Lewiston, ME: Newsweek screwed up the story

Last Saturday I reported that a Newsweek magazine story on Lewiston, ME credited the large number of Somali immigrants there with the economic boom the city is experiencing.  It made no sense to me and today, thanks to Mars, I see it makes no sense to the citizens of Lewiston either. 

From the Sun-Journal (the local paper!):

LEWISTON – Charles Morrison said he was happy to give a Newsweek reporter plenty of names of local people to talk to about Lewiston’s rebirth.

“It sounded great,” Morrison said. “It sounded like what this community needed, which is good press. That’s not what we got, at least from a local perspective.”

Morrison said he was shocked to see the headline that came from those interviews in Newsweek’s Jan. 26 edition: “The Refugees Who Saved Lewiston: A dying Maine mill town gets a fresh burst of energy.” The article quotes Morrison and Paul Badeau, marketing director for the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, in a story that credits the city’s new Somali residents for its economic rebirth.

“We’ve welcomed the Somalis and worked every day to help make them a part of our community,” Morrison said. “But are they the only reason for the transformation? No, not for the changes that are having the biggest impacts locally.”

The article goes on to describe the economic activity that is responsible for improvement in the economy and describes the fear that Newsweek’s sloppy journalism will cause racial tensions to rise again.  Some of the previous bad publicity the town experienced is mentioned too.

I shouldn’t gloat, but I knew there was no way flooding a town with third world refugees was going to bring economic boom times.

As for Newsweek, it is going down the tubes and it’s reporting like this that is pushing it and other mainstream publications over the edge.   The other night, Bernie Goldberg, who has a new book out about the media’s love affair with Obama, told viewers of FOX News that the media was going under for two reasons:  technology (the internet), and the trust factor.    We simply can’t trust them to tell the truth and this Lewiston story is a prime example.

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