Friday, June 2, 2023
HomePoliticsDunleavy bypasses reporters, goes straight to the people

Dunleavy bypasses reporters, goes straight to the people

Over the past few days, the Governor’s Office has dramatically changed the way Gov. Michael Dunleavy is reaching Alaskans with his messages about how he is delivering on his campaign promises.

He’s no longer relying on reporters to translate his words through their own biases and editorial filters. Instead, he has created a version of a multimedia newsroom and is speaking directly to the people.

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Today, he called out the Anchorage Daily News for an inaccurate headline, and he did so on Facebook Live video:

“On Monday, we made a direct appeal to the people of Alaska with regards to the budget and the PFD. We wanted to talk straight to the people unfiltered by anyone including the press.

“Today, we took a look at the newspaper and we saw this headline in the newspaper, that ‘Dunleavy sets the dividend at $1,600.’

“This is why we’re going to continue to go directly to you, the people of Alaska. The headline simply is not true. I did not set nor would I set a dividend at $1,600. I’ve always said and will continue to say that we should be following a decades-old calculation, and whatever that calculation comes up with, which is approximately $3,000 this year, that’s what we should be doing.

“But again, if the press isn’t going to get it right, we’re going to go directly to you with all the facts and all the figures so you understand what’s going on,” he said in his brief statement on Facebook.

Dunleavy showed his discontent with the way the press has treated him since he took office, and perhaps even before he was elected. His communication team has now taken that to heart, setting up an “AKGov Press” site on Facebook, where they have started calling out media by name and telling the public what information was given to the media that they chose not to report. These posts have only started showing up over the past few days, and they are content-rich.

“But again you may hear from those in the press that we’re not as accessible as some others may have been in the past. We’ll continue to be accessible to the press, but again, when we see headlines like this, which aren’t true, we have to correct those mistakes by going directly to you.

“So you’ll see more of us going to you through Facebook Live, live broadcasts, as well as recorded broadcasts to get the message out,” Dunleavy said. As a former school teacher, he had a bit of a scolding demeanor, as if he’d caught some kids smoking behind the school.

Dunleavy’s multi-media newsroom approach appears to be catching on with the public. His PFD message on Monday instantly had more than 2,000 viewers tuned in to hear what he had to say about budget cuts and the Permanent Fund dividend. His reproach of the Anchorage Daily News reporting of his Monday message was shared more than 480 times in four hours, with the vast majority of the comments and reactions being positive toward his message.

The reach Dunleavy has without having to hope for fairness from a reporter or editor with a bias has potential and may be a game-changer for this governor, who has from the beginning been treated by the press in the same manner they treated Gov. Sean Parnell.

Or, on the other hand, it may ratchet up to a war between the Governor’s Office and the entire media establishment in Alaska.

The reporting scrum has been fascinating to watch for media observers in recent days. They have been in full attack mode. One TV reporter asked Dunleavy three times during three separate press conferences last week a pointed question: “Do you feel like you owe Alaskans an apology?”

Dunleavy called out the reporter, saying he had already asked the question twice and it was getting fairly predictable.

“I’ll try to be less predictable next time,” the reporter responded.

That exchange may have been the final straw that caused the governor’s press team to change course with the media.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Wow! I don’t read the print version of ADN so I didn’t see that but what a load of [email protected]. I’m so sick and tired of the liberal bias in reporting these days that I go out of my way to get my news from various sources but I really shouldn’t have to work at it that hard. It’s no wonder we can hardly have any civil discourse anymore.

    Seeing ADN’s false headline makes me grateful that I don’t give them any money for viewing their website. I hope they go bankrupt again.


  3. Wow, wow, wow ! Isn’t this newspaper who said that Dunleavy restores the money from his veto, when truly Cathy Giessel, leading the Legislature, did it ? I am not sure, that the mainstream media are bias, but definitely the side-stream media are bias.
    And yes, Dunleavy following MRA has set the dividend to 1600$ since, he did not veto it, neither wanted to talk with the Legislature about it. He has tthe powder to change it, he did not use it, thus he set it. I would love that MRA stop cherry-picking the reality and facts!

  4. Thank you Governor Dunleavy, it is about time that our only newspaper got this notification TO GET IT RIGHT. This is why I NO LONGER subscribe to any newspaper. Again thank you Governor Dunleavy and your whole Administration.

