KY governor criticizes journalists for investigating his state

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has taken the undermining of the free press to a new extreme, posting a Facebook video railing against an investigative journalism organization that has partnered with his state’s biggest newspaper.

ProPublica and the Louisville Courier Journal announced a partnership to engage in a year-long investigation of Kentucky state government.

“We are targeting excessive spending and questionable actions taken by state leaders in Frankfort. We’re confident our combined efforts with ProPublica will yield meaningful work that makes a difference in our commonwealth,” the paper said.

In a bizarre Facebook video, the governor sounded like a guy with something to hide. He also railed against the American Civil Liberties Union. Because: the Constitution.

Who's Holding the Courier-Journal Accountable…George "I-Hate-America" Soros?

OUTRAGEOUS. ProPublica, a left-wing activist group funded by the likes of George Soros, is now funding . . . "investigative reporting" at the Courier Journal. Is this the future of journalism? Who is holding the Courier-Journal accountable? Don't take my word for it! Check out the links below for more info: "ProPublica is the Left's Biggest Muckraker You Never Heard Of":"Credibility of Pulitzer Prize Takes a Hit by Rewarding ProPublica's Liberal Bias":

Posted by Governor Matt Bevin on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bevin is smarting from a September expose in which it was revealed he hired an old Army buddy and business associate as the state’s information officer, then gave him a 134-percent salary increase after less than a year on the job.

“Very nice to meet you, too,” Pro Publica tweeted in response.

  • Guest

    “Methinks thou dost protest too much”

    • The best way to convince someone you’re innocent of something is not to act like you’re guilty.

  • MrE85

    Whatever the Courier Journal is doing, they are doing it right.

    • Sonny T

      Unless they are teaming with a political party. That wouldn’t be good journalism.

      • Agree, but they aren’t.

        • Sonny T

          It’s not cut and dried. Propublica has critics.

          • Can you cite any that aren’t hyper-partisan sources, or won’t it fit in to the narrative you’re attempting?

          • Sonny T

            It’s not cut and dried. That’s my narrative. Googling them produces a variety of opinions.

          • Laurie K.

            So you are saying that only news sources that have no critics are non-partisan and relaible? Because good luck finding one of those…

          • Sonny T

            What? Are you saying all journalism is biased?

          • Laurie K.

            No, I am saying that as American citizens, we have the power to criticize without basing that criticism in anything that looks remotely like a fact. We just have to disagree with it… I am a critic of your news agency… boom, you are no longer reliable…

          • So “No, I can not.” Got it.

          • Sonny T

            Oh come on. Google them. Their critics are far from “hyper-partisan”.

            Listen, if you feel Propublica is a neutral news agency, then that’s your opinion. Others have other opinions.

          • You made the claim. The onus is on you to prove that claim. “Google them” isn’t proof, it’s a cop out.

          • It’s troubling how many people have a belief, then spend their time Googling what will appear to confirm it.

            Maybe the intellectually honest thing to do for someone is to actually read the totality of their work and assemble a journalistically sound alternative conclusion and then present it.

            I mean, cripes, all of ProPublica’s work is RIGHT THERE. You don’t even have to google it. You just have to read and then begin your own research to determine whether it’s correct or not.

          • Sonny T

            I take it you feel critics of Propublica are akin to the wackos who go after the Strib. In this case we have a simple disagreement.

            Do you realize what it would take to, “read the totality of their work and assemble a journalistically sound alternative conclusion” ? That’s not a thread contribution. That’s a master’s thesis.

          • /Do you realize what it would take to, “read the totality of their work and assemble a journalistically sound alternative conclusion”

            You obviously have an opinion about Pro Publica’s journalism. At the same time you’re saying it’s too hard to actually read the journalism.

            What you’re actually saying is you have an opinion. It is unfortunately an UNinformed opinion. Those are not as valuable, nor do they invite belief, as an informed opinion does.

            I think the Star Tribune, as any new organization , is fair game. But an analysis of their journalism is of more value than just saying “they’re the star and sickle.”

            You can get that sort of intellectual value at midnight from anyone blowing a .08.

          • Sonny T

            I’m saying there are legitimate, non-wacko detractors. That’s all.

          • In their assessment of the journalism, what makes them legitimate in your view?

          • Sonny T

            They’re not nuts 🙂

          • Wrong answer. What makes them legitimate or not as critics of journalism is whether they can assess the journalism in an intellectually honest way.

            You can’t evaluate whether they’re legitimate — on this specific question — or not because you haven’t armed yourself with the tools to do so.

            The tools to do so consists in large part on reading the journalism that’s being criticized.

          • Sonny T

            Okay, let’s get this over with. I say Propublica is suspect because of Source A. You say Source A can’t be trusted. So I cite Source B. You say Source B can’t be… ‘ Uff da.

            Let’s cut to the chase and move on. Your article holds the governor up for mockery and ridicule. I suggested we MIGHT have some reason to pause for thought. That’s all.

          • Your assessment is absolutely incorrect. I’ve said nothing about what source you have and whether it can or cannot be trusted because you haven’t done anything other than say ‘google it.’

            I’m saying if there’s criticism of the journalism and if you’re saying it’s valid criticism, then let’s hear why you think it is.

            You haven’t done that and, moreover, you’ve said it’s too had to read the journalism which you’re clearly questioning by saying other sources don’t care for it.

            This seems very simple: Cite the journalism in question.

            Why is this so hard?

          • Sonny T

            Wiki them. There’s enough there to hit the pause button.

            I’m not saying they can’t do a good job investigating. I’m saying when a local paper “partners” with a big national organization that MIGHT have ideological leanings, it is legitimate to question all aspects.

          • // is legitimate to question all aspects.

            All aspects EXCEPT the journalism. too hard.

            got it.

          • X.A. Smith

            “Googling them produces a variety of opinions.” That is insight.

          • Sonny T

            Clearly I meant reading the results.

          • Joe

            “Propublica has critics” does not equal “Propublica is a political party”

          • Sonny T

            If you didn’t know what I meant, substitute agenda for party. They are the same.

          • Tyler

            Who? Fox “News”?

          • Sonny T

            I think you would have a hard time making the argument Propublica is without ideological leanings.

          • Make your case that they are

          • Sonny T

            Bob, this is exhausting. And also off-thread, as you are wont to remind us.

            My point, on-thread, is newspapers have to avoid partisan activity. Propublica is not the Strib.

          • Not off thread at all, it’s precisely to the point. If you;re evaluating the journalism — and you are. So is the governor — then evaluate the journalism. Read it. Assess it. Rebut it.

            “Just google it” is lazy and intellectually corrupt.

          • Sonny T

            I’m saying Propublica has legitimate critics. You don’t agree they are legitimate. But the critics aren’t along the lines of the Flat Earth Society.

          • Rob

            Talk is cheap. Give us some links to legitimate, fact-based criticism of Pro Publica.

          • Sonny T

            What’s the use? You will simply take exception to everything I cite.

          • You haven’t cited anything. Not one single citation.

          • Sonny T

            Just go to their home page. They’re about like CNN. Not bad, but a tad left-leaning. I like CNN by the way.

          • Joe

            You still have yet to cite anything other than “their board happens to have some liberal people”.

            Does a news organization have to not only not have anyone with a political opinion anywhere within it, but also find a board that does not have anyone with a political opinion to do “good journalism”? Seems a tough task.

            That probably isn’t your opinion, but since you’ve typed out 35 comments without actually stating what your opinion IS, I’m left to speculate.

          • Sonny T

            I think a board should be diverse.

            My opinion is a local paper might watch who they partner with.

          • The Resistance

            Here’s a thought.

            Why don’t we wait to see what their reporting comes up with on this issue and then debate whether or not they did a fair and complete job?

            The big story to me here is not ProPublica’s political bent. It’s that the governor is acting like someone with Something Big to hide and took his talking points (“failing LCJ, etc.”) from the playbook of the leader of his party even before one word has been published.

