Nov. 30: Meet the Press: Sheriff Joe Arpaio

7 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum

Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County Sheriff

Reporters’ Panel:
Rick Rodriguez
Carnegie Professor of Journalism

Susan Green
Broadcast Director, Cronkite News Service

Steve Elliott
Director of Digital News, Cronkite News Service

40 Responses

  • Sheriff Joseph Arpaio brings about so much attention to himself because of his policies and practices that this Must See Monday had to be limited in-house to members of the ASU community (especially the students) and members of the press. There was a substantial presence of protesters as well as supporters displaying their signs vehemently at the doors, and the event was broadcast to Taylor Mall. Clearly, this was more than just a learning experience for students- this was a phenomenon drawing the public to look towards the grilling of “the toughest sheriff in America,” serving his fifth four-year term as sheriff of Maricopa County. I was surprised at the attitude of Sheriff Joe, especially to the accusations of him being a publicity hound. He seems to have a lax attitude towards the allegations that he doesn’t respond to media; but he states that he has an “open door policy” and claims to do 200 interviews a month. I noticed that he didn’t seem to answer many questions directly, only saying that he addresses the media frequently. He defended something that the Cronkite faculty interviewers weren’t even asking. He has a accusatory notion towards reporters, contradicting his own statement about respecting the profession because his daughter is one. He constantly tried to distinguish between the press and the media to vindicate himself, displaying his strong dislike for it. Though they are “not [his] enemy” and he consistently proclaimed his stance about people seeing things his way rather than criticizing his methods. Until it was ruined by atrocious attention-seekers that completely disregarded the principles of the Cronkite School and embarrassed it at that. I would’ve liked to hear the rest of the interview and am ashamed of those who so rudely interrupted it.

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one word, ridiculous. I could not believe some of his justifications and comments to the panel of reporters. Saying he has an “open door policy” with the media (a word that he kept using over and over again) when really his office keeps public records from reporters and the general public. He kept contradicting himself while saying he respects the media, but kept avoiding most of the questions the panel asked and often went off on a completely different subject. But who could forget the one thing i’m sure NO ONE will forget who attended tonight, those obnoxious students who started singing. Right when he was about to answer (or attempt to) a crucial question about one of his many controversies a group of Cronkite students start to sing and totally ruined the interview. Nice one guys, I don’t respect Arpaio but you don’t see me up there disrupting an important interview. I hope you all feel like idiots after tonight, but hey- you did get your 15 SECONDS of fame.

  • Although I was frustrated that Sheriff Joe Arpaio seemed to avoid every question the panel asked him, I was furious when the students started singing in the middle of the interview. I was interested in the way the reporters asked their questions and the different techniques they uses to get their question across. The singing ruined my learning experience. I could not believe students chose to be so rude! They even continued singing over Dean Callahan. They ruined the event for everyone who was interested in hearing Arpaio’s responses as well as the experience to observe the interviewing techniques by the three reporters. I was surprised that security did not escort the singers out of the room. I understand that they have the right to freedom of speech, but they took away from everyone else’s experience who were there to view the interview. It was extremely embarrassing that ASU students would be so rude. I hope they are not journalism students, because their action was so inappropriate and shameful to the Walter Cronkite name-sake. I hope the students are scolded. I would have enjoyed hearing the rest of the interviews because it sounded like there were many other great questions on the way and possibly some new and interesting responses. Too bad we will never know thanks to the singing students.

  • The streets outside are crowded with people protesting and supporting Sherriff Joe. The smell inundates Taylor Mall and the people’s words and actions crowd the senses. Only ASU students are allowed into the First Amendment Forum making the event exclusive. No matter the political affiliation or like/dislike for the Sherriff, plenty have arrived to hear what he plans to say. The cameras are everywhere while the students and media world document this event. The discussion is done in the Meet the Press style to question Sherriff Joe Arpaio. He has been chosen to be interviewed tonight because he is powerful, popular and controversial providing for an interesting evening. Panelists Steve Elliott, Sue Green and Rick Rodriguez question the Sherriff. They covered topics such as media relations and his open door policy. He claims that anyone who wants an interview has access to it but still denies comment and information to certain aspects of the media. His responses to questions about the media seem to be double sided. He tried to qualify his statements by saying that only some journalists or media outlets act a certain way but his statements were very general a degrading saying that the media is there to push its own agenda. “I’m glad this is live and you guys can’t edit this,” said Arpaio. Despite giving his brief comments, he never fully answered many of the questions saying that litigations kept him from commenting. Before he could answer some of the difficult questions surrounding his use of racial profiling in neighborhood sweeps, protesters began singing, taking away his ability to speak and taking away the panelists first amendment right to ask the questions. I personally believe that these actions taken by the protesters were rude. While I personally disagree with Arpaio’s views on many issues, I do believe that he had the right to answer fully and that we had the right to scrutinize his actions.

