There’s a stark contrast between the current governor and his predecessor, and it has nothing to do with political party affiliation.
Whereas former Gov. Matt Bevin used social media and radio interviews to get his message out to his constituents, Gov. Andy Beshear is front and center at press conferences and available to answer questions from reporters.
By spreading his message via social media, Bevin bypassed the media, one of whose fundamental functions is government watchdog. While some would say social media sites allowed Bevin to control the message he wanted sent through direct communication with voters, we strongly disagree.
To us, Bevin’s tendency to avoid reporters’ questions or make himself available to the press raised eyebrows about the transparency of his administration. He also made the media out to be the enemy and openly criticized reporters, calling them “pathetic” and saying that they peddle in “malarkey.”
Perhaps that is why it was so refreshing to hear Beshear openly praise the media for its role in spreading pertinent and accurate information regarding the coronavirus. On Monday, he specifically praised the Cynthiana Democrat, a newspaper that serves Harrison County — where numerous cases of the virus have been confirmed — for putting out a free special edition sent to all residents on ways to combat the virus.
Throughout the outbreak, the governor has consistently kept Kentuckians updated — sometimes to the tune of two or three press conferences a day. We appreciate his constantly composed demeanor, which we believe has helped to calm the worried masses.
“We will get through this together,” Beshear has said at each press conference since the first Kentucky resident was diagnosed with the virus late last week.
He is correct. Kentuckians are a hardy lot, and we get through times of trouble together. In fact, it's our motto: "United we stand, divided we fall."