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Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Fagan: Berkowitz has no one to blame but himself

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By DAN FAGAN

Ethan Berkowitz has left his position as mayor in disgrace. But it’s not just his extramarital affair with a former news anchor that will forever leave a black mark on his record. 

Berkowitz was an abject failure as mayor in just about every way. He leaves a city behind with an economy in shambles thanks to his unreasonable, destructive, and rigid lockdowns. He denied the businesses he destroyed the help the federal government offered and instead used most of the money for his pet liberal projects. 

Berkowitz also grew the drug-and-alcohol-addicted vagrant population exponentially.  

His rubber stamp Assembly majority did nothing to curb Berkowitz and his Leftist agenda. It has been the most radical agenda ever imposed on the people of Anchorage. 

It should be said there’s no evidence that’s surfaced, thus far, corroborating the charge by former news anchor Maria Athens that Berkowitz sent naked pictures of himself to an underage girl’s website. Athens put her career on the line with the charges and has yet to back them up. It appears she got some bad information and then decided to run with it anyway. 

The confusion for Athens began when she was interviewing a woman by the name of Molly Blakely on Friday. Blakley mistakenly told Athens her daughter was an underaged escort for the mayor a couple of years ago. But Blakley’s daughter never told her mother that Berkowitz was a customer. Instead, she told Blakley she was an escort for a short man who worked for the state of Alaska. Blakely assumed it was Berkowitz because of his diminutive stature. 

The daughter confronted her mother after the story broke telling her it wasn’t Berkowitz. The daughter released a voice mail Blakely left on her phone backing up her claims. 

“I was calling to tell you that I told the police that it wasn’t him. I don’t know what more to say. No one knows anything about us being involved in any way. Yes, what I told her (Athens) triggered her.  I did not make it up on purpose. I didn’t even make it up. You told me that and I just added one and one together and I made an assumption that was wrong.”

But it was too late. Blakely’s misinformation set the scorned Athens off. Berkowitz’s former lover exploded in anger. Blakely and Athens then traveled to Kriner’s Diner. There, Athens, in front of several witnesses, left the following loud, animated, and profanity-laced message on Berkowitz’s voice mail: 

“Ethan, it’s Maria Athens from Fox, ABC, CW, Newsnet National Alaska. I just learned through my uh Emmy award-winning journalism you’re also a pedophile and like little girls and children and there’s a website. I’m so fucking exposing you. I’m gonna get an Emmy so you either turn yourself in, kill yourself, or do what you need to do. I will personally kill you and Mara Kimmel my God damn self you Jewish piece of living fucking shit. You have met your match mother fucker. You have met your mother fucking match. I can’t believe I am such a good person and thought I loved you. I fucking hate, I don’t even hate you. I will pray your Zionist fucking ass you piece of shit loser. And I’m putting this on the news tonight. Bye. Have a great Friday you mother fucker.”

Blakely later sent a text to her daughter describing witnessing Athens leaving the phone message: 

“She is super unstable. Was even yelling the F word in Kriner’s diner. And people were calling her out on FB and she was cussing them out too. This was the reason I called. To tell you she lost her mind. Apparently, she had a 3 year affair with him. And he never left his wife. I knew none of this. She called him and threatened to kill him and his wife, On a voice message!!!” 

Later on Friday, Athens released on Facebook from her TV station a video promising to air a story that evening on how Berkowitz shared his genitalia on an underaged girl’s website. This appeared to be based on the new revelation, which was false, that Berkowitz hired an underaged escort. 

All Athens has offered as proof thus far is the nude picture Berkowitz sent to her while they were dating. After she posted her video claiming reliable sources told her the mayor was involved in sending nude pictures to an underage girl’s website, she posted the nude picture of Berkowitz with the heading: “PROOF Mayor Ethan Berkowitz #TakeThatHaters. 

Athen’s use of the word “proof” in her heading above the picture seems to indicate she wanted those challenging her on Facebook to believe the nude photo of Berkowitz was tied to an underage website. But the picture proved nothing.  

Blakely’s daughter heard of the video Athens cut from her TV station. She asked her mother via text: “Do you have the video?” Blakley responds: “I’ll get it, but know she made this all up!!” 

The teased story never aired after Scott Centers, the station’s general manager and Athen’s fiancé’ got into a physical altercation in the station’s parking lot. Athens was arrested for that altercation. 

We can’t know for sure if what Athens alleges about Berkowitz exposing himself to underage girls is true. And since there is no evidence proving it, we should give the mayor the benefit of the doubt, no matter how much we dislike his policies. 

But this we do know; Berkowitz had a careless and reckless affair with Athens, and it cost him his political career. Berkowitz has no one to blame but himself. 

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive radio show in Alaska on Newsradio 650 KENI. He splits his time between Anchorage and New Orleans. 

