Just days after the House of Representatives passed the Free Flow of Information Act, The New York Times reports
that two executives from Village Voice Media were arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, for revealing "grand jury secrets". Michael Lacey, the executive editor, and Jim Larkin, chief executive, were arrested at their homes after they wrote a story that revealed that the Village Voice Media company, its executives, its reporters and even the names of the readers of its website had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor. The special prosecutor had been appointed to look into allegations that the newspaper had violated the law in publishing the home address of Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio on its website more than three years ago. The two have since been released, but the reverberations of this blatant assault on the press and of Arpaio's retaliatory behavior will likely resonate for some time. Although the original investigation stems from a column written by John Dougherty
about Arpaio's real estate investments, the impetus for yesterday's arrest appears to be this week's Phoenix New Times cover story, "
Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution
". In the article, Lacey and Larkin acknowledge the fact that the story may generate a legal backlash, and imply that civil disobedience had become their last option.… Read more