The Sheriff and The Media

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik knows exactly what he’s doing. He has become a media darling because he is telling them exactly what they want to hear. Facts be damned, he’ll keep enforcing their template until this foolishness takes hold.

Hey Sheriff, tone down the rhetoric, will ya?

To this point, the activist old media puppets sit there on set and nod approvingly to everything Dupnik says when he points the finger at right-wing talk radio for causing Jared Loughner to go nuts and kill 6 people, with one notable exception. Meghan Kelly of Fox News asked Dupnik to defend his position with facts, he could only respond that he was just giving his personal opinion.

Personal opinion?

Since when do sheriffs start sharing their personal opinion on an issue of this magnitude during an ongoing criminal investigation? As a news reporter I’ve worked with many police officials asking questions and digging to get answers. In just about every incident I left frustrated by not getting enough answers from the cops, but I understood why they couldn’t talk. This sheriff is just throwing stuff out there to see what sticks. He knows this is a willing media with foam walls to which everything he says sticks.

Years from now “cop shops” across the country will be using Dupnik as an example of what not to do in a criminal investigation. He will get the notoriety he deserves.

Dupnik is a Democrat. He and the activist old media agree on this issue and in their minds they have formed a beautiful cabal. Media wants to blast conservatives, they need a source to give them cover, the cop agrees with the media, the media won’t ask the cop they love the tough questions, and the spin gets out of control to the point where the insane perp is the one actually being given the cover.

Nobody’s actions here can be rationally defended. I’ve wondered the last few days what the cops I have dealt with over the years are thinking of Dupnik and his statements. I’ve got a pretty good idea. They’ve got to think this guy has snapped and is doing nothing more than enjoying the face time and perhaps even trying to find a way to excuse his department’s inaction when it came to Loughner, whom they have known about for years.

I keep waiting for somebody to tell this sheriff to hit the back-up button, but so far it hasn’t happened. President Obama even called him and thanked him. Wow! Bring in the cameras boys, another chance for a sound-bite from the Media’s Favorite Sheriff! I wonder if the sheriff asked Obama during their brief chat if he could tone down the rhetoric and stop talking about bring a gun to a knife fight. Probably not. You know the killer had both a knife and a gun.

More and more evidence is coming in that Lougher was not a product of any political talk on radio or TV and the sheriff keeps blazing forward without regard to facts. Will he apologize to Palin and Limbaugh, whom he has mentioned by name after more and more facts are made clear that they are not responsible? I think not.

By the way, this is the same sheriff who said he would not enforce Arizona’s immigration law enacted by its State Legislature because, “it’s a stupid law.” A sheriff who decides which laws to enforce. This gets more interesting all the time.

This guy is more Mike Nifong than he is a real sheriff. Nifong was another media darling who prosecuted the Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape Case. Just make up facts that the media loves to hear and truth be damned.

I won’t compare the shooting tragedy with the awful choices that Dupnik, a seemingly sane individual, is making, but when honest history books write their analysis of this sorted affair, truth will be seen as something that was absolutely ignored by somebody who was elected by voters in Arizona to uncover it.

While the media smiled and said, thank you Sheriff, we’ll be back with our cameras tomorrow to get another sound-bite.

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