The 'journalists' cover for Ethan Berkowitz - again - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 25, 2020
HomeMust Read AmericaMust Read AmericaThe ‘journalists’ cover for Ethan Berkowitz — again

The ‘journalists’ cover for Ethan Berkowitz — again

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EDITORIAL: WHERE IS THE ACTUAL PRESS?

Across what’s left of newsrooms in Alaska, mainstream and public broadcasting journalists sheltered Mayor Ethan Berkowitz for 72 hours — until they just couldn’t.

It wasn’t until the mayor acknowledged at 4:30 pm on Monday that there are compromising photos of him in the possession of a broadcast reporter that the Anchorage Daily News and other news outlets decided it was a story. Up until that point, it was a figment of Must Read Alaska’s imagination.

The mayor begged everyone to respect his privacy.

This isn’t the first time the ADN has protected Berkowitz. One of the most egregious examples was when his wife, Mara Kimmel, ran over a pedestrian when Berkowitz was queuing up his run for Congress.

The ADN buried that story, never linking Kimmel to her politically ambitious husband, who was just leaving the Legislature to launch his bid against Congressman Don Young.

Over this past summer, the ADN gave Alaskans an example of what journalism is — they pursued the story of a flirtatious set of text exchanges between former Attorney General Kevin Clarkson and a woman who works in the Governor’s Office.

Those text messages became uncomfortable for her, although at the beginning of their exchanges, she appeared fully onboard with a text relationship. They were relatively innocent, but there were plenty of “kissy” emojis from Clarkson to the woman, and the newspaper was relentless in its pursuit of more salacious material it could write about in this case.

Even last week, the newspaper’s top investigative reporter, Kyle Hopkins, was complaining on Twitter that he couldn’t get access to more personnel records pertaining to Clarkson and the still-unnamed woman, who had finally tired of the relationship and took it to a “friend” who took it to the newspaper.

Andrew Halcro, of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, who is a surrogate for the mayor, has posted daily on Twitter how many days it has been since the governor would not release personnel records of Clarkson. Halcro fell silent over the weekend on his daily rant.

The Alaska Press Club had to get in on the action, sending a letter to the governor demanding release of personnel documents.

The Alaska Press Club letter demands that the governor stop criticizing the press just because he doesn’t like their coverage. It was signed by Julia O’Malley, Tom Hewitt, Victoria Barber, Kortnie Horazdovsky, Jacob Resneck, Angela Denning, Michelle Theriault Boots, Anna Rose MacArthur, Lori Townsend, and Tegan Hanlon.

Awkward, guys.

There is no doubt that the full story of reporter Maria Athens and Ethan Berkowitz has not been told. Athens, who started this storm, has more photos of the mayor — frontals views of him in compromising positions, which he sent to her and which she has in a phone that may or may not be in the possession of law enforcement. She has shown these photos to people who have described them to MRAK.

The photographic evidence suggests that this relationship went on during a time when he was running for office, before 2017. The nude photo of him was evidently taken in his private office bathroom in City Hall while he was beginning to be known as the “nothing to report” mayor, the one who never had anything to tell the Anchorage Assembly during his Mayor’s Report on the agenda.

As of now, the mayor has admitted only to what he had to admit to and no more. But there is more. A lot more. The problem with the Anchorage Daily News editorial team, is that they thought Athens had faked the first nude photo of him — the now-infamous back shot. They wanted more proof, and Maria Athens all of a sudden was not a credible reporter in their eyes.

Partial view of the Berkowitz nude selfie. There are others.

The “nothing to report” ADN newsroom just could not believe that the photo was anything but a fake, and so remained mum on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and until the mayor’s written confession came late Monday afternoon.

This is because Berkowitz is a Democrat, and until he said the photo was real, it was not the time to “believe all women,” as the Left likes to say.

The mayor is the Left’s golden boy, and the newsroom needed absolute proof before they would run with a story that would reflect poorly on him.

The double standard is stunning, protecting Berkowitz at all costs at a time when many believe he is — or was — preparing to run for governor.

The local Alaska mainstream media now has the perfect opportunity to prove it is unbiased.

Alaskans should expect weeks of follow up stories on the mayor’s infidelities and not simply accept the mayor’s carefully worded press release.

The ADN will surely print the nude photos of the mayor as they did with the attorney general’s texts. The ADN will surely keep hounding this mayor as they do any Republican in office.

Our unanswered questions that we offer to their reporters at no charge:

  • Was the relationship ever physical?
  • Were there any other women that you have had extramarital affairs with?
  • Why did you, Mr. Mayor, wait three days to disclose these inappropriate messages?
  • Which part of this, Mr. Mayor, do you consider to be inappropriate? Doing it on City Hall property? Your committed relationship? That she was reporting on City Hall politics?
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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.

Latest comments

  • Sleazy Andrew needs to show he isn’t a Made Man by starting the drumbeat for more pictures..,

  • Ouch!! Way to report, Suzanne!! Thank you for your hard work. It is so truly appreciated. You get better every day! And I am hoping this latest fiasco will only further derail his political future before he can cause any more harm to Alaska. Just what Ethan and ADN needed was someone to call them out on their corrupt behavior! I felt like you took a switch to all of them!!

