Governor calls out ADN for race-baiting


After throwing shade on Gov. Mike Dunleavy over rural public safety issues in a story that the Anchorage Daily News ran the first day of the Alaska Federation of Natives annual conference, ADN reporter Kyle Hopkins didn’t bother to show up for the governor’s press conference on Tuesday, in which Dunleavy announced a sweeping package of public safety measures, many of them aimed at rural Alaska.

Instead, ADN reporter Alex DeMarban phoned into the press conference and asked the questions for the newspaper, while Hopkins hid.

Hopkins’ story, which had been completed days earlier, had been held by editors to coincide with the opening of the AFN conference. It’s what the newspaper is doing to shape the narrative in the public arena, just as it did during the Parnell Administration, strategically timing stories to land at key moments.

As Dunleavy was winding things down with his comments during the Public Safety “People First” press conference, he took a moment to publicly criticize the ADN and its reporting, calling on the newspaper to start presenting the facts and to stop politicizing their reporting of public safety.

Kyle Hopkins hit job on Gov. Mike Dunleavy

The Hopkins story posited that people in rural Alaska are hiding from active shooters because there aren’t enough Troopers and that Gov. Mike Dunleavy has abandoned rural Alaska. Those who live in rural Alaska know that most every adult is armed, and hiding from active shooters is a rarity. They also know that every community cannot have its own Trooper.

Dunleavy said his wife was born in the Kobuk Valley, grew up living off the land, that his children were born in rural Alaska and he’s proud of his Inupiaq family. He lived in rural Alaska for many years and said he probably has more friends in rural Alaskan than reporter Hopkins.

“The idea that I somehow look at rural Alaska as somehow less than, or somehow not desirable of resources to help out my fellow Alaskans … to me that gets pretty darned close, I gotta be honest with you, to race-baiting,” Dunleavy said.

“And as a governor, you have to put up with a lot of shots, that’s just the way it is, you hop into the ring and you have to put up with it,” Dunleavy said. “But I’m going to ask the press, and especially our largest newspaper in our largest city, to try and give it a shot at being balanced, reporting the facts, the fact that the crime rates overall are down, that we’ve increased the number of Troopers in rural Alaska and will continue to do so.”

Watch the governor’s remarks about the Anchorage Daily News here.

The ADN has a long history of left-leaning bias, and it wins them Pulitzer Prizes. As a for-profit entity, its reporting is now underwritten by left-leaning nonprofit foundations, such as ProPublica and Report for America.


  1. Kyle Hopkins and his wife …. His reporting is nearly always biased and published with negatives intentions and results. She, with her way too close personal ties to the former governor who is running again now, is also completely unacceptable for those who want to be taken seriously as journalists.

    Alaska deserves much better than Kyle Hopkins and Rebecca Palsha.

  2. Let’s go ADN!………………….Rarely are crude phrases justified, but ADN has worked hard, has earned, and who am I to deprive them?

  3. Mike is falling into the usual establishment pattern of pandering to native organizations and trying to buy the rural vote. Corruption at its finest. Kurka for governor, leave this fraud conservative off the ballot

  4. Yet somehow ADN endorsed Gov. Dunleavy in 2018. I was shocked!
    I doubt that could happen again for both good and bad reasons.
    Race-baiting has become the new norm on the left. They don’t even understand how much they do it so they don’t think they do it.

  5. BTW I had a lovely conversation about snow tires today with a gentlemen from Togiak – born 1944. His family drove their car down the Alaska Highway in 1949 to the lower 48, picked up grandma and drove back. 95% Inupiaq!
    They got stuck on the corduroy road just past Merrill Field but the trip went better after that.

  6. Most rural policing issues are alcohol related. The state takes in $24 million a year in alcohol taxes, and spends $100 million alone on AST to deal with alcohol related problems. Alcohol costs the state around $400 million a year with corrections, jail and health. Alcohol should be taxed to pay for the problems it creates.

    • how many rural towns and villages are “damp” (no liquor sales) and “dry” (no importation allowed)? How do the crime stats compare to “wet” towns? How much a problem is meth and heroin compared to alcohol?
      I know one thing – you won’t see much crime from a “weed” epidemic. Pass it out for free but ban liquor!

      • haha. Funny. Makes me think of the Big Lebowski and everyone in the village living the Dude’s lifestyle. The villages would need less troopers and more bowling alleys.

        Interesting questions. The villages, from what I understand, are a challenge because the tribes are very sensitive to giving out information to outside help and receiving outside help. Nobody will be able to help anybody until there’s a level of trust and that won’t happen until the activists on the left, like the ones with ACLU blackbelts, and some of the tribal leaders stop trying to vilify any efforts that aren’t their own by proving they are willing to pander and give pity while blaming others more than anybody else, and pandering and pity are not helpful at all, especially when trying to address addiction issues. Compassion is not pity and compassion quickly turns into pity if it becomes a contest and that’s exactly what the ACLU activists love to do.

