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Monday newspaper sleeve draws fire

Monday, November 03, 2008

(11/03/08)--A dirty political trick or a simple mistake? When the Flint Journal was delivered to residents Monday, their newspaper came in a white plastic sleeve with an National Rifle Association ad.

"Defend Freedom, Defeat Obama" is the slogan written on the bag. The Journal says the ad was meant to be an insert in the paper.

The message has led to an outpouring of anger and disappointment.

ABC12 News was flooded with calls concerning the advertisement -- not to mention the calls the Flint Journal received.

Dozens more let out their frustrations on the Journal's MLive Web site.

"This is just not right," said Dawn Falting.

Falting, of Flint, has supported the Flint Journal for 12 years -- until now.

"The first thing I thought was to cancel my subscription," she said.

The ad is paid for by the NRA. The Journal released a statement on their Web site:

"Some editions of Monday's Flint Journal were mistakenly inserted in a plastic wrapper that featured a political advertisement paid for by the National Rifle Association.

"The wrapper was supposed to be inserted into the newspaper. The Journal regrets the error."

"It wouldn't have mattered if it was Obama or McCain," Falting said. "I don't expect my local paper to do this."

Falting says when she called to cancel her subscription, no one tried to stop her.

"Actually, they thanked me," she said.

"If this is insert, then what are we supposed to use it for besides putting the paper in it? It seems very fishy," said Emily Fable, who also cancelled her subscription.

"The Flint Journal should have known this was a bag and papers would wind up in them.

"The Flint Journal is saying they support the NRA and this message. Their papers came in this bag. How can they say they don't?"

Despite the apology, Falting and Fable aren't satisfied.

"If they submitted a front page apology to their subscribers, then I may think about subscribing again, but with a deep discount," Fable said.

"Ultimately, it's the Flint Journal's fault," Falting said. "They can make excuses, but it's their fault."

The Journal's publisher told ABC12 News there was some miscommunication between the paper and its carriers.

Callers also said the same sleeve was used to bag the Saginaw News and the Bay City Times.

Click here for more Mid-Michigan and Flint news

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