August 20, 2019

Winning and Losing The War on Propaganda in Maine’s Anti Bear Referendum Battle

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NugentThe battle over the upcoming bear hunting referendum in Maine will be won or lost depending on who can wage the biggest amount of effective lying and demonization of “the other side.” This is at its best in a recent editorial in the Bangor Daily News, where the paper attempts to make readers think the paper is not biased in this campaign against normal Maine living.

On the one hand, you have the Humane Society of the United States; perhaps one of the most corrupt and dishonest organizations in America pointing a finger at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt and placing shame on them for employing Ted Nugent as their campaign spokesman, as if this makes them corrupt and dishonest. The Bangor Daily News, while trying to claim they aren’t party to the lies perpetuated on both sides, takes key quotes and uses them craftily against the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt.

The newspaper chooses to post at least part of a quote from James Cote, campaign manager for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt: [Ted Nugent] “has never been and will never be a spokesperson for our campaign. We, as the only organized opposition, have never announced that he has anything to do with our campaign.” Perhaps Mr. Cote missed the lesson that day when most were taught NEVER to use never and always in sentences that deal with people.

If this was the quote Cote made and in the context it was intended to be, then Cote erred in making it. While the intent may have been to put some distance between Save Maine’s Bear Hunt and the always controversial Ted Nugent, Cote’s choice of words to do that perhaps were not well selected. Nugent had just given one of his guitars to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to use to help in raising funds to fight the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wanting to ban bear hunting.

Without having the full text of all the words spoken by Cote, it’s difficult to know exactly how he attempted to correct HSUS’s lies about Nugent being a spokesman for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt. The Bangor Daily News, a professional at spinning words to sell copy and promoting their own, sometimes not-so-impartial, agendas, jumped all over Cote’s words in a double whammie, covering it’s own butt while at the same time being clever enough to continue to be biased against Maine’s bear hunting by manipulating words. In other words, while attempting to let readers know that the paper understands that Nugent isn’t a spokesman for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt, they took the opportunity to cease on Cote’s words to divide his camp, which in turn will lesson the power of Save Maine’s Bear Hunt in its battle with HSUS. Very clever. This is what happens when you have the media on your side.

Of course the lesson here is to choose your words carefully; always an extremely difficult task when dealing with greedy and biased news media.

On the other hand, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Save Maine’s Bear Hunt do not have the resources the criminals at HSUS have and need to be careful of the words they speak for and/or against those who choose to support them. We cannot always choose the ideal supporters for any campaign but words that would not cut off the hand that feeds you nor provide ammunition for a biased media sure would help. This is a classic example of David and Goliath.

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