Comments again hurting state's image

Maine and Gov. Paul LePage now own the space on the World Wide Web called "Obama hates white people."

And that's a problem.

Within hours of anonymous reports Monday that LePage had made the controversial remark, it had spread across a nation and an ocean.

By midday Tuesday, a Google search for "Obama hates white people" returned screen after screen of reports about LePage making the remark.

"America's Most Outlandish Governor Says Obama Hates Whites," the Atlantic magazine reported on its website.

The magazine used the comment as an opportunity to catalog the growing list of inflammatory remarks the governor has made since taking office.

The Pine Tree State is a place of "bizarre political theater," the writer observed, recounting how the governor promised to tell Obama to "go to hell," likened the IRS to the Gestapo and once told the Portland NAACP to kiss his butt.

Liberal echo rooms like the Huffington Post, Think Progress, The Daily Beast and Talking Points Memo latched onto the comment without doing a bit of checking or additional reporting.

Which is, of course, the way successful news websites work: Report news somebody else has gathered, add a predictably snide comment and call it your own. Brilliant.

A writer for The Hill magazine in Washington got her byline by repeating a Maine newspaper report and then pointing out this wasn't the first time the governor has said something outrageous.

No shoe leather expended on that story. 

The story caught the eye of editors at some rather obscure publications and websites, including Baltimore Jewish Life, as well as general circulation newspapers, such as the The Baltimore Sun.

The story went international when it was picked up by the Daily Mail, England's second-largest newspaper.

The governor's alleged comments were big on news celebrity sites, including Gossip Bucket and Gossip Gorilla.

The governor now owns 15 or 16 pages of Web results, before similar comments Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck made about Obama in 2009 appear.

Since the remark was first reported, the governor has denied making the comment.

The original news, of course, rocketed its way around the Internet. It will be interesting to see if his denial receives any, let alone equal, coverage from all these websites.

Don't bet on it.

Again, something the governor has said, or has been reported to have said, has cast the state in a negative, unflattering light.

On Monday, the governor had boxes of lobster products sent to the governors of the other 49 states in an effort to promote the sale of Maine lobsters.

A check of the Web on Tuesday showed the publicity stunt generated quite a bit of media attention here in Maine, but got only a smattering of notice elsewhere.

Nothing like the Obama-hates-whites remark.

We like to say Maine is a brand, a mental image people have of lobsters, rocky shorelines and hardy, independent people. We hope the world sees us as fair, open-minded and thoughtful.

Gov. LePage's unfortunate tendency to lose his temper, resort to vulgarities and make outrageously misinformed statements may seem funny to some, but his comments are doing lasting damage to our state's cherished image.

That's not good for business, for tourism or our self-respect.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.

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Comments

Bruce Hixon's picture

With LePages admission of guilt

Lot's of people have some Crow to eat today even way down in Florida

Jack Tetreault's picture

Governor's Alleged Comment

Do we have one person willing to have themselves identified as having Gov LePage actually say "Obama hates white people"? If he didn't say it why report it? His accuser should identify itself and present proof. None of this happened to my knowledge. What happened to verification ?

RONALD RIML's picture

Are these reports, in fact, 'Anonymous?'

Not according to the Portland Press Herald. - Republican lawmakers: LePage said Obama 'hates white people'

Read the article. The report was not made anonymously. The Reporter knows very well who the two Republican Legislators are. He's protecting their identities. Nothing out of the ordinary about this. Reporters - (along with Law Enforcement) may protect their sources of information under some circumstances.

"The lawmakers, both Republicans, confirmed the comment when asked by a Portland Press Herald reporter but asked that their names be withheld for fear of political retribution.

Each said LePage talked about how Obama could have been the best president ever if he had highlighted his biracial heritage. LePage said the president hasn't done that because he hates white people.

"Yeah, he said it," said one of the lawmakers. "It was one little thing from a speech, but I think most people there thought it was totally inappropriate."

