The legislature starts meeting this week, with an agenda full of extremely important issues...not the least of which will be finances and education. Our two major newspapers editorialized Sunday on the crucial nature of this session and whether lawmakers could or would measure up to their challenge to make some hard decisions, especially on taxes and revenues in an election year.
And there was criticism of the governor for doing little on tax reform, which the state badly needs...after setting up a Blue Ribbon committee and promising its report would not just sit on a Frankfort shelf, as so many have before this one…only to have this tax reform report end up on some shelf in Frankfort, too, for a year.
Mr. Beshear will delivery his State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday, Jan. 7th, at 7pm. KET will carry the event live starting at 7pm. The commercial TV stations in Lexington probably will not bother to carry his talk...being too concerned with game shows and gossip reports which is too bad. The talk has become a staple on KET, but it originated on WKYT when I was news director and offered it to KET free for simulcast. In time the” ETs” and “Price is Right” won out, even for this one night of the year. Too Bad.
But at least our commercial networks paid attention to a major but sad Kentucky story last week, when the youngest of the Everly Brothers died.
CBS’s Sunday Morning paid tribute to Phil Everly, youngest of the Kentucky brothers who died at 74. Both CBS and the New York Times praised them as a “pioneer rock duo that inspired generations.” Sunday Morning’s music critic called them the sweetest sound in their field, and an inspiration to the Beatles.
I was reading the Times obituary, and thinking about the lack of news coverage our local commercial stations, radio and tv, give to state government news, even including the legislature…when my eye fell on another obituary in Sunday’s Times.
This was for a former reporter of theirs, Susan Rasky, who had won a national award for coverage of the Congressional debate over taxes and budgets...exactly what will consume Frankfort til mid-April. Ms. Rasky ended her career by teaching journalism in college for many years.
In a recent online chat she mentioned how excited we journalists get when some major national paper or network gets a “scoop," but she added in the Times story that "the truth is that a lot of the real work of media is the daily grind of less glamorous stories about state and local government...that’s where our watchdog role is so important, because no one else is watching.”
May I urge you to forgo “SportsCenter” and “Jerry Springer” on Tuesday night to hear what our governor has to say about very real problems that affect you and me, and what might be done about them…and then follow the coverage of this important General Assembly session on KET, WUKY, and our local commercial media…and feel very free to call and write them if you don’t think they are giving enough attention to the critical issues facing all Kentuckians.
I'm just sayin'...