Cutting Through the Political Spin
She’s a rural-raised Ronald Regan Republican. He’s a city-reared progressive Democrat.
When they debate the issues of the day, Abby Piper and Jared Smith, the husband-and-wife duo of the lobbying and public relations firm Piper-Smith, usually find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
But the Lexington couple, often dubbed the Mary Matalin and James Carville of Kentucky politics, find common ground on at least one thing: where they turn for quality information.
You need a place to take away all the noise of political mailers and advertisements — and that’s what KET does so well.Abby Piper
“While we disagree on some issues – okay, maybe more than some – the one thing I know we agree on is the value KET that provides the state of Kentucky,” Smith said. “KET does a great job of keeping voters informed and presenting information much like media did decades ago: without spin or bias, which allows voters to make up their own minds.”
“I use KET’s website every single day,” Piper said. “It’s my go-to source for tracking what’s going on with committee hearings in Frankfort and learning what legislators truly care about. I really don’t think I could do my job without KET.”
With elections looming, the role KET plays in examining statewide issues and interviewing candidates for statewide office becomes all the more pivotal, they said.
“It’s absolutely paramount that people have access to good information — and KET provides that,” Smith said, adding that he likens KET’s public affairs coverage as something akin to “continuing education classes for voters.”
On her scheduling calendar, Piper routinely blocks out time each week to watch Kentucky Tonight and Kentucky Edition.
“I learn something new every time I watch these programs,” she said. “I love that KET takes the time to tackle the issues that really matter to Kentuckians. And that’s important to me because no democracy is going to be healthy without these kinds of critical conversations.”
And with Kentuckians gearing up to go to the polls, Piper said KET’s candidate programs help voters cut through the political spin that fills the airwaves.
“Let’s face it, a campaign season is going to be messy,” she said. “You need a place to take away all the noise of political mailers and advertisements — and that’s what KET does so well. When she interviews the candidates, Renee Shaw does an incredible job of keeping things balanced and making sure people don’t get away with easy answers.”
Having served as a campaign manager for dozens of candidates in local and statewide elections, Smith said KET’s candidate programs are essential because they serve as a direct and unfiltered conversation with voters.
“In the final weeks of a campaign, candidates usually aren’t thrilled with the idea of going on a program where they have to be honest with voters,” he said. “When I advised candidates, however, I told them there was one interview program they needed to do, that’s non-negotiable — and that’s KET’s. The people who watch KET are the same people who vote, so you’re literally speaking directly to voters. That’s invaluable. And that’s why you continually see the big names showing up to appear on those programs. That’s the power of KET.”