Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff pardoned last year of his criminal contempt of court conviction by Pres. Donald Trump, is now suing the New York Times and its writer over an opinion piece about his Senate primary loss this summer.
The Aug. 29 opinion piece by editorial board member Michelle Cottle was headlined, “Well, at least Sheriff Joe isn’t going to Congress.” It had the subheadline of “Arpaio’s loss in Arizona’s Senate Republican primary is a fitting end to the public life of a truly sadistic man.”
Arpaio’s lawsuit argues the opinion article “contains several false, defamatory factual assertions” about him, and claims it is to “prevent him from successfully” running for public office in the future.
iMediaEthics wrote to Arpaio’s lawyer, the chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch, Larry Klayman. Klayman pointed iMediaEthics to his press release which called Arpaio “an American hero,” the Times‘ writer “hate-filled,” and the Times itself a “venomous leftist publication.” His press release added, “By demanding and getting a jury verdict for large compensatory and punitive damages, we hope to bring this ‘failing newspaper’ to its knees and to end its mission to destroy all who it disagrees with, most notably conservatives, including the current president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”
New York Times‘ spokesperson Eileen Murphy told iMediaEthics, “We intend to vigorously defend against the suit.”
“Defendants made and published false and defamatory statements concerning Plaintiff Arpaio by calling, representing and publishing within this district, the nation and the world, with malice, that Plaintiff Arpaio was directly responsible for numerous abused, assaulted, and battered inmates during his time as sheriff of Maricopa County,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit further claims the New York Times had “malice and leftist enmity of Arpaio” and wanted to “destroy” his “prospective business relationships” with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senate Campaign Committee.
His lawsuit calls for more than $147.5 million in damages.