Curious? Furious? Publisher, editor respond

A lot of people are understandably concerned, upset or angry about the recent news of — as Cecil Bothwell so bluntly put it in his own press release to WNC media, as well as other friends and associates — his “sacking” by Publisher Jeff Fobes and Managing Editor Jon Elliston.

If all we knew was what we’d gleaned from Cecil’s account, we’d be concerned, distrustful or at least confused ourselves. Cecil gave a detailed description of his own journalistic accomplishments, as well as his surprise and dismay when he heard the news. Since then, blog comments and word of mouth have been fueling the rumor mill.

As is so often the case, however, there’s more to this story. And though we’d like to discuss the matter fully and with as much passion as our fellow journalist has displayed, these are personnel matters, and discretion must be our central guiding principle.

But before you rush to judgment about the loss of one of your favorite reporters, please at least consider this: You don’t have enough facts to adequately assess the basis for Xpress management’s decision to drop Bothwell from its news team.

We bridle at insinuations and accusations that Xpress or its management lacks the passion for investigative journalism, or that our publication has sold out. But ultimately, our reaction isn’t what matters. What matters is what we will publish in the weeks, months and years to come. And we ask readers to at least allow for the possibility that we will proceed with some measure of intelligence, vision and professionalism. After all, we have helped steer a pioneering Asheville media outlet that’s been part of this community since 1987, and we don’t believe we’ve sold our souls, forsaken our mission or lost our minds.

One thing we can say is that the issues between Cecil and Xpress are long-standing ones that all parties involved have been discussing and attempting to resolve for years. So we too are surprised — by Cecil’s astonishment over the current state of affairs.

But putting all this aside, we love Cecil’s passionate devotion to civic issues and social justice. And we agree with other Bothwell supporters that he’s made an enormous contribution to Xpress — and, most importantly, to this community — over the years.

For those who remain unconvinced by these arguments, please remember this: A lot goes into making Xpress what it is, and it is definitely a team effort. No single one of us can take the whole credit for either the paper’s shining moments or its stumbles. And with or without Bothwell, we believe Xpress will still serve up a lot that’s worthy of your attention.

What’s more, we hope that Bothwell will remain a significant contributor to Xpress — just in a different role. We’d like to be able to publish him as a columnist — freed from the constraints of news reporting — both in print and on the Web.

Things change and evolve. People come and go, and many talented folks whose names graced these pages over the years have now moved on. There’s no doubt that with Cecil’s departure from the newsroom some things will be lost — and, we hope, others gained. But the overarching goal is to nurture and strengthen local civic debate. So we ask you to have patience, keep reading and keep sounding off.

As for those impassioned readers who have gone so far as to say they won’t be picking up Xpress anymore, we are sorry to hear it. But we ask you to remember that it takes a village of active individuals to make a healthy community. Bothwell is only one of those fine individuals; we must have other champions as well. Our job at Xpress is to make sure those voices have a podium from which to speak. And your job as readers is to step up and use it.

For the record (and so you can hold us to it), our commitment to our mission is unchanged. This mission statement provides our marching orders:

To build community and strengthen democracy by serving an active, thoughtful readership at the local level — where the impact of citizen action is greatest.
• We report independently, fairly and in-depth on local news and issues affecting Asheville and the surrounding region.
• We chronicle the area’s vibrant arts-and-culture scene.
• We treat our readers as participants in an ongoing civic dialogue.
• We honor diversity.
• We encourage excellent and innovative work in an equitable, respectful and collegial environment.
• We offer exceptional and affordable media opportunities for local businesses, professionals and nonprofit groups to promote their goods and services.
Local matters!

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

59 thoughts on “Curious? Furious? Publisher, editor respond

  1. tralalogic

    Does this have anything to do with the Graham estate? I hope it doesn’t but the Preacher who stood with presidents and preached war and racism probably would rather forget any of that ever happened but is again quick to destroy his enemies and reward his friends. The Grahams have created their kingdom on earth apparently.

  2. When I was fired from a large organization a few years back, those in-charge made the same kind of wimpy statements e.g., “….the issues between Cecil and Xpress are long-standing ones …’, etc. They also hid behind the matter of ‘its a personnel matter.’ The book on Graham ( a little too close to home, or I’ll eat Mumpower’s shorts) and the contribution to Lite (D) which Bothwell has been forthcoming about is indicative of what indeed behind the scenes.


    I see and have registered Bothwell as a ‘lefty’ but SOMEONE as in REPUBLICANS got to the editors—that’s YOU, Forbes and Elliston. SOMEONE w/ a bit R associated with their name, got to you. And I’d sure like to know just how that took place. The Republicans are pretty damn quite right now.

    I’ll go you one further: it was a combination of Freeborn who is NOT attending WCU as a graduate student in the School of Public Policy,as he has stated he is, and what sits behind that (it is afterall Lite vs Freeborn which is shaping up) and information fed backchannel to the Republicans who then cranked some pressure coming from the other end of things.

    Marsha Hammond,PhD: Licensed Psychologist and not infrequent contributor to MtnX Commentary

  3. bt

    This is one divorce I will not take sides in. I respect for both parties and feel like it will shake out for the best and besides I don’t want you people telling me which electrician to use on my job. Just check out the house when its done.
    I also hope this gives Cecil the opportunity to put in the time he will need to run for County Commissioner.

  4. BR549

    You guys are being way too defensive. I’ve been a regular Mountain Xpress reader since you were Greenline. I’ve read many Cecil Bothwell articles over the years, but I’ve never considered him a notable local reporter by any stretch. I could care less about his so-called “lefty” bias (which was never hidden). I found his analysis nearly always to be sloppy and tedious and his commentary juvenile and self-indulgent. But I didn’t write in to trash him when he’s down. Just wanted to say that most thoughful readers have no problem imagining half a dozen “personnel” reasons why you’d part ways. If you think you have to do damage control, make it up to us by doing some real investigative muckraking.

  5. What took you so long, Mountain X? Bothwell’s major front page story was all of what– 2, 3 weeks ago?

    And no explanations necessary. We can read between the lines.

  6. Samuel Clemmons PHD VGA ZXV

    As a PHD holding numerologist, with a Master’s in opinionating I would like to lord over you people my credentials. I know that by pointing them out repeatedly, it will somehow add merit to my opinion, however silly it may be.

    Samuel Clemmons PHD, Licensed proctologist and Third Count Viceroy of East Sussex.

  7. True Native

    Oh now, that is rich! The Republicans are so powerful in Asheville, all they have to do is put the word out that someone needs to be fired and, “wala”…. it happens. Boy! Is that paranoid or what?

  8. P-38

    Oh now, that is rich! The Republicans are so powerful in Asheville, all they have to do is put the word out that someone needs to be fired and, “whala”…. it happens. Boy! Is that paranoid delusion or what? Watch out for that Republican boogie man. Now that “is” funny!

    Watching a little family infighting is always good sport. Keep it up! The funnies never cease.

  9. Margaret Williams

    The Republicans got to Fobes!? George W. Bush is more likely to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

    Fobes always taught me to Find the Drama in a story, but in this case, let’s just honor both parties, s’il vous plait. A reporter must remain as unbiased as possible in his/her work, else he ceases to be a reliable voice (unless it’s commentary, analysis or fiction or poetry & such); over time, objectivity becomes more and more difficult to do because we are human. And we become passionate about our causes and interests. Both Cecil and Fobes have their passions; those passions may simply have diverged.

    I say “Fobes” but I mean Mtn Xpress as well (and managing editor Elliston, who, frankly, I don’t know personally). Having run a small business after my own long stint with Xpress (1994-2002), I have much more respect than I used to for a manager having to make tough decisions and fire someone you very well may like, appreciate and respect. Sometimes you must do so in the best interest of the company.

    So enough already.

