Two members of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ inner circle have come to his defense as speculation swirls in Anchorage about Berkowitz and a reporter.
Your Alaska Link news anchor Maria Athens, who remains in custody on Sunday afternoon, blew up the mayor’s life on Friday when she posted a photo of a man’s naked backside on Facebook, implying it was the mayor. The physique and the head of hair resemble Berkowitz, but in this era, photos can be faked.
What is unclear is how Athens got the photo of the man’s backside and what her motivation is for posting it. Did she have a special hatred of the mayor and his wife?
Berkowitz’ friends were quick to condemn the woman.
“Ethan Berkowitz shouldn’t have to go through this. There is no basis for any of it. Stay strong my friend,” wrote Eric Croft, a close friend of the mayor. Croft is running for mayor, as Berkowitz is term-limited out next April. Many on Croft’s Facebook page agreed in varying degrees of expressed solidarity and vitriol.
Assembly member Forrest Dunbar, also running for mayor, also came to the defense of his fellow Democrat Berkowitz, who is the highest ranked Democrat elected official in Alaska.
“Yesterday, a woman made wild and unsubstantiated charges against the Mayor. Her behavior in the past months, in which she has shown up at Assembly Meetings while refusing to wear a mask, produced bizarre and slanted pieces of pseudo-journalism, and become ever more enmeshed in conspiratorial thinking of the far-right, indicate that she may be mentally unwell,” Dunbar wrote.
“What’s perhaps more disturbing is that hundreds of people on this website credulous shared her accusations, so consumed are they with hatred towards Ethan that they would apparently believe any lie told about him. This piece had exactly as much evidence as the debunked notion that he used his emergency powers to close restaurants because of his own business interests. Both stories are vivid examples that old saying: ‘A lie gets twice around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.'”
Without knowing whether the Athens’ allegations about the mayor, his genitals, and an underage girl are true, both mayoral candidates say they are lies.
Dunbar, in his scolding essay on Facebook, says the charges are unfounded and fraudulent. He says he has known Berkowitz and his wife Mara Kimmel for years and they are ‘decent, honest, public-minded people.”
More than 50 hours after the first posting on Facebook by Athens, the mayor of Anchorage has been nowhere to be found. A police detail was at his house overnight on Friday but has been scaled back, Must Read Alaska has learned.
Berkowitz has made no public statement about whether the photo posted on Facebook of the naked man is him. He’s made no public statement at all, in fact, other than a vague press release on Saturday, which denied all the allegations as slanderous.
The response from the Left — not believing a woman in this #believeallwomen era — and the silence from Alaska’s largest newspaper is now the topic of discussion in many circles in Anchorage.
No story has yet appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, more than 50 hours after the incident first blew up with the bizarre video posting and the nude pictures on Facebook regarding the mayor. The newspaper ran a story about the mayor’s proposed budget on Sunday afternoon.
KTUU ran a brief story that discredited Athens on Saturday, mainly relying on the official police statement that an investigation turned up no credible evidence that Berkowitz was involved in illegal sexual activities.
It’s in stark contrast to how the media treated former Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, when he was let go from his job after a series of uncomfortable and flirtatious text exchanges between him and an employee in the Governor’s Office.
The media was also quick to report unsubstantiated allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But today, it’s keeping mum about Democrat Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.