  5. I wrote a scathing assessment of the Ketchikan Daily News on a personal website regarding this very same subject matter (liberal bias in all the major newspapers) and am also sick and tired of the too-many-to-count instances of their seething hatred of conservatism and truth. Dunleavy taking a page right out of the book of the Trump administration shutting down the daily press briefings will certainly save him and his staff a ton of headaches in trying to “correct the record” and factcheck these thoroughly corrupt Fourth Estate institutions. I don’t blame him for being fed up with this garbage. By doing so will never change these organizations and their daily attacks on us, but at least it will further help to build a coalition and consensus that we know what they’re up to and that we’re not going to be spoon-fed their tripe and lies. Kudos to Dunleavy and his staff for this move.

    • What a great way to see that “conservatism and truth” get out there to the public, Barry. Shut down press briefings and, for sure, stop any questioning of that “conservatism and truth.” Sure wouldn’t want any uncomfortable issues to come up from the opposition’s questioning of that “truth.” Heheh!
      The only problem, as I see it Barry, is that your assumption that you know what it is that they are up to could be false. Of course you wouldn’t make this stuff up but what if you are wrong?
      No problem, nobody finds out if there are no more briefings and questioning of the Tall Guy, right? Do you read what you write?

      • Hey Carp, do you read the tripe that you write? You’re great at sarcasm and innuendo but wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you on your crybaby ass.

      • The ADN headline was an obvious distortion of the facts. If the Govenor wants to get his message out it won’t be in this newspaper.

    • I understand that Yankee’s a little upset that the apple cart of the Liberal media has been overturned. Heck, they had the American public in a stranglehold for 60 years and now all that control is gone. They can no longer dupe Americans into believing anything at face value and Yankee (along with all the other Liberals of the world) are seething that we dare deign to question the vaunted and oh-so-truthful Fake News. I hope you have tissues handy, Mr. Yankee, ’cause you’re about to break out into tearful fits a lot more often in the coming years.

      • Barry Barry, I hope you aren’t holding your breath waiting for me to be breaking into tearful fits. Heheh!
        Just because you don’t believe the Liberal Media, doesn’t mean its apple cart has been overturned, either. I understand that you believe what you do because of your expertise in your own opinions but again, what if you are wrong? You’ve still not answered that question.

        • If I’m as wrong about the Fake News as you and your side were about Russian Collusion…then I guess I’ll just go back to my life as usual. However, if you’re wrong, I suspect that will just make you even angrier than before and then I guess conservatives and Republicans will really have to keep an eye over our shoulders. I’m not sorry that the media has been exposed for what they are. I’m just sorry it took so long. There’s a reason your side hates Trump so much and that’s because he brought out the truth about all of you. That will be his greatest achievement, mark my words. All the other stuff will be cake. This exposure of the DNC and its incestuous relationship with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NYT, WaPo, Time, Newsweek, NPR, AP, etc., etc., etc., is really an amazing feat when you think about all the billions of dollars that have been spent foolishly attempting to achieve this soft coup of the presidency. Thank God that your candidate didn’t win or else she would currently be ruining this burgeoning economy. And before you say, “Oh, she wasn’t my candidate…I’m an independent!” or “Oh, I was a Bernie supporter!” you should reconsider. Democrats love to assure everyone that they aren’t who they are, perfectly in line with creating new ways of saying something that has a negative connotation. Global Warming isn’t working…okay, now it’s Climate Change. Unemployment is too high? Okay, now it’s Fun-Employment…get to know your relatives! Woo-hoo! Gotta love these Liberals and their habitual addiction to denying what’s right in front of them while baiting and switching what’s not.

          • Boy Barry, but I thought we were talking about Dunleavy and here you go getting into Trump and his obsession with the media.
            I think we know who the angry ones are here, Barry. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel. Heheh!

          • Barry,

            I find it hard to believe that some people have their heads stuck in the sand about the media, all one need do is look at the stock history of virtually any media company over the past 10-15 years. Many of them you won’t be able to look at the history because they no longer exist.

            On a side note, Bill here is known to fully deny he said what he said even when you provide a direct quote of what he said. On a positive note, there are times he will admit to simply parroting somebody else’s opinion and trying to pass it off as his own. And watch out, he might start calling you names as a last resort. Really bad ones, like he does to me, that do nothing but show how juvenile he is.

