With the recent ruling made by United States District Judge, Sharon R. Bolton, President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon controversial former Sheriff of Maricopa County, became official. The decision was not met without opposition, as “Sheriff Joe” has garnered his fair share of enemies throughout his career, including the former heads of New Times Media, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey.
After hearing the ruling, Michael Lacey immediately took to the media, stating that President Trump’s decision signaled the “marriage of two corrupt individuals.” Many of the citizens of Maricopa county share this sentiment, being that they were so ruthlessly victimized throughout his 24-year term.
With President Nixon’s decision to become fully involved with the war in Vietnam, the United States was experiencing a number of internal conflicts, resulting in protests initiating in major cities and college campuses throughout the nation. With the anti-war crowd mounting in record numbers, alternative news publications became increasingly popular, with an estimated, 500 papers in circulation at the time.
After the Kent State killings, also known as the May 4 Massacre, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who had become increasingly fed up with the government’s policies, as well as local news outlets’ uber-conservative coverage of the issues at hand, decided to become directly involved, by giving the alternative community of Phoenix, AZ, a much needed voice. In 1970, the inaugural issue of Phoenix New Times was released, to almost immediate acclaim. Joined by contemporaries, Frank Fiore, Nick Stupey, Karen Lofgren, and Hal Smith, Larkin and Lacey began a virtually unprecedented run for an alternative paper. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey and http://releasefact.com/2017/09/jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-continue-fight-for-latino-rights-after-pardoning-of-joe-arpaio/
While Michael Lacey handled the editorial responsibilities of Phoenix New Times, Jim Larkin, already married with children, headed the marketing aspects, which soon garnered the attention of a number of reputable institutions, including J.C. Penny, who took out a series of significant advertisements that promptly boosted its popularity.
Over the course of the next few years, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey began implementing a number of experimental ideas, including the addition of satirical cartoons with the hiring of Bob Boze, who created “Honkey Tonk Sue.” The new additions, particularly the personals ads in the classified section helped to continue the success of Phoenix New Times.
After a number of setbacks, the New Times brand began flourishing with the onset of the 1980’s, and in 1983, with the purchase of Patricia Calhoun’s “Westword,” they kicked off a run of notable acquisitions. This eventually led to LA Weekly, OC Weekly, Miami New Times, Nashville Scene, and Village Voice joining the New Times roster, taking their influence coast to coast.
Over the next four decades, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s publications would rule the world of alternative news, garnering a myriad of awards and accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize in 2007.
By the end of 2012, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey had decided to step away from New Times Media. Today the focus heavily on their Frontera Fund, and recently re-entered the world of narrative journalism with the launch of FrontPage Confidential.