Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin worked together since the early 70s. Lacey started a local newspaper with some other students from Arizona State University, called Phoenix New Times. Larkin joined the paper in 1972 after dropping out. Lacey moved to Arizona to attend school but dropped out after the first year.
They both decided to focus on the imbalance of viewpoints in their city. Most of the news outlets only had ultra-conservative views of what went on locally and nationally. They wanted Phoenix New Times to be the other side of news in Phoenix, Arizona. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook
To their credit, Phoenix New Times encouraged them to expand beyond Arizona. Over the next decades, they created Village Voice Media, a media conglomerate made up of 17 like-minded newspapers from all over the country. VVM, known for its brilliant investigative reporting, won countless journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
In 2012, they sold VVM to some life-long executives to focus on philanthropy. Before selling, they battled one of the most corrupt individuals to ever serve in law enforcement, Joe Arpaio. For 24 years, Joe Arpaio reigned with a racist and abusive iron fist. Hands down, he’s the worst sheriff that’s ever existed.
Some of the things he did easily rival what Hitler did. He even openly bragged about his concentration camp he called Tent City. He opened Tent City as a solution to the overcrowded jails problem. In reality, Tent City was a place where he and his deputies and guards could freely torment anyone they liked.
The most terrible stories came from that place, and Phoenix New Times reported them all. Obviously, Arpaio didn’t like having his business out in the world, so he wanted to shut New Times down. Fortunately, Lacey and Larkin could not be broken. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/relevant-links/
Arpaio tried everything, even having them unlawfully arrested. That overzealous act cost him his job and his freedom. He was charged with criminal contempt for disobeying a federal judge’s orders after he’d already gotten in trouble for harassing Latinos. He was supposed to face sentencing a few weeks after his trial, but President Trump pardoned him.
Trump and Arpaio’s friendship goes all the way back to Trump accusing Obama of not being an American citizen. Arpaio launched a full investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, calling it a fake. Of course, when Arpaio got in trouble, Trump came and bailed him out.