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was invited to the Cronkite School for the final event of its Must See Monday speaker series. This was supposed to be a “Meet the Press” style interview with a panel of three Cronkite Professors asking the Sheriff about his policies, controversies and view of journalists. It was quite a bold move for the Sheriff considering his old school conservative politics and reputation for hating the media have made him severely unpopular with college aged liberals and the traditionally left leaning media.
    There had been talk of protesters for the event many weeks in advance. Chris Callahan, the Dean of the Cronkite school, sent an email out to all students urging them not to protest, saying that it would be inappropriate for an event in which the Sheriff had put himself out there to speak candidly to the media.
    Sadly, but not surprisingly, protests for the event began hours before it was scheduled to begin. While major news network crews filmed outside the school, people chanted anti-Sheriff Joe slogans, held up anti-Sheriff Joe signs and sang anti-Sheriff Joe songs. The First Amendment Forum, where the interview was held, was limited to students and faculty of ASU in hopes that the protests would be kept outside, but Cronkite was unsuccessful in creating an unbiased and fair environment inside as well. Students lined the stairs with more posters and half way through the interview, students from upper floors dropped bedsheets with more anti-Joe thoughts.
    The panelists asked some tough questions and Sheriff Joe responded in the same way. Sometimes he made valid points and sometimes, it was the panelists who messed up. But mostly, it was difficult to pay attention to the conversation that we were there to see because the room was full of sarcastic quips, sneers and mocking comments directed, most of the time inappropriately, at the sheriff’s words. This room full of “journalists” would have found it necessary to jeer at Sheriff Joe if he had made a mistake in verb tense. Few people were there to listen to Sheriff Joe. Most at this event were disinterested in the objectivity that they claim to subscribe to. This sad fact was made even more clear when, with 12 minutes left in the interview, a group of protesters stood up to sing their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody with lyrics altered to bash Sheriff Joe. This effectively ended the season of Must See Mondays as this group wouldn’t stop even for Dean Callahan and turned all of the attention on themselves until they were kicked out of the building. Yes, this group that calls Sheriff Joe a “media whore” made themselves media whores while aspiring to be, you guessed it, members of the media.
    But if this wasn’t enough, another group staged more shenanigans in the lobby and sang “Na na na na na na, Arpaio, Go Home!”
    So well done, ASU students, you’ve officially ruined the purpose of the event. Now nobody will remember anything about tonight except for the fact that you ruined it. Every person that so much as coughed when Sheriff Joe forgot who asked which question took the focus off Sheriff Joe and put it on to the ridiculously ignorant student journalist population here at Cronkite. You played perfectly into his hands.
    As the protesters sang their silly Bohemian Rhapsody, Sheriff Joe put on a series of hats, smiled and showed off his pageant-ready beauty queen wave for the photographers. He knew something like this would happen, he planned for it to happen, and you gave him what you wanted. Well done.
    The thing is, Arpaio may have almost said something incredibly stupid that would have played into your pre-established viewpoint of him. Or he may have said something eloquent and profound that would have shed light on all his practices and swayed your opinion of him. But we’ll never know because the headlines tomorrow will read “Students Disrupt Sheriff Joe Interview” or “Sheriff Joe Goes Home Happy as Students Play His Game,” not “Sheriff Joe Inserts Foot In Mouth” or “Sheriff Joe Sucks,” as you probably hoped they would.
    I hope you’re proud of yourself, Cronkite Students, because I’m repulsed.

  • Arpaio has no regard for anyone’s constitutional rights, whether they are criminals or his employees. He makes little sense when he speaks and as most have commented tonight, he doesn’t answer questions with any kind of specifics or clarity. Arpaio says, “I answer to the people of Maricopa County.” He is truly so inept that he fails to realize that we are all “People of Maricopa County”, including the members of Media. We can only hope that the voters in this county will take a good look at the “Pros & Cons” of this Egomaniac. Our tax dollars continue to pay for his personal agenda….namely “The Sheriff” as he refers to his-self in the third person. And even more tax dollars go to pay for numerous civil suits that are settled out of court and usually have a “Gag Order” stipulated to keep the truth from being revealed to the voting public. No matter what anyone thinks of the little good Arpaio may do…..the bad he does regularly is costing us way too much and will cost us even when Arpaio is gone.

  • I managed to find a seat at this Must See Monday after fighting off protesters, journalists and a few angry old ladies. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is without a doubt one of the most controversial political figures in the Phoenix area, making this by far the most exciting extra credit event I’ve ever attended. Cheers, boos and chants erupted from outside as the interview began.

    One of the first issues brought up was Arpaio’s relationship with the media and whether he is trying to control what information gets to the press. Arpaio maintained that he has an “open door policy” and that the few instances in which reporters have been denied entry to press conferences were rare occurrences based off security reasons or because of irrelevant questions. “I’m not the enemy and the media is not my enemy,” said Arpaio.

    Another controversial issue mentioned in the interview was whether Arpaio uses racial profiling. He then questioned the interviewer’s integrity. No one was able to get Arpaio to directly answer questions about racial profiling because a group of students refused to stop singing… badly. I am so embarrassed by my fellow ASU students that I can only bring myself to mention this incident briefly. Now I’m going to go see what’s going on outside.

  • I thought that the purpose of this event was well done. I believe that Cronkite students do need to see first hand what happens when you interview a very powerful individual. I thought that, despite my opinion of Sheriff Joe, the event went rather well until the end. There were a few moments of hissing or under-the-breath talking (almost all of it bashing him) but I thought the behavior surprised me over all. Yes there was sneering and all of that, but I thought it was mild.
    But at the end, with the 12 minutes left, I was deathly embarrassed. I believe about every local television news station had a truck out in the parking lot and a camera inside getting all of the action. And the protesters, who MAY NOT HAVE BEEN journalism students but were most definitely ASU students, decided to disgrace us. There is a certain lack of respect when that occurs. Not only are you trying to get your agenda across but not even letting the Dean of the school get a word in astounded me.
    A lot of students in that crowd are displeased with Sheriff Arpaio but I never expected a single person to sing to drown out what he was saying. All of us should have been interested in what he had to say, or what he tried to avoid. That was the story. The story was NOT about the audience. Let Arpaio make an idiot out of himself, do not make ASU look stupid.
    Dean Callahan was right when he said “and congratulations, you got on TV!” He hit it right on the nose when he listed all of their reasons for acting like five-year-olds instead of adults.
    In the end, I think the intention was correct but the result was not inspiring.
    I thought that all three members of the panel did a phenomenal job. I especially thought Mr. Rodriguez held his own when Arpaio accused him of taking a question directly from a certain media outlet instead of creating his own question. I think seeing the interviewee get defensive and attack the interviewer is important for us students and I am saddened that the educational experience was ruined by a group with their own selfish agenda.

