The former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, made national news for the number of crimes that he and his deputies committed under his reign. After supporting Donald Trump throughout his candidacy for President of the United States, he received a pardon, absolving him from his many injustices. The move was recently made official when U.S. District Judge, Sharon R. Bolton signed off – a move that many expected to occur.
Longtime foes of the former sheriff, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey, sounded off in the media in order to express their discontent with the President’s decision.
Michael Lacey would describe it as “the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals” – a sentiment that many of the citizens of Maricopa County, particularly the Latino population, strongly echoed. This was just the latest event in the feud between Joe Arpaio and the former heads of New Times Inc, making it ten years since their unlawful arrest at the hands of the ex-sheriff.
Today, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are two of the most highly-regarded newspapermen of their generation, but in 1970, they were just two former students of Arizona State University directly experiencing the circumstances of Vietnam-era America.
At the time, protests against the Vietnam War were happening on campuses throughout America and having witnessed the conservative take that traditional news outlets were delivering regarding the Kent State Killings, Larkin and Lacey decided to act, creating the inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times.
Joined by fellow members of the anti-war crowd, such as Karen Lofgren, Frank Fiore, Hal Smith, and Nick Stupey, the set out to deliver a raw and uncut news outlet that would be in sharp contrast with the uber-conservative positions taken by established media corporations.
In a short period of time, Phoenix New Times, due to the growing number of alternative newspapers, and with that, a growing audience began to gain traction, leading to the expansion of the physical weekly issue, as well as the overall readership. In the early 1980’s, the format of the Phoenix New Times changed considerably, now being presented in the fashion of a traditional tabloid. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
As they ushered in the 1980’s, Phoenix New Times began acquiring additional publications that were similar in content to Phoenix New Times, beginning with the Denver-based publication, Westword.
This acquisition would jumpstart the growth of the New Times Brand, and after purchasing 17 total publications, Larkin and Lacey were able to spread their message of alternative and effective journalism throughout the continental United States. Today, their prominent publications are available in every major market, receiving a number of awards and honors for their investigative journaling and magazine-like writing.
After a four-decade run, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey said goodbye to the company that they’d cultivated since its inception, choosing to sell their stakes to a few trusted executives in the company.
They currently operate the Frontera Fund, which focuses on protecting the constitutional rights of the Latino population that Joe Arpaio violated for so many years, and they recently reinitiated themselves into the world of journalism, creating FrontPage Confidential, which maintains all of the principles that made New Times such a resounding success.
Learn more about James Larkin and Michael Lacey: