The reporting staff of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel have continued to ignore Rep. John Picchiotti’s long series of racist and anti-muslim Facebook posts. A story following his re-election to the Town Council in Fairfield last week still only refers to the one post that initially attracted public attention and notes that he apologized for it.
The editorial board of the newspapers, however, has a bit more of a complete view of the issue.
In an editorial over the weekend, they castigate Picchiotti, who they explain “shared bigoted and anti-Muslim posts on his Facebook page, then misrepresented his social media history, and downplayed criticism, in a half-baked apology.”
“The initial post that got Picchiotti in trouble wasn’t a mistake, but part of a pattern, and he should have owned up to it,” they write. “They are hateful and dehumanizing, deceptive and inflammatory, and they have no place in the public discourse.”
Rep. Picchiotti has not commented on the issue publicly since his “half-baked apology.” The staff of the Maine Republican Party has also remained silent, despite calls from their Democratic counterparts to repudiate Picchiotti’s remarks.
At least one of Picchiotti’s constituents has had enough, and wrote a letter to the same paper to demand Picchiotti “resign from public office on behalf of Maine’s Muslim community and the many Mainers, such as myself, who oppose bullying and bigotry.”
After having been caught making very similar bigoted social media posts earlier this year, Republican State Senator Michael Willette resigned as chair of the State and Local Government Committee.