Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
OK, I was willing to cut Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu some slack when he apologized and said he didn't know it was a white supremacist radio show (despite the show's host insisting that he new full well the nature of the show). Once is a mistake, but twice is a pattern that undermines the credibility of his statements. As does his dissembling about it. "Houston, we have a problem."
Media Matters reported earlier this week that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu appeared on a white supremacist radio show to talk about SB 1070. AZ Sheriff Babeu appears on a white nationalist program, invites listeners to join his "posse":
On July 10, Arizona Republican Sheriff and frequent Fox News guest Paul Babeu appeared on the openly "pro-white" Political Cesspool radio program to defend the Arizona immigration law and criticize President Obama for undermining the "rule of law and intentionally undermining law enforcement." During the program, Babeu invited the show down to Arizona, and told listeners of the white nationalist program that they can apply for his department's "posse" program.
The Political Cesspool website states: "We represent a philosophy that is pro-White. … We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races."
The Anti-Defamation League states that Political Cesspool regularly gives voices to "anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other right-wing extremists." The Southern Poverty Law Center writes that the Political Cesspool is a "shamelessly white nationalist radio talk show" and host James Edwards "has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists." Political Cesspool has been streamed by Stormfront.org, which describes itself as a "community of White Nationalists."
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During the program, Political Cesspool co-host Eddie Miller asked (1:40 min. into the second segment) Babeu how they could help him. Babeu responded that Miller is a "great American," and that the country is "sprinting down the path to socialism." Babeu added that he'd be "honored" to welcome the show to Pinal County "so you could tell all of your listeners that — truly, first hand, what's going on." Babeu also promised to connect Miller with one of his deputies on patrol.
Babeu got some fundraising in, stating (7:30) that if "people go to SheriffPaul.com … if people chose, if they have 5, 10, 20 bucks and they want to lend help … we'd love to have their support." Miller told Babeu that he hopes his listeners will respond. At the conclusion of the interview, Edwards told Babeu that he'll help drum up support for him within his "sphere of influence."
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Miller also asked Babeu what listeners could do if they wanted to volunteer to be a deputy for Babeu. He replied by stating that they can help by applying to join a "posse" program.
This undermines the credibility of Sheriff Babeu's subsequent statement to the Arizona Republic regarding neo-Nazi J.T.Ready Man with neo-Nazi ties leading patrols in Arizona in which he said:
Babeu is concerned because an untrained group acting without the authority of the law could cause "extreme problems," and put themselves and others in danger.
"I'm not inviting them. And in fact, I'd rather they not come," Babeu said. "Especially those who espouse hatred or bigotry such as his."
Yes you did invite them to Arizona on the Political Cesspool Sheriff, even if only inadvertently.
Media Matters conceded that "it's not clear whether Babeu knew about the white nationalist orientation of the program when he appeared, though the "pro-white" message of the show is clear from visiting the program's website and a quick Google search."
Media Matters subsequently reported AZ Sheriff Babeu spokesperson "apologize[s] to anyone" offended by Babeu's appearance on white nationalist show:
KTVK's Good Morning Arizona reported that a spokesperson for Babeu released a statement yesterday saying, "I have weeded out most all requests from any outlets or groups that have any connection with possible hate groups. Unfortunately last week it appears that I may have let one such interview take place. I sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended."
Ah, the classic non-apology apology. "I'm sorry that you are offended."
The Arizona Daily Star reported Sheriff Babeu's apology, and followed up with the radio host who rebutted Sheriff Babeu's claim of lack of knowledge. Lawman backs off interview on 'white' show:
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu scrambled Tuesday to distance himself from a "pro-White" radio show on which he recently appeared.
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In a statement issued late Monday night, sheriff's department spokesman Tim Gaffney apologized for the interview, saying he did not adequately vet the program and that Babeu knew nothing of the hosts' beliefs.
But host Edwards said Babeu and Gaffney were told of the show's approach.
"For him to act as though he had no idea of our ideology is a lie," he said Tuesday in a written statement.
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Gaffney said in his statement that he set the interview while "inundated with media requests." "I have weeded out most all requests from any outlets or groups that have any connection with possible hate groups," Gaffney wrote. "Unfortunately, last week it appears that I may have let one such interview take place."
Babeu, who has been featured in two ads for U.S. Sen. John McCain's re-election campaign, also appeared July 9 on "The Alex Jones Show," whose host is a renowned conspiracy theorist. He was scheduled to appear later on the "Free American Radio Show," hosted by Tucsonan Clay Douglas, but Gaffney canceled that interview out of concerns about prejudice.
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In a written statement, Babeu said Tuesday: "I regret ever calling into this Tennessee radio show. I had no idea about the nature of this group. Personally and professionally I reject bigotry or hate in any form."
However, Edwards said Babeu should have known better: "Eddie Miller spoke with the Sheriff personally, a week in advance of the interview, during which it was made specifically clear (so there could be no 'confusion') the nature of our paleoconservative radio program."
The Arizona Daily Star glossed over Sheriff Babeu's appearance on "The Alex Jones Show." Media Matters reports what the Arizona Daily Star left out of its report. AZ Sheriff Babeu also appeared on 9-11 truther conspiracy show:
The Political Cesspool isn't the only fringe program on which Babeu has recently appeared. On July 9, Babeu was a guest on The Alex Jones Show, a program considered the leading anti-government conspiracy theory program in the country, and hosted by the "founding father" of the movement that claims that 9-11 was an "inside job" by the government.
