Controversial AZ Sheriff Does White Supremacist Radio Interview


The Pinal County Sheriff who was featured in the pitiful “Build the dang fence” John McCain campaign ad is drawing new criticism for booking onto a white supremacist radio show recently. With Arizona’s racial politics under the microscope, Sheriff Paul Babeu decided to make his case on a program devoted to the protection of the white race. Armed neo-Nazi anti-immigrant patrols have been operating in southern Pinal County recently, and white nationalists have focused much attention on the area. The Phoenix New Times reports:

With neo-Nazis regularly patrolling parts of Pinal County for illegal aliens and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, this is the worst possible time for Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to grant an interview to a well-known white supremacist radio show.

But that’s exactly what Babeu did recently for a Tennessee-based program called The Political Cesspool, as was reported first by The Arizona Daily Star.

The show, which has long been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, bills itself as “pro-white” and lists as one of its principles, “to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.”

In the past, the Cesspool has hosted such racist and anti-Semitic guests as ex-Klan leader David Duke, pro-segregation professor Virginia Abernethy, Holocaust denier Willis Carto, and and Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm….

On the show, Miller and Babeu are quite chummy, with Miller offering to be Babeu’s bodyguard, and Babeu calling Miller “a great American” and telling him he would be “honored to welcome you to Pinal County.”

Babeu decries what he calls an “invasion into Arizona,” and claims, “We have some of the highest crime rates in all of America.”

(According to the FBI’s crime stats, crime is down in general across Arizona. Specifically, violent crime is down in Pinal County from 290 incidents in 2007 to 198 incidents in 2008.)

The sheriff also opines of President Obama that he’s “undermined the rule of law” and that the U.S. is “sprinting down the path to socialism.”

Prior to Babeu coming on the show, Miller says that he talked to Babeu directly to arrange the interview and offers that he hasn’t been so excited about a guest being interviewed by the Cesspool since David Duke was on.

Interestingly, the show’s primary host James Edwards responded to the controversy on his blog by saying that Babeu is “confused” about what transpired.

“First of all,” he writes, “my co-host, Eddie Miller, had multiple conversations with both Tim Gaffney (Babeu’s press secretary) and the Sheriff himself before Babeu appeared on our live broadcast of July 10, 2010.

“For Sheriff Babeu to change his mind and now regret coming on our show, for whatever reason, is his right. For him to act as though he had no idea of our ideology is a lie.”

And like you needed more weirdness to pile on top of this, Babeu apparently went on conspiranut radio host Alex Jones’ radio show the day before appearing on The Political Cesspool, according to the press watchdog MediaMatters.

There, he told Jones, who believes 9/11 was an inside job among other insanities, that what President Obama has done in regards to immigration “borderlines” on high treason.

Leaving aside Babeu’s poor choice in media outlets, his comments alone find him flirting with extremism. The sheriff should realize that pandering to conspiracy wackos and far-right nutbars only earns you friends in all the wrong places. That’s assuming, of course, you’re not a nutbar yourself.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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