  • I thought the Meet the Press format for the event was really effective. It was fascinating and so valuable to feel the tension in the room when the faculty jumped right in with tough questions. Sheriff Arpaio tried unsuccessfully to charm the audience whenever the heat got turned up by one of the interviewers, but they didn’t let him off the hook.
    I was impressed by how prepared the three were, showing that they had researched their questions and consulted members of the media regarding the sheriff’s efforts to control the access or message of the media. All three pressed him when he was evasive and tried to pin him down when he made comments under his breath.
    I appreciated the questions were limited to issues involving the press (or the media, as he was so quick to clarify) and his relationship with it. He is known to be very savvy with his sound bites, but in fact I found him to be kind of clumsy with comments he made. If only he had been forced to answer the final line of questioning… it would have been interesting to see in the end to see which side—interviewers or interviewee—had the crowd. (I have to say, Sue Green’s comeback about her being the reason for the large crowd was priceless.)

  • It could just be because I’m over 30, or it could be the inanity of the musical selection protesters chose to use to accompany an anti-Arpaio song that cut short what started out as a well-grounded, thoughtful exploration of the relations between America’s “toughest” (and perhaps least press-shy) sheriff and top journalist-professors of the Cronkite School.

    I have to give the dean and security credit for preserving freedom of speech and upholding the First Amendment in the free speech forum despite the disappointment that the interruption caused to most of those in attendance.

    Regardless of its untimely ending, the event itself turned out to illustrate the complexities of media coverage better than Sheriff Joe’s answers ever could.

    Media turned out to cover both the event and the controversy, and with each anti-Apraio-sloganed bedsheet that dropped from the balcony, cameras turned and flashed (mine included). As protesters started their stunt, the media followed up the stairs to capture them on cameras and microphones.

    We the media are obliged to go where the action is, like it or not; and the dissenters knew, expected and manipulated this tonight as much as Sheriff Joe ever has.

    Sadly, in doing so, they gave Sheriff Joe a graceful exit and a convenient soapbox—so much so that the controversial sheriff actually earned a sincere round of applause from Cronkite students as he departed.

    What wasn’t sad was the response of other students, who invoked their right to learn from the event, by asking the protesters (also students) to cease their antics and noting that while they appreciated the views, this wasn’t the best time and place to express them.

    Perhaps tonight illustrated a clash of those who hash problems out within the system, and those who do so outside it. It might also help students consider whether there are times not to exercise freedom of speech just because they can. If nothing else, it makes me wonder if things have changed since I was 20.

  • The Cronkite school event this evening with Joe Arpaio maintained an interesting and engaging, round-tabled discussion for a vast majority of the event. The only way I can classify the final moments of the event, on the part of the disrupters, is unfortunate. Whereas I appreciate and respect their freedom of opinion, I felt that the time, location, and way they chose to express it was embarrassing for Mr. Arpaio, journalism students, the faculty, staff, administration, and most importantly, the panel.

    The event I felt was intended for intriguing and academically vigorous thought; a forum that journalism students could witness and benefit from. And most students would benefit from the event–the first 45 minutes, respectfully. They got to bear witness three professional journalists asking tough questions to a very prominent, popular, and controversial public figure. But also to hear his responses and then listen to the follow up questions. The atmosphere could easily be described an anxious and tense, but not out of nervousness, out of exhilaration and exciting. Those are the feelings that journalists thrive off of when approaching a story or an interview.

    It’s unfortunate that those feelings had to be immediately replaced with shock, anger, disgust, and embarrassment as a few chose to be disrespectful and rude in expressing their opinion in such a setting.

    I must give a ton of credit to the panel of Cronkite school professors, as well as to Dean Callahan for handling the situation with much dignity and class. The idea, intent, and execution of the event was a success. I hope it doesn’t can see otherwise. The last few moments were unfortunate, but they should certainly not supersede the majority.

  • I have a strong opposition to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. As a Mexican American, I feel that he has racist tendencies toward minority groups and corruptly oversees the execution of his “laws”. I was very excited to see his interview with three Cronkite professors. Walking through Taylor Mall in the mass of demonstrators was a new experience for me. I have never attended a protest and I was glad the Cronkite School allowed me to see both supporters and protestors. I felt the questions asked of him were very fair, and I was not at all surprised to hear him dance around a true answer. On a few occasions, the professors received applause and cheers for their questions. I did not at all appreciate the signs and painted bed sheets with rude comments toward the sheriff. I felt it took away from the essence of an unbiased interview environment and was distracting to the audience. If it could have escalated to anything worse, it did. The entire audience seemed relatively engaged until a group of demonstrating students broke out in a new version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody jabbing at the Sheriff. It was so disrupting to the interview, the reporters and Sheriff Joe had to leave the forum. Disgustingly, it continued even while Dean Callahan tried to reason with the protestors. Although they had the right to sing through the first amendment, I did not appreciate their efforts to “raise awareness” of their opinions. I honestly hope none of the protestors were Cronkite Students because as a group, we should be held to a higher standard of respect for the press. Pardon my mistake, the “media”.

