I am a newspaper columnist. I wrote regularly for The Anderson News, my local paper, from 2017 – 2020, and I fear the vacuum that is being left by the disappearance of local news and newspapers.
And yet, if you follow state-level politics, not only in Kentucky but in Republican-led states across the country, you are seeing the terrifying creep of Christian nationalism into the governing mainstream and into our information sources.
Case in point: My county newspaper, The Anderson News, is a once-per-week paper serving a population of ~24,000.
Whether it is due to ownership by Paxton Media Group, a lack of staff writers, or local editors’ ideology, our newspaper is no longer recognizable as a trusted news source. It is pure, fundamentalist Christian propaganda. Here are some examples from today’s edition. Keep in mind that there are not all that many pages.
This is the front page. One of the most hateful, anti-transgender bills was just passed into Kentucky law. Who wrote the story? A man from Kentucky Today.
Who is Kentucky Today? This is the front page of their website this morning.
This is the Opinion Page, and there are a few notables.
That tiny Letter to the Editor in the lower left corner appears to be from a writer in Utah? And why is a small Kentucky paper publishing its only letter to editor about Ted Cruz from Texas?
The top story titled “Fences, guards, and guns in American Schools” was written by a man named Glenn Mollette. Here is the front page of Mr. Mollette’s website:
Here is a sample from Mr. Molette’s article:
And there is the Faith page, which we have always had (to my knowledge) but it used to be a column written by local preachers. Now these very large columns are mostly from a man named Van Yandell.
This is Mr. Yandell’s LinkedIn Opening: