the subject."
McMahon: "Amnesty International is generally well thought-of because they really do tell the Turkish government that they can't practice what they do in prisons and they tell the people in Latin America that they can't, the leadership cannot and the police cannot torture prisoners. Now they haven't stopped it, but I'm just saying that they do oversee some pretty good works.
Joke: "They don't have any authority. What do you mean tell the police they can't? They can't say can't. They have no authority. . . ."
McMahon asked if Joke respected Amnesty International.
"No, I don't respect that. All this is garbage, they're just rehashing what occurred in the newspapers two years ago about Norberg. . . ."
McMahon: "What's going on in the Norberg case?"
Joke: "There's a lawsuit, petty, but I'm not going to talk about it, but I'm looking forward, let them go to court. The truth will come out in the court. Let the justice system take its course, or the civil system, let's wait."
So Joke wouldn't change anything?
"Nothing. Nothing. . . .
"The law and the constitution says the sheriff runs the jail, nobody else. We run a humane jail system regardless of what this outfit in London, all the way from London, there's talking about. Now if they want to go before the United Nations, great. I served 14 years overseas, I know about the United Nations, I met with ambassadors, I was a diplomatic officer, so I think I know a little about international. . . . So if they're going to go after me, they're going to have to go after the whole United States of America. . . ."
"I hate to say this, because you call me a publicity hound, but every international TV station there is--Hong Kong will be here next week, Germany for the 90th time, 20/20, they keep coming. But I have an open door policy. . . .
"I have dogs patrolling the tents. I wonder if they're going to come after me because I have dogs patrolling the tents? They don't seem to worry about that. I put cameras on the dogs. Cameras. I called them camdogs, but you know what? I just changed it to Pup Puparazzi, because they're out chasing the inmates on camera, too. . . ."
McMahon says some believe he's gubernatorial timber, but wonders whether Joke could handle complex issues like education.
Joke: "Why can't I, I'm opening a school, in the jail. Nobody's ever done that before. If I can open a high school in the jail, I think I know a little about education. What was your question?
"I was asking you if you think you're qualified to be governor."
"I say sometimes that's a demotion to go from sheriff to governor, but I haven't closed the door. A lot of people want me to run for governor, according to polls."
"What do you think your chances are?"
"About running? I don't know. Only I know, really--I just contradicted myself. My wife doesn't know.
"I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about it."
It's a scary thought.