MARK GRAVE's picture

It must be a slow news day

It must be a slow news day for Ronald Riml.

Why don't more than just two people come forward if LePage's comment was part of his speech? I smell rotting halibut in Boothbay.

RONALD RIML's picture

That 'Smell' is gas reeking out your anus.....

But what else is new....

MARK GRAVE's picture

Compared to the urine smell

Compared to the urine smell from a leaky old man, I'll take my own flavors any day:-)

Bob White's picture

Maybe I haven't seen it but

Maybe I haven't seen it but it is interesting that they haven't ran another story from the anonymous source restating or even giving more detail to try to make it more believable. Kinda like the paper said watch this and through a rock into a bee hive to see what would happen and then they just sat back and watched. I understand this thought is totally crazy unless the shoe was on the other foot.

That is a given

Of course the reporter knows. And it is their right to request anonymity. But they must also understand that in some cases, remaining in the shadows makes their claims suspicious without documented or named corroborating evidence.

What made the story about the Unemployment hearing officers' meeting with LePage credible was the fact though though initial reports were anonymous, there were others who came forward and were willing to be named. Also, most of the attendees of that meeting corroborated, confidentially or openly.

In this case, we have two of sixty. The other 58 deny it happened. Even offered an opportunity to comment off the record, they would not confirm the story. This makes the report suspect, and returns the focus to the messengers. What's their motive?

RONALD RIML's picture

Did the others actually 'Deny' it happened??

Not really. They stated they did not hear it. In order to deny it happened, then they must have heard every word LePage said. Could they actually affirm that?

Not all people there would have necessarily heard everything LePage said.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Comments again hurting state's image

ed., 13.08.22 10:25 am hst ?
. . †he news is out and isn't all bad
ref : http://www.npr.org/2013/08/14/211388320/in-maine-lobster-comes-out-of-it...
the government i worked for pretty much made us resign if there was any suspicion of incompetence , wrongdoing , malfeasance , or wrong doing on the federal level , at least . ....
hth /s, Steve

MARK GRAVE's picture

People out side of Maine

People out side of Maine cannot give a rats ass about the state. Heck, I've meet people who don't know where the state is located.

Andrew Jones's picture

If it couldn't be verified

If it couldn't be verified that he said it, it should have never been published...

But hey, gotta sell newspapers, right?

RONALD RIML's picture

Andrew - Obviously the 2nd Legislator verified it.

And the Reporter has both of their names. He does not have to reveal the names of his two sources unless ordered by a Court.

Steve  Dosh's picture

AJ ? En'sh'Allah , O'ja'la

AJ ? En'sh'Allah , O'ja'la , God Willing and the business of America is business
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate ..and Al Jezerra is starting a TV station now , also . Q: Think n e one will watch it ? ( CSPAN for Arab speakers ) ;) They advertise on National Public Radio already . You'll find Ted Turner's CNN and HNN on the TV screens of every major hotel lobby in the - known - universe
hth ? /, s Dr. Dosh former Ombudsman ;)
Shalom Salem , and Peace http://www.peacecorps.gov \/olunteer today :D

Jerome Young's picture

I agree with Allissa, and, I

I agree with Allissa, and, I would add.....aren t these publications responsible for our horrible image by....repeating these unverifiable stories? I hope we can get Michaud as governor, so we get back to the olden days, when the huge debate was taxing.....aaaahhmm.....haircuts?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Mr Young ? 10:30 am ish hst

Mr Young ? 10:30 am ish hst Thursday
btw - Which Young ƒamily are you associated with ? Young A . . .... K ? jus' askin'
Ask him , why donjcha' , what he actually and in fact said . De nile. A river in Egypt , ME ? Get it right straight from the horse's - m o u t h -
ref : http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/citizen_services/ideas-suggestions....
hth /s Steve Dosh , HI
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109226/
btw - we agree with this editorial . . .. tea partiers . .

