Wick Communications

A murder in Cochise County

In Uncategorized, Writing on 14 May 2010 at 8:10 am

Many of you have seen this incredible story by now, I know. But it bears praising again (and again, and again.)

It’s Leo Banks’ well-written and exceedingly well researched article in the Tucson Weekly about the death of Arizona rancher Rob Krentz, and all that came before and after it. Banks, whom you see at right, clearly didn’t parachute into this story; he knew it front and back. (In fact, if I had a smidge of complaint it is a common one with really good reporting; he may have assumed some readers knew more than they did. I might have included a stronger nut graph explaining the crime up high in the story.)

The story is a powerful rebuke to the powerful in the country who will tell you all is well on the border, that fences and patrols and drone aircraft and lord knows what all is stemming the tide of illegal immigration. It helps to explain the exasperation that led to the controversial legislative initiative out of Arizona that has polarized the immigration debate. And it flies in the face of the common notion that alternative weeklies like the Tucson Weekly are lefty rags…

The current administration appears hardly heroic in Banks’ story.

The Weekly staff got wind that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson gave U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano a copy of Banks’ story to help explain the situation at the Arizona border.  Giffords suggested the former Arizona governor now working for the White House read the piece and then give it to President Obama.

I don’t think that’s likely. After all, as Banks notes in his story:

This is the same homeland security secretary who, in April 2009, told CNN it’s not a crime, per se, to cross the border.

How committed can our government be to securing the border when the person charged with doing so—a former governor of Arizona, no less—doesn’t know it’s a federal misdemeanor to enter without inspection?

This is a spectacular story. It can’t be entirely contained by the strictures of traditional journalism. It’s first-person in spots. It takes sides. And it does so beautifully well.

Clay

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