"Reporters have ended up in handcuffs in the United States before -- some have gone to jail to protect the identity of sources -- but it is a rare moment when someone here is imprisoned for the crime of typing," Carr writes in today's New York Times. He details how the tumultuous relationship between New Times and Sheriff Joe Arpaio ultimately led to the arrest of the paper's founders last year for disclosing a grand jury probe of the paper and its readers. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey recently sued the sheriff and other officials for the debacle. "Suing people is not the core of what we do, but our arrest was just the culmination of an ongoing reign of terror that is still continuing," Lacey says.

Continue ReadingDavid Carr Weighs in On Phoenix New Times Arrests and Lawsuit

The Maricopa County sheriff "reacted with bluster" to the news that he was named in a suit filed yesterday by Phoenix New Times, the Arizona Republic reports. "They can't take their own medicine, so they have to be like crybabies and file a lawsuit against the sheriff and the county attorney," Arpaio says. "So you know what? I welcome the lawsuit. I welcome being sued. They're going to have to answer a lot of questions." Arpaio also defended the rationale behind the original probe. "It became a problem when they put my name illegally on the web," he says. "And that became a problem for me and my family. A big problem." New Times founder Michael Lacey defended the suit, calling the actions of Arpaio and the other defendants "unprecedented. ... They locked up journalists for something they've written, not for something they've withheld," he says.

Continue ReadingSheriff Joe Arpaio on New Times Suit: ‘I Welcome Being Sued’

The lawsuit, filed today in Maricopa County Superior Court, says defendants Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, lawyer Dennis Wilenchik and two county agencies subverted "the grand jury process" and committed other wrongdoing in their probe of New Times, which led to the arrests of the paper's founders. The 34-page lawsuit also accuses the defendants of retaliatory conduct in falsely arresting Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin and in maliciously prosecuting New Times. The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of money, but seeks general and punitive damages, and requests a jury trial. Read more on the Phoenix New Times' blog.

Continue ReadingPhoenix New Times Files Suit Over Last Year’s Grand Jury Debacle

"My invoking the argot of Black artists achieved a level of insensitive stupidity almost galactic in scale," writes the Village Voice Media executive editor in a blog post. "Whatever discussion lingers about the use of the words 'bitch' or 'ho' in hip-hop, comedy, film or literature, there is no question about the N-bomb coming out of the mouth of a 59-year-old white man." Lacey's post includes a link to Friday night's error-riddled FOX News segment from Hannity & Colmes about the incident.

Continue ReadingMichael Lacey Responds to Brouhaha Over Comments

The Village Voice Media executive editor's Friday night utterance of the "n-word" continues to be discussed in media circles and on the internet. Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas, who may be sued by Phoenix New Times soon, criticized Lacey's comments at a press conference on Tuesday, saying "this should be the Don Imus moment for Arizona's media," KTVK-TV reports. KTVK-TV also has the full video of the acceptance speech in which the offending comment was made. And Philadelphia City Paper publisher Paul Curci is weighing in as well, calling Lacey's comments "vicious and hateful" in an incensed letter to AAN News.

Continue ReadingFallout from Michael Lacey’s Comments Continues

The Village Voice Media executive editor ruffled some feathers when he used the "n-word" to refer to an old friend while accepting the President's Award from the local Society of Professional Journalists chapter, the East Valley Tribune reports. "My words, meant to honor a friend, were inappropriate," Lacey says. "All present have my sincere apology. It is regrettable that any phrase of mine offended those attending a First Amendment awards banquet." In other news, Phoenix New Times will receive a Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for standing up to last fall's grand jury probe. Lacey and VVM CEO Jim Larkin were both arrested and briefly incarcerated as a result of the probe.

Continue ReadingMichael Lacey Causes Controversy While Accepting SPJ Award

Michael Hollett was hurt in the Juno Cup Friday night, and will likely be in the hospital for several more days, the Calgary Herald reports. The Juno Cup is a hockey game where rockers take on NHL old-timers. "He fractured his leg in three places and it's a pretty bad situation," team captain Jim Cuddy tells the Calgary Sun. "He's in pretty rough shape. They'll operate on him, they'll put a rod in his leg, they'll put some screws in. I think it'll be quite a long recovery."

Continue ReadingNOW Magazine Co-Founder in Hospital After Hockey Accident