Lacey and Larkin: Part Reporters Part Philanthropy

Reporters don’t get a lot of attention these days unless they break a huge story. That’s created an industry that over exaggerates everything. This, in turn, has created a nation of people who are desensitized to pretty much everything. Occasionally, a story comes out that’s truly shocking. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

The story of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s arrest is something that caused national outcry. In fairness, they were arrested back in 2007, before the media began over exaggerating so much. Still, most people feel like their story is still shocking enough to be relevant, especially these days.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin met at Arizona State University. They had both dropped out by the time they officially met, but Lacey was running a small weekly paper that was most popular on campus. The paper, Phoenix New Times, was a response to Arizona’s ultra-conservative media.

Arizona back then, much like now, was a very Republican state. There isn’t much of a non-conservative vibe in Arizona. Starting a newspaper that offered unbiased media coverage was something no one had been successful at doing in Arizona. Lacey started because the local media’s coverage of antiwar protests made the protestors look like anti-Americans.

Now, Phoenix New Times is a big part of Lacey and Larkin’s lives. They’ve even been to court because of New Times. Most recently, they went to war with a local sheriff who was abusing his power. This sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is a racist, backward bigot who somehow came to power in Arizona. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

Phoenix New Times was the only newspaper to not ignore all the signs of Arpaio’s abuse. Everyone else in Arizona wrote Arpaio off as a benign sheriff. New Times noticed he was too shady to be benign. What they discovered shocked the nation.

Over the next few months, New Times wrote numerous stories about Arpaio. Obviously, this made him angry enough to come after them. First, he tried to use his legal authority to silence New Times. When that failed, he began using fake subpoenas to try to shut New Times down.

Finally, he had Lacey and Larkin arrested, hoping that would break them. All it did was give the duo a right to sue the county. Maricopa County awarded Larkin and Lacey $3.75 million, which they used to create the Frontera Fund.