      • Steve-0: Good to know…thanks for that heads-up! I’ve been writing editorial and news long enough to recognize the perpetual antagonist who lives only to naysay, rather than address the issues. For anyone to deny the existence of a Liberal bias in the Fake News Industrial Complex is the equivalent to denying the bias that exists in American universities in 2019, or that Antifa is merely a group of peaceful counter-protesters to Fascism. You want Antifa…real Antifa…check out what’s going on in Hong Kong. They’re waving American flags (not burning them) defying the Fascists (not wrecking their streets, businesses and homes) and they’re peaceful (not beating up journalists and throwing bricks at buses). The governor will remain in office, easily defeating this attempted tamper tantrum of the diapered Leftists, and will continue to plod on with a more tempered and lawful term of office, instead of kowtowing to the snobs in this state who are drunk with power and money. I love that Suzanne Downing’s pieces are riling up all the swamp dwellers and their enabler citizens in the state. It’s about time that they receive the same treatment that we’ve received over the past 60 years. I love it when the pendulum swings back the other way!

  6. I had a lot of hope for the ADN after Rogoff sold it, but I haven’t seen any improvement at all. Other than the welcome absence of Charles Wolforth’s sneering columns.

  7. This is what Big Mike should have been doing since Day 1.
    Better still he should explain why he proposed such drastic cuts. He should have his staff make up charts depicting $ spent on EDUCATION with a correlation coefficient describing educational results. Use props and analogy to make the information understandable. For example, one is told that aircraft safety is expensive resulting in higher fees to the customer. What if however one airline is given a monopoly and continues to charge higher fees ostensibly for air safety while airplane accidents continue rising to alarming frequency!? This is an accurate depiction of State funded Education in Alaska.

    Big Mike, get creative, make your case to the people!

  8. Roberto’s: Mike Dunleavy going direct makes sense but equating President Trump with truth telling is problematic.

    • Lol. Problematic for his detractors. Democrats, left-wingers, bs media…. the like. Dunleavy is actually learning this lesson a bit late. Bypass is the way you play the game. Don’t let others say your piece. Talk radio is already three decades old.

    • Your point is understood Joe; however, you need to cite a list of Democrats and Mainstream Media sources that equate with truth-telling. It could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

      • Wayne…normally I would agree with you there, that it’d be SO much easier to list those that are honest versus the avalanche of those that aren’t. However, in a recent poll, I saw National Progressive Radio (NPR) listed as the most trusted news source for America and I nearly fell off my chair. I believe that a comprehensive list should be compiled of all the dishonest news sources (meaning those WITHOUT the Leftist/Progressive/Democrat/Liberal/Socialist/ Communist slant) in order to show how very dishonest they really are and why something like bypassing the media completely is so very relevant and necessary.

  9. Mike, the media and their agenda is not to be trusted. Hell, they even support the current practices of UA and their 8% graduation rate based on a four-year program. They support Bryce edgmon when he says $1,600 is bigger then we’ve had in many years regardless if we’re entitled to 3,000 or not. I guess Bryce thinks we should just take the $1,600 and be grateful we got anything at all. They support families being cut $10,000 a year and whole villages in the bush losing close to a half a million dollars each and every year and in some cases even more than that. They think that anchorage’s local homeless problem is something the state and all of alaskans should pay for. they think that the state should pay for women to kill their own babies. The media just seems to be confused about what they report. It does seem to be contagious and looks like they have caught whatever the national media is suffering from. So Mike, get the information to us alaskans any way you see fit because I trust you more than I trust the fake news.

  10. Now they can go back to erasing State of Alaska OMB official pages.


    404 error: the information you are looking for is something we don’t want you to see.

  11. Taking the whole approach of President Trump on sidestepping the Fake News Media! Great, glad to see he is doing this!

  12. In another media article, they report about the coastal communities and how the ferrys are a life-saving means of transportation. How pregnant women can’t fly after 8 months gestation. Well, I can testify that I live in the bush, and there are no fairies that go by me. If I have a life threatening situation, I have the clinic at my disposal and aircraft. Why would I get on a “slow boat to China” ferry if I’m having an emergency? Pregnant women get on planes here all the time, they do get out before their last month in case there are complications. But they do so on an airplane. If all the fairies are in actuality grocery delivery, that can be dropped off by airplane to it is here in my village. It seems to me the ferrys are a convenience that people are going to have to try to live without or accommodate the new schedules to fit their busy lifestyles. In these times of needed cuts to balance our budget it’s a luxury that the state just cannot afford.

  13. Kick those lily livered liberals to the curb, Mike! The Deep State is behind em and wants our demise.
    You got my vote. Keep on keepin on Man. Wrestle these libs to the curb. Make em holler for their Momma. Sic em, Brother.

