Big oops: Alaska Beacon stumbles with ‘bit%*es of the highest order’ attack on an MRAK writer and an Alaska Redistricting Board member


It all started with Matt Buxton, an Alaska blogger, accusing a writer for Must Read Alaska of calling Alaska Redistricting Board members Melanie Bahnke and Nicole Borromeo “bitches of the highest order,” in an email that Buxton got his hands on through a public records request.

Buxton thought he had hit the motherlode in reporting. It was wrong, but par for the course for Buxton. Formerly with the mainstream media, Buxton runs a political blog and he is paid by leftist political operative Jim Lottsfeldt to attack conservatives. Lottsfeldt runs political strategy, advertising, and campaign accounts for Alaska liberal politicians and causes.

Win Gruening, whose columns run at MRAK, wrote nothing of the sort about the two women, who are the hard leftists on the Alaska Redistricting Board and who have acted theatrically and at times bizarrely during redistricting meetings.

Then James Brooks, writing for the new leftist blog, the Alaska Beacon, picked it up and ran with the story without reading the source document or even questioning Buxton’s work. After all, this is “bro culture reporting” in Alaska. They don’t question each other in the journalism world.

In his reporting, Brooks wrote that Redistricting Board member Budd Simpson had made the “bitches” comment about Bahnke and Borromeo.

Reporting in the Alaska Beacon, which says it is nonpartisan, shows it blaming Alaska Redistricting Board member Budd Simpson for a remark made by a citizen about two members of the board.bux

When Brooks was shown the mistake, he corrected it, but he then reverted to the first mistake, the one made by Buxton.

In his correction, Brooks writes that a “Republican political writer” had made the “bitches” comment. He means Win Gruening.

To be clear: It was not Win Gruening. It was Gruening’s wife who had made the apropos-but-tart comment in an email chain that included Budd Simpson and Win Gruening; the record that Buxton has shows it came from her phone, but that didn’t fit his narrative.

Neither Buxton nor Brooks took the time to look at the signature on the message that Buxton obtained through public records requests. This is an example of confirmation bias in the news media, “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values,” as described by Wikipedia.

Further, Win Gruening writes for the Juneau Empire twice a month, and simply allows Must Read Alaska to publish his columns after they appear at the Empire. This is something that Brooks knows, since he used to write for the Juneau Empire.

Reporting in the Alaska Beacon then says that a “Republican political writer” made the comment about “bitches.”

The Alaska Beacon launched on May 11 with four experienced mainstream reporters who will be covering political news in Alaska with a vengeance. The blog is a paid-for product of a leftist nonprofit project created by some of the biggest names in funding for leftist candidates. The news from the Beacon is available for mainstream outlets to use, free of charge. Already, the Juneau Empire has said it will be using the Beacon’s reporting to supplement its own.

The Anchorage Daily News picked up the Beacon’s report this morning and ran it. In this way, the Beacon will be shaping the political news and the views of readers all over the state as it serves at the new “Associated Press” for Alaska, with a left spin.

The States Newsroom project that the Alaska Beacon under is a stealth endeavor to better control the news narrative at the state level. Under the guise of “straight reporting,” it is better described as “leftwing propaganda of the highest order.”

Read: States Newsroom will have largest political reporting team in Alaska

Top political reporters in Alaska join progressive news organization that’s a front for left-wing propaganda

InfluenceWatch Podcast #215: States Newsroom’s Latest Frontier


  1. Thanks for exposing and sharing the truth, “the rest of the story “. These type of people and organizations add no value.
    Thanks for keeping things straight, dare I say honest to the best of your ability in a given slice of time.
    You’re the best, keep it up.

  2. The “Freekin Beecon” is already a joke. Biggest propoganda rag ever produced in Alaska, and everybody is fully apprised in the premises. Not a scintilla of truth spoken in it. Looks like Must Read Alaska hit a nerve with the Commies. Campaign donations coming at you,……..Suzanne…… our hero of Truthful reporting.

  3. On the surface it appears that the progressives cannot let the success of MRAK go unchallenged or (unbalanced) jealous?. Even at the sake of having the funding subsidized, unlike the humble beginning of MRAK. The other blogs are also-rans by comparison

  4. At first I was a disappointed to see an ad at the top of the page showing a woman taking a s***.

    After reading the article it seems fairly appropriate.

  5. Reporting without verification is how these people operate. Facts don’t matter, it all about pushing the cause and if they get caught no big deal. There are never repercussions for their antics so these will continue.

  6. Thanks for showing us all how you take the high road and don’t get caught up in this sort of unprofessional “journalism” — gossip and opinion masquerading as news. MRA readers get nothing but the facts!

  7. Dianne Marshall on a recent Marshall Report wrote, “And the message is not always clear, but it is eventually understood. Truth is to be discerned, and as someone recently said…discernment is not looking at the man holding the bloody knife and seeing that he is the murderer. Discernment is seeking who it was that put the blood knife in the man’s hand.”

    There are many pushing pushing pushing anti-American agendas. These grifters, infiltrators, Marxists, communists, NWO, non-governmental agencies (NGO) are dismantling our history and values in an effort to remove our national and individual sovereignty. A lie spoken or written a thousand times is still a lie. Then there are the half truths similar to this situation. It doesn’t really matter, one needs to look carefully at the source and look for motive and facts. Reasonable person standard must start prevailing and stop listening, stop reading and stop believing the propaganda that is being pushed.

  8. I read this the other day: “Propaganda is meant to influence. Journalism is meant to inform.” Good luck Alaska Beacon in your propagandist efforts. Do your best to make sure that your fair share of what others have earned gets doled out through the “‘No ‘Non-Profit’ Left Behind Act.

    Thomas Sowell asks: “Just how much of what another earns is Your Fair Share?”

  9. The Alaska Beacon!!! Let’s hope that it has the same life that CNN+ had. Thanks for this article, Suzanne.

  10. So they are taking a page out of the Blue Alaskan’s book and not allowing comments? Now what’s that disinformation number again?

    The Alaska Beacon is an independent, nonpartisan news organization focused on connecting Alaskans to their state government. Our journalists fairly and fearlessly report on the people and interests that determine state policy.

    • Nice try but the only people who believe your talking points are the zealots on Reddit. But, looks like your set up to feed it to most of Alaska through the established bias media outlets, great job.

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