Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu knew what kind of radio program he was going on when he appeared on a “pro-White” show July 10, the host alleged today.
James Edwards, who hosted the interview along with Eddie Miller, said Miller spoke with Babeu and his spokesman multiple times before the interview.
“For Sheriff Babeu to change his mind and now regret coming on our show, for whatever reason, is his right. For him to act as though he had no idea of our ideology is a lie,” Edwards said in a written statement on the show’s website.
Edwards described that ideology as “paleoconservative” and described himself as a “pro-White” Christian.
But Babeu’s spokesman, Tim Gaffney, said Tuesday afternoon “It was never divulged what their beliefs are.”
“They never had a conversation with me and made anything clear to me at all about their white-supremacist beliefs or anything of that nature,” Gaffney said.
Babeu’s appearance on the show came to broad attention Monday, when Media Matters, a left-leaning website that analyzes news coverage, published a story on it.
On Monday night, Gaffney apologized for having booked the appearance, one of dozens of interviews the sheriff has done since gaining fame as a border-security hardliner in April.
Babeu was interviewed by Miller and Edwards July 10 from Millington, Tenn.-based station WLRM.
Gaffney, who became the sheriff’s office spokesman in late June, said in a statement that he had vetted the radio station’s website but not that of The Political Cesspool. That website declares “We represent a philosophy that is pro-White.”
It goes on: “We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.”
Gaffney described the interview as a mistake.
“During the past month, I have been inundated with media requests from local, national and international outlets to have Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu interviewed because of his outspoken need to secure our border,” Gaffney wrote Monday night.
“I have weeded out most all requests from any outlets or groups that have any connection with possible hate groups. Unfortunately, last week it appears that I may have let one such interview take place.”
He cited a scheduled interview with Tucson-based Internet-radio host Clay Douglas as an example of an interview that he canceled because of the host’s apparent ideology.
Babeu knew nothing about the Political Cesspool show until he appeared on it July 10, Gaffney said in his statement. The interview itself focused on much of the same material — border security and SB 1070 — that Babeu has discussed in dozens of interviews since he rose to national prominence in April.
However, Edwards’ statement offers a different version of events:
“Eddie Miller spoke with the Sheriff personally, a week in advance of the interview, during which it was made specifically clear (so there could be no 'confusion') the nature of our paleoconservative radio program (which was mentioned several times by name) and some of the attacks we’ve sustained from hate groups like the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] and SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center].”
As the hosts conversed during the July 10 show, waiting for Babeu to call in, co-host Miller said: “Of all the people we’ve interviewed on this radio show, I would say the only people that came close to getting me this excited was Dr. David Duke.”
David Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan leader who ran for U.S. Senate in Louisiana in 1996.
Gaffney, a medically retired Mesa police officer, took over as the department’s spokesman from Lt. Tamatha Villar at the end of June.
Contact reporter Tim Steller at 807-8427 or firstname.lastname@example.org