Kentucky Educational Television’s Slap in the Face Invitation

KET, Kentucky Educational Television, describes itself as Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week through its television, online, and mobile reach. It is a state network of PBS member television stations. KET is the largest PBS state network in the United States, broadcasting to Kentucky, as well as sections of all the bordering states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

I recently received a letter from KET addressed to my congressional candidacy. I admit I was excited, anticipating the possibility of receiving desperately needed media exposure for my mostly self-funded campaign. I have received just shy of $200 in campaign contributions throughout the duration of launching my bid for congress 5 months ago. This is a meager fraction of what I have paid out of pocket to cover what little campaign materials I have been able to produce considering I earn a working-class wage that is just enough to get me by and even that is a lucky one when I think about how I’ve lived in the past and how so many others continue to struggle in hand to mouth survival day to day, every day.

My entire motivation for running for office is for the benefit of freedom, humanity, and our planet. I am doing this out of a feeling of powerlessness and anger that I feel with our current national and global state of affairs, and I wish to use my voice to echo those collective voices around me who have fallen into fatalism and apathy and feel voting is a useless waste of time or are at their wits end and are ready to organize mass mobilization of a general strike to force the changes we demand that are being ignored by our governments and their corporate handlers.

One of the many issues that I feel strongly about as a candidate for high office is the importance of public broadcasting, equal and fair access to technology including information technology: internet, TV radio and media. Not only for personal enjoyment but to be educated in how to use it creating the opportunity of making direct routes for free and uncensored independent media available.

For this reason, in my wild imagination, I would think an organization like PBS KET would be thrilled to host an independent working-class grassroots alternative political candidate who has himself donated to PBS, on their network for their coverage of the 2022 general elections.

Upon opening this letter from KET, it was indeed and invitation to appear on the show Kentucky Tonight, probably the most significant political news program on the channel. It listed that candidates who were to be invited to appear on their shows had to meet certain criteria, which they stated were based on their “good faith journalistic judgement as to what will best serve the interests of its viewers.”

They included the following:

  • The candidate has qualified for a place on the general election ballot as determined by the Kentucky Secretary of State. CHECK. I am officially a candidate for US House of Representatives KY-4 on the ballot.
  • By July 15th, 2022, the candidate or the candidate’s principal campaign committee has a publicly accessible website or social media account related to the campaign that contains public policy statements. CHECK. You can find them at and
  • The candidates principal campaign committee has reported net contributions of at least fifty thousand dollars, or reported net expenditures of at least fifty thousand dollars on the July 15th 2022 Quarterly Report it files with the FEC… NEGATIVE. That amount is nearly double my annual income. Looks like voters in Kentucky won’t get a chance to see me on KET/PBS, thell only get the see the rich candidates who are backed by multibillion dollar corporations.

So apparently KET/PBS’ “good faith journalistic judgment as to what will best serve the interests of its viewers, is keeping its audience whose donations they rely on to stay in operation “viewers like you” so they say, is restricting what political candidates they have access to being exposed to and seeing their policies, by how wealthy those candidates are. OUTRAGEOUS. But am I surprised? No. This is to be expected in our runaway disaster capitalist system. Not even on so called public broadcasting can outsider political candidates, and the voters they are trying to reach out to and represent, get a fair shake.

I can already hear the smug rich elitists who are reading this mumbling to themselves “well he doesn’t have any money, he cant even raise 50,000 in a few months, why should anyone take him serious anyway?” This is the same mentality that has destroyed democracy and led us to this very situation we are in today. It’s the same with every sector, system, and aspect of our society under unchecked capitalism; the best whatever it is money can buy: justice system, medical system, media, education, etc etc. Guess what, this system that has made you rich and is propping you up, its bottom is crumbling and falling out from underneath you, and no matter how much you think your wealth and power will protect you, eventually, you’re going to find yourself under the same rubble as us.