Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission (EBEC) dismissed complaints against Gov. Bevin of any wrongdoing involving a home purchase. Kentucky's biggest newspapers created a lot of doubt over the deal when they insinuated that he got a sweetheart deal from a campaign donor and paid much less than market value. Much of this could have been avoided if journalists reported at the get-go that the home appraised at $1.39 million — nearly $200,000 less than what Bevin paid. Good journalism would have searched this out and reported this in the beginning. Speculative stories may bump circulation and sell ads for a season and politicized writing that leads readers to imagine the worst about their elected leaders may be entertaining, but this is expected in gossip tabloids, not respectable news outlets.