Soon after boarding a flight simulator, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he wanted to blow up a newspaper building and later he told a reporter that his targets included two newspapers.
“I want to find the Press Herald building and blow it up,” LePage said in video posted online from his appearance at an event hosted by defense contractor Pratt & Whitney.
In the simulator, the Republican governor was able engage in a dogfight with digitized enemy jets soaring across the monitor screens in front of him, but LePage was not able to follow through with a simulated strike on the Portland Press Herald’s offices.
When the governor was asked by a TV reporter if he had any targets, he reportedly answered The Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.
In response media reports of the event, the governor’s Twitter account sent out a message: “Threatened? It was a joke, folks.”
While local FBI officials told the Press-Herald they did not expect LePage to carry out such a threat, the newspaper’s publisher, Lisa DeSisto, didn’t appreciate the governor’s joke.
“Unfortunately our governor has a misguided sense of humor,” Press Herald Publisher Lisa DeSisto said in a story on the paper’s website. “That kind of a joke is irresponsible in this day and age, especially when it comes from the leader of our state.”
LePage has long had a frosty relationship with Maine newspapers. In July 2011, he scolded reporters, telling them “you folks tend to not like to write the truth,” and in March 2012, he told students at a junior high school that “reading newspapers in the state of Maine is like paying someone to lie to you.”
The Raw Story, Bangor Daily News