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Editor's Desk

Another Mystery Surfaces
By Ken Anderson
Nov 8, 2005 - 1:48:00 PM

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MILLINOCKET -- We've cleared up the mystery of the Polstein-McLean signs that were reportedly stolen over the weekend, in that they had been removed by the property owners who never gave permission for the signs to be placed there anyhow. Still, we were left with other signs that were vandalized, according to the Katahdin Press. This leads only to another mystery.

According to a front-page story in the Katahdin Press, written by Lisa M. Hayes-Pelkey, the signs were vandalized between 10:00 p.m. Friday and 2:00 a.m. Saturday, which fits with the time in which people first began seeing the vandalized signs.

The Katahdin Press goes to the publishers on Saturday in order to be available for distribution on Monday. For this reason, the posted advertising policy for the Katahdin Press states that advertising must be in no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, or 12:00 noon on Friday for camera-ready ads.

Therein lies the mystery. While the vandalism supposedly occurred late Friday night or early Saturday morning, long after the deadline for advertising had expired, the November 8, 2005 issue of the Katahdin Press carries a well-constructed half-page ad paid for by the Committee to Elect Matthew Polstein and Bruce McLean, depicting three of the vandlized signs.

Deadlines: Displayed and BRIC ads 5:00 p.m. Thursday. Camera ready 12:00 noon Friday.

Either one of the two following events must have occurred in order for this to be possible:

  1. The Committee to Elect Matthew Polstein and Bruce McLean had photographs of the vandalized signs long before the vandalism even occurred; or
  2. The Katahdin Press held the presses to the last possible moment in order to be able to get this advertising in.

The first possibility suggests that the Polstein-McLean election committee knew of the vandalism long before it occurred, while the second indicates that the Katahdin Press has demonstrated extreme partisanship in this election.

Will they do this for any advertiser? If John Davis or one of the other candidates had approached the Katahdin Press on Saturday morning, would they have carried their advertising?

We have already learned that the Katahdin Press chose to ignore the facts and to sensationalize its own story on the theft and vandalism of Polstein-McLean signs, in that they neglected to check with the property owners who could have told them that they had removed the signs from their private property because they had been placed there without permission of the property owner.

All it took was a telephone call. Was the Katahdin Press negligent in not making that call? Did partisanship have anything to do with its editorial decision to refer to the removed signs as a theft, rather than seeking the simple facts in the case?

If the Polstein-McLean signs were truly vandalized, we would expect that our police department will look into this matter fully. However, if this was nothing more than a campaign stunt, we expect our police department to look into this as well.

The Katahdin Press reported that Polstein-McLean signs had been stolen, but we have learned that this was not true.

We can see that some Polstein-McLean signs have been vandalized, but we have to ask which side was best served by this action?

We hope that our police department will investigate this crime with more objectivity than our print media used in reporting it.

Lisa Hayes-Pelkey was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Was this ad prepared even before the vandalism occurred?

Related Story: Mystery Solved

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