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  • Well, I have a feeling there is more… much more. Berkowitz is hoping that now, by resigning, some interest in this will fade as the next shiny object presents itself in the news feeds of the world and we will lose interest in this little crust on the gravy boat of life.
    .
    Let’s hope that the kiddie porn rumors are just that…rumors. Regardless of how much distain we have for this man, I surely don’t want it to be true that he’s contributed to the seedy underbelly of child pornography and the horrors that go with it. That would be absolutely unforgivable.

    • Rarely is what exposed the whole story. Also rarely, the truth comes out 100 percent. But, if it walks like a duck…….

  • I thought that Mara and Ethan had an open relationship? What’s with all of the Republican prudery?

  • Dan, you have shown yourself a balanced and fair reporter in this story.
    Thank you.
    Ethan should thank you as well. But I’m afraid he’s too busy asking for privacy, likely finally doing a little quarantine himself now.

  • Dan,
    While this is very titillating, don’t forget li’l Ethan’s other accomplishments as diminutive dictator:
    .
    Anchorage had several record years of homicides while Berkowitz was mayor.
    .
    Anchorage set records for grand theft auto ( the real kind, not a video game) while Berkowitz was mayor.
    .
    He has accomplished so much!

  • One of the reasons Ethan went down hard was due to the white hot anger aimed at him and his Assembly over the continuing shutdown, mask mandate, theft of CARES Act funds, and war on small businesses here in ANC. When he fell, there was no reservoir of good will, nobody other than 4-5 close friends who were all made fools of over the weekend, there to catch him. There was no benefit of the doubt.

    Message for the Assembly: You’re next. Cheers –

  • You print hearsay and speculation… sheesh.

  • Don’t let this pervert slink away without a real investigation of the child porn charges. We need Outside FBI personnel to dig around, not the local field office.

  • When Mike Pence made the statement that he will not dine alone with a woman who is not his wife, he was roundly criticized for it.

    Now, we know exactly why Mike Pence said that. When you are in politics in any way, who you associate with (and how) can destroy your career, family, and party.

    • A dinner and a dalliance are dissimilar.

    • DITTO – “Truer words were never spoken.”

  • It sounds to me like Fagan is doing damage control for the mayor here, by attempting to further marginalize Maria Athens. There exists no evidence that Berkowitz is innocent of the charges leveled by Athens, their exists no proof that the “escort” was of age at the time and that there were no laws broken by the mayor. This mayor would never have resigned in the face of a consensual , illicit affair. There is much more to this tale and it is Maria’s to tell.

    • How obtuse can you be?! It is impossible to prove a negative, which is what Berkowitz would have to do regarding the unsubstantiated allegations of Maria Athens. The supposed underaged woman has refuted the allegations. I know that the orange man has lowered the bar regarding resigning when sexual peccadilloes come to light, but some people are still stand-up individuals and do resign when they they have cheated on their spouses.

      • I agree that Berkowitz is innocent until proven guilty. However. Stand up individuals don’t cheat on their spouses. And unless the cheating directly affects their job, I have never understood why resigning, an empty gesture proving nothing, is standard fare.
        Berkowitz should be resigning because he has turned what is now the most crime riddled city in the US into a debt heavy homeless camp with a police force who clearly have given up

      • At least they come to light instead of being censured like you’re trying to do with the runt and like the media did with JFK.

      • You mean some people still resign when they are caught cheating their spouse!

  • Thank you!
    .
    Timely, proper, uncensored, and accurate journalism.
    .
    What a refreshing change, take note Anchorage media! @danfagan @suzannedowning

  • Thanks Dan, for a well balanced and non vindictive report on these occurrences. The Bible warns us about rejoicing when a sinner falls or is exposed!! In this case it was a local leader,not highly popular, but definitely in a position of authority over us In the MOA.

    • When the runt was exposed, it was similar to a boil getting lanced. It’s hard not to get excited about that…. that you’re finally being rid of pestilence. I’m not so certain that the Jews exiting Egypt with Moses weren’t just a little bit excited when the waves crashed in on the pursuing army.

  • @gannet No! Let’s hope the true story continues to take down the sick oilfield trash culture that has dominated Alaska politics and Media ever since oil was discovered in the Cook Inlet!
    And that would include the coke and meth capital of Alaska, The Valley , And its Queen Palin!

    • Ah yes, because there are no drugs, gangs, shootings, or stabbings in Anchorage. Just can’t deal with the demise of your little tin god’s fiefdom can you?

  • Good review and analysis of the chain of events.

  • I wonder if Berkowitz’s wife can also cuss like a truck driver, sailor, inmate?
    Hell hath no fury like two women scorned. There’s a job waiting for you at Brena’s Law Office, where you can join Bill Walker in the dust bin.

    • Byron Mallott IS dust. Brena’s law firm IS the dust bin.

  • Thanks for a balanced article, Dan.

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