            This is precisely what Time magazine wrote about when they picked their annual cover page.

          • “A tad left learning”


          • Sonny T

            There’s the scandal du jour on Trump. Of course that sells, so you can’t really blame them. Let’s quit. Although something tells me there would be significant diversity of opinion in this thread if Fox teamed up with the St. Cloud Times to go after Gov. Dayton.

          • You could’ve read and researched — or at least have been able to name one — three of their investigations in the time it took you today to question the journalism of the organization without actually reading any of it.


            ProPublica is pretty center of center…

          • RBHolb

            “There’s the scandal du jour on Trump. Of course that sells, so you can’t really blame them.”

            Another way of looking at it is that Donald Trump is–God help us all–President of the United States, so a scandal involving him is legitimate news. One could easily make the argument that sitting on a story about a scandal is an even more pernicious form of bias.

          • It’s also not a scandal du jour. It’s the same growing scandal . It’s just that as more evidence has come forward, the original claims of payoffs to women to keep them quiet, and of the acquiescence by a conservative media company to keep the payoffs secret, increasingly are proving the original allegations to be true.

          • Sonny T

            Talk about off-thread Bob. All this will be gone in a year. Clinton got record ratings not long after an incredible onslaught.

            It’s not worth talking about. What will happen will happen. I think Trump’s being “Clintoned”. You think otherwise. We’ll see.

          • The Resistance

            I don’t think Dayton would be too worried if Fox and the SCT investigated his relationships with his old buddies.

            On the other hand, I could feel the sweat beads rolling off of Bevins’ forehead while I was watching his strange, defensive video.

          • king harvest

            There was no mention about “going after” anyone. Why would you assume that?
            If Fox and the St Cloud Times discovered wrong doing after investigation, I have no problem with that.
            Of course Fox is on record stating that they don’t have to present actual facts so there’s that.

          • Rob

            Not if it’s from legitimate, fact-based media. Still waiting.

          • Sonny T


            Everyone connected with them is an extreme Liberal, from founders to funders to every board member.

          • // Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Atlantic Philanthropies

            So your issue with them isn’t with the journalism, which again you’ve failed to cite and refuse to read, but with what you see as liberal backing.

            Presumably, your fear of this is that it impacts the journalism.

            So here we are back again — where’s the proof of that your fear is well founded?

            Show us the journalism.

            /// “everyone connected with them”

            You actually haven’t done any research. You’re just adopting your supposition and passing it as fact. Your wikipedia article, from which you’re apparently making your conclusion doesn’t list “everyone connected with them” nor does it list all of the funders.

            You’re looking for something — anything — that you can latch on to to support your claim while trying to avoid actually reading and analyzing the very foundation of your claim — the journalism.

            there’ no way to get around this. You’re going to HAVE to read the journalism.

          • Sonny T

            I assume you know what a board does. These members would be surprised, even offended if you called them anything but Democrats.

          • What does a board do, Sonny?

          • Sonny T

            They oversee every aspect of the organization.

          • Does a board provide editorial direction? Does it review stories before being published?

          • Sonny T

            No. But if they set my salary, I’m sure gonna keep my eye on them.

          • So the board doesn’t set editorial direction. It doesn’t review the stories.

            so your concern again with the integrity of Pro Publica is what , again?

          • Sonny T

            You know which side of the bread to butter.

          • And there would be evidence of that showing up in the journalism.

            Whoops, there we are again: the journalism. Read any of it yet?

          • Rob

            Your point being?

          • Sonny T

            Everyone connected with them is an extreme Liberal, from founders to funders to every board member.

          • Wondering if you can give us some insight on the Leon Levy foundation and what made Leon a liberal and also who runs the foundation there.

            Also the Craigslist Foundation. What can you tell us about Lynn, the pride of Hettinger, N.D.?

            I assume you have that information because you used the word “everyone”.

            What about the Knight Foundation, the foundation of the newspaper family.

