Sheriff Joe Arpaio described as 'carnival barker' in 'Rolling Stone' article

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- The man who calls proudly himself America's toughest sheriff -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- is the subject of a new article in "Rolling Stone," and it's no "puff piece."

Intended to introduce readers to "America's meanest and most corrupt politician," the feature includes around a one-on-one interview and a tour of the controversial Tent City Jail, which is going into its 20th year of operation.

Early in the piece, writer Joe Hagan described Arpaio as "an unabashed carnival barker," saying "his antics might be amusing if he weren't also notorious for being not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America."

On Friday's "Good Morning! Arizona" Hagan, who also writes for "New York Magazine" and "Men's Journal," told 3TV's Scott Pasmore and Kaley O'Kelley about his experience with Arpaio and writing the piece.

"My story was mainly focused on his illegal immigration enforcement," he said.

O'Kelley asked about what she referred to as "jabs" at the sheriff, including descriptions of him as a "delighted gnome" and " [s]hort and portly, with a bulb nose and cauliflower ears."

"Do you it's polite?" O'Kelley asked. "And I'm not asking you to be polite, but…."

"I don't get paid to be polite," Hagan quickly responded before O'Kelley could finish her sentence. "I get paid to report what I see."

Pasmore contacted Arpaio Thursday to get his take on Hagan's piece. "He just basically said that he felt the article was garbage," Pasmore said.

That didn't surprise Hagan at all.

"He actually predicted beforehand that he would dislike it," he said. "It's only in keeping with exactly what his entire M.O. is."

Arpaio also tweeted about Hagan's piece.



Now that the article is published, Hagan said he doesn't expect to hear from Arpaio.

"If I did hear from him, I imagine that he would be, you know, humorous about it," he said. "He has a sort of sense of humor about even his own critics."

Click the video above to watch the entire interview with Hagan.

To read Hagan's article, which is in the Aug. 16 issue of "Rolling Stone," check out