Arizona Mirror



Phoenix, AZ




Newspaper / Media Outlet


Jim Small

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The Arizona Mirror is a state-focused media outlet that presents itself as nonpartisan but publishes articles and commentary written from and selected with a left-of-center bias and agenda. It is owned by a left-of-center entity called the Newsroom Network which has opened other left-of-center news outlets throughout the United States. 1

Hopewell Fund, a part of the massive, left-of-center “dark money” entity Arabella Advisors, owns, funds, and operates the Newsroom Network, parent entity of Arizona Mirror. 2

Arizona Mirror Background

The Arizona Mirror’s philosophy aligns with that of Newsroom Network, asserting that traditional media businesses are failing because of their obligations to investors. 3 Newsroom Network relies on donations (including donations from major donors to Hopewell Fund) to function free from short-run revenue considerations. 4 Jim Small, the editor and founder, outlined how he was approached by Hopewell to start the Arizona Mirror. 5 The Arizona Mirror claims 150,000 views of its news monthly. 6


The Arizona Mirror was created through direct funding from Hopewell Fund. Hopewell’s 2017 tax forms show it received what is described as an unusual grant of $100 million. Hopewell directed millions of this grant to other Arabella Advisors groups including the New Venture Fund and the 1630 Fund, which have been identified as “dark money” organizations by mainstream news sources like the left-leaning Politico. 7

Hopewell donates to many other left-of-center organizations including abortion providers and environmentalist activists. In addition to the Arizona Mirror, Hopewell reports trade names of other news entities it controls, including the Florida Phoenix, Nevada Current, and Virginia Mercury. 8

Staff and Bias

Jim Small said Arizona Mirror’s approach is to write left-progressive articles in the opinion area and ostensibly “non-partisan” news stories. 9 A sampling of news stories includes an animal rights video on Arizona Mirror’s YouTube Channel in which people trespassed onto a farm to record chicken’s living conditions. 10 Another news report focused criticism of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for not attending impeachment hearings. 11

The Arizona Mirror’s staff includes Pulitzer Prize Winner Steve Benson, a famed liberal cartoonist that joined them after being cut from the Arizona Republic. 12 Benson’s artistry has been compared to “ink-bottle grenades,”13 and is focuses on attacking Republicans with a specific focus against President Donald Trump. The Iranian tensions of early 2020 inspired Benson to target President Donald Trump as the face of war. 14 His last cartoon of 2019 featured President Trump as a swollen baby in a diaper with a pacifier labeled “paci-liar” and other adornments connecting Trump with Russia and Ukraine. Benson also represents his left-of-center viewpoints using other public figures. Benson’s recent work includes a cartoon depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. with a caption that replaces the line from King’s iconic “Dream peech of not being judged by the color of their skin with, “their sexual orientation.” 15 Before joining the Arizona Mirror, Benson created significant controversy with a cartoon protesting Oklahoma City bombing perpetrator and terrorist Timothy McVeigh’s death sentence. Benson based his illustration upon a photograph of a firefighter carrying a dead child from the attack and plugged in captions for his purposes. 16

Another staffer is Laura Gomez Rodriguez who before joining the Arizona Mirror was a part of a team at the Arizona Republic that won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on President Trump’s border wall. The reporting claimed to not take sides but featured the challenges and consequences of the wall’s construction and described how 5,000 private parcels in Texas would have to be seized or disrupted. The article also featured an interview with a “coyote,” one of the human smugglers who claimed the wall would not stop him, but earn him more money. 17


  1. “The Newsroom: A Local Propaganda Machine Run By Left-Wing Mega Donors: Opinion – Conservative.” Before It’s News | True News | Alternative News | People Powered News, July 8, 2019.
  2. Devine, Shane. “The Newsroom: A Local Propaganda Machine Run By Left-Wing Mega Donors.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, July 8, 2019.
  3. Small, Jim. “Arizona Mirror Celebrates 1 Year of Independent Journalism.” Arizona Mirror, September 25, 2019.
  4. “About • Arizona Mirror.” Arizona Mirror. Accessed January 10, 2020.
  5. Hsieh, Steven. “Who Exactly Is Behind the Arizona Mirror, a New Media Outlet?” Phoenix New Times. 4, September 27, 2018.
  6. Small, Jim. “Arizona Mirror Celebrates 1 Year of Independent Journalism.” Arizona Mirror, September 25, 2019.
  7. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” Sixteen Thirty Fund. Accessed January 10, 2020.
  8. Tigas, Mike, Sisi Wei, Ken Schwencke, Brandon Roberts, and Alec Glassford. “Hopewell Fund, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013.
  9. Hsieh, Steven. “Who Exactly Is Behind the Arizona Mirror, a New Media Outlet?” Phoenix New Times. 4, September 27, 2018.
  10. Graber, Roy. “Arizona Mirror Seems to Back Animal Rights Agenda.” WATTAgNet. WATTAgNet, December 20, 2019.
  11. Small, Jim. “GOP Proposal Would Ban Sex Ed until 7th Grade, Discussions of Homosexuality.” Arizona Mirror, January 9, 2020.
  12. “Gannett Cuts Steve Benson and Charlie Daniel – Updated.” The Daily Cartoonist, January 27, 2019.
  13. Benson, Steve. “The Face of War.” Steve Benson | Creators Syndicate, January 6, 2020.
  14. Benson, Steve. “Steve Benson for Jan 09, 2020, by Steve Benson.” Home, January 9, 2020.
  15. Benson, Steve. “Benson’s Corner • Arizona Mirror.” Arizona Mirror, October 8, 2019.
  16. Fabrizio, Doug. “Daggers Drawn.” RadioWest, June 25, 2013.
  17. “The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY NETWORK Win Pulitzer Prize for Border Wall Project.” azcentral. The Republic |, April 16, 2018.
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Arizona Mirror

Phoenix, AZ