  14. Cant wait until the next election cycle , time to wage war ( at the voting booth )
    liberal bs gotta go . Fake media and libs = cancer on freedom. IT’S TIME TO ACT,

  15. Of course he wants to both ways — don’t we all?
    So the governor wants the headlines to read “Dunleavy Restores Funding to ___” but that’s not really accurate. The governor can sign or veto what the legislature passes so it would be accurate to say “Dunleavy Signs the Legislature’s Bill to Restore Funding to ______”. But that headline makes the governor look like the weak leader he is — the legislature kept Elders in their homes, the legislature restored electric subsidies to the villages.
    But the gov is happy to have the legislature get credit / blame for $1600. And it’s what we all want — to get praise when praise is handed out and for others to receive the blame when blame is going around.
    But he isn’t fooling anyone.

    • actually the gov. wants the legislature to follow the law which should result in a 3000 pfd but bryce and cathy dont follow the law if they dont like it

      • Sincere question, I’m not going to use this a “gotcha” Do you a) not know there are two laws or b) not accept the legitimacy of the second law?

          • Greg. Hard to interpret your response given the way I asked the question.
            But if you are saying “yes” you only thought there was one law.
            There are two laws — earlier, with a formula, second without a formula. Which causes problem for the “follow the law” catchphrase.

  16. Oh please, go troll over on ADN. As you know, the capital budget has the pce and scholarships embedded in it and every year it is the houses job to pass it and put it on the governor’s desk for signing. This is done as a knee-jerk reaction…. Bryce held this to the last second of the last day almost as a bargaining tool almost as a hostage situation. Truth be known, what the headlines should have read is “Bryce edgmon steals $1,400 from the Alaskan people and through negotiation, governor gets us seven hundred more dollars than some people wanted us to have. By not vetoing the bill, the governor locks in $1,600 for the PFD rather than allowing the house majority and posers in the Senate to take back a portion of the 1600, leaving alaskans with a late PFD delivery this year. That’s all it is in a nutshell. Kind of a long head line though lol.

  17. I support the Governor and his actions in this situation. That said, his communications people really have to improve the presentation. The Governor’s message is good; the presentation, not so good.

    • Steve-O: Bypass the mainstream media. Don’t buy their papers. Don’t advertise with them. Read MRAK and catch internet news. Listen to talk radio. And enjoy LIFE.

      • I did so purposely, there are still rational people who follow mainstream media, some even believe the nonsense they hear.

  18. CONGRATULATIONS!!! For the Governor to give the facts DIRECTLY to WE THE PEOPLE is what needs to ALWAYS be done. The LIBERAL news media is trying to turn America into a COMPLETELY SOCIALIST State. Everyone needs to read and study the “Federalist Papers” by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the “Anti Federalist Papers” by Patrick Henry which caused James Madison to write the Bill of Rights. These two publications will give you an understanding of what a “Constitutional Republic,” is and which demands “Individual Rights and Liberties” and is what we need to return to instead of this Social Democracy where Mob Rule dictates everything. Again James Madison said that “A Democracy is as short in it’s life as it is violent in it’s end.” Benjamin Franklin said when asked what had the Convention given the people said, “We have given you a Republic if you can keep it.” There is a book that explains that the different States ONLY radified the “Constitution of the United States” with the understanding that a Bill of Rights would follow and they outlined what those Rights would be. A Social Democracy is the intermediate step to Socialism and Communism according to a good Webster’s Dictionary. Please Read and Learn what we need to return to and what America was Founded on. Seymour Marvin Mills Jr. sui juris

  19. The press is irrelevant and unnecessary, partly due to its partisan nature but also due to innovation in communication.

  20. Most people will tell you there are three branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial. They are wrong; there are five branches. The preamble to the constitution expressly designates “we the people” as the first branch. The fifth branch, the free press, is set forth in the First Amendment; The problem is, the free press has now abrogated its responsibility as an impartial reporter of facts to the people. The mainstream media has transformed into the bond-servant of the leftist/marxist/socialist movement. The Congress and judiciary are in league with the media as a perverse triumvirate. . The only remaining office with any accountability to the people is the presidency since it must seek re-election every four years. Congress lacks this accountability because it acts as a unified (albeit dysfunctional) organism with very little reformation resulting from the elections process. Each state government (including Alaska’s) is a nothing less than a dysfunctional microcosm of the Federal.

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