They feed us other people’s lies because they didn’t do their jobs

By Mabel Doge Luhan

Oh, Carter Widmor, we hardly knew you!

Running from the law is nothing new. What was remarkable in Carter’s case was that as an escaped fugitive with a very shaky fake identity, he repeatedly voluntarily approached the newspapers in Saipan with his story. Can you imagine this happening in any place with real newspapers? Charlie (“Carter”) wasn’t stupid. He knew not to shop this story around anywhere in the mainland US, nor even Guam.

Charlie didn’t try to seduce adult women with his “brain cancer” story; he went to middle-school-age girls. And he didn’t try to tell his “Amish” story to real newspapers; he went to the Marianas Variety.

He must’ve known that they’ll print anything you tell them.

In the January 25, 2023 Marianas Variety article, “Beating cancer, strumming strings,” Richelle Ann Agpoon wrote and personally vouched for, and the Marianas Variety printed, these five likely lies from the alleged child-predator felon (verbatim):

  1. Carter Widmor found out that he had brain cancer five years ago

  2. Widmor was born in an Amish community in Ohio where he spent the first 16 years of his life

  3. Despite a still ongoing battle with cancer, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he learned how to play the guitar and design websites.

  4. Widmor was orphaned at a young age

  5. He is determined to win his fight against cancer

In the September 5, 2023 Marianas Variety article, “All he needs is a Social Security number,” Emmanuel Erediano wrote and personally vouched for, and the Marianas Variety printed, these two likely lies from the alleged child-predator felon (verbatim):

  1. In August 2022, Carter Widmor moved to Saipan from California with his girlfriend, an island native.

  2. He is a cancer survivor

“But he lied to us!” Richelle and Emmanuel might say. Yes, that’s why you’re a reporter, not an amanuensis. If your job involved just writing down what people tell you and submitting it for publication — as in fact most Saipan “reporters” believe is the limit of their job — you could be replaced by a Google form or a voice-to-text script. Believe it or not, you’re supposed to think and ask questions and try to get at the truth of the matter, not just write down what people tell you.

“But it doesn’t matter!” those “reporters” might continue. Right. An alleged felon with a stack of arrest warrants for child rape “doesn’t matter.”

How many years ago was it that the Variety giddily invited women to model for a “photographer” who turned out to be a convicted sex offender?

And none of this requires tremendous intellect nor hours of research. Any Variety reporter, maybe even Manabat on a good day, would have been capable of doing the ten minutes of online research it would’ve taken to completely blow up “Carter’s” claims. Charlie knew this full well. And this is why he stayed clear of newspapers that ask questions.

Charlie knew the Variety wouldn’t even ask to meet Charlie’s Canadian girlfriend, nor ask to see his medical paperwork or specific diagnosis, nor ask basic things like his date and place of birth and his parents’ names. Charlie knew it, and the Variety lived up to it.

But that’s not the end of it. It’s not the last time. Like elderly people on a scam victim call list, we get scammed over, and over, and over.

Sometimes it’s relatively harmless — as when Emmanuel Erediano wrote and personally vouched for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR completely false “news stories” that had been fed to him by a child in Texas. The “professional reporter,” an adult, got completely schooled four times by a kid talking story.

But it’s far from harmless when we set ourselves up as willing victims for all the world’s scams, including those by our own “leaders.” It’s like we’re carrying around a sign that says “kick me,” and it’s largely due to the local newspapers’ incompetence or apathy. The newspapers are supposed to be the public’s guardians against scammers and liars. They’re supposed to be fact-checkers — not the boosters and amplifiers of lies, hoaxes, and scams.

When Best Sunshine claimed they’ll be building a seven-billion-dollar hotel, the Saipan reporters eagerly repeated it as fact. When IPI claimed that they’ll soon be getting five hundred million dollars, of course the reporters reported it as fact. When there was a new Managaha operator who was turning Managaha into a five-star resort by the end of 2023, of course it was reported as fact.

When Dallas Monroe Peavey Jr. decided to grace the CNMI with his presence, the newspapers were falling over themselves calling him “Doctor Peavey” and adding a “PhD” after his name, when that wouldn’t be standard journalistic practice even if Peavey actually had a PhD.

And when Charlie Dewey decided to adopt a name that no Amish person would ever have and came up with a story that not only flies in the face of basic facts about Amish communities and brain cancer but also about the law and about common sense — of course, Saipan’s newspapers printed it as fact.

All the lies our politicians tell us? Always printed as fact.

All the lies fed us by foreign investment scammers? Always printed as fact.

It’s a question of when, not if, the next scammer comes along and the CNMI’s “reporters” will eagerly reprint all the stories they tell them.

We at Kandit will just stay our mean, mean, disbelieving selves, living in the world of verified and verifiable truth. Pity on us.


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.


  • Gentlemen, that reminds me….

    A man wrote to the editor of his local newsspaper, to say that he found 26 errors in the morning edition.

    The next day the editor replied, “You are correct. But we found 52.”

    Nobody’s prefect Mabel.

  • Anna Sincler

      02/23/2024 at 5:19 AM

    Why isn’t anyone talking about Dewey’s connection with Wei, EUCON school president? Weird was going to ADOPT Dewey. V

    Dewey obtained a US passport. That’s a really big deal. No one wants to put that in news.

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