Sonoran Alliance Anonymous Blogger Criticizes, Praises New Times Coverage of Don Stapley

In looking at Sonoran Alliance blog post about Andrew Thomas running for state attorney general, we couldn't help but notice another post by our mostly anonymous friends -- this one about New Times

It seems that "Pat," whoever that is, believes that New Times contradicts itself about indicted County Supervisor Don Stapley when one recent article in the newspaper is compared to two others. Further, Pat says the newspaper "loses all credibility" because of the supposed contradiction.

Forget for a moment that the person mouthing off about "credibility" hides behind an androgynous pseudonym. The premise of his or her blog post is intellectually dishonest.

Even a cursory reading of the articles in question reveals that Pat is comparing two opinion columns and a feature article written by three different (named) people.

Neither Pat nor any other New Times reader should expect New Times columnists and editors to share the exact same opinion. And as you can see for yourself, the recent column by Sarah Fenske -- an avowed conservative who thinks Sarah Palin is cool -- doesn't contradict anything in former editor Jeremy Voas' 2001 column -- though it does take a different tack on Stapley because of the recent events.

Nor does Fenske's piece contradict the findings of former New Times staffer John Dougherty, who wrote the 2000 feature article on Stapley. As the Sonoran Alliance writer points out, "If it hadn't been for the New Times diligently reporting over the years on Stapley's financial misdealings, there probably wouldn't be an investigation now."

We agree, and we encourage our readers to look at Dougherty's article, to which we linked in an article published in this blog the day Stapley's indictment was announced.

The faceless cowboys at Sonoran Alliance are likely smart enough to know the point of Fenske's column wasn't to minimize past New Times reporting on Stapley, but rather to comment on the present indictment as it relates to the shady politics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andy Thomas.

 So why did Fenske's column spur Sonoran Alliance's "Pat" to invent this oddball piece of propaganda?

The answer may depend on who "Pat" is -- and whether he or she works for the County Attorney's office. Maybe Fenske's column hit too close too home. -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern