By The Editor
This is a message to all Mainers, and anyone else who saw the recent news that Maine Gov. Paul LePage thinks it’s amusing to concoct false information and feed it to the “stupid” media.
In case you aren’t aware, here’s the story from the Associated Press. (Kudos to the AP for capturing yet another of LePage’s famed happy faces.)
In these early days of the Trump regime, it has become popular sport among conservatives nationwide to bluster about the awful Mainstream Media and how those meanie liberals – with their twisted focus on “facts” and “truth” – are so unfair to the misunderstood man of the people.
In the words of LePage – Trump’s Maine Mini-Me – journalists are “vile,” “inaccurate” and “useless.” He adds that, “the sooner the print press goes away, the better society will be.”
Yes indeed, ending that whole Free Press malarkey is clearly the path forward, with the end result being a more perfect nation unencumbered by the hefty mental and moral burden of being informed.
Unfortunately, until every citizen subscribes to Twitter and agrees to have the Grand Tangerine’s misspelled missives streamed directly into their cerebra, the media will remain a necessary evil.
And that is the problem with LePage’s little joke on journalists and his fellow elected officials.
(I won’t bother dissecting the obvious hypocrisy of a politician who admits telling lies while his aides try to brush off the embarrassing report by calling it “fake news.”)
If LePage really is, as he suggests, sitting in his gubernatorial command center conjuring ways to fool the press, his fun fibs not only trip up the media, but they have a direct impact on You.
Let me try to present this in the logical format of a mathematical rule I learned during my time in a Maine public high school. If you were ever exposed to the numerical delights of algebra, this may ring a bell.
It’s called the Transitive Property and it goes a little something like this: If A equals B, and B equals C, then A also equals C.
Now, class, let’s give each of those letters a name.
A = Maine Gov. Paul LePage
B = News media professionals with the misfortune of covering LePage
C = The Public / Men / Women / Voters / Taxpayers / You
So, to apply the Transitive Property using real world terms, if A (LePage) lies to B (a journalist) then he is also lying to C (You).
Or another way of putting it: LePage fabricates information to mislead the media for his own amusement = Journalists write/broadcast LePage’s tall tale = You read/hear/see this figment of LePage’s imagination and believe it to be true.
An additional point involving numbers: LePage receives a salary and other perks of his position from the taxpayers of Maine. Therefore, if he is spending his paid time lying to the press, and subsequently to You, he is abusing the state’s funds. While pondering ways to toy with the media, he is wasting hours – and subsequently money – that should be used to benefit the people of Maine.
Once again, the Transitive Property can be applied: LePage Lying = Time Wasted = Public Money Misused.
Unless, of course, you are on a private list of somebodies he tells the real story while he is duping the media, and consequently deceiving anyone who reads a newspaper, listens to the radio, or watches television.
Are You in that special directory of insiders? Or are You just one of Us? The Us being misled by a governor who thinks We deserve to be the butt of his peculiar jokes?
I’m sorry to say the only correct answer, mathematically, is that when Paul LePage lies to journalists, he is misleading everyone. Including You.
(July 10, 2017)