  • Keep politics out of salacious sexting coverage!!!! Republican Goose, meet Democratic Gander.

  • How is personal nude photographs shared between consenting adults a newsworthy item?

    • You’re joking right? The mayor of our largest city, is caught in an affair with a prominent local tv anchor, who, scorned, drums up a fake news story about said mayor with underage girls, and then get arrested for assault. Meanwhile, the mayor increases his police protection and personal guard. The same mayor who has infuriated most of the city, if not the state, by tacitly agreeing with “Defund the Police” mantras being changed by the radical left, the same mayor who has done absolutely nothing to make Anchorage safer, the same mayor who has completely ignored the homeless situation in Anchorage and completely abandoned local business owners, and who is currently trying to spend CARES money intended for those business owners on buying hotels in Midtown to move the drug addicts and mentally ill into?

      That’s not news to you?

      Not to mention, imagine how the ADN would handle this if it were Dunleavy. You think they would have 1/10 the objectivity of MRAK?

      If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, you are as nuts as the people at the heart of this story.

    • David A Jones, it is and it isn’t.

      It is because a “Hell hath no Fury” woman was locked up for three days after reporting a nasty tid-bit about your beloved mayor.(who does that?, wow must be cool to have the power to silence some ex-lover like that. Berkowitz sure knows how to use the club).

      It is because his “honher… and offher” had an inquiry conducted into the “affair” by his police and the FBI, who reported that no laws were broken, (legal mumbo-jumbo, an attempt to gloss over the situation, damage control). Following this investigation, Berkowitz’ gang of trolls and witches then proceeded to attack the “Hell hath no Fury Woman”, see Forrest Dumbbar’s castigation of the HHNFW.

      Typical Clintonian response, (and I thought leftists believed the woman was always right?)

      Now it isn’t… if Berkowitz was not mayor with totalitarian power due to the COVID…

      I sure hope this helps you. Because the picture is one of total corruption.

    • The same as why news of a texting relationship, minus any naked pics, between our former attorney general and a fellow employee was important. And it led to the AG stepping down and was not even a microcosm of what as going on between mayor and reporter. In fact the Clarkson situation was indeed not newsworthy. Yet look what the media did.

    • Please define newsworthy . It’s definitely news and since it’s with a politician, it’s something that needs to be reported. Doesn’t matter if it’s Bill Clinton, FDR, or Kennedy, these x politicians need to keep it zipped up. Society demands it.

  • Lol. What kind of “news” is this? I came for facts. Instead I got an essay by a “journalist” who has clearly been swept up by the election cycle.

    • I see reading is not your strong suit. At the very top this is labeled as “Editorial”. – noun; a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.

    • Not for nothing, but it says it’s an editorial right up there^ at the very beginning of the article.

    • Jo, If there is a lie in this story, then I urge you to reply to me with 1) what the lie is, and 2) proof that it is a lie. If you can’t do those two things, then you sound like any other lefty who tries to wither with scorn because they can’t come up with a logical and reasoned rebuttal.

      The only reason Berkowitz’ indiscretion is a thing with MRAK and its readers, is because the left (your bunch) goes into a feeding frenzy (much like the hyenas they represent) when a conservative does something to be ashamed of, but oh my…let a Democrat – especially their precious Berkowitz – do something and “mum’s the word”. Well…MRAK is only inviting the media to do the same to their golden boy that they do to everyone else…and prove that they are – in fact – impartial journalists. (Don’t worry, we all know they’re not). She’s also given a fair warning that we are going to enjoy gloating over Berkowitz’ ignoble actions. So please…tell me just what is not a fact but a lie in this story.

      • All excellent points, Karen and impossible to argue with! So you won’t hear from Jo again.

        I’m definitely enjoying watching this smug mini-mayor roast in his own juices. I will be tuning in here often for the updates we won’t get anywhere else from a press that have no interest in exposing any dirt on one of their own.

        Thank you for all your hard work Suzanne – you are the one bright light we have left of the press in Alaska now that KTVA was assimilated by The Borg.

        Everyone who wants to keep a free press operating in this state needs to donate to MRAK.

    • A photo says a thousand words.

    • Just like the Democrats to try and cover everything up. This story is coming out whether you like it or not.

    • The story is making news now wouldn’t you say? Lol

    • 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.” Nothing to see here, move along:)

  • The official admission strikes me as an effort to stop disclosure of more damaging information. No doubt the ADN and Channel 2 will play along. Thus, time to dig harder and with more resolve. The Mayor needs to step down for the good of the community. Frankly, if that means that Felix Rivera becomes Mayor, that is going to be even worse in the short-run. But let’s begin the process of revealing Mr. Rivera for what he is. It may all need to come down before we can move forward.