            Here’s their mission statement.

            We believe in freedom of expression and in the values expressed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

            We believe that quality information is essential for individuals and communities to make their own best choices, and that journalism plays a critical role in that democratic process.1

            We believe in equitable, inclusive and participatory communities.

            Is it liberal to believe in an equitable and inclusive society? How about the First Amendment. Do only liberals believe in it? Can you believe in an informed society and be a conservative too? What makes them liberals?

            Also do you have the list of all the individual funders? Who are they. How is it you know they’re liberal?

          • Sonny T

            The board is listed in Wiki

          • Actually it doesn’t, you’ve just been too lazy to do proper research to continue your innuendo slinging . Wiki lists 5 board members. There are 13 on the ProPublica board. What makes each of them liberal in your fact-checking of the board?

            There are 15 journalism advisory board members. David Gergen is one of them. Is he a liberal? What makes him a liberal?

            What about Allan Sloan?

            There are 22 members of its business advisory group. What specifically can you tell us about them?

          • Sonny T

            I give up Bob. You win. They have a diverse board of competing political interests. Don’t know if this is true. But too exhausted to continue.

          • I beg you in the interest of democracy. PLEASE begin to understand the importance of educating YOURSELF on topics that are important. Don’t let online searches and wiki be your substitute for taking your initiative, then using critical thinking skills to inform yourself.

            What you’ve displayed in this thread today — and I’m sorry to pick on you — is the threat to the democratic process and society.

            You’ve GOT to break the chain and use — as they say — what god gave you.

          • Sonny T

            If every one of their board members is a fire-breathing liberal, would this change your thinking?

          • My thinking is Pro Publica does really great journalism. What would change my thinking is someone who can provide a citation of it in any claim that it doesn’t.

          • Sonny T

            Perhaps. But there are detractors, and teaming up with them might weaken a local paper. That’s my point.

          • There are probabilities and possibilities. What are the probabilities, given the journalism and partnerships that Pro Publica has produced in the past, in your opinion?

          • Sonny T

            The likelihood of good journalism is good. But in a hot political climate, the criticism would be there. This is my point.

            If the Koch brothers got their greedy little mitts on a paper, loaded the board with conservative firebrands, then broke an expose on, say, Mueller, what’s the first thing you’d say? I thought so.

          • // If the Koch brothers got their greedy little mitts on a paper, loaded the board with conservative firebrands, then broke an expose on, say, Mueller, what’s the first thing you’d say? I thought so.

            Well we have actual journalism to evaluate in the hands of “conservative firebrands.” FoxNews, for example. And Sinclair.

            On the other hand, Glen Taylor is a conservative owner of the Star Tribune and they do fine journalism.

            So how do we evaluate all of these.

            By reading the journalism.

            There are a lot of threats to the future of the United States. The complete lack of critical thinking skills, however, is at the very top of the list.

          • Sonny T

            I have stated unequivocally my point. I have refused to engage in a fruitless and silly and illogical back and forth on “the journalism”.

            You seem determined to insult my intelligence, just as you were determined to label me a racist in previous threads. This is dispiriting, to say the least.

          • Nobody had denied that you’ve stated unequivocally your point. What they’ve sought from you, Sonny, is something of substance behind it.

            I’m not insulting your intelligence. I’m insulting your knowledge which you’ve already acknowledged you were too tired to obtain by researching the journalism of ProPublica before you, basically, joined in the shallow innuendo of it exhibited by the Kentucky governor, reducing this comment sectio to the value of a newspaper’s comment section.

            I think it’s awesome to have beliefs intellectually challenged but you’re not doing that so you’ve turned an opportunity for awesomeness into a tiresome exercise of amplified deliberate ignorance. Yeah, that’s frustrating for anyone who believes a comment section should be better than that or anyone who believe that INFORMED opinions can lead to a productive discussion.

            What an opportunity you missed today.

            “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people,” Thomas Jefferson said.

            You really let Jefferson down today. And, I fear, have proven his worry correct.

