Censorship Alive and Well at Bangor Daily News
Tara J. Palmatier
August 29, 2012
Call to Action:
Yesterday, I posted a comment on an article written by Bill Trotter of The Bangor Daily News. In the article, Online attacks against Hancock County assistant district attorney unusual, other prosecutors say, Mr Trotter offers reactions from other Maine prosecutors regarding the “unusual criticism” and “online targeting” of Ellsworth, Maine ADA, Mary Kellet, who has been conducting a campaign of prosecutorial harassment against Vladek Filler since 2005.
Mr Trotter cites the National Coalition for Men, FathersandFamilies.org and SAVE websites as being responsible for the “online targeting” of Kellett. Frankly, I’m surprised AVfM was omitted from the list of websites who are “targeting” Kellett (i.e., exposing Kellett’s criminal misconduct) in Trotter’s article.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr Filler’s case, he was accused by his now ex-wife, Ligia Filler, of domestic violence and rape in what seems to have been an attempt to gain a tactical advantage during the midst of their extremely high-conflict divorce and custody dispute. In a nutshell, Mr Filler was convicted of sexual assault at the original trial, which was later overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Kellett during his subsequent retrial.
During Mr Filler’s first trial, Kellett misled jurors to believe that there was not a custody dispute when, in fact, there was a custody dispute. Kellett interfered with subpoenas issued to police officials for evidence and committed other prosecutorial irregularities. Currently, Kellett is facing a disciplinary hearing for her actions by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. Her hearing was originally scheduled for this week, but has been postponed until sometime in October 2012 because of “scheduling difficulties with potential witnesses” according to Jacqueline Rogers, director of the Board of Overseers.
Mr Trotter neglects to mention in his article that one of the “potential witnesses,” Mr Filler, had been strategically scheduled to be incarcerated for 21 days at an undisclosed location at the behest of Ellsworth DA Carletta Bassano (Kellett’s boss) for the one assault charge Kellett could make stick (Mr Filler allegedly threw water in Ms Filler’s face). This would have resulted in Filler’s incarceration on the same date Kellett’s disciplinary hearing was originally scheduled. What a coincidence.
I was surprised by the views expressed in Mr Trotter’s article, in which he seems to be eliciting sympathy for a corrupt and bigoted public official and setting the stage to portray Kellett as the victim in this legal fiasco of her own making. After all, it was Kellett’s decision to pursue a very flimsy case with the only evidence being the word of an incredibly uncredible and obviously borderline psychotic witness. Typically, I stay out of the fray of web-based newspaper publications because the level of discourse is not one in which I care to participate. However, I decided to leave a comment yesterday afternoon to share what I believe is the crux of this issue.
My comment appeared to be well received as it had 41 “Likes” (more than any other comment) early this morning. The next time I refreshed the page just a couple of hours later to see if there were new comments, I was surprised that my comment had been flagged and removed for review.
Unfortunately, I did not take a screenshot of my comment and Google cache does not appear to cache comments. To the best of my recollection, my original comment states:
Unusual criticism? Kellett is being targeted?
I hope exposing corrupt public officials becomes the new norm on the Internet. Corrupt judges, public officials and law enforcement have been able to get away with violating the rights of citizens under the radar for too long. Now, with the Internet, these individuals can finally be exposed.
Welcome to the court of public opinion, Ms Kellet. Your DA cronies can’t cover for you here. Well, they tried to in this article, albeit, rather clumsily. Although, about a year ago, if memory serves, Kellett tried to have a gag order imposed on websites that have been reporting her prosecutorial misconduct. Fortunately, the Ellsworth DA office does not have jurisdiction over the Internet.
Furthermore, Kellett is not being “targeted.” Mr Filler is the one who has been targeted by the criminal, bigoted and sexist Kellett. Kellett is not being targeted; she is being held ACCOUNTABLE. Big difference.
Perhaps Kellett’s DA cronies who are supporting her corrupt and criminal behavior are worried that their possible past, present and future misdeeds will come under similar public scrutiny. This is a classic case of DARVO (Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender), which is a common tactic used by bullies, abusers and sociopaths when their crimes and abuses are exposed. Kellett is the perpetrator in this travesty, not the victim.
I read BDN’s comments guidelines and, as far as I could tell, I did not violate them. In fact, I sent Mr Trotter the following email to inquire why my comment was removed. I also published my email in the comments section of the BDN article, which has also been removed, but much more quickly than my original comment:
Dear Mr Trotter:
I am writing to inquire why the comment I posted on your article yesterday afternoon regarding the “unusual criticism and targeting” of Mary Kellett has been removed? It did not violate the BDN guidelines and appeared to be very well-received by the number of “likes” it received.
If you decide to censor my comment, I respectfully ask that you send me a copy of it, which I assume you still have as your publication states it is “under review” as opposed to deleted. Unfortunately, I did not take a screenshot of my comment because I did not expect to be censored.
Until this point, I have not covered Mr Filler’s case on my website, but plan to do so now and would like to use my comment as the basis of my upcoming article and call to support for Mr Filler. Naturally, I would also like to state why my comment was removed from BDN, so any explanation you can give would be greatly appreciated.
If it was somehow mysteriously eradicated from the BDN database, that’s okay, too. I think I can remember the bulk of it, but it would be very helpful if you could send a copy of it if it still exists in your system.
Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Mr Trotter quickly (under less than 5 minutes) passed the buck, erm, I mean, replied:
I am not familiar with your comment, nor do I have any idea why it may have been removed. I have no control over the readers’ comments section of our website.
I suggest you contact our online editor, Will Davis, who oversees such things. He can be contacted at email@example.com
I then sent a duplicate email to Mr Davis and have not received a reply yet. If I receive one, I will update it in the comments section here. My comment is not inflammatory, at least not by my barometer. I do not use obscenities. I posted it under my name. It expresses similar views to many of the comments that were not flagged and removed for review.
I’m not angry that my comment was removed, but rather, I am curious. I do not publish comments posted on Shrink4Men that violate my comments guidelines, so have no issue with the removal of my comment if it indeed violated BDN’s guidelines.
In addition to being disappointed that AVfM was not included as one of the website cited accused of “targeting” Kellett and offering “unusual criticism” of her prosecutorial misconduct, I am equally disappointed that there was not much of a presence of AVfM members in the comments section of Mr Trotter’s article located here.
Therefore, I would respectfully like to make a call to action from everyone reading this. If you have a few spare moments, please visit The Bangor Daily News and share your thoughts on Ms Kellett’s behavior and Mr Trotter’s article. Please, please, please be civil and adhere to the BDN guidelines. I also ask that you make sure to save your comment and return to AVfM and post it here just in case, you know, it is flagged and removed for review.