Monday, May 26, 2014


Ordinarily my colleagues at the local TV stations do not share my view that often the primary is the more important election of the year…but they had been telling us for weeks how important this primary was..the Number One national Senate primary, for example.

So why did none of them devote air time to it?  And why didn’t they cover, live, the major speeches by Mitch, Matt, and Alison?

Instead, all we got was results at the bottom of the screen, and speech excerpts in regularly scheduled newscasts. (This worked to WLEX’s advantage since it has a regularly scheduled 7pm newscast and could devote as much of that half hour to returns as it wished.)

Now I went back-and-forth between the four local commercial channels, plus cn/2 and KET as best I could.  KET was the clear winner in election night coverage..when it came on at 8pm. They not only had the best lower screen graphics, but they were the only one to carry the 3 major speeches live. (They stuck with them too long, especially Mr. Bevin, who did come across as an intelligent, passionate candidate---finally.)

18’s graphics were next best, followed by 36, with 27—which tried to put too much into too small a space--- last. And none of the commercial stations I saw indicated who the incumbents were..which is vital information for viewers..and reporters, when control of the state House is at stake.

CN/2’s maps were far and away the best..when they used them. Its format of candidates pictures over an actual map of the district, with returns was very well done, and ought to be copied by the others in November. Especially, since CN/2’s future coverage is in doubt. Time Warner Cable,  is in the process of being sold to ComCast (which LFUCG should oppose) and its guiding spirit, Ryan Alessi, is leaving to pursue a master’s degree at Murray.  His comments on specific races were well done, but then the channel went off into its regular sports and weather reports, which often meant the bottom screen election numbers were mixed in with dew points and temperatures..a confusing mix!

KET had its usual analysis, actually too much of it, spending more time here than on actual returns to my liking. And poor Al Cross got sandwiched  in between the slings of a former state Democratic chairlady and the arrows of a former state Republican chairlady---while manfully holding his own.

And folks, you can NOT report—as I once saw 2200 votes and 0%!  The percent may be, probably is, less than 1% but it is NOT zero percent.

If this was our commercial stations’ tune-up for November, viewers are in big trouble.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, May 18, 2014


General Motors has recalled over 11 million cars (of various model years) so far this year. Last year GM produced a record breaking 10 million cars. At the rate of its defects the lousy cars will keep on outnumbering the good ones. That is..if GM, which owes its life to its US customers whose tax monies bailed it out, comes clean about its defects..and if various federal agencies charged with protecting us do their job---which they haven’t.

Pat Dugger, head of Fayette Counties emergency management agency, told 27’s Bill Bryant of the 3 local disasters she fears the most. One was a tornado striking in the heart of downtown.  So why do we keep on building tornado prone buildings down there..such as the “Glass Box”, part of CentrePointe?  Glass is notoriously subject to wind damage, yet a city agency last week okayed several more floors, more glass in the “box.”

Senator McConnell called me Sunday night…well, his recorded tape  did, asking me to vote for him. Waste of his money and my time. Wrong pew, Senator. When I came here almost 40 years ago I could not register, as I wanted to, as an Independent…without giving up my vote in the crucial primary elections. The primary often determines who wins in November, so I felt forced to register to vote then..and since then the really big choices were in the Democratic primary, I so registered.   Yes, the state has a right to set such laws, and keep parties from attempting to sabotage each other by having bogus “independents” vote elsewhere..but can’t someway be found to let people like me exercise our interest in civics in a better way???

Reporters have lousy memories. Saw several local pundits and a few national ones last week discussing HRC’s possible run for the Presidency in ’16, and the “inevitability” of her nomination.  Didn’t I hear that all thru the ’08 primaries, and we all know how our first lady chief executive fared then.


Speaking of primaries, where are the news media’s stories analyzing the candidates’ ads for truthiness? Have seen none so far in print (and never in broadcasting, a really big flaw in that media’s operating
“in the public interest”—as the law requires.)  A top newspaper official told me his paper would run these this fall. I hope so. Kentucky voters need to know: we are not under attack, there is no war on coal, and BTW..if it’s fair game to ask a state official if she supports the national Democratic platform, isn’t it fair game to ask the Republican Senate leader if he does??  Darn if I’ve seen any questions like that from our reporters.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Our mayors have launched co-operation and some joint consultations between our two largest cities—Louisville and Lexington..and basically that’s a good idea. Unnecessary competition helps no one, including the rest of the state.

And Lexington could certainly take a leaf from the Louisville playbook on how to get state funds..for roads and Rupp Arena..when Louisville gets so much for the Yum? Center, which so far is not financially viable, and we get so much less for Rupp Arena, which is a success.

But, co-operation has its limits.

Am I the only one who has noticed the serious poaching Louisville has done on “our” Bourbon?

Hey, what’s that county next to Fayette named? Where was bourbon started, and first made, and made into a commodity that is world-famous, taking Kentucky along with it as its home?  T’wasn’t Louisville.

Yes, there are distilleries nearby there, some very well known. The same is true, in spades down here in Central why is Louisville promoting itself as “Bourbon Country”, and it as the center of the “Urban Bourbon Trail”? And  who has a multi-day, multi-hundred dollars bourbon seminar and “tasting experience”  Taint Lexington.

So either Lou-ah-vul is poaching…or Lexington and Central Kentucky are asleep at the switch...(and both may be true!)...missing several golden opportunities.

Lexington needs to redouble its efforts promoting THIS area as the true home of Bourbon. We need a downtown “tasting center” for area bourbons (and area wines!) We need to redouble promotional efforts that we are the place the Bourbon Trail begins and ends—with all the collateral benefits that means..and we need to be doing it NOW.

Otherwise, one day we will find Louisville promoting itself as the “Horse Capital of the World”, based on just one race a year.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Now that the Derby is over, the word from Louisville and Lexington TV stations is that the Silly Season will soon begin…that slew of TV political commercials.

Not that we haven’t had some up til now, but with the primary May 20th, last minute commercials from primary candidates will intensify, and there is advance word the candidates who seem like November contenders will be starting their commercials as well, and soon.

The PBS News Hour discussed that this week, and whether negative commercials work…the pros say Yes, but I am not so sure..and there is enough evidence that individual local races can be won by being positive to hardly make the negative approach a sure winner.

Mayor Jim Gray doesn’t think so. He began his re-election TV campaign this past week with a well done, very positive, one minute commercial. He used the time and approach to cite his achievements in office..which also gives his opponents topics to  challenge and contest…that is proper, and such rebuttals are not “negative.”

The Herald Leader has already endorsed the Mayor and former police chief Anthany Beatty in the primary, as I would. And from what I know of Chief Beatty I would expect his eventual  commercials to be in the same vein..positive, and citing his views on local issues.

I have a sneaking suspicion this November election will end up being a referendum on “growth” in general, and the future of Rupp Arena in particular..and that’s as it should be. We have two good men running here, and Lexington may well be cited later as to how  candidates for Mayor can run positive  campaigns, on the issues, in more than thirty seconds..and if so, we, Lexington, the political process, and American Democracy will all be winners.

I'm just sayin'...