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LePage, the Republican former Mayor of Waterville who became governor in January 2011, once told students that buying a newspaper was akin to paying someone to lie to you. It's also a poorly kept secret that the loose-lipped LePage often sparks controversy with shoot-from-the-hip comments, whether referring to the IRS as the "new Gestapo," or commenting that the local NAACP chapter offended by his non-participation in Martin Luther King Day events could "kiss his butt."
Still, no further proof is needed that we're in the throes of the Dog Days of Summer than the kerfuffle fueled by the Portland Press Herald over a recent lame LePage witticism. Sitting in an F-35 Lightning II fighter jet simulator at Berwick defense contractor Pratt & Whitney facility last week, LePage was captured in video footage responding to a question about what he wanted to do, saying: "I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up." Not wanting to let his bon mot go unnoticed, LePage, when asked later at the event by a WMTW-TV reporter if he had any targets in mind when he was in the simulator, replied: "The Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News." Guess you had to be there.
The Press Herald wrote a story about the remarks, eliciting criticism about the comments from political opponents of the Governor. The daily even went so far as to ask the FBI in Portland about the statements, only to be told--probably in a monotone--that the FBI responds to threats that are specific and credible, which the law enforcement mavens concluded LePage's statements were not.
The Press Herald has more important fish to fry, such as figuring out how to stay afloat in a newspaper-unfriendly economic environment (see "TUOL" post 10/14/11), and Gov. LePage, who holds the state record for vetoing bills and is a GOP small government champion, might consider adding a joke writer to his staff.
When the tireless staff of "TUOL" wants to be stunned, shocked, or wowed by news events, it bypasses the Press Herald and heads directly to The Huffington Post for photos of actresses not wearing make-up or sideboob photos of Miley Cyrus.