Militarization of Police

Maricopa County SWAT Team Thrills Awful Fox News Reporter


Look through the eyes of the sheriff's SWAT team" is brought to you by Fox News 10 out of Phoenix. And brought to you by reporter Troy Hayden, who goes on a "first of its kind training mission" with the team as they go drug cartel hunting. 

Also there's electric guitar. In case you, the viewer, missed the tone that Fox was going for.

People hate on national journalists, such as the often-toothless White House Press Corps. But is there any alleged journalism worse than this — this bottom of the barrel, local puffery of not inane or cute stories, but serious state actions with serious policy consequences? And the reporter is treating it like an adventure and nothing else.

There is no questioning of tactics, no distance from official policy, no semblance of objectivity even, coming from Fox News 10. Only 3 minutes and 13 seconds of breathless praise of police who look like soldiers; police who work under the vile, xenophobic mini-tyrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Police who fight cartels are police who also fight cock fighters, and who always, always, keep fighting the drug war, no matter how non-violent the criminal. Because that's, I guess, what police in Maricopa do to kill time when they're not staging immigration raids.

This report isn't even sycophantic, it's not even offensive in a Walter Duranty covering up evil on purpose sort of a way. It's just yee-ha! gleeful. It is the journalistic equivalent of a six-year-old making light saber battle sounds with his mouth. Hayden expresses only delight for the fancy cop toys (like a Blackhawk Helicopter) and catching bad guys is just like, we must assume, games Hayden played as a boy. And is still playing. Because he's definitely not reporting here.

Reason on the militarization of police, on Joe Arpaio, and previously gleeful local news coverage (this time in Washington state) towards the action-movie sexiness of SWAT.

NEXT: Trainspotters: Deriving Numbers by Counting "Nonsensical," "Intellectually Dishonest"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is it a highway to the danger zone?

    1. I just started watching Archer, season one the other day. Fucking awesome!

      1. Plus, Kenny Loggins.

      2. I’ve seen a few episodes. It is funny as hell.

      3. “She’s like…the Pele of anal.”

        Probably still my favorite line.

        1. Wait, I had something for this…

          1. “Eat grenade, stupids!”

            1. “What do I look like? Count..Bullets..yula? Wait come back to me, I can do better.”

        2. I haven’t seen that one yet. Gonna be great, I’m sure.

          1. Job Offer

            One of the better ones. The current season is turning out to be very enjoyable.

  2. It must be the heat that causes Maricopa County to be the place were American civilization goes insane.

    1. *where

  3. Police who fight cartels are police who also fight cock fighters

    There were quite a few people here who supported this back when I first started commenting.

  4. Lucy, you just described in a fair amount of detail a large portion of what is so horribly wrong with local news. Never, ever watch it. It’ll just drive you into a rage.

    I was watching the May Day coverage on KOMO 4 last week and even that pretty basic stuff was filled with rage-inducing stupidity, assumptions, statism, and ignorance.

    1. It’s the exact same thing where I’m at. It’s like they’re incapable of thought.

      1. The U.S.A. is the modern-day Nazi Germany. There must be scapegoats to be blamed for our problems. There must be stormtroopers to battle against them.

      2. When I was getting my undergrad in journalism, I can tell you that I’m Jack’s complete lack of surprise at the rampant stupidity in the media. The majority of the students in the program were idiots.

        It’s only gone downhill since.

        1. And I just invented a new tense: future-past imperfect.

    2. Local TV news is the best! They cover violent crimes much better than the local paper (in big cities). I enjoy the interviews with “neighborhood residents” right after the event.

      1. Yeah, I am always impressed at the intelligence and insight on display when the neighbors are interviewed.

      2. Oh gawd, I want to scream when those interviews come on. They NEVER interview anyone who might actually know something or have any insight, they just stick a mike in front of Trailer Trash Trudy and let her express her incomprehensible opinions through her missing teeth.

        1. Yeah, where do they even find those people anyways?

          1. it’s not that hard. People like the notion of being treated as knowledgeable and important, even it’s a five-second soundbite. Ever see the aftermath of a hurricane? Nine times out of ten it’s some woman with sponge rollers saying “it was pandelirium.”

          2. These “neighborhood residents” are in all actuality, professional thespians posing as inbred buffoons. Contracted by the various local news outlets through their network of agents, they seek to involve the “Joe six-pack” viewer in the complex issues by dumbing it down through inane ramblings with valued “perpendicular context” The modest “Trailer Trash Trudy” guise is soothing, and reassuring to the general public because it’s comfortable and familiar, while simulating the feeling of local impact. Clueless local neighborhood dwellers were often drunk and unpredictable and could tarnish an otherwise great story (failure to feign outrage/didn’t know the victim or killer/look mom, I’m on TV/ too dirty or stupid/etc.) so a niche market was created for these talented actors. One might thank these local news organizations, and their brilliant “neighborhood residents” counterparts for their earnest and worthwhile efforts to relay complex news issues with a rich, keen, three dimensional grasp of what the fuck is going on in a medium that non journalists might only vaguely give a shit about.

    3. The sad thing is that local media owners and their high profile employees are often among the “movers and shakers” of their communtities. With mindless cheerleading like this, how do we get these LE agencies scaled back to some semblance of sanity.

    4. Don’t forget that Lucy’s family is ensconced in local news media.

      1. Well then Lucy knows exactly what I’m talking about.

      2. Family members ensconced in local news media liked to complain about local news media a whole lot!

        1. I’m glad to hear it. When’s the ‘Burgh Reasonoid meetup?

          1. It’s at Lucy’s Uncle Pauly’s house on the 4th of July. I’m going dressed as the Ghost of Hobey Baker.

            1. *Almanianesque slow clap*

  5. let’s not all be so quick to judge. Maybe this reporter was afraid they’d shoot his dog if he didn’t give them favorable coverage.

    1. RIP Fido.

  6. I hope somebody twatted this to @Troyhayden.

    1. Make that @troyhaydenfox10.

    2. I’ve actually tried to avoid twitter but know that I know I can twat someone I might have to jump onboard.

  7. The police have morphed into a military organization to keep us like safe, or something. Why do you all hate America?

    1. I love America. I hate the people who live here.

  8. I feel sorry for all the dogs around there. If you want to see the future of law enforcement here, read American Sniper. Detailed accounts of clearing out neighborhoods in Iraqi hot zones with no regard for non-combatants (if there is any any thought of them, it’s disdain). I really get the feeling that this is the direction we are heading both in callous tactics and attitude towards the general population. One interesting thing about reading this book, is that now with google maps I can basically see where this stuff went on sometimes down to the city block. It’s an interesting read but I find it very difficult to like this guy. Doesn’t help that he’s a cowboy bullshitter.

    1. Did he get credit for any kill, or do they have some method to determine if a kill was definitely a combatant?

      1. There is some sort of independent kill verification process but I’m not sure what the procedures are. They do seem to investigate if there is a question about whether the person killed was a combatant. He did not like having his kills questioned very much. The large number of kills has a lot to do with a whole lot of opportunity.

        1. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening read, and probably not always in the way he intended.

          1. Because if they count innocents I got 6000 or more goddamn kills, with a machete…NAKED!


    2. I have not read the article you’re talking about, but I have read accounts from people who allegedly did sniping or DM work during OIF. Ironically, they claimed that shooting dogs was counterproductive; something about the dogs dying noisily, by themselves, and not quickly. What they did instead was blow a dog whistle; this got all of the dogs in the neighborhood barking, which provided enough noise to cover whatever it was they needed to do.

      The passage in Generation Kill, bitching out the sheriff’s deputies converted to reserve Marines, was really sobering. What I’ve read of troops in Iraq in Afghanistan dovetails with your statements of indifference if not hatred toward the locals.

      Somebody please remind the cops that policing and soldiering are different jobs for a reason.

      1. Reserve infantry almost always end up as cops and vis versa.

  9. Embedded journalists like this man rely on the troops he’s with to keep him alive in hostile territory. It’s natural he would feel kinship.

    1. kinship does not equal cheerleading. Journalism is supposed to entail a healthy skepticism of damn near everyone. A true reporter sees what he sees, as in what actually happens, not what the agency or person he is covering wants to see portrayed.

      1. Someone doesn’t understand FoE’s rather dry sense of humor. That’s understandable; neither does he.

        1. Heh.

          1. I’m impressed Lucy gets our Sahara worthy senses of humor without a FAIL yet, to my knowledge anyway. I’m glad Little Lucy has made it in the big leagues and still talks to the peanut gallery consistently like Cavanaugh. Getting Welch to comment is like pulling teeth.

            1. The condescension is still annoying! But I still can’t quite you guys.

              Also, Matt totally comments more than some! He just has much to do. Certainly much more than I do.

              1. Quite=quit.

                That typo was pandering. I swear.

                1. You’re still invited to host the Pittsburgh Reasonoids meetup. Pick a bar, any bar!

                  As long as it has a suitable beer list.

                  1. As long as it has a suitable beer list.

                    Iron City!

                    1. Fine. Duquesne Pilsener, if we’re being fancy.

                    2. I have an interesting connection to the Duquesne Brewery, which I’ll explain. At the Pittsburgh Reasonoid meetup, to be arranged by Die Sehr Geehrte Fr?ulein Steigerwald.

                    3. The other yinzers will be the judge of how interesting it is.

                    4. well that still requires a meetup.

                2. And here I thought it was you saying “But I still can’t quiet you guys”, which I of course took to be a subtle but vicious threat about banning us once you rise in the reason hierarchy if we continue to refer to you as “little Lucy”.

                  1. “Julian Sanchez Lucy Steigerwald still wouldn’t fuck you, though”

              2. Don’t mind the condescension Lucy. They still haven’t learned how to talk to a woman. Hopefully they’ll get better with practice. I really wouldn’t count on it though:)

                1. I’ve tried to express to her that it’s not condescension, but rather misogyny, but she doesn’t seem to be buying it.

                  1. There’s no good reason that it can’t be both.

                  2. Someday you will teach her to lose all faith in you, I’m sure.

                    1. That’s all any man can do and any woman can hope for anyways.

        2. I think the default here is sarcasm lock on.

        3. then I’m in good company.

          1. No, I get you. I get that you’re a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood, but you’re not soft.

            1. Don’t be such a whore Epi. haven’t you had enough hate sex for one day?

              1. I’m a pretty huge whore, dude.

                1. Laddie, don’t you think you should… rephrase that?

                  1. FoE, you’re right; I didn’t mean to say that your personality should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away as garbage.

              2. Plus I’m dealing with a very annoying and intractable multithreading problem right now and I really don’t want to be. Whoring is my escape from parallelization headaches.

  10. Hey look, there’s a couple of mexican guys walking through the desert with backpacks on. Lets get in our Blackhawk and attack them.

    1. They’re clearly insurgents.

      1. That and they probably have STD’s, too.

      2. But Andy! Andy! They look like they might be terrorist! Barney, I’m not giving you a 40mm Grenade to put in your MilKLor launcher. Now go fire up the Blackhawk and all be out after I finish Aunt Bee’s pie.

        1. MilKor. I’ll.

        2. Someone needs to remix the video of the reporter and replace the guitar music with the theme to The Andy Griffith Show.

  11. This is my favorite Lucy post so far — epic rant, well done. That said, Nancy Grace-style LIEK DIS IF YOU CRY EVERTIM is at least as bad, when it comes to bad media practices that enable the security state. They’re the female equivalent of the REAL MEN SHOOT IMMIGRANTS FROM THE BACK OF PICkJUP TRUCKS reportage.

    1. FOE: This is someone no one gets.

      1. Bullshit. TIT, you’re my Oprah.

  12. Within 2 weeks of the local jackboots murdering Jose Guerena, The NBC affiliate got a tour of the super secret Pima County SWAT training facility. It was rah rah, oooh, look how professional they train.

  13. BTW, I just reclassified all Rush tracks in my music library from “Progressive Rock” to “libertarian Rock” (small l). I was sick of seeing that word too many times.

  14. Yippee ki yay!

    1. In other news, Troy Hayden’s wife describes his dick as very, very tiny.

  15. Local news is probably more lifelike than national news. These people probably run into each other at Applebee’s more often than Brian Williams meets with Eric Holder.

    In watching the video, I’m unclear on the SWAT team’s tactics. Do they ordinarily go in shooting, or are the pops an artifact of bad editing?

    1. I didn’t watch the vid but the pops are probably flashbangs.

    2. That’s definitely the sound an M4 makes in a closed space. So I’d have to say absolutely yes, they are training to go in shooting.

      The training shown in the video was basically indistinguishable from what I did in the Army/infantry. Not surprising. Slightly amusing. Mostly depressing. That kind of training teaches you to treat everything as a threat. Makes sense in a warzone, but it has clearly created an awful culture in domestic law enforcement. Especially when you consider minor warrants are regularly being served by these SWAT team “shooters”.

      A Blackhawk helicopter? Seriously? I would make a joke about drones/Hellfire missiles here, but we’re so close to that anyways it’s not even funny.

      However – “the journalistic equivalent of a six-year-old making light saber sounds with his mouth” – made all the rage worth it. Well done.

  16. Hayden expresses only delight for the fancy cop toys (like a Blackhawk Helicopter) and catching bad guys is just like, Bikini ed hardy we must assume, games Hayden played as a boy. And is still playing. Because he’s definitely not reporting here.

    1. The words “Bikini ed hardy” randomly inserted into the Fox News story would not have made it any more stupid, for what it’s worth.

      1. Does make it a bit trashier, though.

  17. Arpaio is a democratically elected official. He’s keeps getting reelected so the people out there must like him. Who are you to question their choice?

  18. very nice publish, i definitely love this website, keep on it. chat

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.