  • The jackass with the dark-colored dreadlocks cowardly skirting down the stairs who screamed something about “taking it back from the privileged elite” while Callahan tried to quiet the singers? Kind of wanted to punch that guy. And I’m not a violent person. That moment actually reminded me of an Esquire piece from a couple years ago on why it should be OK to punch certain people in the face. Seriously. I dug up the link for anyone interested:

    And a slightly altered version of Bohemian Rhapsody? Really? That’s the best those idiotic carolers could come up with? If you’re going to prevent three talented journalists from doing the job you think somehow will be accomplished through awful, awfully timed singing, at least pick a better song. Or, if you’re feeling terribly ambitious, gain a much better understanding of how to effectively use free speech.

    But I digress. The first 48 minutes, audio problems notwithstanding, were fantastic. Rodriguez and Green and Elliott asked excellent questions and had Arpaio bobbing and weaving until he could prematurely retreat to his corner. He was fortunate to avoid Rodriguez’s questions on racial profiling, a knockout punch he most likely would not have been able to dodge.

  • There were high expectations for tonight’s Must See Monday with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Unfortunately, it is fair to say that I (and many others) left disappointed. I will not express my opinions about Arpaio, but I found the events that transpired in the First Amendment Forum to be unfair to him, the interviewers and the viewers. I understand that people are entitled to the freedom of speech, but the disruptive nature of the singing during Arpaio’s response devalued that right. Arpaio’s controversial policies obviously have unsettled a large number of people, but singing over the sheriff as he began to answer a question about perhaps the most controversial issue did the opposite of what the freedom of speech is intended to do. One must realize that Arpaio too has the freedom of speech. He should have been allowed that freedom during the interview. It would have made more sense for the protesters to listen to his response before beginning their song. I think that some feel as though Sheriff Arpaio is a selfish politician, but the protesters exhibited selfish behavior themselves by turning the attention of the event toward their ideologies rather than giving the sheriff a chance to answer the questions. My problem with what happened only lies in the protests within the First Amendment Forum, not with those outside. Regardless of the issue at hand, certain levels of respect must be exhibited in any situation similar to tonight’s.

  • Last night Sheriff Joe Arpaio came to the downtown campus at ASU and was going to be interviewed by three former reporters at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Little did he know that he would be sung out of the school by an immature batch of students who should not be in college. Heated questions were asked by the three journalism professors. Some of the questions Arpaio refused to answer because of pending lawsuits. When I arrived to the First Amendment Forum I was an hour early. I sat up in the second tier because I wanted to be able to see. Little did I know that the immature ‘college’ students would be behind me ready to pounce and burst into (rather ugly and out-of-tune) song. I also had no idea that I would make the 10 O’Clock news either. Right when Arpaio was going to answer the questions regarding racial profiling etc., the idiots burst into song. Now, I’m all for freedom-of-speech, but when you take away someone else’s freedom to talk, I get a little angry.

  • Sheriff Joe’s Must-See-Monday has been the talk of the school since the beginning of the semester. When a debate arouse over it, I was confused. People made some rather strong allegations about the event, allegations I didn’t believe could be true. After all of the hype leading up to the event, I decided to go. I wanted to go because I wanted to see the interview, not because I wanted to see Sheriff Joe or the protesters.
    When the event started the forum was packed and there were a handful of protesters I believed to be peaceful. I listened carefully to the questions, the responses and the reactions of the interviewers and Sheriff Joe. I was able to form my own opinions about his policy on media relations and learn from the questions and format of the presentation.
    There were 17 minutes left of the interview when two oversized banners dropped from the third level. At this point, I was concerned that the real purpose of the interview would be demolished but had faith the protesters would allow him to speak. Since they were protesting that very right. When with 12 minutes left of the interview song broke out I was shocked and upset.
    The interruption was disrespectful to Sheriff Joe, Sue Green, Steve Elliot, Rick Rodriguez, Dean Callahan, and the 200 plus students in attendance. It is sad to see such disrespect could be shown from my peers.
    Though the event was not a total loss, I learned a lot from the interview that was allowed to take place.

  • Sheriff Joe’s Arpaio’s “Meet The Press” Must See Monday event has brought much speculation throughout the ASU campus both online and through word of mouth since August. What was amazing is the passion people have had about him. I can’t recall one person thinking that he’s doing a mediocre job in office. People either seem to adore him or call him out on every move he makes. I was invited to numerous Facebook groups; some of which were in support of his interview at the First Amendment Forum and others that were promoting a protest.

    I honestly knew that the end result was going to happen. I knew that once I saw the signs inside, there was going to be some effort to break up this peaceful interview. I could not believe that the security at the Cronkite building allowed this to happen in such an academic environment. Dean Callahan’s remarks towards the “singers” made me proud to be apart of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He handled them very professionally. It was sad to see what happened occur. Just when the questions got deep and were about to expose the truths of Arpaio’s scheme, the protestors decided to end it for everyone. I was looking forward to these final remarks from the sheriff.

