Published Date Written by Craig LyonsInterested in reading a Portland-based entertainment magazine's take on the redevelopment of Congress Square?
Unfortunately, that's become difficult since most of the Aug. 22 issues of "Vex" magazine were suspiciously removed from stands or vandalized, according to Mort Todd, the magazine's publisher. Todd said the article advocating for the square's redevelopment was what led to the magazine's theft, vandalism and redistribution because someone failed to agree with an opposing view on what should happen to the failed public space.
"It's a total violation of First Amendment rights," Todd said, because it's stifling a divergent view on an issue.
Todd, a Maine native, launched "Vex" in July after having been the editor of "Cracked" magazine and working at Marvel Comics. Todd is also the creative mind behind Station A productions in Portland.
The sixth edition of the magazine featured what Todd described as a "satirical editorial" on the controversy around Congress Square Park and the proposal to turn part of the public space into a ballroom that would extend off the Eastland Park Hotel. The "Vex" piece stated that developing the park would create jobs and revenue in the city as a counterbalance to the media coverage that decried the proposal.
As the issue that featured the story hit stands, the copies either disappeared or were altered, according to Todd.
What copies weren't removed from retail locations now featured a sticker and new editorial stuck inside the tabloid publication.
The sticker read, "Warning: This lame publication now includes added content from those who appreciate public space!"
Inside the publication, a pro-Congress Square Park essay with photos was inserted.
"What they did to us, it's pretty much censorship," Todd said.
Todd said he thinks that his publication was victimized by members of the Occupy Maine movement who didn't agree with the article's view on Congress Square Park. The Portland-based Occupy group has advocated for the preservation of Congress Square as a public space.
While the essay inserted in "Vex" lacked a byline, Todd said, the same piece — less personal attacks against Todd — was published on a blog on Tuesday and purportedly written by Rob Korobkin. Korobkin has been involved with some of Occupy Maine's events in Portland.
Korobkin's response to the "Vex" article was posted on "The Punk Patriot" blog under the title, "I love Maine and hate elitist dinks from away who run crap magazines."
The Daily Sun was unable to contact Korobkin for comment.