Criminal Joe Arpaio Very Upset Everybody Calling Him Wrong Kind Of Criminal. $300 Million, Please!

Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Fresh off filing a dumb lawsuit in October accusing the New York Times of making it impossible for him to be a senator, cantakerous old convicted criminal Joe Arpaio is now suing three other press outlets for describing the nature of his crime inaccurately, because if you're discussing Joe Arpaio's criminal record, you damn well better be clear about what crime he was convicted of. Say, did you know he was found guilty on a federal contempt of court charge, a misdemeanor, for refusing to follow a federal judge's order against racial profiling? That makes him a criminal, you know, even if Donald Trump pardoned him. So now, please pay Joe Arpaio $300 million for your terrible defamatory errors, CNN, HuffPo, and Rolling Stone.

As in the suit against the Times, Arpaio is represented by Lawyer to Prominent Rightwing Idiots Larry Klayman, who has certainly kept himself busy lately. The three outlets named in the lawsuit all defamed Arpaio, the suit claims, by getting details wrong about his crime, even though two of them later corrected their errors, which just proves they knew they were lying.

Here is why Joe Arpaio needs a six-figure payout: CNN's Chris Cuomo and Rolling Stone both inaccurately referred to Arpaio as a "felon" when he was actually convicted of a misdemeanor, while HuffPo inaccurately said Arpaio "had been sent to prison" after his conviction, when in reality, he was pardoned before he was even sentenced.

That's it! $300 million for that. Nice work if you can get it.

Still, these are Very! Serious! Defamations! according to the lawsuit. Just look at the malice and leftist enmity aimed at forever destroying Joe Arpaio's dreams of becoming a US senator!

We aren't so sure if Arpaio can really claim his reputation as "America's Toughest Sheriff" was hurt by the errors nearly as much as by getting tossed on his ass by the voters of Maricopa County in the 2016 election, making him No Sheriff At All. Maybe he should sue THEM.

(Yr Wonkette wishes to clarify that at no time was Arpaio literally thrown or hurled, and that his posterior, however flabby BIG-BONED, is not known to have come in contact with any ground, street, sidewalk, or prickly pear cactus outside the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.)

The lawsuit acknowledges that, sure, Rolling Stone removed the mention of Arpaio as an "ex-felon," replacing it with "Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court, a misdemeanor, in 2017 and pardoned by Trump less than one month later." But by golly, there was no explicit indication the edit had been made (there's a note and a "We regret the error" now), and so it's still total defamation, because "persons who read the Rolling Stone article when it falsely referred to Plaintiff Arpaio as an 'ex-felon' are not aware that this statement is patently false."

Oh, hey, speaking of errors and corrections, the lawsuit is factually wrong about the HuffPo article by Kevin Robillard, which wasn't merely corrected to say he'd been convicted of a misdemeanor, but also included a note stating the previous version "mistakenly indicated Joe Arpaio went to prison for his conviction." How do we know about that? From the slapdash appendix to the filing, which includes copies of both the original and updated text. You wouldn't know that from the complaint itself, though, because Larry Klayman is A IDIOT who has difficulty writing a simple declarative sentence, as we see in the first line here:

Details, details. Maybe HuffPo should sue over that malicious untruth.

Now, to actually win in a defamation case, a public figure like Arpaio needs to prove not only that false things were said/published, but that the defendants, in their actual brains, knew for certain the information was false and then said/published it anyway. That's actually a pretty high bar, which is why Tennessee has so far been unable to get any money from Yr Doktor Zoom for all the times I've mixed it up with Kentucky. You can't just say, as Klayman does, that the writer acted with full consciousness they were lying without any proof. Seems a bit unlikely in the cases of the two articles, which were both about Kyrsten Sinema and only mention Arpaio incidentally. Still, Klayman gives it the good ol' Trump University try:

We're impressed by that last bit, though -- if Chris Cuomo's comment in January and minor errors in two articles in publications conservatives don't read were really the reason Arpaio is now the "subject of widespread ridicule and humiliation" to the point that he's unelectable, we'd be buying stock in all three outlets.

[CBS News / HuffPo / Rolling Stone / Arpaio v. Zucker et al complaint / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0]

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please help us build our legal defense fund, which in this case will include some bourbon to take away the pain of reading a Larry Klayman court filing.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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