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Paul Cooper

CNN's Rick Sanchez at it again: Calls Sheriff Joe Arpaio another Bull Connor

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Posted on October 19 2009 4:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.
bull connor

Do these images come to mind when thinking of Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

Disgraced journalist Rick Sanchez can’t seem to stop falsely-accusing people of racism on his daily CNN show.  How do you follow up trying to destroy Rush Limbaugh with a fake quote about slavery having merit?  You accuse Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of being another Bull Connor.

Arpaio has become a man of controversy recently as some in the Obama administration do not care for his tactics in arresting illegal aliens.  (This controversy was featured and detailed in another NewsReal blog here.)

Arpaio has been elected five times in his county.  He is famous for his frugality in taking care of prisoners, making them wear pink attire and work chain gangs.  However, the Obama administration has put a target on the man for arresting illegal aliens for simply being illegal aliens.  They rather him only arrest illegal aliens when they do something else illegal.

Sanchez has made a giant leap by comparing Arapio to notorious Southern ’60s-era sheriff Bull Connor.

“Perhaps not since Bull Connor, whose aggressive police tactics against blacks in the south…has our country seen a showdown like [Arpaio's]…like Bull Connor in the 1960s you’re gonna sit there and tell the Feds you’re gonna do it your way.”

The interview would be humorous if it were an SNL skit or on The Daily Show – but not CNN.  Sanchez continues to say that the Feds don’t want Arpaio’s help, even though Arpaio keeps telling him that the government keep accepting all the illegal immigrants he hands over to them.  Sanchez also seems to have the idea that a local sheriff has to do whatever a pencil pusher in a Washington office wants. And Arpaio is the one who doesn’t understand the constitution?

All that aside, it is reprehensible and yet another case of bad journalism for Sanchez to compare Arpaio to Connor, the infamous Alabama sheriff from the 1960s Civil Rights movement period.  He’s the one most identified as the bigoted sheriff who blasted peaceful black demonstrators with fire hoses and set German Shepherd dogs on them.  The man was a segregationist and went far beyond appropriate behavior.  This man arrested pastors out of fear of a bus boycott and then denied them bail or visitors.

Connor used vicious tactics against peaceful demonstrators, because of a segregationist ideology.  Arpaio is using legal tactics against criminals based on upholding the law as a sheriff.  How can one make a comparison between the two with a straight face?

Comparing Arpaio to Connor is like comparing Limbaugh to a racist.  Oh wait – Sanchez has done that too.  Here’s a better example: Comparing Arpaio to Connor is like comparing Sanchez to a legitimate journalist – the two are polar opposites.

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