Controversy broke out last week after Maine First Media released a recording showing Maine Democrats celebrating an increase in white male suicide. In the video, former State Senate candidate Richard Fochtmann was shown celebrating an increase in white men committing suicide. After he made the remarks, the crowd at the Maine Democratic Party’s Values and Vision Summit began to laugh.
For days after, conservatives, suicide prevention advocates, and the national media covered the issue with outrage over the disturbing scene.
After a few days, the Maine Democratic Party responded defending themselves. After attacking Maine First Media, they claimed the video was selectively edited and stated immediately after the remarks Fochtmann was denounced.
New video that was not “selectively edited” shows this to be a lie.
Maine First Media released an extended video that goes on for a couple minutes beyond Fochtmann’s suicide joke. Instead of showing Fochtmann being called down and an apology following, it just shows business as usual. Nobody took the mic or immediately called out the awful remarks.
Why did the Maine Democratic Party lie?
It makes one wonder if the Maine Democratic Party leadership also laughed at the celebration of white male suicide. In the new video, Chairman Phil Bartlett handed off the mic to his former State Senate candidate.
Why didn’t Chairman Bartlett take the mic as soon as the suicide remarks were made? Was he too busy laughing?
To this point, the Chairman has not answered whether or not he did find humor in the celebration of increasing white male suicide. If he didn’t find the joke wrong at the time, it would certainly explain why he didn’t immediately interject.
Furthermore, his lack of concern over the remarks would also explain the Maine Democratic Party’s slow response. Was the Maine Democratic Party really responding to the horrible remarks leaked by Maine First Media, or were they just responding to all the attention they were receiving nationally?
Everything appears quite disingenuous to this point and there are many lingering questions that remain unanswered. But this lie from the Maine Democratic Party caught on video sends a poor signal to the rest of Maine.
Is this the kind of behavior that Mainers want? Celebration of more white men committing suicide and then blatant lies?