Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio once did a campaign television commercial where he threw copies of the Arizona Republic in the trash. While a congressional candidate over a decade ago current Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio ripped the Valley’s paper of record similarly in direct mail. Others, most notably conservative blogs, cheer daily its hoped for demise. Don’t count us as one of them. There’s no doubt the Republic’s editorial page can be frustrating to Republicans, conservatives in particular.
Sheriff Arpaio can do no right. SB 1070 was wrong, notwithstanding the deaths of police officers and other community problems associated with massive illegal immigration. Fox News it is not.
But the Republic’s editorial page also endorsed popular Republican Governor Doug Ducey – in the primary and the general. Former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl received similar treatment. And just today they termed Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton a “political liberal.” But arguing for their editorial page is not our key point. That has to do with their investigative reporting.
Government, business and society always have had and always will have actors operating in the shadows. What’s different now is the disturbing confluence of a decline of the fourth estate with the privileges granted corporations to wield more influence in elections. Who is left to point out the concerns? Who is left to peek in the darker corners and shine a light?
Arizona is a more informed state for what the Arizona Republic investigative team has done regarding foster care, the VA, APS, Fiesta Bowl, Operation Fast & Furious and so many other issues in recent years.
It along with the legion of hard chargers at the Arizona Capitol Times, Dennis Welch, Brahm Resnik and several others around town are often what stand between oligopoly and the public interest.
So long live and long prosper the Republic, its three horsemen of a shady actor’s apocalypse (Dennis Wagner, Robert Anglen and Craig Harris) and the men and women throughout the newsroom who keep people on their toes far more often than they would otherwise be.