A 48-page tab-sized insert titled The Raleigh Digest, inserted in the Wednesday edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times, has some readers upset about the political content of the publication. The newspaper offered the following clarification and apology in response:
The “Raleigh Digest” in the Wednesday, Nov. 27, print edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times is a PAID ADVERTISING insert. It was NOT clearly labeled PAID ADVERTISEMENT. We at the Citizen-Times apologize for any confusion this has created.
The expressed views and entire content were not produced by the newspaper, and have no affiliation to the Asheville Citizen-Times, or Gannett Co.
Our paid and political advertising policies, as well as internal controls, are under immediate review. To ensure this does not happen in the future, we will update and enhance these policies for advertiser compliance and internal enforcement.
The Raleigh Digest includes articles on everything from controversial issues such as changes to the state’s election system, tax reform and gun rights to the Rev. Billy Graham, who was honored by the N.C. General Assembly this year. The stories present the action taken by the Republican-controlled General Assembly all in a positive light. It lists its website as theraleighdigest.com, which is a site that offers a pdf of the publication. A blurb on the inside front page lists the publication’s editor as James Smith of InTouchNC LLC at 1854 Hendersonville Road. That’s a company owned by Republican N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County, according to Mountain Xpress.
Comments like this, from a reader named Kevin, were flying Wednesday morning:
Reminiscent of cheer leading from political appointees at the Cultural Resources office recently. No indication of who was publishing…I left it at the diner table with the ad inserts. As I paid my bill, I noticed the guy at the other table pick it up to read. I should have trashed it. I suppose this may be what we can look forward to from ACT, restaurant press releases, sensationalized weather, Billy Graham Idolatry and Wing Nut political inserts. I have tried to cancel my subscription to the ACT but it keeps on coming. I am conflicted, I have always enjoyed a paper in the morning, why does it have to be so insulting to my intelligence and sense of fairness. ACT and the publishers of this insert have no concept of a larger social contract that would prevent them from ever considering such BULL SHIT! Call the ACT publisher and complain Gordon; I will. Even on our Montford list serve you have to sign your posts, oh yeah but we are commies.
And this from Beth:
You should print this retraction on the front page tomorrow if you have a shred of integrity as journalists and news leaders. Shameful that you would do Moffitt’s bidding for him.