And the newspaper caught in the crosshairs is having none of it:
You may have recently received several pieces in the mail paid for by the state Republican Party that criticize Democrat Brownie Futrell, who is challenging Republican Bill Cook in the District 1 Senate race. Those pieces include the statement: “But State Senate Candidate Brownie Futrell supports Hillary Clinton’s plan to give single, able-bodied young men who won’t work ‘free’ healthcare funded by taxpayers.” Next to those words is a footnote that cites “The Outer Banks Sentinel 12/16/2015” as the source for that assertion.
We reviewed our coverage of the Futrell/Cook race, and here is exactly what we reported that Futrell said about health care: “’Rural health care is an issue to me,’ he continued, adding that a hospital in his county recently closed, something he attributed to the state’s failure to expand Medicaid.”
It looks like the NC GOP's spin machine threw a rod. There's a red line there for a reason. And there are consequences for misusing the 4th Estate:
So here’s our point. The North Carolina Republican Party is free to attack its political opponents as it chooses (particularly if it doesn’t mind being called out on it). Just don’t twist the words in this newspaper or deceptively manipulate our reporting to do it.
And in a rare Sentinel endorsement, we approve the Oct. 2 Elizabeth City Daily Advance story that concluded the claims in the anti-Futrell mailer are “misleading” and the Sept. 29 commentary in the Outer Banks Voice that called them “incredibly disingenuous.”
Ouch. When a local paper is forced to show love to its competition, you have graduated to the top of their $#!+ list...