An article in the July 6 Sun Journal repeats the reason given by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for banishing the humble Farmer. “Skoglund refused to sign the ethical standards agreement that all on-air talent sign,” said David Morse, vice president of MPBN.

The ethical standards Morse is talking about actually forbid performers to make controversial remarks, or remarks that could be interpreted as controversial. Those standards were addressed in a letter, dated Nov. 20, 2006, on MPBN letterhead, sent by certified mail to Robert Skoglund and signed by Charles L. Beck, vice president for program, which reads, in part: “You will not introduce your own or others’ political thoughts, ideas, expressions, writings or thinking which clearly or can be perceived as endorsing, dismissing or taking a stand on controversial issues.”

MPBN would not dare to require the Capitol Steps or Prairie Home Companion to sign such an agreement, although both entertainers make politically controversial remarks far more often than the humble Farmer.

MPBN cannot apply its policy to such nationally respected entertainers because MPBN would be disgraced, if not made into a laughingstock, especially now  that MPBN “ethical standards” are so clearly a stale residue of the Bush era.

I don’t believe any self-repecting Maine humorist would be willing to sign the MPBN policy.

Maybe it’s time to clean house.

Arthur Harvey, Hartford


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