Joe Arpaio Calls Out Al Sharpton on Barriozona.com; Plus Pics of The Colbert Report Protesters

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Eduardo Barraza scores with this video of Joe at the latest prisoner parade

Sheriff Joe's ready to rumble with the Rev. Al Sharpton. At least that's the smack the sheriff was talking the other day to journalist and editor Eduardo Barraza of the grassroots Web magazine Barriozona.com. Barraza made Joe's latest inmate march last week, during which Joe enjoys some of the off-color humor of his prisoners as they're transferred from one facility to another.

When Barraza gets the sheriff all to himself, he mentions that there are more pro-immigrant marches coming up, with one on May 2, led by Phoenix civil rights activist Salvador Reza. (The march will also see the return of Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, who participated in the massive anti-Joe demonstration on February 28.) Joe scowls at the Reza's name. All he wants to know about is his new nemesis, Al Sharpton.

"Where's Sharpton?" Joe demands. "When's Sharpton coming? Didn't he say he was coming?"

Jeez, Joe, why don't you fly him out here yourself, if you're so eager for a face-off? Joe knows the sort of national media attention Sharpton commands. But the geriatric gendarme's ready to play it off as sour grapes if Al doesn't make it to Sand Land.

"He's not gonna come," Joe tells Barraza. "You know why? Because he knows it's all lies. You think he's gonna come?  Talk-talk-talk-talk-talk."

Could Joe be more desperate for the Rev. to touch down in Cactus Country? I don't think so.

Also, here are a couple of pics from the protesters who braved the cold and the rain to demonstrate outside the studio doors of The Colbert Report yesterday as Maricopa County's sadistic sheriff was a guest on the comedy half-hour. According to Salvador Reza, his group PUENTE and his allies in the National Day Laborer Organizing Network decided to mobilize protesters at the last minute, less than 24 hours before the show was to be taped.

Soon, America's Voice joined the fray with an e-mail/fax campaign to the show's producers. Both actions were a success given the limited amount of time involved. Over 1,000 letters were faxed to Colbert's producers, according to AV. Reza says the protest drew 30 souls, despite the weather. He explained that the producers came out to talk to the demonstrators prior to the taping, and asked what sort of questions they wanted asked of Joe.

With another day or so lead time, I bet they could have gotten a couple of hundred outside Colbert's doors. In one way, Joe may enjoy the infamy such protesters bring. On the other hand, where Joe was once seen as an anti-crime icon by the media at large, he's now being viewed with increasing skepticism and derision, as on Monday's The Colbert Report.

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