  • It pains me to agree with Halcro and the Democrat media about anything, but Clarkson doesn’t enjoy any confidentiality protection for his personnel records. The confidentiality rights of Executive Branch employees are set out in the State Personnel Act at AS 39.25.080, which sets out that the job classification, compensation, and start and end dates of employment is public record and no other employment information is public record for a classified or partially-exempt employee of the Executive Branch. Employees of the Governor’s Office and elected or appointed officials such as the Attorney General and other commissioners and deputy commissioners are exempt from the State Personnel Act and the confidentiality provisions at AS 39.25.080 do not apply to them. The ADN in particular used to be very aggressive about public records requests; guess they’ve lost their ardor, but you’d think some bright young presstitute could figure this one out.

    The Legislature and the Judiciary are separate branches of government and the State Personnel Act does not apply to them at all. Both they and some of the exempt agencies and quasi-governmentals have made their own personnel rules and some have some confidentiality protections, though the legality of such rules is suspect for the Executive Branch agencies and quasi-governmentals. I suppose that the State Personnel Board could promulgate a Personnel Rule that conferred confidentiality rights to Exempt employees but it never has, and in fact, there are no current Personnel Rules in effect. The Rules were rescinded in Knowles and the State has never managed to get a new set of Rules properly adopted. Right now the State’s personnel system operates on the principle of “ask someone in the Division of Personnel and Labor Relations.” The State has returned to the good old days of, “this is what we’ve always done.”

  • The FBI quickly exonerated Mayor Berkowitz of any wrong doing. Is this is the same FBI that covered up a ring of under-age prostitutes in the Bill Allen matter?

    • Is this the same FBI that framed Trump on the fake dossier paid for and supported by Hillary Clinton?

    • The answer to your question may be “yes.” As demonstrated by a lot of conduct in Washington, D.C., the FBI is no longer the institution it once was. Too many agents are now playing politics and out to further their careers on the taxpayer dime. In this case, I expect the FBI took a look at the players and ran away from the potential crimes as fast as possible. (If the soon to be ex-mayor was a Republican, an investigatory grand jury would be empaneled tomorrow.) If the agency wants the trust of the public they should get back to doing their jobs without fear or favor. I predict we have heard all we are going to hear about the FBI investigating the Berkowitz matter.

  • ADN has been exposed as a Fake News rag too many times for anyone to take them seriously. MRAK has become the premier news outlet of Anchorage hands down!

  • So Ethan stands with defund the Police, yet the police cover him like a blanket with their “nothing to this” first story by Maria announcing that the nudes were posted on a minors website? Systemic cancer is evident,,, Man the city needs Roto Rooter, then the Orkin man would be a good closer. Never forget Maria’s first statement was that this was over posting to a minors’ website…We are being led by spin professionally avoiding the target, which is pedophilia.

    • Someone must start defending the children… Maria started and she was abducted… Do. not let her absolute effort go to waste… We see all the effort to tear her apart by mental this and that,,,, Well put yourself in her shoes on how difficult this was to do.
      GOD has given us a chink in the devils armor and now do any have the courage to pick up the broom and help clean the garbage from the streets. Preying on children is evil…… or should a father be able to marry his son ? this is what is on the table.

      • I think you may have missed a meeting, John. This isn’t about pedophilia. It’s about an extramarital affair that has become public and some exaggerated claims by a woman scorned.

        Next up: His wife will run his dumb *ss over w/ the car.

        You heard it here first.

        Man, that girl is a big fan of expletives though, eh? I’ve been pretty hot on the phone before but never have left a voicemail as colorful as that. Yeowzer!

        • You know, you are assuming a lot when you dismiss the underage girl getting text messages from the mayor. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and this little punk go to jail.

      • I think that this thing has taken on a life of it’s own. I’m not making the same jump of reason that you are John. No doubt it is salacious and juicy, depending upon your point of view but certainly now worth the media its getting.

  • As an elected official this is news and just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not news! We must be able to trust our mayor and he has clearly shown he is not trustworthy. I do not believe he is in the right frame of mind to run the city and I do believe he needs to resign. Elected officials that have done less have resigned their positions in Alaska and it is time for the mayor to step down. Anchorage needs a breath of fresh air.

  • I have looked at the Muni website and have been unable to locate the Mayor’s latest admission/apology or the Friday statement denying everything. Typical. With regard to the Friday statement, it comes fairly close to a lie – a falsehood. To my knowledge, nothing authorizes any Municipal employee, which includes the Mayor and his staff, to make false statements. Muni time and equipment was used to prepare and disseminate the Friday statement. Thus, it is fair to conclude that someone has made unauthorized use of Municipal resources. Wrongdoing has occurred. This can be addressed through personnel action or criminal charges. Someone must be held accountable.

  • Journalists- “We got your back, Mayor.” – see photo.

  • I wouldn’t want to going home to fess up to this nonsense. I feel for the guy having to fess up to the public. Its a good thing that the FBI was called in early on to lay this rumor fest to rest. Athens has shown herself to be an idiot. What was the point? I’m not defending the sexting (I’ve caught my teens doing similar stuff) but for heavens sake, it has gotten way overblown. The city doesn’t need this drama right now.

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