This week, the newspaper published a story about Animal Planet seeking locals with stories of Sasquatch tales to come out for a “town hall” meeting to share. Animal Planet has a show called Finding Bigfoot, which follows a group of researchers who are trying to track down the humanoid creature. The meeting is set for Feb. 9, but there’s no venue yet, according to the story.
Last year, the Citizen-Times ran with a story about a purported Bigfoot sighting in either Buncombe or Henderson County. It’s unclear, because the newspaper’s two sources disagree about where the shaky, blurry footage is shot, and nobody seemed too interested in pinning anything down. “You’ll have to be the judge on this one,” the newspaper’s reporter, Sabian Warren, wrote in the Aug. 7, 2015 piece that’s posed as a news story, not a softer “feature” story or even column.
The story went viral, with news organizations around the world picking it up and sharing it with little other extra reportage. The Citizen-Times following up by outfitting reporter and columnist John Boyle in a Bigfoot costume and following his antics around town.
I’m all for a celebrity sighting or a gossipy tale of local goings on. But Bigfoot is a bullshit story for the Asheville Citizen-Times, which likes to position itself as a bastion of journalistic integrity. It’s just another example of the inherent hypocrisy in the newspaper’s online strategy – clicks at all costs.
Heres’ the video, btw: