Paul Babeu denies he made threats and declares homosexuality

February 22, 2012

Last week the Phoenix New Times released a story about Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu threatening his Hispanic ex-lover with deportation if he made their relationship public. Tim McGuire, the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School, talks about the media’s responsibilities when reporting on the personal lives of elected officials.

McGuire says that in this case the New Times had a responsibility to cover the abuse of power and duty, and that the story was not an attempt to out a public official. According to McGuire, several journalists say they knew about Babeu’s sexuality, and to them it is neither newsworthy nor worth publishing. McGuire says others argue that since Babeu is a prominent conservative his sexual preference is newsworthy, and to say that it isn’t relevant to his campaign is naïve.

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