‘Loggers’ should stir pride, not pessimism

Posted Feb. 26, 2009, at 10:58 p.m.

By now, those of you who read the Bangor Daily News already know that reality TV crews have struck again in Maine and that The Discovery Channel will feature the Pelletier family in its new series, “American Loggers.”

But once again I’m feeling the need to urge people not to judge until they’ve seen what the show has to offer. It never fails that the rumor mill starts to work early in small towns, and it has happened again. While many are pleased and proud that the Millinocket family of loggers has been selected to appear in at least 10 episodes of the show that follows the vein of “Deadliest Catch” and “Ax Men,” a few have brought up unrelated issues and disgust that some of the show may have been scripted.

Haven’t we discussed this before? Reality TV doesn’t always live up to its name, and of course scenes are edited and producers put a spin on some aspects to draw in viewers. Would you watch soap operas if no one ever fought, cheated or got divorced? Would you watch “Cops” if no one got in trouble or were arrested?

The Pelletier family obviously and rightfully is proud of its three-generation logging operation, and like true Mainers, we should support our neighbors and take pride in their accomplishments.

Coming from a family of loggers, perhaps I’m a bit prejudiced, but any show that brings some attention to the hard-working people of Maine deserves some credit. Let’s hope that The Discovery Channel and the family of Pelletier Inc. can shine a positive light on an industry that has suffered over the years and open the eyes of people worldwide about the quality of worker and the product that we treasure in Maine. Who knows, maybe their efforts will bring some new business to the state. After all, there’s no publicity that’s bad publicity.

So tune in to The Discovery Channel at 10 tonight to see what the show’s all about before you criticize. Anyone who ever has seen any of these logging operations in action — whether they’re Bouchards, Gardners, Pelletiers or Dolloffs — should be proud and impressed at the skill and dedication it takes to survive in the industry.

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