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