  • The last Must-See Monday of the semester was probably the one you had to be there to really witness. Though I sat in the back of the Forum, one could see that this was a packed house. I must commend Rick Rodriguez, Sue Green, and Steve Elliott for their fantastic job at asking the hard questions of the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The q & a session was focused upon Arpaio and his ways of shutting down media and journalists alike with finding out the truth of what he does and the many issues he’s involved in. All night, the questions were asked and Arpaio seemed to avoid many of them. Arpaio said he was not a publicity hound at all, despite what much of the media said about him. He said the media is not his enemy, but they tend to make him the enemy by editing what he says. Sue Green added a little lightheartedness to the event at one point, quipping that everyone was actually there to see her. Peals of laughter came from the crowded forum. As the subjects began to move away from First Amendment issues concerning the “toughest sheriff in America” and toward the issues of immigration, a group of people up from the platform above the forum began to sing a reworked version and rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The sheriff and three professors made their way off-stage as the singing/chanting continued, leaving many frustrated in the forum who wanted to hear Joe Arpaio talk about immigration. Dean Callahan came onto the podium to address the protesting crowd, saying that if they wanted to accomplish getting onto television, “you were successful in that sense.” However, he seemed ashamed that students interrupted what was getting to be the most riveting part of the interview and were not respectful to what he had said in the beginning about this event. I, for one, am quite conflicted with tonight’s endings. I thought it was a really interesting conversation tonight. I watched and listened to the different techniques used by some of the most accomplished journalism professors that teach here at the Cronkite School. Their techniques were superb and unmatched, and one could tell by the last twelve minutes of the interview that Rick Rodriguez was getting somewhere with Arpaio. The students who broke out into song were expressing their frustration that open questions were not allowed during this set time, but I only hope that they learn and understand that it wasn’t the right time to do so. There is a time and a place for every action and reaction, and during this important and possibly civil conversation between the county sheriff and three journalists, it wasn’t acceptable to stop the flow of conversation. Tonight was supposed to be a learning experience for many of the journalism students, including myself. I was observing and mentally taking note of all of the techniques Rick Rodriguez, Sue Green, and Steve Elliott were using in the night’s question and answer. I know that in one point of the students’ lives (that is, those who were protesting) that they were taught not to disrupt the learning process of others. I know I was; I feel robbed that I won’t be able to see or hear the final twelve minutes of last night’s Must-See Monday. My learning experience was stripped away because of someone who felt the need to express what they were feeling. It is the First Amendment Forum, but the time of the Forum was already in session. Wait your turn, please. Common courtesy anyone?

  • Tonight’s Must See Mondays was definitely one to remember. It featured an interview by three Cronkite professors of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Being an out-of-state student attending Arizona State University, I did not really know a lot about the Maricopa Sheriff. I also have heard fellow students talk about him, whether it be in a good way or bad way, but never really took the time to ask them what they meant by their comments. I wanted to attend to hear for myself what Mr. Arpaio had to say. But when students at the Cronkite school started to chant and sing in protest against him, I felt very disturbed. Because of them the interview could not go on. The interview was barely started and it just ended so quickly. I was really looking forward to getting an understanding of the sheriff and his actions and make my own opinion about him but never got the chance. Even when Dean Callahan tried to stop the student protestors they would not stop. What disrespect for such an iconic leader at our school. I understand that the students have the right to speak and do what they want-freedom of speech, but I just felt it was very rude. The protestors ruined the experience for everyone else. I don’t think they stopped to think about their actions and the affects they would have on other students and staff.

  • It was interesting to see the outcome of people that came to listen to Sheriff Joe Arpaio speak. The “Meet the Press” format was fascinating because it was a learning experience for me. I was able to see the “powerful, controversial, and popular” figure of Maricopa County talk about his dealings involving the media and how he “can handle the media.” Sheriff Joe Arpaio stressed that he was not a “publicity hound” and emphasized his “open door policy” where people have the right to know what he does. Although some questions were biased, I think he handled himself quite well despite all the scrutiny. Tonight’s event was very captivating but was cut short due to protestors who interrupted the interview by singing. Furthermore, when Dean Callahan attempted to calm the crowd, the protestors sang over him. I was disappointed for I wanted to hear the other questions that the three reporters wanted to ask and Sheriff Joe’s opinion and what he wanted to say in response. I thought the interruption was not only disrespectful, but an embarrassment for ASU and the Cronkite School.

  • I had the chance to attend the Meet the Press event with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It was a unique chance to see a popular yet controversial figure interviewed by three journalism professors. The questions asked by the professors were tough and to the point. To me, though, it seemed Arpaio was trying to skid around most of these questions, which is not surprising at all. I did find some things he said very interesting. Such as that he may have shunned a few reporters from his press conferences because they were trying to “sandbag” him. He refused to talk about the New Times case, which is not surprising, but I certainly wanted to hear more. But of course, you can’t go anywhere with Sheriff Joe without his protesters following him around. And that was the case again Monday night. A few students started singing “Immigration Rhapsody”. Because the students would not stop singing, Dean Chris Callahan decided to end the event early. It is too bad because the reporters were just starting to get Arpaio in a corner. They were talking to him about the CBS 5 report and I feel there would have been even tougher questions in the last 15 minutes. But we never got a chance to hear those final questions. Yes, the event was held in the First Amendment Forum, but I still felt there should have been security to kick out the singing protesters. It was disheartening to me to see our school just take it like that from the protesters. I felt so helpless and my school was completely embarrassed. It is too bad the way things played out, but kudos to everyone who put the event together. It was a great experience for journalism students.