    • You betcha’ Karen. Hard liquor should be taxed at least at $100.00 per bottle. $10.00 tax on a can of beer.

      • Lemmee guess, y’all don’t drink and want to punish by percentage mostly the people that aren’t the problem?
        That should work.
        Sounds fair.
        Well done.

  7. What’s frustrating is that it’s the property tax owners and other Alaskan-owned state resources that are taxed to keep this paper alive. When every state office has multiple subscriptions (in the 1,000s for departments like DHSS) and every school has multiple subscriptions and notices are legally required by an outdated regulation to be published in an antiquidated platform, it is literally the GOVERNMENT keeping this propaganda wielding pathetic excuse for a news source in business. No wonder we have so many liberals in these organizations when their news comes straight from the gutter that is ADN.

  8. Seems Mr. Binkley is now in the business of smut politics. Not a great start for his future career. Smut sinks to the bottom, and the one in command usually goes down with it.

  9. nobody mentioned the freedom of all when the defense got sucker PUNCHED. Americas” Alaskan VIETNAM VETERANS Natives

  10. Jule Miller, have you ever considered the alcohol would be nothing without the bottle it came in. Therein lies the real danger. Oh, wait, how about the grain, the fuel, the labor, the transportation, the dirt, hell yes, the very planet itself. Taxes my arse, nukes, that’s the answer.

  11. Goes to show how many don’t want success unless it’s theirs. Actually, those people see anyone that isn’t part of their tribe having success, kindness, and rational common ground that doesn’t require compromise as a threat to their mission and purposefully generate division because of it, on the daily, and will lie and deceive if they have to.

    • Exactly. I emailed Binkley and told him to change the name of ADN to the Washington Post/AlaskaEdition. I miss a good morning paper, however, I only get ADN from my neighbor on Sunday and I don’t read it, however, it is great for wiping windows dry.

  12. Trump was right, the biggest threat to Americans is the mainstream media. The Build Back Better fiasco has billions going to these organizations to keep them afloat and the fake news flowing.

  13. First, let’s define rural Alaska: Rural Alaska is those places you can’t reach with a road, a ferry, or a jet. Some years ago I would have added “or stay in a hotel” to that list, but in recent years there has been considerable development of B&B accommodations in many of the larger villages, so you don’t have to sleep on the floor of the gym or the council office like I did when I was rattling around rural Alaska in beat up old Cessna 207s in the early ’80s; back when Kyle Hopkins was in grade school.

    By the late ’80s I was representing the State in arbitrations and in labor negotiations and the Department of Public Safety was a part of my portfolio. Into the ’70s, early ’80s the State tried to maintain a visible if not necessarily robust law enforcement presence in rural Alaska, the places beyond the jet accessible hubs. To this day the Public Safety labor agreement has pages and pages of provisions relating to rural transfers and, especially, forced transfers and all sorts of complex provisions about State provided housing in rural Alaska. The language is still there, but few if any houses still are. Keeping Troopers anywhere off the road system is difficult and expensive. Keeping Troopers beyond the hubs is difficult, expensive, and very, very contentious.

    The State could handle difficult and expensive, but it ultimately couldn’t handle the contention. At bottom, while rural Alaska wanted something that looked like law enforcement, it didn’t want law enforcement in the form of a white guy hired from urban Alaska or the Lower 48 and sent out for a short tour of a couple of years in “the Bush.” The State went to a lot of trouble to find attractive and articulate guys with a Certificate of Degree of Indian Birth and put them in positions where they could be the face of the State in rural Alaska. Opinions vary on whether some of them should ever have been in such positions, but in the end it didn’t work.

    The State began withdrawing from rural Alaska in the Hammond Administration, and the Village Public Safety Officer program was born. A VPSO was a quasi-LEO hired by local authority and given a badge but not a gun, and who had a very limited law enforcement commission. S/he could intervene, restrain within limits, and call for a fully commissioned Trooper. That Trooper was in a post in a hub that might be minutes or hours away or in bad weather days away. In rural Alaska beyond the hubs, you measure distance in time and aircraft type, not in miles; e.g., Pilot Station is an hour and change by C-207 from Bethel via St. Mary’s.

    The contention became so bad by the ’90s that some villages were telling the State that the Troopers had to have Council permission to enter the village. Fundamentally, the call for State law enforcement is disingenuous. The villages want State money for law enforcement, but they don’t want State law enforcement. In a world where family name means almost everything, nobody is much interested in what Title 18 of the Alaska Statutes says.

  14. ADN, just another leftist propaganda media source to dupe the uninformed! Once we cutoff George Soros money, we can stop the non-sense he supports. This is why we need honest journalism back in America. Thank God for Must Read Alaska! Make sure to hit that donate button once in awhile. Thanks Suzanne for keeping them honest.

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