We can chalk up Arizona’s Joe Arpaio as another Fox fave sheriff using incendiary language about anti-Trump supporters instead of working to promote peace and calm.
Arpaio visited Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. today where not a word of business was discussed. Instead, host Stuart Varney asked what happened to the protesters who were arrested in Arizona over the weekend. “Are they still in prison or what?” Varney wondered.
“They probably were released on bond. What else is new?” Arpaio said, as if they should have been thrown in jail and kept there.
Varney upped the hostility level by railing against the protesters for having “stopped free speech.” In case anyone missed the point, “PROTESTERS STOP FREE SPEECH” blared on the lower third.
“I think the protesters raised the hostility level as opposed to the Trump people themselves,” Varney said, thereby excusing (and not even mentioning) the latest Trump supporter to sucker punch a protester and the latest manhandling by Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Both those events happened in Arizona.
Instead, Arpaio picked up on the Trump-as-victim meme and ran with it.
ARPAIO: Well, I don’t see the media angry about it. I don’t see the activists angry about it. They just get angry at Trump. He’s just trying to exercise his First Amendment, trying to get the message out. We had thousands and thousands and thousands of people waiting, waiting to see him and you’ve got some people that want to disrupt that forum and I’ll tell ya, they’re in jail and we have to do something about what’s happening to Trump. Everybody’s after him and that’s sad. That’s very sad.
Varney did not ask what Arpaio thinks "we have to do" on behalf of Trump.
Interestingly, near the end, Varney asked Arpaio if Trump had approached him for an endorsement. Arpaio’s carefully worded answer was, “We had a mutual decision that I would endorse him. He was happy with that.”
It makes you wonder what that “mutual decision” was, given that Arpaio just happens to be facing a tough re-election this year and is in a spot of legal trouble from the feds over his policing practices. None of those inconvenient facts were mentioned by “fair and balanced” Varney.
However, Fox Business did promote Arpaio’s inflammatory, coded comments in a tweet:
Watch Arpaio below, from the March 21 Varney & Co.