  • The speaker on our final Must See Monday was Sherriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County department. The interview was being conducted by three of our professors; Steve Elliot, Retha Hill, and Rick Rodriguez. Before the interview started there was a protest going out outside the doors of the Walter Cronkite Building of Mass Communication and Journalism. The protest was loud. Students and Maricopa county residents were chanting. Once the interview began the tough Sherriff answered the questions, some where humorous and some where confusing. Towards the end of the interview student protestors started chanting and singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Because of this Sherriff Joe was outraged and frustrated and walked out on the interview with 12 minutes to go. All in all I think it was a great experience to witness. I’ve never seen a protest before and it was interesting to see the tension and feelings from everyone.

  • I would just like to say that this was an awesome way to experience professional journalists at their best. And I felt many of the students were respectful of this and strongly feel Cronkite students acted as professional journalists during this event.

  • Monday evening was a historic event at the downtown Phoenix Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio did a “Meet the Press” style interview in the school’s first amendment forum and just as he tackled the tough questions, he was interrupted by several student protesters singing their own version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” A visibly frustrated panel of reporters, all Cronkite faculty members tried to end the protesters but were challenged with even louder singing.
    The questions Arpaio did answer revolved heavily around the media and the press. There were a few tense moments, one for example was when Rick Rodriguez, the former executive editor and senior vice president of The Sacramento Bee asked Arpaio a question and Arpio immediately told Rodriguez that it was scripted and took it from other media outlets. Rodriguez shot back and said he wrote the question himself.
    The other panelists included Sue Green, broadcast director of Cronkite News Service and Steve Elliott, director of digital news for Cronkite News Service. They both asked Arpaio very difficult questions and made for a great event. It was very good to see something like this, yes, even the protesters. Arpaio is a very highly talked about political figure in the nation and with a potential gubernatorial race in his future, it is evident Arpaio is here to stay.

  • I had been looking forward to the Must See Monday with Sheriff Joe since the beginning of the year. He is such a controversial figure, and I was intent on hearing what he had to say in regards to his highly publicized actions and policies. I thought Rick Rodriguez and Susan Green did a fantastic job of interviewing him. Despite my opinion that he was dodging the questions, they both were able to follow up and nail him and even make him look a little foolish at times. Everything was going really well, and Rick Rodriguez was finally getting to the good stuff when non-Cronkite students began to sing and eventually sang the Must See Monday to a close. I was furious with their actions. What they didn’t realize is, their anger with him actually helped him out because he was unable to answer the difficult questions. They also robbed students of an educational and beneficial experience, one that would most likely come into play in our future as journalists. They made themselves look silly and most importantly, embarrassed our school. This event was the headlines on many TV stations and I, who was not apart of the protest, was mortified to see our well-looked upon school in such a negative light. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for protesting and voicing your opinion, but I also believe there is a time and place for that, and this was definitely not the time. They may not like him but they should still respect the event. If they felt such a need to protest, stand outside, or go to his office and protest, but the students didn’t do anything to deserve that. Despite being cut so short, I thought what I was able to observe was fantastic. Kudos to the professors for being so prepared and grilling such a publicized public official. I wish it would have continued though, because the good stuff was about to happen, but what can you do? Nothing but controversy follows that guy.

  • This week’s Must-See-Monday was interesting for so many reasons. First, there was the talent and experience on the panel. People like this are why I came to the Cronkite school – these are people I want to work with and learn from. I was excited to get to see them in action, and they did not disappoint. Rick Rodriguez, Sue Green, and Steve Elliot set the bar high as examples for calm professionalism no matter how their well-prepared questions were answered, and you could see the impact of their research in their questions and responses.
    As far as Sherriff Joe Arpaio, it’s always interesting to see someone newsworthy in different contexts. I appreciated that public records and journalistic access was a big part of the questioning, because, while less flashy than some of his “publicity hound” policies, these issues are terribly important too. Like other posters, I really wish we’d had the opportunity to see the interview to the finish. I felt that the silent signs was a decent way to balance making their views clear without disrupting the learning opportunity or disrespecting the panelists; Arpaio seemed more than willing to keep going with the interview as long as he could speak. Personal views of the issues aside, I lost a learning opportunity when the event collapsed – or at least, learned a very different lesson than I’d anticipated – and regret this, because I doubt I’ll have an opportunity like that again.
    Overall, I really appreciated the Cronkite school’s work in getting him to come in, putting together the panel, and showing us a great example of journalists on the job.

  • This week’s final Must See Monday was definitely one for the books. The Cronkite School had an amazing final guest; The Sherriff Joe Arpaio. I have been in Arizona all of my life and have grown up with Joe as our Sherriff since I can remember; however, I do not know that much about Sherriff Joe. All I seem to know is that people disagree with him, but for some reasons he is still winning at the polls. I thought it was an absolute great idea for him to speak at the Cronkite School. We had three great interviewers that asked Sherriff Joe extremely difficult questions about his beliefs and about the many controversies going on. Not to mention there were people inside the Forum that wore shirts with writing protesting toward Arpiao, and there were many many people outside with signs and songs all going against the Sherriff. It was definitely a night to remember, but it was too bad that it had to end early due to inappropriate distractions from the audience. It was extremely embarrassing for ASU and the Cronkite School. But I’m extremely happy I got to see Sherriff Joe!

