Not News at AP: $1 Million Bounty on Sheriff Joe

UPDATE, 6:20 p.m. ET: AP now has a 5:28 p.m. item on the bounty. It's enough to make you wonder if the item below shamed the wire service into covering it. 

(original post) 

A look at the Associated Press's raw national feed (saved and stored here at about 1:30 p.m. ET for future reference) informs us that the wire service considers the following items worthy of at least some countrywide attention:

  • We're No. 1! UGA tops party schools ranking
  • Lindsay Lohan released from jail, goes to rehab
  • (Football Player Albert) Haynesworth again doesn't pass conditioning test
  • Vuvuzelas silenced for basketball worlds
The fact that the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona has had a $1 million bounty placed on his head by a Mexican drug cartel, an offer that is being treated as a credible threat? Sorry, that doesn't make the cut. An AP search on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's last name confirms it:

APsearchOnArpaio080210at137pm

Here is most of the brief story found at Fox News's Fox Nation (TV report is also at link):

$1 Million Hit Put out on Joe Arpaio

The so called “America’s toughest sheriff” has never been secretive about the many death threats he continuously receives. He also has said that is not afraid. It just comes with the territory - we might think, but now he may be forced to take some extra precautions as a supposed Mexican drug cartel –the Juarez cartel- has offered to pay $1 million to whoever does the favor.

It's offering a million dollars for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's head and offering a [ten] thousand dollars for anyone who wants to join the Mexican cartel," said a young man who chose to remain anonymous.

The frightened male said his wife received the offer in a text and a voice message -both in Spanish, Tuesday evening, which also included an international phone number and instructions to be forwarded.

... The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office believes the message originated in Mexico and said investigators are trying to trace exactly where the text message came from. What really concerns investigators is how quickly the message may have been spread as the monetary incentive is a factor to take this threat a little bit more seriously.

The FBI is already involved in the investigation.

The older AP story that appeared in the search has to do with how law enforcement officials like Sheriff Joe "already have a significant amount of authority to enforce immigration laws and help remove illegal immigrants from the country." I guess that's no longer the case after Thursday's ruling on AZ 1070. The more recent one has to do with arrests at "protests," at least one of which was a near riot ("Protesters beat on the metal door and forced sheriff's deputies to call for backup. Officers in riot gear opened the doors, waded out into the crowd and hauled off those who didn't move").

Matt Drudge has linked to the $1 million bounty story since yesterday, but he somehow missed those crucial "party school" and vuvuzela items. Drudge thinks the nation might be interested in tangible evidence that a culture of lawlessness continues to gain ground in Arizona, with dire long-term implications. AP, still acting as if it's the consummate gatekeeper (in some ways, sadly, it still is) apparently doesn't think Americans need to know that.

Once again, Drudge demonstrates that he has more news sense than everyone else combined at "the Essential Global News Network." His traffic continues to grow. I wonder if that's the case at AP?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.