Twin City TIMES has been thrust into the media frenzy about Mayor Bob Macdonald’s weekly column. We’d like to clarify a few points.
First, the Sun Journal and the Bangor Daily News quoted Gen Lysen, lead organizer of Maine People’s Alliance, saying that “Maine People’s Alliance members have complained to the [TCT] publisher about Macdonald’s column but have had no response.”
This is simply not true. We would never ignore such a complaint. We have not received any letters, calls or emails from anyone identified as a member of Maine People’s Alliance. We are always more than willing to print any Letters to the Editor, columns or op/eds from anyone in the community, especially if they are opposed to anything they have seen in TCT.
As loyal readers of TCT know, we welcome everyone’s point of view, and we would be more than happy to print a response written by anyone. We have asked Maine People’s Alliance for submissions written by their members or someone in the local Somali community.
Second, this is our word-for-word response emailed to a Sun Journal reporter who inquired why Mayor Macdonald’s column did not appear in our last edition:
“Thanks for your questions. Mayor Macdonald did submit a column, but we made the decision not to publish it last week. With the media frenzy surrounding the mayor’s comments, we thought it would be best to let everything settle down.
“We want to be clear that the mayor’s comments and columns do not reflect our personal opinions or the editorial position of Twin City TIMES.
“Twin City TIMES has always provided a forum for community debate, and we have always published letters or columns or op/eds that address controversial topics. For over four years, we published former mayor Larry Gilbert’s columns, which were extremely liberal.
“Although we at TCT did not agree with all of Gilbert’s opinions, we still published his column. In fact, we received many complaints over the years about Gilbert’s columns. But we do not censor opinions just because they are different than our own.
“TCT still believes in the First Amendment right for citizens to express themselves, even if some of those expressions are considered inflammatory by other citizens who object to them.
“While we do not share many of Mayor Macdonald’s opinions, we publish his column because it represents a point of view held by many residents of Lewiston. We have received many phone calls and emails urging us to continue running the mayor’s columns.
“We will monitor the situation and then determine whether to continue to publish the mayor’s column.”
Finally, we at TCT sincerely appreciate your tremendous feedback, which we have received by email, phone calls, letters and posts on our Facebook page and website. As always, we encourage our readers to submit Letters to the Editor, op/eds, columns or any other content. Healthy debate on controversial issues facing L-A community is always a good thing.
Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.