Dupnik's Real Outrage: Detroit-on-the-Desert

Stuart Schwartz
Clarence Dupnik, extraordinary and courageous law enforcement officer, personally congratulated by our president. That's the portrait of the Pima County sheriff who has become a hero to the national media by blaming the Tucson Safeway massacre on, among others, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party.

But reality tells another picture. A little digging and the media that have used the shooting to, as one American Thinker contributor put it, "declare war" on the conservative opposition to Democratic expansion of government would discover a reality completely at odds with the bulk of the reporting by conventional media. But why allow truth to stand in the way of a convenient narrative? Reality: Pima County, the crime capital of Arizona, home of a politicized sheriff's department where progressive ideology and political correctness -- not competence -- rules.

The New York Times editorial board has cast the sheriff as a valiant warrior fighting against an epidemic of violence that makes his beloved Pima County the epicenter of "the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country." Meanwhile, MSNBC, the mainstream networks, the Washington Post and others pile on, with the new parent of Newsweek hailing "Arizona's New Star Sherriff" who is "winning raves" for his willingness to blame the shooting on conservatives nationwide. Harvard-trained progressive broadcaster Amy Goodman, from her headquarters in the trendy Chelsea section of Manhattan, contrasts the quality of law enforcement offered by the "humanity" of Democrat Dupnik with the head of law enforcement of neighboring Maricopa County, where the "notorious" Sherif Joe Arpaio "jails people" -- even, much to the dismay of Attorney General Eric Holder, illegal immigrants -- under "harsh conditions."

But a trip to the Uniform Crime Reports database of the FBI tells a different story. Forget the boosterish statistics reported by Dupnik on his taxpayer-financed website.  Forget the media applause. They bear as much relation to reality -- crime on the ground -- as the deliberately altered statistics offered by climate researchers to prove global warming. Although the county has had reporting problems (the Sheriff is a remarkably sloppy administrator), the FBI has enough data to allow us to come to this conclusion: The citizens of Pima County are up to their necks in crime, especially when compared to neighboring Maricopa County. Thirty years of hyper-partisan Democrat-led law enforcement have resulted in the highest crime rates in Arizona. The citizen who lives in Pima County, compared to media-reviled Joe Arpaio's territory just next door, will have almost three times the chance of being murdered; is more than seven times as likely to be raped; is more than six times as likely to be assaulted; and more than seven times as likely to have experienced a property crime such as burglary, arson or car theft.

The Arizona Republic tells us that Dupnik is not just a law enforcement officer but "the Democratic (emphasis added) sheriff of Pima County" who is "recklessly antagonistic" and has shown "his agenda as partisan." The FBI crime reports tell us that three decades of progressive, politicized Democratic law enforcement by media hero Dupnik have given Arizona a new first...Detroit-on-the-Desert.
Clarence Dupnik, extraordinary and courageous law enforcement officer, personally congratulated by our president. That's the portrait of the Pima County sheriff who has become a hero to the national media by blaming the Tucson Safeway massacre on, among others, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party.

But reality tells another picture. A little digging and the media that have used the shooting to, as one American Thinker contributor put it, "declare war" on the conservative opposition to Democratic expansion of government would discover a reality completely at odds with the bulk of the reporting by conventional media. But why allow truth to stand in the way of a convenient narrative? Reality: Pima County, the crime capital of Arizona, home of a politicized sheriff's department where progressive ideology and political correctness -- not competence -- rules.

The New York Times editorial board has cast the sheriff as a valiant warrior fighting against an epidemic of violence that makes his beloved Pima County the epicenter of "the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country." Meanwhile, MSNBC, the mainstream networks, the Washington Post and others pile on, with the new parent of Newsweek hailing "Arizona's New Star Sherriff" who is "winning raves" for his willingness to blame the shooting on conservatives nationwide. Harvard-trained progressive broadcaster Amy Goodman, from her headquarters in the trendy Chelsea section of Manhattan, contrasts the quality of law enforcement offered by the "humanity" of Democrat Dupnik with the head of law enforcement of neighboring Maricopa County, where the "notorious" Sherif Joe Arpaio "jails people" -- even, much to the dismay of Attorney General Eric Holder, illegal immigrants -- under "harsh conditions."

But a trip to the Uniform Crime Reports database of the FBI tells a different story. Forget the boosterish statistics reported by Dupnik on his taxpayer-financed website.  Forget the media applause. They bear as much relation to reality -- crime on the ground -- as the deliberately altered statistics offered by climate researchers to prove global warming. Although the county has had reporting problems (the Sheriff is a remarkably sloppy administrator), the FBI has enough data to allow us to come to this conclusion: The citizens of Pima County are up to their necks in crime, especially when compared to neighboring Maricopa County. Thirty years of hyper-partisan Democrat-led law enforcement have resulted in the highest crime rates in Arizona. The citizen who lives in Pima County, compared to media-reviled Joe Arpaio's territory just next door, will have almost three times the chance of being murdered; is more than seven times as likely to be raped; is more than six times as likely to be assaulted; and more than seven times as likely to have experienced a property crime such as burglary, arson or car theft.

The Arizona Republic tells us that Dupnik is not just a law enforcement officer but "the Democratic (emphasis added) sheriff of Pima County" who is "recklessly antagonistic" and has shown "his agenda as partisan." The FBI crime reports tell us that three decades of progressive, politicized Democratic law enforcement by media hero Dupnik have given Arizona a new first...Detroit-on-the-Desert.