State

Website that promoted anti-Semitic article on NC attorney general will be sold

A screenshot of the Carolina Plott Hound website
A screenshot of the Carolina Plott Hound website N.C. Policy Watch

The conservative Civitas Institute announced Tuesday that it will no longer operate a news website that came under fire last week for promoting an anti-Semitic blog post about N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein.

Carolina Plott Hound, a Drudge Report-style website that collects and posts links to news and conservative commentary from a variety of sources, promoted as its lead headline a blog arguing that Stein joined a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA because he “is acting in accordance with the worldview and ethnic interests of his own particular group – i.e., those within contemporary Judaism. Stein is a reform Jew. Those from within his own ethnic group want the Christian majority with roots in western countries to be numerically diluted.”

DACA is the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has protected immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

The liberal N.C. Policy Watch website criticized the link and called on Civitas to condemn the viewpoints expressed by the blogger. After being contacted by the Insider last week, Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca said the editor of Plott Hound – a Civitas employee – “sometimes doesn't use the best judgment.” He said the group would review the site's future.

On Tuesday, De Luca announced his decision in a lengthy statement posted to Plott Hound and Twitter and released to news organizations.

“We regret that an error in judgment was made when Carolina Plott Hound shared a link to a blog post that suggested North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein made certain decisions based on his ethnicity and religion,” De Luca wrote. “To be clear, Civitas condemns the use of identity politics and believes that assigning the motivations of individuals based upon their membership of a group violates a core conservative principle. As such, the sentiments expressed in the blog post do not reflect our values nor the values of our sponsors and supporters. Neither I nor the organization share these sentiments. We condemn all racism, anti-religious speech and ethnic slurs.”

De Luca said the website will now be sold to “another individual or entity with no ties to Civitas.”

“We have reviewed the Carolina Plott Hound website and concluded that it does not fit into the overall Civitas mission to remove government barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life,” he wrote.

According to the 2016 IRS filing for Civitas, the group bought Plott Hound in January 2016 for $17,500. The site was originally founded and owned by Paul Chesser, who has written for a number of conservative groups and websites.

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter

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