To paraphrase George Orwell, in an age of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. We think that pretty much says it all when it comes to the attacks by top liberal Maine Democrats on Maine Examiner in the Boston Globe and several Maine Today Media newspapers this week.
Not a single article published by Maine Examiner can be proven “fake” or false.
When Ben Chin’s internal campaign emails were leaked to us, we took extra steps to verify they were real. Those attacking us say that we took these emails “out of context” when we published them. We provided screenshots of the full emails in the articles for all to see.
The article attacking us said that we ran a story that a known convicted pedophile who was associated with Ben Chin was at the polls collecting signatures for a Maine People’s Alliance referendum. The Globe quoted Ben Chin denying association with the man.
Maine Examiner published pictures of this person at the polls at a table for the MPA along with a picture of him standing behind Ben Chin on stage previously at a campaign event, and a link to an article that showed screenshots of this person on Ben Chin’s campaign volunteer list, a list that the Chin campaign published on the internet for anyone to see. We also had two sources verify this person’s presence in the building and at the table for our report.
We will admit to making a mistake when reporting that Ben Chin’s car had been towed due to unpaid parking tickets. Our sources gave us a mix of old and new information, resulting in us reporting that Mr. Chin’s unpaid parking tickets went back to his time attending Bates. Apparently Mr. Chin had taken care of some of those previous tickets well before his car was towed. But the crux of the story, that Ben Chin’s car was towed due to a pile of unpaid parking tickets over $200, was true. The fact that Mr. Chin’s car was towed was later verified by other media, including the Bangor Daily News.
Compare our admission of this one small mistake on a detail of a story to an incident shortly after that where the Lewiston Sun Journal was blasted by the Auburn Police Department for publishing a false story claiming there was a robbery at Auburn’s Washburn School even though the Auburn PD told the Sun Journal there was no robbery.
We all make mistakes. Our mistake was much smaller than that one.
The article attacking us complained that we did not ask a State Senator for comment on him using taxpayer funding to purchase advertising from himself because we raised the question of him earning a commission on those sales. We went straight to his employer with our inquiry. In the article we reported we had waited three days for a response before publishing. We have another source saying Mr. Chenette did earn a commission. Mr. Chenette denies it.
The Boston Globe story that first delivered all these attacks pushed the narrative that we are not legitimate because of the anonymous nature of the bylines of our site and suggested our articles are not true.
The Maine Today Media newspapers have used the term “Fake News” in headlines to describe us even though one of their papers has reported on the stories we broke being true.
We believe the frustration from the political left over our stories is simply because they are unable to argue the facts, so they need to attack the messenger. It is a standard tactic for a political movement that operates from the playbook of Saul Alinsky, who famously told his acolytes to “go after people and not institutions, people hurt faster than institutions.”
What those attacking us would like to do is ignore the facts in our stories and attack us personally to try to silence us.
We will not be silenced. We will continue publishing fact-based news and content.
The political power brokers in Maine will not like a lot of what we publish. But it will be factual and it will be verified.
The liberal newspapers that have used the term “Fake News” in their headlines to describe us should apologize to their readers.
So much of what Maine Examiner has published was ignored in these attacks on us. A story about a proposed bill reducing Maine’s excise tax on new vehicles sponsored by a State Senator who is a Democrat: ignored. A story about Maine tax breaks that only benefit a few wealthy and powerful people: ignored. A detailed report on how the Obamacare individual mandate was hurting tens of thousands of Maine lower and middle-income families: ignored.
We may produce some news content that liberals and progressives don’t want you to read, but we get our facts straight and we provide the proof to back up our claims. Just because some powerful people don’t want you to read these stories does not mean they are worthy of the “Fake News” label these newspapers are trying to apply to them.