The first nomination for Jackass Of the Week (JOTW) goes to LA Sheriff, Alex Villanueva.
CNN reports that on Tuesday, Sheriff Villanueva “alarmed press freedom advocates by lashing out at a press conference and indicating that a Los Angeles Times reporter was under criminal investigation. Later in the day, he attempted to walk back his alarming comments, but it’s important to understand the background, including Villanueva’s highly controversial behavior and his attacks against the media.”
Of course, Villanueva is another in a long line of public officials trying their best to parrot the actions of the former president of the United States, Donald John Trump. It was Trump, more than any politician before him who convinced millions of Americans not to trust in the reporting of the press — in fact, he referred to them as the enemy of our government. If you can convince people to ignore the best source of credible information, you can get away with anything. And that’s exactly what he tried to do. In this case, a law enforcement officer who can convince the citizens to not believe the warnings and findings of the press can be extremely dangerous.
Villanueva has repeatedly singled out LA Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian, who is just doing her job by covering his department. Tchekmedyian has published a series of stories about an incident in which a deputy kneeled on an inmate — including an article on Monday regarding an allegation that Villanueva was implicated in a coverup.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Villanueva displayed and pointed to a photo of Tchekmedyian, plus one of his political rivals and the sheriff’s inspector general. Arrows implied a connection between all three. Villanueva referred to video of the incident that Tchekmedyian had obtained as “stolen property.” And he declared that he was investigating “all parties” involved in the matter. When repeatedly asked whether Tchekmedyian was specifically under investigation, Villanueva responded that “all parties to the act” were being probed.
Of course, Villanueva’s up for reelection this year.
Villanueva gets our first nomination for JOTW. We’ll be watching.