The George & Joe Show

The contest for sheriff of Maricopa County is at a fever’s pitch as Joe Arpaio and George Lopez duke it out in the media…

A bit of geographic background:

Maricopa County is in central Arizona and encompasses the city of Phoenix.  It is the most populated county in the state with about 3.8 million people.  This is a little over half of the state’s population of 6.5 million.  About 1.5 million of them live in the city of Phoenix: about half.  This leaves another half living in the more rural areas of the county.  These folks are the exclusive responsibility or property of Sheriff Joe’s boys depending on how you view this office.

Now back to our program.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a media darling who knows how to use the media to further his agenda and to support his office.  You either love him or hate him.  He is the target of many attacks on his character and office.  He is hated by the Hispanic community at large and loved by the retirees.  The Hispanics – especially the more radical Latino organizations – call him a bigot and constantly charge racial profiling.  The retirees love him for his old school – gunslinger old west style.  There are not too many on the fence.

George Lopez is a no nonsense Latino comedian who speaks his mind and uses his acerbic wit to entertain his mostly Latino audiences.  He is also a media superstar.  George is a vocal supporter of the Latino community and often uses “F” bombs to punctuate his points.  Remember, George is an entertainer, a comedian primarily who uses his pulpit to further the Latino cause, but he is first and foremost an entertainer.  You either enjoy George’s comedy or you avoid him altogether.

George recently filmed an HBO special during which he attacked Sheriff Joe.  His comments regarding Sheriff Joe’s reign as Sheriff of Maricopa County called to the fore is views regarding the Sheriff’s tactics and policies toward the Latino community who comprise about 30% of our population.  Personally I think this number is a bit low considering the number of undocumented Hispanics in our area.  Our most recent census attempted to quantify this number, but who in their right mind would respond to this census if they are here illegally or as we are told to call them… Visitors.  George was very pointed in his attacks calling the Sheriff an “F…ing” whore and other uncomplimentary things.  He was pretty harsh.  Remember that George is an entertainer and adapts his routine to the responses of the audience.  Personally, I find this type of humor lowbrow playing to the lowest common denominator for laughs; but that’s what George does.  It is his job.  He’s a comedian and he wants people to cheer and laugh.  From the clips I saw he did his job very well.  He is a very good performer because he can read the crowd and elicit the responses he wants by tailoring his routine to the immediate desires of his audience.  He does this very well… very well indeed.

Sheriff Joe on the other hand is an old school style Sheriff with Old West flair.  He is after all in the Old West and he is the Sheriff and he does keep law and order.  Some find Sheriff Joe’s tactics a bit barbaric and too strident.  His use of tents as barracks and insisting that his guests wear pink underwear and eat bologna sandwiches are seen as arcane and medieval.  Anyone that lives in this area or has survived the summer here knows that tents without air-conditioning are uncomfortable.  Sheriff Joe maintains that incarceration is not meant to be pleasant: It is punishment.

I am still on the fence with these two guys.  On one hand Sheriff Joe does an adequate job protecting us and enforcing the law.  George on the other hand is a comedian who plays to a Latino audience, so what should I expect him to but to discuss Latino issues.

We also need to recognize that our media is neither fair or without bias.  They are quite unfair at times taking the local or corporate political side.  We must also recognize that these media outlets survive on ratings.  The idea of presenting unbiased and informative news is gone forever.  What we see is more entertainment with a specific spin designed to elicit a response and pander to their viewers: that’s what entertainer do.  It is not reporting it is entertainment.  The only real news in these programs is in the title.

This raises the central issue of information and how it is presented.  You can read any number of stories about a topic and find interpretations that cover all the aspects and biased points of view.  After reading these myriad articles you can begin to glean the facts, but you really, really need to dig. 

A search of Joe Arpaio returned over 390,000 articles and a search for George Lopez 43.8 Million.  With all this available information how can anyone make a realistic assessment of either or both?  Granted these are totals for name only searches, but it shows that the sheer volume of information is now overwhelming.  How can anyone find and digest information germane to the topic and make a realistic judgment?

I caution you to discover ALL the facts before you judge this contest between George and Joe…  You need to understand both sides before you take sides.  Don’t let the media skew your view.  Find out for yourself.  The present situation in this country is a direct result of media spin.  We don’t really know the facts until we dig for them personally.  The presidential contest will be won in the media.  We will hear what the media giants want us to hear.  They have a vested interest in the outcome.  They will invest billions of dollars in this contest in order to perpetuate their empires.  Lobbyists will also invest billions of dollars to ensure their continuation.

George Lopez and Joe Arpaio are simply part of the show.  It’s now the greatest show on earth.  They both jockey for position in the big game and use the media as a vehicle to promote their message.  The media takes this raw information and grooms, and massages, and twists it to fit their agenda.  The media presents their entertaining concoction to the public as “news” and we soak it up.

This show is more of the bullshit we endure every day.  We survive the onslaught of misinformation and disinformation from more sources than ever before.  These sources all have agendas and reasons for their positions.  You can bet that most of them center on money or power or both.