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‘Worst Maine travel piece of the year’: Bangor newspaper slams New York Post column

Allen Island in Maine.Greta Rybus for the Boston Globe

After a veteran New York Post columnist wrote a savage piece about her first visit to Maine, one of the state’s largest newspapers struck back with an editorial calling her story “abysmal” and “the worst Maine travel piece of the year.”

The Bangor Daily News editorial board could not sit idly by after reading a piece titled, “My summer vacation in ‘polite,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘inexpensive’ Maine,” by New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

In her column published Aug. 21, Adams begins by listing some of the things she notices in Maine: “...Ocean. Shoreline. Beaches. Open sky. Green. Trees. Lighthouses. Boats. Harbors. Coastlines. No litter. No trash. It’s polite. Friendly. Inexpensive. Seafood. Lobsters the size of Radio City.”

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Nothing to argue with there.

But then Adams gets oddly personal, zeroing in on a particular part of Mainers’ anatomy.

“Locals whose behinds overlap the state of Texas all stuffed into shorts,” she writes. “Realtors could establish an entire campsite on the average ass.” A few paragraphs later, she returns to that topic, writing, “There’s not enough fabric on NYC’s Seventh Avenue to cover any local behind.”

The Bangor Daily News wasted little time in responding to the column, noting in an editorial published Tuesday that it’s not the first time a member of the national media has gotten Maine all wrong.

“Summer is not quite over, but we may already have a winner in the seasonal competition for most out-of-touch Maine travel piece by a member of the national media,” the editorial says. “Each year brings another wave of journalists from outside Maine who manage to sound like they are the first person ever to discover a lobster roll without learning much about Vacationland in the process.

“And this summer, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams seems likely to win this unofficial crown — thanks to a truly abysmal take on the Pine Tree State and the people here,” the editorial continues. “This column checks all the wrong boxes: Adams judges other people’s bodies and fashion, she makes factual errors, and she even makes up a supposed Maine word.”

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The editorial does not shy away from her cracks about derrières.

“[S]he really lost us when she wouldn’t stop criticizing the size of people’s butts. Seriously,“ quips the BDN. “Adams decided it was necessary to repeatedly stress that she is not a fan of our fannies.”

Adams did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The Bangor paper also takes issue with what Adams had to say about Mainers’ fashion sense. Vacationland’s casual, relaxed style was not a hit with the columnist.

“In Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor, Portland, Ogunquit, Freeport, Eastport the concept of dressing is only for salad,” Adams writes. “Forget shopping . . . L.L. Bean jeans, drawers, plaid shirts, crappy sweaters, sweats, sneakers and backpacks are considered black tie.”

At that, the BDN fired back: “Who cares about what other people look like, or what they’re wearing? It’s condescension heaped on top of stigma.”

The editorial also calls out Adams for wrongly identifying “downcoast” as a term locals use, and for her incorrect assertion that George Bush is from there. (For those keeping score, President George H.W. Bush was born in Milton, Mass., while his son, President George W. Bush, was born in New Haven, Conn. The Bush family has, however, long owned a waterfront estate in Kennebunkport.)

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Adams ends her column by saying after her Maine jaunt, she climbed into her car and returned “to New York and civilization.”

For its part, the Bangor Daily News is not sorry to see her go.

“We hope she enjoys the city,” the editorial concludes. “Where we’re from, being civilized means respecting people’s appearances rather than treating them like a punchline.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her @brittbowker and also on Instagram @brittbowker.