Did Amy McGrath Henderson Get Potential Opponent Matt Jones Fired?

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Even though the Lexington Herald-Leader has become yet another McClatchy rag, occasionally we’ll get some decent sort-of local stories:

Jones says McGrath’s campaign got him pulled from TV show. But did she get him fired?

By Daniel DesRochers | August 19, 2019 12:21 PM

Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones publicly waded into the controversy over LEX18’s decision to fire him last week, saying on his radio show Monday that the campaign of Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath got him pulled from his television show last month.

“I knew they had done it,” Jones said Monday morning, adding that he didn’t say so publicly at the time because he didn’t want to appear whiny.

He stopped short of directly blaming McGrath for his ultimate firing on Friday, unlike an article published Sunday by online publication The Intercept that cited anonymous sources who said McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas bragged about getting Jones fired.

Did they? Amy McGrath Henderson’s¹ campaign denied any involvement in Mr Jones’ termination by WLEX-TV. LEX18 released a statement in which the station stated that it was Mr Jones’ decision to write a book critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, entitled “Mitch Please,” which got him eligible for unemployment compensation. That Mr Jones doesn’t like Mr McConnell is rather obvious by his flirting with a decision to run against him next year, something for which he was on an administrative leave until he took a decision, but announcing the writing of a book like that clearly put him at odds with hosting a (sort of) news show.

And I’ve seen the show “Hey, Kentucky!” a couple of times. It follows Channel 18’s 7:00 to 7:30 PM local news show, going over some of the same stories with (purportedly) edgier commentary, but really, it isn’t very good.

The will-he, won’t-he game by Jones has cast a shadow on the early stages of McGrath’s campaign for U.S. Senate. McGrath pulled in more than $5 million during the first week of her campaign last month, but Jones was among several early critics who said she appeared inauthentic during her launch. In an early gaffe, McGrath said she would have voted to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and then quickly backtracked.

“I think she has let the national Democratic Party and the consultants consult her to death. They have literally taken the personality out of her,” Jones said at a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce forum in July.

‘Tak(ing) the personality out of her’ might be a good thing for Mrs Henderson, who has previously told voters in the Sixth Congressional District, which Donald Trump carried by a 55% to 37% margin that “The only feeling I can describe that’s any close to it (Mr Trump’s election victory) was the feeling I had after 9/11.“² Mrs Henderson basically said, to the voters of the sixth district, ‘You are indistinguishable from the terrorists who hijacked those four jetliners in 2001. Your attitude toward our country is no different from that of Osama bin Laden. You are just plain unAmerican, and are really enemies of America.’

Later, the campaign of Representative Andy Barr (R-KY 6th), Mrs Henderson’s opponent in 2018, found a tape of her speaking at a fundraiser in Massachusetts, saying “I am further left, I am more progressive, than anyone in the state of Kentucky.”

Then, earlier this year, she flip-flopped on whether she would have voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Yeah, she needs some consultants to take the personality out of her, because her personality isn’t going to carry a very red state like Kentucky. If she couldn’t beat a solidly conservative but nevertheless hardly flashy congressman like Mr Barr in the Commonwealth’s second most liberal district, she isn’t going to defeat Senator McConnell statewide.

Did Mrs Henderson’s campaign have something to do with Mr Jones’ dismissal by LEX18? I don’t know, but does it even matter? Political campaigns are noted for being nasty contests, and it wouldn’t have surprised me if her campaign had something to do with it, but that’s not proof.

Mr McConnell has never lost an election, and unless he just flat falls over dead, he’s not going to lose to whomever the Democrats nominate in 2020.
¹ – Though Mrs Henderson has not shown enough respect for her husband to have taken his name, my website, The First Street Journal, does not similarly show such disrespect, and, when known, always refers to married women by their appropriate honorifics and names.
² – Mrs Henderson made this statement at a campaign event for the various candidates for the Democratic nomination to oppose Representative Andy Barr (R-KY 6th), so she was appealing to Democratic primary voters only. Mrs Henderson won a surprise victory over Mayor Jim Gray (D-Lexington). Primary elections in the Bluegrass State are closed by party registration.
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