Media Bias Alleged
AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage passed gas yesterday while meeting with key Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, according to numerous published reports.
“He just sort of leaned to one side and let it rip,” Sen. Justin Alfond (D-Portland) told the Bangor Daily News. “Then he had this look on his face that said, ‘What are you gonna do about it? I’m the governor.”
Witnesses described the fart as a “short, but powerful,” cross between a downshifting tractor-trailer and a muted French horn, producing a pungent odor that rivaled month-old egg salad. Numerous people started opening windows, even though it was only ten degrees outside.
Sources say this is the fifth time a LePage fart has disrupted a meeting in Augusta; four of those times he was meeting with Democrats. “This situation is getting out of hand,” said Sen. Alfond. “It shows great disrespect for his office and for the institution of government in general.”
The Bangor Daily first broke the fart story yesterday on its website, and soon the Sun Journal in Lewiston followed suit, along with MaineToday’s papers in Portland, Augusta, and Waterville. Today’s editions of each paper carried front-page banner headlines.
LePage spokesman Dan Demerrit dismissed the issue with a wave of his hand. “The governor is a human being and he makes mistakes,” he said. “We’ve cleared the air and it’s time for the rest of Maine to do the same.”
Conservative groups expressed greater indignation. “This is just another example of our left-wing media blowing things out of proportion,” said Tarren Bragdon of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. “Baldacci had this annoying way of cracking his knuckles, and nobody said a word. [House Democratic aide] Everett Townsend is constantly knuckle-deep in his nostrils; where are the banner headlines for that?”
BDN editorial writers denied that political bias influenced their paper’s treatment of “Fartgate,” as some bloggers are calling it.
“The Founding Fathers did not intend the Free Press to pick apart every public figure’s idiosyncrasies and personal flaws,” they penned today. “But disrupting public business in a manner that demeans and embarrasses our elected representatives — and potentially requires the evacuation of state buildings due to fears of a chemical attack — is behavior that warrants coverage by any journalist who takes seriously their role of ‘government watchdog.'”
They continued, “The People of Maine deserve to know what kind of governor they elected, including how his intestines react when he orders Chinese food for lunch.”
LePage becomes the first Maine governor to have stirred controversy over an excretory issue since 1990, when John McKernan infamously left a paper bag full of shit in front of House Speaker John Martin’s office door.