  • Even weeks before Arpaio came to the Cronkite School the final installment of Must See Mondays at the Cronkite School there was clear foreshadowing that protesters would show up and make their positions clear about how they felt about Joe Arpaio. When I arrived at 5:30 to get set up to help live steam the event for State Press, I was shocked at the large crowd that had already formed outside the building. There signs that ranged from, “Immigrants must go” to “I support Human Rights.” Some strongly supported Joe while strongly opposed. Media outlets were already outside questioning protesters and I could not wait to get started. This largely anticipated event was going to be huge and I could not wait to see the questions our strong panel of journalists would ask and how Joe would respond. The night excitement was more than what I expected. I loved how even though Arpaio dodged most of the questions with diluted and shallow answer, the panel did not let him off easy. I loved how quick and well-prepared Sue Green was with follow up questions that challenged the diluted answers that Arpaio gave. I was very disappointed and quite frankly, embarrassed when a group of ASU protesters broke out in a parody of Queen, “Immigration Rhapsody.” During this Arpaio took out a U of A Wildcat hat and placed it on his head. When the crowd refused to quite down, Arpaio walked out. I was disappointed because not only because the panel could not finish the questions, but also the news stations covered mainly the protesters rather than Arpaio’s answers to the questions, which the public should know. Despite all of this, I was glad that I was able to cover this event. It was an excellent learning experience and I hope next year’s Must See Monday’s are just as riveting as this years.

  • We all obviously know what happened at the last Must See Monday of the semester, and it has taken me the last few days to calm down about the incident. I was absolutely appalled that students would take such a disrespectful approach to protesting Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Although I am not from Arizona and, before Monday, did not know much about Sheriff Joe, I understand that he is a controversial figure in the state; however, this does not excuse the behavior that I witnessed at the event. I understood that the event was about Joe Arpaio’s relationship with the press—not about the issues that make Arpaio so controversial to the general public. After the event, I read articles from various news sources quoting the protesters saying that they disliked the questions the established and well-respected journalists were asking. I wish that the fact that the event was about journalism and not controversial issues had been stressed. The event was not supposed to appeal to the general public. It was an event by journalists for journalism students, and I am so angered that not only was I unable to hear a finished interview from Arpaio, but that these non-Cronkite students basically invaded our First Amendment Forum and made our university look bad. Also, I was extremely hurt that the protesters disregarded the pleas to stop singing from Dean Callahan. I couldn’t stand to see such a great person disrespected as Callahan was on Monday night. Although taking disciplinary action against the protesters would completely undermine the idea of the First Amendment Forum, I hope that the protesters realize what they did was shameful to their school and by no means a courageous stand against Arpaio.

  • The “Meet the Press” event with Sheriff Joe Arpaio was phenomenal. It really enlightened and shows me what type of events I might occur in my career. I got there about two hours early because I knew he is a very controversial figure and that this would attract a lot of people. It did, but luckily I had second row seats. I could have gotten first, but I didn’t want to get caught in the cross fire if something happened. I loved how the professors asked him questions and how they continued to ask the question in a different way if Arpaio did not answer the question. My favorite quote was by Sue Green when she said, “They are not here for you, they are here for me.”
    I was deeply disappointed by the protesters reaction. As much as I am for free speech and protest, there is a time and place for it. This event was not that type, it was meant for the Journalism students to understand how to deal with such a controversial figure or someone with that much political power. In my opinion, I think it was planned so he would not have to answer the question. It happened to a very convenient time to me.

  • I decided to kill the AMJ’s story on the event because the Downtown Devil was there when we interviewed the protestors and published first, but I did write this, so I’ll use it as my blog.

    The “Must See Monday” series went out with a bang…or rather an off-key chorus. This week’s final session was a Q&A with the Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The purpose, as described by Dean Christopher Callahan, was to demonstrate to Cronkite students how journalists interview high profile figures in a “Meet the Press” format. The event, much like Sheriff Arpaio, was a highly controversial and combatted topic. There were numerous protests to keep Sheriff Arpaio from speaking at the Cronkite building. A facebook group was dedicated to keeping him from appearing. Huge groups of protesters squared off outside the Cronkite building: half supporting the Sheriff and the other opposing him.

    It is important to note that the event was not open to the general public, but was open to all ASU students. One flip of an ASU Suncard, past or present, and your in.

    Three Cronkite professors, Rick Rodriguez, Sue Green and Steve Elliott, sat with the Sheriff on the stage and asked him questions. Their first questions were of specific incidents with newspapers, journalists, public documents, etc. However it was apparent that the audience was waiting for the Sheriff to answer a question on his controversial practices when dealing with Illegal immigrants. And finally, with about 12 minutes left to go, the audience was about to get what it was waiting for. Protesters lowered banners about an infamous quote the Sheriff gave on CNN which read, “the type of clothes they’re wearing, their speech.” Just as the Sheriff was about to face the music…he did. A group of protesters on the balcony burst out in song. To the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the protestors sang the Sheriff off-stage, who also put on a University of Arizona Wildcat hat on during the song.

    Dean Callahan said it was unfortunate that the interview was interrupted, mentioning that there was a plan to move the interview to the sixth floor studio if protests occurred earlier. When asked why the protestors weren’t escorted out, the Dean said that it happened so close to the end that there was no point to take action. It seems that the protestors benefitted from the name “First Amendment Forum.” Outside the scene was hectic. The protestors were celebrating their feat, one exclaiming, “That was awesome dude!” One protestor who was willing to speak, Tyler McAney a philosophy major at the Tempe campus, said that the protestors are a group of friends who had the idea when they found out Sheriff Arpio was speaking at the Cronkite building. They were all very passionate about the issue, exclaiming that Arpio does not let the opposition speak. When asked if he felt that they interrupted the Cronkite students’ learning experience, he commented, “Probably.” Further questions led to the author of the song, Stacy Parsons, a graduate and Anthropology major of ASU.

