LINK Media loses trust from Democrats and Republicans

By Cassi Schabell

October 28, 2022

Candidates decline invitations to political forums and discredit the publication along with readers

Republican Steve Doan and Democrat Chris Brown compete for House District 69. Photos courtesy of the Doan and Brown campaigns.

Steven Doan vs. Chris Brown

According to a Tweet from a Courier- Journal reporter, Steven Doan, Republican Candidate for the 69th House District fulfilled the expectations of many by defeating Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) in the May 2022 primary election. Much to the chagrin of his Party’s principles, Koenig is known for his vote against Constitutional carry and a committee vote in 2022 to keep toddlers masked in childcare facilities.

Chris Brown is the Democrat running against Doan for the House seat that covers parts of Boone and Kenton counties. Local media outlets have received police and court documents detailing Brown’s violent and criminal conduct, including attacking an individual at a Black Lives Matter rally.

Public filings state that Brown temporarily blinded a victim by throwing alcohol in their face, grabbing them by the hair, and punching them in the head until they lost consciousness.

Steve Doan is the second Republican candidate to recently decline LINK’s invitation to their candidate forum, along with another Republican candidate, Jerry Gearding.

Doan’s opponent, Chris Brown, withdrew from the forum as well.

Doan explained, “I will not be participating in this candidate forum. My opponent is wholly and completely unqualified for this race; I have asked for her to withdraw based on her extensive criminal record. Instead of addressing the substance of the allegations and admitting her wrongdoing, she and her party have repeatedly lied, made baseless legal threats, and publicly named dangerous individuals. Those same dangerous individuals have sent me harassing communications and made threats to the Erlanger Police Department. I will not engage with someone who condones this behavior.”

Republican Jerry Gearding and Democrat Rachel Roberts compete for House District 67. Photos courtesy or Gearding and Roberts campaign.

Jerry Gearding vs. Rachel Roberts

Jerry Gearding is another Republican candidate who declined to take part in LINK’s October candidate forum. Gearding is running against Democratic incumbent Rachel Roberts in the 67th House District in Campbell County.

Although the sources are public information, LINK published sensitive details about the Gearding family, including a minor, on their media platform. LINK’s publication included mugshots of the single-father that the Kentucky Democratic Party posted on Twitter. Gearding has had full custody of his son for over a decade, since the child was 1 year old.

Fair and Balanced? Not For Republicans and Democrats in Northern Kentucky

According to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Gearding’s opponent, Rep. Roberts (D-Newport), has contributed $1,100 of her campaign funds to advertise with LINK Media. Her paid advertisements can be regularly viewed above the “inclusive” reporting on LINK Media’s news platform.

Roberts' advertisement on an article smearing her opponent. Photo is a screenshot of LINK's website.

LINK Media has not published a thorough explanation of the BLM activist Chris Brown’s record to date, yet they have made repeated reports on a “liberty” Republican candidate in a separate race.

LINK published innumerable articles about Gearding’s record. Five times to be exact. 4 online and once in print. LINK reported that Gearding’s “charges were eventually dropped,” yet continued to publish a detailed and thorough account of police and court documents alleging crimes he was never convicted of.

Level of trust in certain political bubbles

Why hasn’t LINK published Democrat Chris Brown’s mugshot? They have not published a detailed and thorough report on Brown’s violent criminal record, like they have on the Republican candidate.

In a Tweet, Kentucky Democrats called out the Republican party for nominating “an accused violent abuser to serve in the General Assembly.”

According to Tweets from the Kentucky Democratic Party, and Chairman Colmon, “Domestic Abusers have no place in electoral politics or elected office. Period.”

Rep. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) also voiced an opinion on individuals with a criminal history representing Kentuckians, “I think that the people of Campbell County want elected leaders to be upstanding, thoughtful, curious, and highly effective in the district. I don’t believe that people in Campbell County want to send someone to Frankfort who has a history of arrests for violence and lawlessness.”

Maybe Roberts thinks the people in Boone and Kenton want to send someone to Frankfort who has a history of arrests for violence and lawlessness.

It is clear that the Kentucky Democratic Party and the Chairman do not believe Brown should serve in the General assembly, based on their Tweets.

Nepotism at its finest

The local media outlet that claims to be “thorough and fair,” released incorrect printed, postage-paid information to thousands of Northern Kentuckians with false information regarding the voting ballot.

(This should be a red flag for donors.)

Kelly Jones, the Democratic candidate for the 68th House District, was not named in LINK's printed circular that went out just before her election. She is running against the Republican who she says is an employee of a LINK Board member and developer of a charter school she opposes.

Jones expressed her concern with the questionable reporting by LINK Media:

“Is it odd to think that the CEO of Corporex, who is the developer of the Ovation project, NKY Charter School entrepreneur, employer of my opponent (Mike Clines) & sitting member of the Board LINK NKY, would have any connection to my name being omitted from the print voter guide? Coincidence? Y’all the cousins are all in bed together, and they will do anything to be sure that I don’t win because I won’t let them fill their pockets…”

Readers disappointed over LINK’s careless and biased reporting

Facebook users were skeptical of LINK’s attempt to apologize for the major misidentification they printed for mail, by posting the correction to their online platform.

Some of the comments on the post read:

“Worst of all, undeserved damage has been done to Kelly Jones’ campaign. This is inexcusable, and reflects badly on Link nky as a reliable news source.”

“This correction is pretty hollow considering it doesn’t tell the whole story. The Republican candidate for this seat works/worked for and has a personal relationship with Bill Butler, a board member at LINK nky. They have worked and/or are working together to bring an unneeded charter school to Newport. A mistake is one thing, but not telling the full story in a correction reeks of something bigger going on.”

“Completely disappointing! I loved following them but don’t plan to now!”

“Link is very biased. Stories with a clear bias in favor of Dirty Ed Massey, only to find their website covered with ads for Dirty Ed. Fortunately the voters fired him.”

Call to action

Northern Kentucky is in desperate need for honest, independent reporting. LINK has proven they are no better than the corporate news giants.

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