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During Governor McCrory’s attack on the AP, one observer compared it to Jesse Helms’ legendary battles with the media.
 
Now, Carter knew Jesse a lot better than I did. But I see a big difference.
 
Jesse attacked the media because he wanted a political fight. McCrory attacked the media because he doesn’t want an investigation of his financial dealings.
 
Big difference.
 
Helms used the “liberal media” as an ideological foil. It was a way to divide the world into friends and enemies on issues. And it wasn’t personal.
 
McCrory’s AP assault is personal. He has accused the AP and, specifically, reporter Michael Biesecker of maligning him and being out to get him personally.
 
McCrory’s fight has nothing to do with issues or ideology. It’s over ethics and possible impropriety. It’s not a debate over policy toward Cuba. It’s about whether the Governor of North Carolina should take a sweetheart payout from a company that is engaged in sleazy-looking business practices that have attracted the attention of investigators in states across the country.
 
Jesse Helms was no friend of mine, but I fought with Jesse Helms, and I studied him out of necessity. Here, Pat McCrory is no Jesse Helms.

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