Former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, who was recently granted a presidential pardon by Donald Trump, was once again confronted in the media by longtime foes, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who called the President’s decision “the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals.”
Throughout his career, Joe Arpaio was called out for a number of his misdeeds by Larkin and Lacey’s Phoenix New Times, which would eventually lead to their unlawful arrests at their homes. While it has been ten years since the brazen violation of constitutional rights occurred, feelings between both parties remain raw.
The early 1970’s was a period rife with turmoil in the United States, with significant protests mounting throughout the country regarding the United States’ participation in the Vietnam War, and combined with the conservative nature of the coverage executed by the traditional media outlets, the need for an alternative voice was at an all-time high.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey – at the time, merely dropouts from Arizona State University, had become increasingly involved with the anti-war movement that had begun gaining traction, and after the shootings on the campus of Kent State University, in which four students lost their lives at the hands of Ohio National Guardsmen, decided to jump directly into the fray. Joined by fellow students, Karen Lofgren, Nick Stupey, Hal Smith, and Frank Fiore, Michael Lacey launched the inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times, to much acclaim. Learn more about James Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
In two years time, Jim Larkin joined the party, taking on the business aspects of the publication, which proved to be a wonderful matching of the minds, as the stock of the Phoenix New Times quickly elevated, particularly with the involvement of J.C. Penny, who took out full-page ads in the weekly paper.
The latter half of the decade proved to be a time of peaks and valleys, but by the arrival of the 1980’s, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had implemented a number of new columns, including a wildly popular personals section, as well as a section featuring satirical comics strips by Bob Boze Bell.
This would give the Phoenix New Times a new set of readers, in effect, taking the brand even further.
In 1983, New Times Media would make its first major acquisition, purchasing Patricia Calhoun’s Westword – a publication based in Denver that had seen a significant dip since its launch six years prior.
This would begin a period of expansion for the team of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, as over the next few years, they would go on to acquire a total of 17 publications, including Miami New Times, LA Weekly, OC Weekly, Nashville Scene, and the counterculture publication that started it all, New York City’s Village Voice.
Sticking to their trend of shedding light on the issues that mainstream media refused to cover, Jim Larkin and Michael garnered an audience that stretched from coast to coast – maintaining this a notable readership for the next four decades.
Today Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey head the Frontera Fund and recently delved back into the world of narrative journalism with the launch of FrontPage Confidential.