Defending Governor Paul LePage is not the norm for the “Portland Press Herald,” a/k/a Portland Rag. Usually and famously the two entities are at odds – insulting each other in a battle of the wits or witless. Your choice.
But today it took the bizarre step of coming to his aid over a food fight that began last Thursday outside LePage’s Statehouse office in Augusta with this blogger. But the food fight didn’t end in Augusta. That was just the beginning of its whirlwind trip around the country. The dispute has been reported from New York to Kansas City and in between. Unfortunately, the Portland rag took a parochial approach to the dispute.
The 20 second clip of a much longer video did not show the entire interaction. Therefore segments referred to in my recent post were not seen by the public. No wonder there were significant differences in what I said and what the Governor said and what was what!
Eric Russell in an article on the food fight loaded it up with long quotes and biased adjectives from a staff person in the Governor’s office. They were complete fabrications of what really transpired last Thursday outside his Augusta Statehouse office. Obviously, quotes from the LePage staff were intended to demean this blogger and cast this blogger in the most negative light possible – considering there was no wrong doing – except for an unflattering picture of this blogger with food in her mouth while trying to respond to an insult directed at me by the Governor. It was all disgusting!
Bill Nemitz, a columnist for the Portland rag once called LePage – Big Guy – in an attempt to undermine him. LePage is mindful of past presidential candidate Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire.
Using me as a scapegoat to divert attention from the real issue at hand – the Governor’s total anger at the decision rendered by the Superior Court on his intent to shut-down the Downeast Correctional Facility is standard for rags. And the Governor was not pleased that the gaggle of press beside me kept pressing him on the subject. (See above left photo of him talking to a member of the press about the Court’s decision, not this blogger.)
But what is not okay is Russell’s one-sided, lop-sided article – at least in the arena of respected journalism which PPH borders. Russell was not at the scrum last week just outside the Governor’s office. So, Russell did not have first hand knowledge of the scrum. According to Russell’s article, if he is to be believed, Russell contacted everyone attending – except – yes – yours truly. If Russell’s editor, Cliff Schlectman, had wanted a creditable article, Russell would have contacted this blogger to write the whole story – not just spin coming from LePage’s staff. Russell did not do that.
For example, I did not enter the Governor’s personal space. He walked up to me and and yelled at me to get out of his face. That was not shown on the 20 second clip. (Repeating, I was just there to take a photo of him and listen to his response on the Court’s decision on the Downeast Correctional Facility.) He yelled at me and I felt obliged to respond to him. Unfortunately that produced an unflattering photo of me eating! Later the Governor walked away from me – clearly showing that I was NOT in his personal space, but he had been in mine.
As reported in an earlier post on March 15, I did tell him he was a pig. That also was not heard on the 20 second clip. Like Trump, with LePage and his staff, facts don’t matter! No security person ever approached me as LePage’s staff said. As I left the Statehouse to drive back to Portland, a man who did not identify himself, asked me who for whom I wrote. I responded “The New York Times” laughing. He said he had never heard of the newspaper. Unfortunately, that was not on the 20 second clip either. Unfortunately, Russell never contacted me about the “food fight.”
Fortunately, “The New York Times” wrote a well-rounded article yesterday. Thank heavens for “The New York Times” – the best newspaper in the world!
But I do admit to a bias; two of my cousins long deceased were editors for “The New York Times.” Joan McCracken Whitman was the editor of the womens’ section and her husband Alden Whitman, was the controversial for sure obit writer for many years. When Joanie retired she became the cookbook editor for Chef James Beard.
Please see post herein dated March 15, 2018 for more background information on the Governor vs. the Blogger – some referred to above in this post.