Joe Arpaio, Soldier of Fortune Cover Boy, Channels His Inner Mr. Magoo

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It should be no surprise that a cheesy, old-man's magazine like Soldier of Fortune would stick our septuagenarian sheriff's mug on the cover and proceed to pucker up to him in a puff piece written by some dude with the improbable name of "Dr. Martin Brass."

But couldn't they find a better photo of our geezer law dog to slap on their rag?

Sheesh, Arpayaso looks like he's channelling his inner Mr. Magoo, or wishing he hadn't downed so much of Ava's pecan pie the night before.

Of course, by Joe's own account of his military career, he wasn't much of a soldier. In fact, he successfully avoided the Korean peninsula during the Korean War by doing desk duty in France. But then, Soldier of Fortune doesn't have to mention that little tidbit, um, so, they don't.

Rather, Dr. Brass -- in prose that makes the scribes at Boy's Life seem like Nobel lit winners by comparison -- pats Joe on the back for his Hispanic-hunting escapades, and swallows some Joe whoppers that have been so refuted that you've got to figure Brass' surname refers to the stuff between his ears.

For instance, Brass mentions the 1999 James Saville incident, which he calls the "Wacko Pyromaniac" case. See, Saville was a con Arpaio's goons framed in a pseudo-assassination attempt that Arpaio milked like a Jersey cow for publicity. Brass states that "the facts were inconclusive." Yep, so inconclusive that Saville was acquitted, and he later sued Arpaio and the county for $10 million.

Ex-New Times staffer John Dickerson reported last year that Saville settled for an undisclosed amount. We know the county's portion of the payout to Saville was $1.1 million. The county's insurance policy picked up the remainder of the tab, whatever that was.

Dickerson pointed out that not only did the jury in Saville's 2004 trial find him innocent of all charges, "but it ruled that Arpaio's minions helped buy the bomb parts themselves and `entrapped' Saville in a TV-ready murder plot."

So where does some shmuck like Brass get off suggesting that, "The wacko was acquitted because he claimed to have been set up by the sheriff's office"?

Hey, Brass-for-brains, Saville didn't just claim to have been set up by sheriff's office flunkies. He was set up by sheriff's office flunkies.

Brass is so obviously ignorant of facts surrounding Arpaio, that he often just lets Arpaio prattle on unchallenged. Like when Arpaio mentions the conspiracies and plots against him.

"Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat on the Arizona Board of Supervisors [sic], who control appropriating funds for the Sheriff's office, is also behind this," squawked Arpaio to Brass. "The Board of Supervisors doesn't tell me what to do because I am elected, but they give me the money. There is not one Republican in the mix."

Hmmm, Okay. First, it's the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, not the "Arizona Board of Supervisors," and Wilcox is the only Democrat on the five-member board, the rest are Republicans. Plus, as everyone but Brass knows, Arpaio is feuding with most of the GOPers on the BOS as well.

But, hey, facts, shmackts. It's Soldier of Fortune, baby, not the frickin' New Yorker. What did you expect?

In his diatribe, Arpaio may have meant to argue that criticism of him is all political, and all from Dems. But that wouldn't be true either. Former Maricopa County Attorney and staunch Republican Rick Romley is a frequent critc of the sheriff. Plus, Republican U.S. Senator John McCain and the sheriff can't stand each other.

I should also point out that, unlike Arpaio, both of these men are war heroes.

Still, Brass and SOF lap up all of Arpaio's tall tales, some of 'em borrowed from Joe's joke of a memoir Joe's Law, which Arpaio co-authored with his long-time sycophant Len Sherman. If you feel like a run-down on all the inaccuracies and bogus yarns therein, take a peek at the piece I wrote debunking the book back in June of last year.

I'm sure SOF put Joe on its cover because, like him, it's past its prime. And, similarly, its prime is nothing to be proud of. The mag is notorious for its past history of appealing to weekend warriors, wannabe tough guys, and murderers for hire.

In a 2000 New York Times item on SOF and founder, editor and publisher Robert K. Brown, a retired Army colonel who sounds like a barking cartoon character, the piece notes the mag's less-than-sterling rep:

"In 1993, the magazine and the Omega Group, its corporate entity, were held negligently liable after an assassin hired through a classified ad in Soldier of Fortune murdered a Georgia man in 1985. Mr. Brown lost a $4.3 million judgment. He settled the case for $200,000, and Soldier of Fortune has not run a similar classified ad since the murder."

Classy, especially for a law enforcement official to be hooked up with, eh?

In any case, Joe's on the October issue of SOF, which is on stands now, and doesn't seem to be online yet. BTW, I'm still waiting to see Joe's pie-hole on MAD or CRACKED one of these days. Though the large print edition of Varicose Vein Monthly seems far more likely.

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