Down East 2013 ©
Irregular news judgment: The June 10 release of a state report on last December’s ski-lift accident at Sugarloaf was big news – everywhere but in the ski resort’s backyard.
The findings of the Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety that criticized Sugarloaf’s maintenance and training programs were all over TV and radio news that day, and on the front pages of many of the state’s newspapers the following morning. But when the next edition of the Original Irregular, the weekly paper in Kingfield, came out on June 15, there was no story on page one. In fact, there was nothing about the contents of the report at all.
Instead, the Irregular ran verbatim a statement from Sugarloaf management  reacting to the criticisms, criticisms the paper hadn’t covered in the first place.
Even this feeble, one-sided effort didn’t get big play. It appeared on page nine, next to several items about upcoming summer Bible schools being offered by area churches.
This looks suspiciously as if the paper, faced with embarrassing news about the area’s largest employer and one of its biggest advertisers, decided to punt.
No insights from two political sites: Two Web sites that covered Maine politics from a right-wing perspective seem to have called it quits.
Maine Watchdog,  a one-person operation funded by the conservative Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, has posted nothing new since May 12.
In about a year of operation, the Watchdog produced only one significant scoop,  a story on Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s use of her fiancé’s corporate jet.
There was no response to an email I sent to the site’s sole employee, reporter Stephan Burklin, inquiring about the situation.
A few days after Maine Watchdog went silent, Pine Tree Politics  did likewise. Ryan McCabe, PTP’s new operator, posted a well-researched piece  on May 17 on U.S. Senate candidate Scott D’Amboise’s troubles with the Federal Election Commission, after which all was silence.
No reply to an email to McCabe, either.
Al Diamon can be emailed at email@example.com .