On Sunday evening, Arizona Sun Times Sunday, a half-hour news show produced by The Star News Network, debuted on AZTV 7, the state’s largest independent broadcast entity. 

Michael Patrick Leahy, editor-in-chief at The Star News Network and its Arizona Sun Times web component, hosts the new Phoenix-based program at 10 p.m. on Sundays. Episodes can also be seen on demand at The Sun Timeswebsite. 

“If you are sick and tired of the left-wing bias of the local mainstream media here in Arizona, you’re going to want to watch our program tonight … ,” Leahy said upon introducing the premiere. “We report the facts of local political news, but we do so from a constitutional conservative worldview. It’s a worldview that many other local media outlets in this state once shared, but if you read or listen to them today, you know they lost that commonsense, fact-based perspective long ago.” 

Leahy, who was among the small-government Tea Party movement’s original organizers and has long been a contributor at Breitbart News, founded The Star News Network in 2017. Online newspapers based in 11 states now operate within the organization. Since their launch, the growing set of outlets have covered a wide breadth of national, state, and local stories, placing special focus on the subjects of election integrity, the size of government, law enforcement, education reform, and the growing power of the tech sector.

In a discussion with The Sun Times, Leahy said the network plans to make Arizona Sun Times Sunday the first of many such weekly state-based programs it will produce. He said the new Arizona series has lined up some “very exciting, exclusive” interviews for viewers to see in the weeks ahead. 

“We want to give the political candidates on both sides of the aisle an opportunity to lay out their message but then also subject them to our kind of critical questioning about what they’re really trying to accomplish,” he said. “The interviews, by the way, are going to be more long-form and they will give the candidates the opportunity to fully express their viewpoint without being interrupted.”

Initial Arizona coverage began with a segment on Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs’ explicit refusal to debate Republican hopeful Kari Lake at any point before the November 8 election. Hobbs has dismissed her opponent as a “conspiracy theorist … whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos … .” 

The Democrat instead asked the Citizens Clean Elections Commission to host town hall-style discussions with her and Lake separately, a request at which the commission balked. Lake, meanwhile, promised to show up for a debate, even if it means sitting across from an empty space where Hobbs refuses to sit. The Republican tweeted that her opponent’s decision “will show Arizonans just how little Katie Hobbs cares about them.” 

Leahy followed that story with an analysis of the notoriously contentious speech President Joe Biden recently delivered earlier this month in which the commander in chief called his most vocal conservative opponents “a threat to American democracy.” Another segment addressed the role progressive nonprofits played in helping to elect Biden while touting their work as nonpartisan voter-registration assistance. The episode ended with a report on polling revealing that Arizona Hispanics rank inflation, crime, and the economy among their greatest concerns.

Watch the first episode:

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Bradley Vasoli is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Arizona Sun Times Sunday” by Arizona Sun Times.