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KY Journalists Feel Beshear’s Pain

July 16, 2016 1 comment

Poor Kentucky journalists, they feel a barrage of rejection emanating from Governor Matt Bevin’s office. Some reporters who generally avoid politics have also been drawn into offering editorial comment on the ostensible feud between the current and former governors. Tara Anderson of WFPL News went so far as to call it “Shakespearean”. Meanwhile, Al Cross, frequent columnist at he Courier-Journal, lamented Governor Bevin’s loss of the “high ground.” (We have no recollection of a time when Cross or any other prominent political journalist conceded the high ground to candidate or Governor Bevin.)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2013

The journalists’ latest wound was inflicted when former First Lady Jane Beshear’s name was removed from the Capitol Education Center adjacent to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort. It hurt so badly that an empathetic Jack Brammer, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s man in Frankfort,  wailed on KET “Would he want someone to treat his wife like that?” Press conferences in Frankfort must make for deeply depressing experiences.

In most of the stories covering the former First Lady’s building story, few, if any, point out that hubby Beshear waited almost three years after the building was commissioned before he named it for his wife. In fact, he waited until after Matt Bevin was elected to give her this special shout-out. Coincidentally, it was his last day before he nominated her to the board of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission. The former governor was in such a hurry to secure a spot for his wife on the KHPC that his order—an executive order nominating her to the board—accidentally referred to it as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Democrats in the state have a voice. It takes the form of whiny rants on social media and comments on articles by Cross, Brammer, and others among the press faithful. The insult du jour is to call Bevin “petty.” As long as Kentucky’s media focus on the relationship between Bevin and the Beshears, chances are that the state’s voters will never know that the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically under the current administration, or that the state’s pension fund is on its way to solvency, or that the debt is being paid off.

Bevin’s accomplishments are proving to be too painful to acknowledge by the press, because it hurts the narrative that he’s a one-man wrecking ball. Fortunately for the state, Bevin doesn’t care for liberal opinion and is taking care of the real business of the state.

 

Photo credit: Steve Beshear via Flickr under a Creative Commons copyright.

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