Bigoted birther Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, got at least two friendly platforms on Fox Wednesday, one of which was replayed, to whine that his criminal conviction for refusing to respect civil rights is just so darned unfair.
Here’s how The New York Times explained Arpaio’s conviction for criminal contempt of court:
The criminal charge grew out of a lawsuit filed a decade ago charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally, and turning them over to the immigration authorities.
Hearing the suit, another federal district judge, G. Murray Snow, ordered the sheriff in 2011 to halt detention based solely on suspicion of a person’s immigration status, when there was no evidence that a state law had been broken. An appeals court upheld that ruling, and Judge Snow later reinforced it with other orders.
But Mr. Arpaio insisted, publicly and repeatedly, that his office’s practices were legal and would not change, and advocates said the detentions continued.
On Monday, Judge Bolton ruled that Mr. Arpaio had willfully violated the 2011 court order. “Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” she wrote.
We first caught Arpaio phoning in to the Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast. That interview was replayed on host Neil Cavuto’s Fox News Channel show, Your World.
Arpaio said he had not been invited and decided against going to Donald Trump’s rally the night before in Phoenix (part of Maricopa County) because “I didn’t want to be the cause of any demonstrations, riots and that type of thing.”
But, Arpaio said, “I missed not going, I’ve been to all of his rallies.”
Arpaio promised, “One day I’ll go public and talk about the tremendous abuse of the process. They can do what they did to me, they can do it to anybody.”
Cavuto asked about charges Arpaio “routinely fingering those of Latino descent, that it was essentially racist, they’d ask you to cease and desist, and you were held ultimately in criminal contempt for not doing so, something that could land you in jail for up to six months.”
But instead of going over the details, Cavuto merely asked, “What’s your reaction to that?”
Arpaio blamed President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder. “Sentence would be the same for barking dogs,” Arpaio sneered. “This is strictly a political hit.”
Cavuto then gave Arpaio a friendly prod to provide his side of the story, with a hint he’d not be challenged: “You did publicly acknowledge that you might have violated that Judge’s order, but that it was not intentional. What did you mean by that?”
“It was not intentional,” Arpaio insisted. But then he suggested it was. “My guys were doing their job, we had the authority under the program with ICE to do this,” he said defiantly.
Cavuto then gave yet another opportunity for Arpaio to whine. “Does it bother you” Cavuto asked, to be seen “as a poster boy for racism?”
Arpaio said the ACLU is “part of the abuse of the progress and process, and we’ll talk about that later.”
Arpaio said he had not spoken with Trump about the conviction (or, presumably, the pardon). Which got him gushing over Trump’s awesomeness: “He’s a great guy, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest Presidents we’ve ever had.”
Arpaio also thought it “great” that Trump is proposing a government shutdown to fund a border wall.
That evening, Arpaio appeared in person on Hannity.
First, Hannity played a clip of Trump in Phoenix hinting that he’d pardon Arpaio but saying, “I don’t want to do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversies.”
Of course, Trump meant that he thought it would look bad to pardon someone convicted, essentially, of racism so soon after Charlottesville. Or, more likely, that his advisers had advised against it.
But Hannity said, “I just think the president wanted to do it in his time, in his way, maybe there’s a review going on.”
HANNITY: At the end of the day you enforce laws that are on the books, did you not? And were you not ordered not to enforce the law of the land?
Arpaio repeated his whine that it all “goes back to” Obama and Holder, that he’d “go public” about “the abuse of the political and justice system” and, “If they can go after me, they can go after anyone in this country.”
Hannity said he was “glad” to hear Trump’s remarks about Arpaio and called them “reassuring.”
Watch Fox News normalize, condone and all but endorse Arpaio’s bigoted behavior below, from the August 23, 2017 Your World and Hannity.