Return of the reckless blogger: As usual, Nickolas plays fast & loose with the truth
Mark Nickolas and his bluegrassreport.org blog have never shown much regard for the truth, or for the reputation of good people. Nickolas routinely publishes falsehoods and smears decent individuals, and he never shows much remorse when he's wrong.
Once he restarted his blog from the wilds of Montana, it didn't take him long to revert to his old ways.
Prior to Nickolas shutting down his blog and moving to Montana, a known Fletcher-hater posted a rumor about the state Department of Revenue using prison labor to process income tax returns, which is a clear violation of state law.
When Nickolas restarted his online smear sheet, he used that "tip," along with another supposed scoop he picked up somewhere, and published those allegations as the God's honest truth, instead of merely questioning whether such had taken place. In the process he continued his smear campaign against good people, this time Marian Davis, a well-liked southeastern Kentuckian who recently left her post as commissioner of Revenue for a job with the Republican Party of Kentucky.
The only problem with Nickolas' assertions about the use of prison labor is that they are false.
Mark Hebert, the investigative journalist from WHAS-TV in Louisville and a reporter not known to be friendly to the Fletcher administration, did his own poking around into the matter. If there's anything to be found, especially if it will reflect badly on the current administration, Hebert will find it. This time, though, Hebert whiffed. He could find nothing to substantiate the allegations, and so posted on his own blog on WHAS's Web site.
When this little tidbit of information was pointed out to Nickolas, did he retract his previous statement? Apologize to Ms. Davis or the Fletcher administration? Admit his error?
Of course not. Nickolas' obsession with and hatred for Fletcher transcends all. And since he doesn't profess to be a journalist, he doesn't abide by the same standards of accuracy as most journalists do.
Then again, Nickolas has never worried about truth or accuracy. The number of individuals he's slimed in the name of partisan Democrat politics is long and impressive. The late Justice McAnulty. Chief Justice Lambert. Gov. Fletcher, of course. And now Marian Davis.
Plus, he's allowed comments that are libelous per se to remaiin on his blog after they were posted by some of his foaming-at-the-mouth followers. Accusations that two former Fletcher administration appointees are gay and exchanged love notes via the state e-mail system are probably the most egregious example. There are plenty of others; all one has to do is wade through the sewer that is BGR's comments section. It's gotten so bad that most of the conservatives who used to brave the stench to do battle with the liberals have departed, and now only a couple remain to fight the good fight and carry on the Lord's work.
Nickolas hasn't gotten his entire audience back yet, though. Some of the most notorious posters from the days when he operated out of the Bluegrass haven't returned, and with him being a couple of thousand miles away, he doesn't have his ear to the ground in the Commonwealth anymore. He has to rely on his "sources" such as the ones who fed him the bogus story about Revenue using prison labor.
As long as Nickolas continues to push false stories and doesn't back down from them when he's proven wrong by a respected reporter, who certainly took no great pleasure in finding something that exonerated the Fletcher administration of a potentially damaging allegation, his credibility will take a beating and he'll be exposed for the vindictive, partisan hack that he is.
And it couldn't happen to a more deserving person.