Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin responded to derision from certain media outlets that are routinely ignored by the executive branch. Louisville’s Courier-Journal and Lexington’s Herald Leader are both named in Bevin’s new Facebook video (below).
Bevin says “a handful” of (what he considers) negative media people “are like cicadas…not serious journalists.” He claims their out-of-state owners engage in tabloid journalism so he wants to communicate directly with constituents via social media, radio shows, and smaller newspapers.
Bevin expects newspapers to tout “extraordinary business developments…but you wouldn’t know it” by reading their news stories.
The Herald Leader slammed my interview work in a recent editorial. Individual media people who consider themselves impartial watchdogs, although their social media pages illustrate their fierce loyalty to liberal politics, have referenced me as a lap dog for conducting civil conversation interviews.
It’s what I’ve always done with Democrats, Republicans, and the apolitical. We just talk. That’s what a talk show host does best, gets out of the way and lets the subject tell her/his story unedited and without grandstanding spin by the presenter.
A talk show host is not running a congressional investigation or debate. The talk show host presents a showcase for both sides of an issue with ongoing dialogue. Not one of the traditional “journalists” who scoff at my interviews with Matt Bevin have raised a complaint about my regular interviews with Democrats John Yarmuth, Andy Beshear, or former Governor Steve Beshear (who is on tomorrow’s show).
Media teams are made up of individuals with personal biases. Publications, web news sites, broadcast news departments and even Facebook take on a centralized personality built on history, management, and the most dominant voices on the team.
Most American media teams have a decidedly liberal slant. Consumers feel the temperature of media product almost instantly, and titles matter. Note how many self-described “objective” news organizations quickly label a news subject as “conservative” but rarely refer to a person as liberal. They’re just regular people.
When a politician is in trouble, note the placement of their party affiliation in a story. If it’s a Democrat, it won’t happen before the 10th paragraph. If it’s a Republican, that’s the first word of the story.
People think they know my politics. Some reading this blog post are CONVINCED that I am a conservative. Others hear my radio show and come to the exact opposite conclusion.
The truth is that I am a media fan. Politics bore me. I want our media business to thrive and not become a cheer squad for the Democrat party. All ideas matter. Diversity of thought bears a healthier republic.
Here is my most recent chat with Republican Gov. Bevin on Louisville’s outrageous murder rate, and multiple questions about his controversial home purchase.
Here is my most recent chat with Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear on Bevin’s claims of corruption by the earlier Beshear administration and on the controversial Bevin home purchase.
After the death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, a writer from Rolling Stone (a bastion of credibility) wrote the most scathing obituary ever penned. Of course, it’s rooted in hatred of conservatives by a liberal writer.
Taibbi: Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever – Rolling Stone https://t.co/Y1bX3jPXKu
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) May 18, 2017
This is indicative of the attack dog nature of today’s political discourse. If a show host or writer refuses to snarl and denigrate an interview subject, then attack dog people demean the questioner as a lap dog.
Bevin is correct about the failing business model of traditional media. As the Herald Leader points out, a politician’s video with, say, 25,000 views is scant reach for a statewide population of 4 million. However, newspaper and traditional TV/radio use is still in steep decline as much of its customer base dies. Social media is the primary information stream of millennials and generations to follow. Bevin’s move matches reality.
Newspapers and most TV networks do not hide their political persuasion any longer. Here’s the way The Courier-Journal was delivered on Election Day 2014. The CJ’s management had no problem selling the front page wraparound ad to the candidate they had endorsed to defeat longtime incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell.
Objective watchdogs? Yeah, sure. If a Democrat is running, it’s prominently placed above-the-fold.
Universally loathed Republican David Williams gambles on his own dime during private time? Front page, baby!
Former Courier-Journal political reporter turned columnist Joe Gerth can now use his opinion in public. Gerth fired back at Bevin’s beatdown of the CJ, noting that Bevin is a transplant and Louisville’s largest employers are not locally owned. Gerth’s response fails to mention the Courier’s rapidly dwindling employee count, and its management’s tendency to give paltry or zero pay to contributing freelance writers.
Are the Courier Journal and Lexington Herald Leader biased in favor of Democrats and liberals on an ongoing basis? Of course they are.
Research it for yourself. Call up the front pages from the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. What is the general nature of each story? Does the headline match the tenor of the story or is it tabloid overstatement? Is the story negative or positive?
You already know the results.
Now do the same 100 day search from 2009 during the first few months of the presidency of Barack Obama. See any difference?
People will shout “But Trump’s crazy actions brought all of this on his administration!”
So then go back and review the front pages of the first 100 days of George W. Bush’s first term in 2001 and see if it more closely matches the flavor of the Obama stories or today’s Trump stories.
There’s your answer.
To fully verify the pattern, scan Bill Clinton’s first one hundred days coverage from 1993. Amazing how that works!
An obviously biased traditional media, overwhelmingly favorable to liberal causes, must FIRST work at not losing even more credibility by being hoaxed. It is the gullible sheep that is first in line for slaughter.