A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Blake Brickman: Voters tired of status-quo elected Matt Bevin, but misleading news persists

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In 2015, the majority of Kentuckians in 106 counties voted for a governor they believed would change the trajectory of the state for the better: Matt Bevin.

Voters were tired of the political status quo — unfunded pensions, deep-seated political corruption, false promises, and thousands of jobs lost to neighboring states.
 
That momentum carried through to the elections of November 2016, when Republicans gained control of the statehouse for the first time in nearly 100 years. The House, led by Speaker Jeff Hoover, was at last poised to stand alongside President Robert Stivers’ Senate and move Kentucky forward.
 

Blake Brickman

New leadership in Frankfort has already brought about significant change. Less than halfway through 2017, Kentucky has surpassed its annual investment record with over $5.8 billion in new job-creating business investment. With a dedicated resolve to funding and protecting Kentucky’s pension systems, the promotion of a healthy and educated workforce, an expectation of transparent government, and a commitment to making Kentucky the best version of itself it can possibly be, the political culture in Frankfort is improving.
 
Unfortunately, for Kentuckians, defenders of Frankfort’s old status quo are not going away without a fight. They work in tandem with their allies at the Herald-Leader and the Courier-Journal, trying to belittle and outright end Kentucky’s progress through the promotion of “fake news.” These self-proclaimed defenders of truth and justice have their recipe of distraction down pat. Their secret to success? A game of “guilty until proven innocent.” 

First, latch onto or just completely fabricate unfounded accusations. Then, get friendly “reporters” to write “news” stories with uncorroborated claims, innuendo, and/or omissions of material facts. Next, have liberal opinion writers demand an investigation (and stoke these flames using hysterical and irresponsible language). Finally, when the real facts are exposed and all but the fiercest liberal partisans understand the truth, drop the story and move on to the next faux scandal.

Last year this scenario featured baseless allegations from two state House Democrats who claimed Governor Bevin retaliated against them for not switching political parties. These lies were printed in countless “news” stories and editorials.
 
A special House committee investigated, and, during his testimony, Rep. Kevin Sinnette admitted he had no actual proof. Rep. Russ Meyer refused to even show up and testify under oath. The kangaroo court went up in smoke, but the Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal downplayed this embarrassment as much as possible.
 
This year’s new “scandal” is the same song, second verse.

Countless, misleading “news” stories about the Governor’s purchase of a house appeared on the front pages of the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader. Liberal columnists and political hacks went into full-fledged attack mode, even trying to smear the good name of the seller of the house.

A liberal group, backed by Attorney General Andy Beshear with tainted political money and one of the most liberal and partisan Democrats in Frankfort, filed bogus ethics complaints based solely on these fake news reports. When detailed information was brought forth showing Governor Bevin likely overpaid for the house, the Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal barely covered it and their editorial writers completely ignored it.

Governor Bevin recently held a press conference calling out those in the media that promote fake news. It was viewed on Facebook over 1.3 million times.

The people of Kentucky understand what is going on. That’s why public opinion of the Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal, like the number of elected liberals in Frankfort that empower these two papers, is at an all-time low. 

Blake Brickman is chief of staff for Governor Matt Bevin.

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2 Comments

  1. Marv Dunn says:

    Apparently Mr. Brickman sent this Bevin puff piece to about every newspaper in the Commonwealth. Well the Louisville Courier Journal took offense and struck back. The following link is to the CJ’s editorial:
    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/06/25/go-forth-and-spin-no-more-editorial/420113001/

  2. Michael Thornton says:

    Marv, a response to a hit piece isn’t a puff piece; just because you side with the Louisville Courier Journal doesn’t mean they’ve been objective with regards to the current Governor.

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