Kentucky governor denies anti-Semitism in his attack on media’s Jewish donors
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Kentucky governor denies anti-Semitism in his attack on media’s Jewish donors

Matt Bevin singled out progressive philanthropists Herbert and Marion Sandler and ‘George (I Hate America) Soros’ for their donations to investigative journalism project ProPublica

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks to the audience during the Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner on August 25, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks to the audience during the Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner on August 25, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Kentucky’s governor denied his attack on a collaboration between a local newspaper and investigative journalism project ProPublica was anti-Semitic because he singled out Jewish funders of ProPublica.

Among the funders Republican Gov. Matt Bevin named are the founders of ProPublica, Herbert and Marion Sandler, who have given over a billion dollars to largely progressive philanthropic causes, and billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of anti-Semitic, right-wing conspiracy theories.

Bevin called him “George (I Hate America) Soros” in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday blasting the partnership shortly after it was announced.

“This is the sad reality of the Courier-Journal, which pretends that it’s an actual news organization or a publication, is so remarkably biased they are now full in bed with this particular organization,” Bevin said in the video.

In a tweet in which he included the video, Bevin wrote: “OUTRAGEOUS. ProPublica, a left-wing activist group funded by the likes of George Soros, is now funding . . . ‘investigative reporting’ at the @courierjournal. Is this the future of journalism?”

ProPublica’s director, Richard Tofel, on Twitter suggested Bevin’s attack was “dog whistling anti-Semitism in which he can’t manage to use the word ‘Jewish.’”

ProPublica, a non-profit, has on multiple times joined with mainstream media outlets in long investigative pieces and won several Pulitzer Prizes.

The Courier-Journal is one of seven local papers selected to work with ProPublica to investigate an unspecified state government program.

A number of Republicans and conservatives, including President Donald Trump have in recent months intensified attacks on Soros, sometimes in terms that echo anti-Semitic themes of Jewish control.

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