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio. What more needs to be said? At the last Must See Monday of the semester a panel of three professors interviewed the Sheriff. They asked him hard questions about controversial issues and drilled him on mistakes his office has made and demanded justification. However, not only was the Sheriff rude and disrespectful but it could be disputed whether or not he even completely answered any of the questions asked of him in the almost hour interview. I was appalled at how he acted. Especially when he questioned Rick Rodriguez’s credibility by accusing him of asking a question that was from a previous press conference. I am a native Arizonian and already have a extreme dislike for the Sheriff but how he conducted himself in the interview just proved to me that he is just a media hound who cares nothing for the rights and respect of others. However, the actions of the protestors didn’t help anything. I was embarrassed for the school that there was such a blatant outpour of disrespect. It was distasteful how they treated Dean Callahan. Not only that but they prohibited the Sheriff from being asked the most controversial questions of the night. Next time, if people want to protest for a cause they need to think about the effects it will have and realize that the best way to embarrass someone as inarticulate as the Sheriff is to let him humiliate himself on his own by trying to dodge the questions.

  • I knew heading into listen to this interview that it was going to be intense and controversial. I never thought that it would be a protest of singing. Sheriff Joe Arpaio never answered any of the questions. All he did was dodge the questions by saying something else. I liked how Sue Green made it fill casual when she said that all of us were here for her. It lightened the mood. Right when the journalists were getting into the immigration questions the group of delinquents had to mess up the interview by protesting with a song. I wish it could have run for the full 60 minutes but 48 are better than nothing. I felt that all of the journalists came into the interview well prepared. With every question one of them asked the other journalist followed up with it with another question of the same topic. Sheriff Joe did a very well in the interview. The protest only helped him and didn’t hurt him.

  • Monday’s event with Sheriff Arpaio was the second most exciting thing that has happened at the downtown campus this semester. The three faculty members were well prepared for the interview but Arpaio proved to be a tough opponent. He dodged questions attacked the reporter’s questions and motives, and depending on who you spoke to, he yet again effectively manipulated the media.
    At one point, Arpaio addressed the crowd of mostly student journalists and said that they were the future and they just needed the proper training. It had nothing to do with the question but it made him look good and made him look like a supporter of the school and the media.
    With just 12 minutes to go, some students, and it’s important to note not journalism students, began to sing a song and effectively ended the must see Monday event. The students that protested failed to realixe that the event was not about Sheriff Joe Arpiao, it was strictly for the journalism students to learn how to interview a very powerful and very smart politician. The toughest questions were about to be asked, but they will now never see the light of day because the protesters ruined it. As Dean Callahan said, their protest was “misplaced.”

  • The Must-See Monday with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was by far the most interesting of the semester. I really liked the “meet the press” layout of the interview, allowing for different styles of questioning by the three professionals (even more appropriate that they were members of the Cronkite staff), and the live audience that held him accountable for his answers. Unfortunately, the protesters’ interruptions towards the end of the hour we were allotted really ticked me off, because they cut him off just when he was being asked the tough questions about racial profiling. If the students or whoever are against the sheriff’s policies, they would have been better served forcing him to answer the questions and own up to his actions, rather than allowing him to leave the interview early. Furthermore, they embarrassed the Cronkite School. As aspiring journalists, I hoped we could set a better example for respecting the work of professionals and professors in our field.

  • November 30, 2009, turned out to be one of the most thought provoking nights of my life. I had many ideas going into the event as to how the evening would play out, and honestly, the protest and abrupt departure of Sheriff Joe was not what I expected. And unfortunately, it happened. I was extremely disappointed in the events that unfolded near the end of the interview. The three panelists began asking the sheriff difficult questions and had him in the hot seat. For the protesters coming in, they did Sheriff Joe a huge favor. He ended the interview session by walking out, and in essence, he avoided answering the tough questions once again. Even if an individual disagrees with Sheriff Joe, everyone should be open to listening to what they say, for ultimately, words and conversation are key to solving conflict. Additionally, it was upsetting to see that the students were not Cronkite Journalism students. They misrepresented the Cronkite school, and put an end to the journalism students’ educational session. In the end, they hurt the journalism school and helped the sheriff. I salute Dean Callahan for the way he handled the unfolding situation and his words after the protest. I think he conveyed his thoughts on the events well and expressed the same disappointment that I had in what took place. That Monday night opened up my mind to the ethics of protest and journalism and the overall state of the 1st Amendment.

  • I have to say that Joe Arpaio’s appearance at the final “Must See Mondays” for the semester was indeed an eventful way to end before winter break…I know I surely won’t forget it! The first thing that struck me about this particular event was the number of people who turned out; I expected a large crowd, but not of the magnitude that I ended up seeing. The sheer amount of conflict and differing viewpoints regarding his appearance at the Cronkite School had made for fierce anticipation to see what he would have to say, and it certainly didn’t disappoint, save for the fact that protestors had such “key timing” to start singing when perhaps the most controversial question of the night was asked…that was irritating to say the least, but overall it was still a good interview.
    Though we didn’t learn much from Arpaio himself (aka dodging the questions, walking out with a Wildcats hat on, etc), I believe the event to have been very successful. In attending, I learned a lot about what a controversial interview looks like and how it should be conducted, and how one has to learn to bounce off of responses in order to ask challenging questions. I found it to be an enriching experience, and I’m excited for “Must See Mondays” to start up again next semester!

  • It didn’t seem like the questions were re-hashing old complaints rather than discovering new angles. I would have asked: how does he recruit? What are the qualities he looks for in a deputy, and members of sheriff joe’s posse.

    The shout down was fair. Interviewers had 45 minutes.

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