Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another example of anti-Fletcher media bias

Today's Lexington Herald-Leader contains a lengthy story on the status of a legal defense fund set up by Gov. Fletcher's supporters to help ease the personal financial burden laid upon him by Attorney General Greg Stumbo's reckless prosecution in the state hiring investigation.

It can be said, of course, that the whole story is designed as yet another volley fired against Fletcher by a hostile media outlet as the governor faces not only a tough re-election challenge from the Democrats, but a display of disloyalty from within his own party in the form of two primary challengers, Assistant Attorney General Billy Harper and Assistant Attorney General Anne Northup. That becomes evident when you see that the first quote in the story comes from Lt. Gov. and Assistant Attorney General Steve Pence.

But if one ever needed proof of just how biased the state's largest press outlets have been against Fletcher and his administration, one need look only at a phrase commonly used by the media and repeated again in this story.

"Fletcher did not pardon himself but agreed to a plea deal with Stumbo last August that ended the investigation."

BZZT. Wrong. This was NOT a plea deal!. Yet the press continues to throw that phrase around because as used, it does damage to Fletcher.

Fletcher pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges levied against him by the grand jury composed primarily of merit employees and Democrats. He never wavered from his assertions of innocence and never changed his plea.

A plea deal occurs when a defendant pleads guilty, usually to a reduced charge, and accepts a lighter sentence than would have been levied at trial. This is usually done because the defendant agrees to testify against someone else, or because the evidence looks pretty convincing and the perp doesn't want to risk what might happen at trial.

While Fletcher may have agreed to -- and signed off -- on the language in a court document, this was no plea deal. This was a dismissal of the charges with prejudice by the prosecutor Most likely this happened for two reasons: Stumbo needed the investigation over with to comply with an Ethics Commission ruling and further his political ambitions (he's on a gubernatorial slate now, isn't he?) and because he realized the actual evidence against the governor was very weak and would deteriorate even further since the Kentucky Supreme Court had ruled that the governor could not be tried until he was out of office.

Yet the press continues to improperly refer to this as a plea deal. It was nothing of the sort. What it was instead was Stumbo folding his tent and going home, to contemplate his gubernatorial ambitions. The only deal was Fletcher signing off on the language used in the dismissal order.

Of course we don't expect pointing out this error to do any good. The anti-Fletcher liberal press will continue to use its power to work against the Republican governor, but at least they will know that someone's out there keeping an eye on their accuracy.


At 3:52 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anti-Fletcher bias in the mainstream media is long gone. They want him to run against a Democrat in November 2007.

At 4:26 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe they call that reverse discrimination!

Pardon my intrusion as I say ANYBODY BUT THE TRAITOR NORTHUP!

At 6:11 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous JessWhitestrom said...

Anti-Fletcher bias? A sotry about his defense fund contributions not being fair game? You guys are sad. How do we know he is not trading those fund contributions for future favors? You guys have clearly taken leave of your senses.

At 8:36 PM, February 22, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

The use of the term "plea deal" is what bothers us more than the story about the fund itself, but since you bring it up....

We see Assistant Attorney General Anne Northup has weighed in on the subject through a press release issued by Assistant Attorney General Barry Peel. The sad part is that Fletcher wouldn't even need to have a legal defense fund if McConnell's boy Dan Druen hadn't gotten too big for his britches and come up with a "hit list" and if some of Fletcher's former supporters who are now backing Northup hadn't started demanding more jobs in the Transportation Cabinet for Republicans.

If one particular person from Assistant Attorney General Jeff Hoover's home county jumps the Fletcher ship and comes out for Northup, we know someone who is itching to tell the world something he said during one of those LINK conference calls. That revelation should silence anything the Northup-Hoover ticket has to say in the future about Fletcher and the merit system deal.

At 3:15 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous PhilHarrelson said...

Please, your obvious bias for Fletcher, notice I said bias, not support, coupled with your patheic tactics, slamming Stumbo for marital infideliy, getting personal, way out of bounds, you guys should do all of us a favor and shut up now.

At 9:48 AM, February 23, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

We will proudly admit our bias and support (in this case they are interchangeable) for Ernie Fletcher. With the exception of John Y. Brown, at least one person here has had personal dealings with every governor since Julian Carroll, and none can measure up to Fletcher as a person of integrity.

Our problem -- well, one of our problems -- with Stumbo isn't his marital infidelity per se, but what came out of it. He fathered a child with someone other than his wife, refused to fulfill his legal obligation to pay child support until the kid's mother had to go to court to get him to pay up, then he turned around and accused her in a lawsuit of harrasssing him because she had the temerity to sue him to get him to do what the law required of him. All this, and the man is the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is asking to be put in a position of being a heartbeat away from the Governor's Office.

Our contempt for Stumbo shows no bounds. There are some honorable Democrats in this state. Greg Stumbo is not one of them. Not one of us would throw water on him if he was on fire.

At 10:56 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous TomSimpson said...

It shows that you are petty and pathetic. Grow up and then maybe you can vote.

At 7:10 PM, February 24, 2007, Blogger K-Pac II said...

We'll be darned. The Herald-Leader actually corrected its error.

We aren't holding our breaths, though, waiting for an apology for the way they have trashed Gov. Fletcher the last four years. Actually, pretty much since he got elected to Congress.


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