At one point during the program, while discussing the administration's policies toward Arizona and immigration, host Alex Jones asked Babeu if President Obama is committing "high treason," to which Babeu replied, "It borderlines that. I'm not going to outright call it that. You know, he's still — I'm still an officer in the Army, and as a sheriff, I'm hoping that we have a correction here this year":
JONES: But specifically, I've got the definition here — and in tough times and serious times, needs tough realities — of high treason. And it's participating in a war against one's country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military's diplomats, or Secret Service, for a hostile foreign power. And I'm sorry, I don't know what else a federal lawsuit that's unconstitutional against Arizona, and a refusal, what he told Sen. Kyl in that meeting where he said, "I want it to be a crisis so we can pass immigration reform," if that isn't high treason, I don't know what is. Sir, is this not treason?
BABEU: This is their plan. It borderlines that. I'm not going to outright call it that. You know, he's still — I'm still an officer in the Army, and as a sheriff, I'm hoping that we have a correction here this year. Because the path we're going down in America is not the America that I fought for and I believe in. We're turning into — we're running down, sprinting down the path to socialism. And it's extremely troubling.
What's even more concerning is the president and his men have attacked us, undermined the rule of law. The president has deliberately — this is a man who's supposed to be a constitutional lawyer, he's very diabolical in his planning and plotting. He makes very careful statements to undermine police officers.
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On the program, Babeu additionally attacked Obama for planting "in people's heads that we're [law enforcement] the thugs" and said he would "not forgive" Obama. Babeu later said that Obama has been "undermining not just the rule of law, but literally an assault upon police officers across America."
News 12 in Phoenix does cover this aspect of the story. Pinal County Sheriff: Obama near 'borderline' of treason:
12 News has learned that the day before Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu appeared on a white supremacist radio talk show earlier this month, he was the guest of another extremist talk show host, who believes President Obama is committing "high treason" in his handling of illegal immigration.
When host Alex Jones of the "Alex Jones Show" asked Babeu whether he agreed that the president was committing treason, Babeu responded, "It borderlines that. I'm not gonna outright call it that. I'm still an officer in the Army."
Babeu is a major in the Army National Guard.
When host Alex Jones asked Babeu a second time about the treason charge, Babeu did not dispute it.
"What's so shocking is the president, our own government, stands against us and sides with a foreign leader," he said.
When I asked Babeu on "Sunday Square Off" this weekend whether an officer should be accusing the commander-in-chief of "borderline treason," he denied saying it. He added that "This is America" and he says the same things to whomever he speaks to.
Babeu also claimed in my interview, as he did in the interview with the "Political Cesspool" on July 10, that he did not know anything about Alex Jones' background before the interview.
Anti-Defamation League director Bill Straus says Alex Jones makes the "Political Cesspool" hosts "look like George F. Will."
You can watch my full interview with Babeu on "Sunday Square Off" at 8 a.m. Sunday on 12 News, right after "Meet the Press."
As Sheriff Babeu noted above, he is still an officer in the Army, and his words indicated he was well aware that his disrespectful comments about the president on this radio show may result in his being fired, reprimanded or subjected to lesser penalties for using "contemptuous words against the president, vice president, Congress, the Secretary of Defense," or certain other officials, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Just ask Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth has called upon Sen. John McCain to pull the ads Babeu stars in – including one in which McCain suggests the need to "build the danged fence."
"If he does not pull all the ads with Babeu, that speaks volumes about the man who loves saying that character matters," he said.
The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police in turn is asking J.D. Hayworth to apologize to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu after he demanded that Sen. John McCain renounce the sheriff. "The former congressman should know better than to attack law enforcement for political gain," said Sgt. John Ortolano, president of the state FOP. Political Briefs
Well, Sgt. Ortolano, I would think the FOP should be more concerned about a sheriff who exhibits such immaturity and poor judgment, and uses his office to be a media star in the conservative media to advance his political ambitions rather than concentrate his time and efforts on professional law enforcement. You should also be concerned about law enforcement even remotely appearing to be sympathetic to right-wing extremist groups. Your officers may be unfairly maligned by the public due to the poor judgment exhibited by Sheriff Babeu in this matter.
The Arizona Democratic Party has joined J.D. Hayworth in calling on Sen. McCain to renounce Sheriff Paul Babeu in a press release:
GOP candidates should renounce Babeu endorsements
PHOENIX — On Wednesday, Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth called on Sen. John McCain to pull his campaign ads featuring Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu because of the sheriff's recent appearance on a "pro-White" radio show in Tennessee.
Hayworth is right.
Babeu's excuse (claiming he was "unaware" of their pro-White agenda) was quickly undercut by the radio hosts themselves, who said Babeu spoke with them in advance of the show and they were crystal clear with him about their positions [Arizona Daily Star, 7/20/10].
McCain, however, isn't the only Republican who needs to renounce Babeu.
The sheriff has endorsed Paul Gosar in CD1, Ben Quayle in CD3 and Jonathan Paton in CD8, to name a few.
"Surely, these Republicans don't need campaign endorsements from a sheriff who willingly participated in a White nationalist radio show," said Don Bivens, Arizona Democratic Party chairman. "If they do, then the Republican Party has a much bigger problem on its hands."
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Bivens said, "This kind of affiliation is unacceptable in Arizona, or anywhere in America. These candidates should do the right thing and cut ties with the sheriff."