            But what really sucks is it feels like you deliberately trashed the comments section today.

          • Sonny T

            It’s the optics, not the journalism, stated endlessly.

            And innuendo is what you’re engaging in when you quote Jefferson.

          • Try to be better at this tomorrow. You came to this discussion today completely unprepared.

          • Rob

            Is “extremely liberal” how the Wikipedia listing refers to the board members? And at any rate, that’s got eff-all to do with whether ProPublica’s journalism is fair and accurate. Still waiting.

          • Sonny T

            A news agency funded and run by liberals opens itself to legitimate scrutiny.

          • And yet, you steadfastly refuse to give it any. First, you don’t even know it’s “run by liberals”, you can only name the five board members you found on wikipedia, you acknowledge the board doesn’t have anything to do with the editorial performance, you don’t know the editor, his routine, or his/her bona fides, and — most egregous — you don’t read the journalism to determine whether your unresearched hypothesis tests against it.

            But the biggest problem is you seem almost prideful of your lack of intellectual curiosity while characterizing it as legitimate scrutiny.

          • Sonny T

            Because it does not warrant our attention. Questioning these aspects of a news agency is legitimate. That’s my opinion. Others have others.

          • The extent of your laziness in analyzing this news agency is truly stunning. You’ve found time, somehow, in the last four hours to display an astounding lack of intellectual curiosity about that which you contend you’re curious.

            You could’ve in that time, picked any of Pro Publica’s investigations to read. You could’ve read 10 of them. I think I can speak for others that we probably would’ve been satisfied with just one.

            But you didn’t.

            You seem to be trying to convince us of your conclusion today while clearly being completely disinterested in properly informing yourself by ANY academic standard.

            You’ve spent all day, basically, asking people to adopt your uninformed and unresearched claims on faith when you could easily influence opinion by actually researching the agency in a legitimate fashion, and consider the actual journalism that it produces in determining whether it is doing good work or not.

            If your alternative to being properly informed is just to say “liberals”, well, I’m really not sure what you’re looking for from people who consider honest intellectual pursuit and query a little bit more stimulating than that.

          • Sonny T

            I could. I have read several of their pieces. I can spot a couple minor issues. If I brought them to you you’d say “NOT SO. THIS IS FACT.


            Can we leave this? It’s not the point. The point is teaming with this organization might, just might, produce the kind of criticism I suggested.

          • // e the kind of criticism I suggested.


            So what if it does?

          • Sonny T


            If this means nothing to you, again, we have a simple difference of opinion.

          • Rob

            ProPublica may have critics in the hate-based media, but I’d be interested in any link to critical commentary coming from legitimate, fact-based media that you can provide. Cuz my guess is that you’ll come up dry.

  • RBHolb

    Here’s a man who sounds like he has nothing to fear from investigative journalism.

    • MikeB

      Accountability is kryptonite to snowflakes

  • A Trump toady trots out the Soros and ACLU bogeymen. I’d like to say I’m shocked, but…

    • RBHolb

      Watch out for Soros. That rootless cosmopolitan has his tentacles all over the globe.

      • Browsing your comment history, I think you’re being sarcastic, but I can’t be sure.

        • RBHolb

          You are correct.

    • Jerry

      “George Soros” is the 21st century version of “the Rothschilds” to a certain group of people.

  • Jerry

    Of course the governor of KY is going to try to slip his shady dealings past the press.

  • Rob

    The cockroach will always try to scurry from the sunlight.

  • Yeah, I know. I just thought the All Sides Media Bias website might prove useful since they seem to have a fairly bulletproof method of rating news organizations for bias.

  • Sonny T

    Hope you didn’t miss the part where he committed felony perjury.

  • Sonny T

    I have pointed out the partisan connections. These can be used against a newspaper, rightly or wrongly. I am done.

    I am not going to engage in a futile back and forth, as I have explained to exhaustion.

  • lindblomeagles

    Time to step down Mr. Bevin. This moment of truth is just too big for you.