Topic: Accuracy in Media
For the past several weeks, Accuracy in Media has had on the front page of its website a promotion for the Western Conservative Conference (see right), which was held in Phoenix this past weekend. AIM served as a co-sponsor of the event.
And what did AIM get for its co-sponsoring money? A lot of right-wing ranting and racially charged so-called humor.
The racially charged humor came from Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh during a roast of sheriff Joe Arpaio:
Early in his tour de force monologue, Kavanagh riffed, “It’s okay. I’m not the federal monitor. How many Hispanics did you pull over on the way over here, Arpaio, huh?” The crowd roared.
Then he pivoted to an immigration joke, “Sheriff Joe is the kind of guy that you gotta love. As long as you have papers.”
Soon he was making light of the controversy around the “religious freedom” bill SB 1062, which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. Kavanagh, who supports the bill, dismissed the criticism with a joke at the expense of Muslims and Arpaio:
Now a lot of people claim that SB 1062 is gonna cause discrimination based upon religion in Arizona.
And I scoffed at that until tonight. When a Muslim waiter serving up here walked up to Sheriff Joe, wouldn’t give him his dinner ’cause he said ‘I don’t serve swine.’
The crowd reacted with some shock, but not about the Muslim remark. Arpaio covered his face with his napkin. Kavanagh quipped that it “wasn’t quite a burka.”
The entire Western Conservative Conference was a hub of activity for far-right activists. As Media Matters notes, the conference was hosted by Floyd Brown, who has turned the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center into a hotbed of Obama-hating conspiracists (not that Farah probably thinks there's anything wrong with that). The conference also included other far-right fringers like Trevor Loudon and Russell Pearce.
These are the kind of people AIM was hanging out with in Arizona this past weekend.