McCrory accuses AP of 'malice' in stock payout reporting

Posted December 18, 2014

— Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday he did "nothing improper" when he accepted an accelerated stock payout from Tree.com, which was first detailed by the Associated Press earlier this week

Tree.com is the Charlotte-based corporate parent of Lending Tree. McCrory served on its board before being elected governor, and the AP's reporting indicates that the company took some unusual steps to pay for $171,071 in stock he would have otherwise lost because he left the board before his term on the board of directors was up. That payout came after he become governor and had the authority to appoint members of the state banking commission.  

"We did nothing improper, we did nothing unethical, we followed all the rules of North Carolina, and we surely didn't do anything illegal," McCrory said in an interview with WRAL News.

McCrory said he was proud of his work for the lender and described the AP story as "almost like a political commercial." The governor said he saw the story as one that "has political hand prints all over it."

Since the story's publication, McCrory has vigorously pushed back, issuing numerous statements from the Governor's Office and his campaign, including an eight-point refutation of the story and a 34-page critique of the reporter's prior work

"I think it was close to malice, some of the things he said in the story," McCrory said. 

Asked if it was appropriate to take such a strong stance, including impugning the work of a specific reporter, McCrory replied, "Absolutely."

"If someone is saying something, especially attacking your integrity, and they're misleading the public, you better fight back," he said.

Paul Colford, director of media relations for the Associated Press, said the wire service stands behind its work.

"We have reviewed our work very carefully and stand behind the reporting," Colford said.

The Associated Press is a wire service owned by its U.S.-based members. Information and stories on the AP wires appear in media outlets across the country and around the world, including on WRAL.com and in WRAL News broadcasts.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jeff Herring Dec 20, 2014
    user avatar

    Reporting the truth is not malice. Refusing to expand medicare, which will be funded by the feds, support rural hospital and provide net positive economic results because you hate the poor. Blacks and disabled people is malice, actual malice and the truth.

  • disgusted2010 Dec 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Read the actual article. A little bit of "fact" followed by a great deal of innuendo, ended with quotes from unnamed sources. This reporter is famous for that. He never lets facts stand in the way of a scandal. Probably why he's no longer at the N&O.

  • disgusted2010 Dec 19, 2014

    I wounder if WRAL would ever admit that he AP story is pure malice? Or does it go against the "journalistic" code of covering for all so called reporters no matter how malicious their muck raking is.

  • InTheNo Dec 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Rich guys don't "give" other rich guys money. They might bribe them or pay them for some sort of service but they don't give it away... ever.

  • meep Dec 19, 2014

    McCrory has more than a couple of issues he needs to be held accountable for- and he should have listed this on his ethics forms. However, the AP piece was a hack-job about rich guys giving money to other rich guys.
    The commission members he named have zero ability to influence any commission business for the advantage of Tree.com. The director he named was a 40yr vet who had been named prior by Purdue, hide widespread support, and was unanimously confirmed ( when was the last time the GA did anything unanimously?)
    The AP piece made it seem like cronyism when it's not, which explains much of the postings "outrage" expressed here. Although it's true as noted McCrory is acting more like a "mom he hit me" kid.

  • lprop Dec 19, 2014

    No body likes it when they get caught doing something wrong. He's normal.

  • iopsyc Dec 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The 8 point rebuttal sounds like a petulant child responded for him. My favorite was in response to the AP saying that experts indicated the stock payout was uncommon...

    "What “securities lawyers” and what “ethics experts?” Name them.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Dec 19, 2014

    So you had a chance to disclose the payout but did not. Is that the transparency you ran on Pat? Lashing out now that you are caught?

  • raleighboy524 Dec 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    As many people have noted in the past, Dems have been corrupt too -- and have been the subject of aggressive press reporting that cost some their jobs and put others in jail. Like McCrory, most immediately blamed the press and denied they did anything wrong. Like the press or not, the record clearly shows that reporters have "gone after" people in both parties.

  • 68_dodge_polara Dec 19, 2014

    View quoted thread