I've looked into the Arpaio thing myself, but I haven't seen any connection between Sheriff Arpaio and the Phoenix New Times besides the articles they've been publishing on him for about twenty years, and a lawsuit from the last few years. Was there some feud between Arpaio and the PNT owner, Ferrer, prior to the lawsuit and the publishing of Arpaio's private residence? If that's all, it's too recent to explain the anti-Arpaio propoganda from the mid-90's.
Look into the background of the Phoenix New Times and it comes into focus:
Not to rely on the efficacy of wikipedia as a source, but the following is common knowledge in journalistic circles, and some of it has been published in the paper itself subsequently:
“The paper was founded in 1970 by a group of students at Arizona State University, led by Frank Fiore, Karen Lofgren, Michael Lacey, Bruce Stasium, Nick Stupey, Gayle Pyfrom, Hal Smith, and later, Jim Larkin, as a counterculture response to the Kent State shootings in the spring of that year…
According to the 20th Anniversary issue of the New Times, published on May 2, 1990, Fiore suggested that the anti-war crowd put out its own paper.”
So any initial opposition to Joe Arpaio was really on a mere ideological basis. They gave the same treatment to Governor Jane Hull, Jan Brewer, and Barry Goldwater before him. He was Republican. That was enough.
It got personal only after the raid on the Phoenix New Times offices after they published Arpaio’s home address, and Sheriff Joe subsequently opened a child trafficking investigation into the Phoenix New Times and their owners, BackPage.com. An investigation that ultimately went federal, and resulted in their owners’ arrests (Woops! There goes the ‘Arpaio’s personal vendetta’ angle - wonder if they’ll give back that $3 million judgement a Democrat-heavy Board of Supervisors awarded them for ‘wrongful arrest’ in 2013? Or if the corrupt-as-fuck supervisors that handed it down will lose their jobs? Won’t hold my breath). Both of which happened after Arpaio flipped on the issue of immigration, their cause célèbre. From opposing Proposition 200… to supporting SB1070. Interesting timing.
Their hatred for Arpaio, by then, was so intense, they routinely lashed out at prominent Democrats merely for associating with him (notably, our Democrat ex-governor, and Director of Homeland Security under Obama, Janet Napolitano). The irony that it was likely Napolitano who pushed Obama’s Department of Justice to waste millions illegally targeting Arpaio for a half-decade isn’t lost on me.