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.