Allisa Milliard's picture

only 2 anonymous people claim

only 2 anonymous people claim to have heard the comment. none of the other people that were there who were later asked about it heard it. the guy that the party was for didn't hear it either. they must all be afraid of the governor. a commentator on a radio show that i listen to pointed out that with all of the personal media equipment available today, with smart phones and i pads and all the other ways you can catch a moment and post it instantly online or send it to friends, no one seems to have any recordings of the comment. just the hear say of 2 people who won't come forward because of "fear of retribution". he might have said it, he might not have, there's no actual proof either way, just like all the other supposed gaffs that were investigated and dismissed. don't let the facts get in the way of the story.

RONALD RIML's picture

Alisa -these two people aren't 'Anonymous'

The reporter has their names. They are being shielded.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Please stop defending the guy...................

Allisa, this was a meet and greet, in someones home, far from a formal setting of a speaking engagement. There were most likely small groups of people standing around sipping their martini's, talking politics. The hostess of the house wasn't even in the room, it appears she was in the kitchen with the help. LePage was probably speaking in a hushed manner to a couple of people. In the course of whatever LePage was talking about, the comment just slipped out. He most likely wasn't even thinking of what he was saying, he rarely does. Furthermore, he probably didn't even consider it to be offensive to anyone. People like LePage have a mind set, they speak a certain way, and it has a lot to do with his personal life experiences. On top of that, you take into account his obvious lack of sophistication, limited education and overall personality, you wind up with someone who really shouldn't be allowed out in public, by himself.
People don't normally walk around with cell phone cameras at the ready, voice recorders running, or video cameras recording private conversations. No one would have this on tape. In my opinion, we don't need any more evidence that Paul LePage himself. He has single handedly turned Maine into a joke. His history alone is the all the evidence we need. He keeps doing this to himself, we the citizens of Maine are the collateral damage of his crass behavior.
You people who feel that LePage is some sort of victim of a conspiracy aimed at tarnishing his record, need to ask yourselves one question. Can the State of Maine sustain four more years of the type of damage LePage is doing to this State? Yes he has all these plans for a balanced budget, and limited spending, or what ever it is he's trying to accomplish. Is all that worth the tarnished image of the people of Maine? Money aside, Paule LePage does not represent, what historically, has always been what Maine stands for.
You people on the right, may not mind throwing away your heritage, Paul LePage sure as hell doesn't. I moved to Maine because I admired what Maine is, what Maine was, and what Maine stands for. A relatively small segment of Maine's population is evidently willing to let LePage destroy what many have worked hard to establish. I'm not one of them, I feel it's time to reel back in whats left of our dignity. and at the same time, give Paul LePage the boot, once and for all. I would rather live in a state with an unbalanced budget than a disfigured image...............

RONALD RIML's picture

If you don't see a meteor hurtling toward earth

does that mean it won't possibly enter the atmosphere and burn up - or perhaps hit?? Think again.

The fact that two elected officials of the Governor's same party came forward - and though understandably desiring anonymity - reported this distasteful remark of his - says a lot. That others didn't hear it says little. We're told this was a 'Party' - not a 'Speech'

All it really says to me,

All it really says to me, Ronald, is that there are at least two members of the Governor's party who dislike him enough to spread this story (anonymously). It says nothing about whether it really happened. In this case, it's about them, not the Governor.

RONALD RIML's picture

When it comes to 'Politics' - there ain't no such animal as

"Annie Moose"

The word is going to eventually going to get out - and no doubt they are banking on LePage not being re-elected.

And I wait for it

Don't let my skepticism fool you. If you've been following me, you know how much I really want this to be true. But so far, this just doesn't pass the smell test.

RONALD RIML's picture

Evidently the 'Reporter' is staking his reputation on it.

As he has two Republican legislators talking to him - then he's 'Double-sourced it' - which is the requisite.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're the guy who's always

You're the guy who's always after people to stand by their comments, identify themselves, be accountable for what we post, and all that other rhetoric. In fact you are the 'Authenticity of Content Police'. And yet, you're o.k. with these two individuals remaining anonymous with no tangible proof that the Gov. said what they say he said? Not being consistent there Veritas.

RONALD RIML's picture

They're not posting here.

Anonymous posters were booted out some time ago. Remember all the crying and whining.

If those two legislators wish to post - Pattie will have them go through the hoops.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Artful dodging again.

Artful dodging again.

RONALD RIML's picture

They are not 'Anonymous' - The Reporter has their identities.

Didn't you pick that up from the Portland Press Herald article?

And he may hold his sources confidential unless ordered otherwise by a Court; and that rarely, if ever, happens. Remember that the identity of 'Deep Throat' (Watergate Break-In) was never revealed by Woodward and Bernstein until Mark Felt came forward in 2005, and revealed that he was the leak - at the time when he was the Associate Director of the FBI.

RONALD RIML's picture

Only if I were a Republican Party Whip -

and responsible for those two critters.

Bob White's picture

Hey Saint

Check out the comments on the Pingree story. Ronald Riml needs no proof when its a Republican in question but when you go against his family you need to be backing it up with facts. Here is his response to a comment that question the do no wrong party

Ronald Riml

Post the statistics with links to the supporting proof.

Otherwise you're simply blowing hot air.

RONALD RIML's picture

If and when Ron comments on aspects of the 'Pingree'

article - he'll use appropriate references.

But I'll leave it to you to guess whether she married for love, money, or both.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Interesting how that works,

Interesting how that works, isn't it?

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Really Ron

is that how you did your police work by taking people to court because one or two of their friends squealed on them, but didn't want to testify because of fear of retribution?

RONALD RIML's picture

LePage has been taken to Court???

I must have missed that in the article......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Now you're engaging in verbal

Now you're engaging in verbal stunt flying.

If Lepage said Obama hates

If Lepage said Obama hates white people ,he got it wrong. Obama actually hates anyone regardless of color ,if they are productive hard working successful rich people.

Lepage's comments

It was a typical, off the cuff, off the script, Paul LePage comment,” one attendee, who preferred to remain anonymous because of fear of political reprisals
The above remarks were alleged made by a member of the governor's own party attending the fund raiser not an opponent! 2014 can't come soon enough!

Mark Wrenn's picture

lie?

"Gov. Paul LePage told a group of Republicans last week that President Obama "hates white people," according to two state lawmakers who say they heard the remark directly."
"The lawmakers, both Republicans, confirmed the comment when asked by a Portland Press Herald reporter but asked that their names be withheld for fear of political retribution."
http://goo.gl/srkj2Q

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Might I ask

Might I ask how much shoe leather was worn out by the reporters at the Sun-Journal verifying the BDN story?

Bob White's picture

When in your eyes does the

When in your eyes does the BDN have to take responsibility for this media circus? Aren't they the ones that started this on a anonymous tip. Unable or not willing to back up there claim. The Governor has spoken now it should be up to the BDN to put up or shut up. Its not a big secret that the media doesn't like the Governor so I wouldn't put it pass someone there to float a story like this just to start a wave of hate. (more hate)
Can I call the media and be anonymous and report that the president has pig feet's?
I guess before everyone gets pissed at the Governor lets see where this goes and if there is no proof then I guess you left thinking people ought to be jumping on the media with the same anger that they would make our state look so bad.
Frank your still an idiot

Tony Morin's picture

"Frank your still an idiot"

Said the dude who struggles with the words their, past and you're. Doesn't this post violate at least a couple points in the comment policy?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

After some of the stuff I've

After some of the stuff I've read in these forums in the passed (joking) 4 years? No.

David Lingard Jr's picture

Actually....

Actually sir it is not just the media who does not like him the media listens to the public so you sir also need to wake up and smell stale coffee. The Governor did this to himself and also people like you who stick up for him just confirm of how blind his republican followers are. you guys wanna get nasty so can I and when I say get nasty I am sure you are blaming the democrats as he has been all this time besides himself. GET REAL!!!! thank you I have spoken. Lets me just say him making that comment and seeing his actions all over TV through his term it does not surprise me. Oh wait unless that is a democrat disguised as LePage to make LePage look like a butt on TV.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I have a question for you,

I have a question for you, sir. Where is the proof that he said what people are saying he said? Does a denial on the Governor's part have no value. One can be supportive of his being innocent until proven guilty without being... "like you who stick up for him"....

David Lingard Jr's picture

Oh my....

Oh my really??? Good heavens he said what he said and if part of his party said he said it that is good enough for me. He has done so much ridiculous things in his being Governor of this state. It does not surprise me he would pull that joke or serious comment toward the President. If the paper prints it oh well as far as I am concerned I hear that they can not just print anything with out facts. The 2 men who are republicans and want to stay anonymous I do not blame them they are not the first ones to back out on Governor LePage.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well, then, there, now....I

Well, then, there, now....I guess you've settled it.

RONALD RIML's picture

Does LePage's 'Denial' have no Value????

Is he trustworthy?? What kind of person is he as a Governor???

Governor LePage is pretty far down in the pack for approval numbers as far as U.S. Governors go. Not at 'The Bottom' - but he's 'Underwater'

As you see by the graph in Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016 - in which a number of polls are averaged (four for LePage) Governors range from Approval Ratings of +66 down to -43; ours is at a negative 11.


PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What I find particularly

What I find particularly interesting in your little chart is that of the top 13, 10 are republicans. That says far more than LePage's position in the standings, whom, by the way is higher than the bottom 6, most of whom strangely enough, are also republicans. The parrot sez he'd like you to post more of these little charts as they're easy for him to read.

RONALD RIML's picture

Pay attention to the 'States'

State of mind of residents matters greatly.

MARK GRAVE's picture

It would be interesting to

It would be interesting to know of all those governors with unfavorable ratings are related to taking away government free candy, like LePage?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There is probably a link

There is probably a link somewhere.

RONALD RIML's picture

Challenge Mark to find it.....

Then see what sorry excuse you get.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Be nice; he's going to buy

Be nice; he's going to buy you lunch in October.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Good point. That is why I'll

Good point. That is why I'll buy. I'm a bit worried what Ronald would serve me.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha...there is room for

Hahaha...there is room for concern there, isn't there?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It does.

It does.

David Lingard Jr's picture

WHAT!?!?

Bob get over it. If you have not seen LePage do what he has done himself to stain our reputation here in the state of Maine you need your eyes checked or just open them. Stop trying to stick up for him sir it is to late for him.

Bob White's picture

Well Jr. I guess I would have

Well Jr. I guess I would have to hold our President to the same standard as our Governor. What the President has done to our world wide reputation and don't make me give you examples. "you need your eyes checked or just open them." One other thing David you can call me Bob I will let you.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I think I struck a nerve here..........

.........

David Lingard Jr's picture

nope...

Nope just telling it how i see it my friend :)

Mark Wrenn's picture

Nah

It's funny when some people call other people an "idiot", especially when they can't tell the difference between "your" and "you're". Something about kettles and pots fits.

Bob White's picture

So you agree with me

So you agree with me

Bob White's picture

So you agree with me

So you agree with me

Bob White's picture

Not a bit

Unlike the media I only say the facts. Besides it has a nice ring.

Franks an idiot

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Missing one thing....

Maybe an exclamation point after idiot would look nice too.

Bob White's picture

Now how would you know YOU'RE

Now how would you know YOU'RE an idiot

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Because................

Because I'm a grammatically articulate idiot, I pride myself on accuracy.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Accuracy in fact or in

Accuracy in fact or in grammar?

AL PELLETIER's picture

Hard to agree or disagree with you, Bob

All we know at this point is that two people in the room went to the BDN with this story. Without these two "loyal party members" identifying themselves it could be pure BS.
It's totally reminiscent of Legage stirring a pile of BS based on an anonymous letter. OOPS, I forgot, he doesn't read anonymous letters.

RONALD RIML's picture

These two people DID identify themselves -

to the Press. Then then asked that they not be identified in the story. That's fairly common practice when the Press is dealing with known sources whom they believe to be reliable. The 'Press' does have a legal right to withhold identification of sources for purposes of confidentiality.

So the sources are not actually anonymous in that they are 'unknown' - but that there identities are being kept confidential.

See "Protection of Sources'

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yet the public cannot

Yet the public cannot challenge the source.

RONALD RIML's picture

They can.

Vote Democratic - the sources were Republican.

MARK GRAVE's picture

That is called going from the

That is called going from the frying pan into the fire. Vote Libertarian and be free, free from government ternary, free from oppressive taxation.

RONALD RIML's picture

Vote Libertarian and

have your vote not count.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Voting R or D is just as

Voting R or D is just as wasteful. Perhaps worse, voting D is like committing suicide. I refuse to commit suicide.

Jason Theriault's picture

First off - I agree I want the BDN to report on this

First off - I agree I want the BDN to report on this. And if you notice, the LePage denying the comment is the first story on their site right now, so they are giving equal coverage to the denial.

For myself, I will give the governor the benefit of the doubt. However, he has a reputation for saying stupid things like this. Much like the boy who cried wolf, when you go out of your way to say off the cuff and vulgar things it becomes easy to attribute something vulgar and off the cuff to you without people second guessing it.

I think the vaseline line was far worse than this, so it really changes nothing in my eyes.

RONALD RIML's picture

Now LePage has broken his promise

-that he wasn't going to speak to the press.

Oh, that didn't include the Bangor Daily News. Just the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, and Morning Sentinel in Waterville.

Whatever.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Walking on eggshells.

Whether he said it or not, our illustrious governor must be suffering from total frustration. At a small gathering in a private home surrounded by trusted party members, two anonymous people ran to the press with derogatory information regarding a remark the governor may, (or may not), have said.
Given Lepage's track record of, "off the cuff ", ill thought out remarks over the past few years, it's hard to give him the benefit of a doubt so you'd think by now this governor would want every breathing moment of his life video taped so he has some defense, besides his word, against accusations.
True or not, Lepage brings as much unwanted attention to Maine as Zumba brought to Kennebunk.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Do you think Christos

Do you think Christos Karatsopoulos in Salonica, Greece really gives two olives about Zumba in Kennebunk, Maine, U.S.A.?

AL PELLETIER's picture

No

But the parrot might give two crackers.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I don't know about that. He's

I don't know about that. He's a pretty tough negotiator, and, the only Greek he knows is swear words.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The man is desperately in

The man is desperately in need of a Dale Carnegie course.

RONALD RIML's picture

He is more in need of total anonymity.

And the sooner, the better!!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What if he is re-elected?

What if he is re-elected?

RONALD RIML's picture

Start interviewing Surrogates

MARK GRAVE's picture

WOW Ronald, I see that you

WOW Ronald, I see that you gained a little - okay, a lot - of weight. Looks like you had too many fried halibut sandwiches in Boothbay.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The guy in the brown shirt

The guy in the brown shirt sez, "Bull sht!! I've already bought you 4 WHOPPERS!!. You're not getting a bite of mine."

Steve  Dosh's picture

to :Gov. Paul LePage " Open

to :Gov. Paul LePage " Open foot , insert mouth again , please " [ sic. ] /s Steve ;)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Wow, Steve, how do you manage

Wow, Steve, how do you manage to keep on coming up with these things one after another right off the top of your head like that?

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