  10. Green Dragon


    If the repugnants had ANY POWER at all in this town, they would have gotten Matt Mittan fired from WWNC after he punked Lumpy last year!!!

    Marsha Hammond is my hero!

  11. possum

    I would love to watch Ms. Hammond eat Dr. Mumpowers shorts. Gosh that would be exciting. With all her PHD’s it seems she should be able to spell big and quiet. Chad doesn’t have have those wonderful degrees and he does pretty well.

  12. travelah

    Marsha, can I recommend a good psychoanalyst? I think a good couch session about these durn “R”‘s is in order.

  13. Don Yelton

    well for a fact the Democrats will fire you if you are tying to do a good job and recycle and keep stuff out of the land fill. They refuse to listen to reason and use the money they get from Lumpy to buy votes for them and Lumpy. Gordon just jump for joy when I use lumpy and really see if care who the facts come from.

    You see Margaret you have always been a hero of mine and I see that you still have you ablitity to tell it like it is… Yes we all have our bias and there is nothing wrong with that. Most people except Gordon have enought sense to pick up on the bias and take it for what it is…At least the Mountain X has someone at the Commissioners meeting most of the time and covers the even while the main stream media including the ACT do not show up…

    When life gives you lemons squeeze them and make juice…add sugar and you got a sweet drink. Every time things go wrong something good come from it…

  14. Unit

    IMO, Xpress has a lot of balanced, talented writers. Cecil was not one of them. While his perspective in the community is generally a good thing, his presence in the Xpress newsroom didn’t improve the paper. His “hard-hitting” stories were usually biased, incomplete, or misleading. I wish him the best in his future, but I don’t see criticism of Xpress as warranted.

  15. Gordon Smith


    I guess you might not be reading aloud, but I certainly picture you as a movie-style typist, one that slowly pronounces each word as he types it, practicing for saying it again later with a wink and a chuckle at the Stompers meeting.

    I’m sure I’ve got it all wrong, though. Assumptions and all…

    But if I’m not on your lips, I’m certainly on your fingers. Like lemon juice and sugar. Finger-licking good.

    (remember the halcyon days, Don, when Taylor’s press secretary pegged us for ideological brothers and accused us of colluding? Seems like a lifetime ago…)

  16. In the Know

    Bravo to the Express for terminating CB. I for one will pick up the Express more often now that they have removed that pompous, pseudo-intellectual from their midst. This is not a political issue, my guess is that CB was fired due to a personality conflict(his personality conflicted with all others). Thankfully someone was able to see thru his fog of self-serving “journalism”. The Express will be better served for this move.

  17. Ah… certainly grammar and logic provide certain benefits in clarity of communication… on the other hand — to give Don credit — it’s often more important WHAT you are saying than how it’s said.

    However, to settle this mud slinging on both sides once and for all in a gentlemanly manner, I propose a mud wresting match between you and Don for ideological heavyweight champion of Buncombe County.

    My money’s on Don but I could be wrong. What say you, Gordon?

  18. Oh… and back on topic… as a publisher myself I say the publisher and editor have every right to run the publication as they see fit. That’s all needs be said.

    Except, while I never fired Cecil I’m pretty sure we rejected a book proposal of his some time back… But good writers must learn to take rejection and move on to other venues.

    We now return you to Liberal/Conservative Championship Mud Wrestling.

  19. Gordon Smith


    Neither of us come anywhere near that mantle. I don’t know who the Champ would be, but I’d put Cecil Bothwell on the case to find out.

    It’s fun playing with Don and his Chad. They’re fun-loving good-old-boys who know their way around sanctimony. Keep ’em talking long enough and you’ll get pure ideologically absurd gold.

    I imagine we’ll eventually sit down and have a civil conversation, and then all this fun will likely stop as we will come to see each other as folks just trying to get by in this crazy ol’ world. Until then, Don, Chad, it’s fun watching y’all piddle around calling people like me racists.

    Carl Mumpower again joined with the Carolina Stompers in making that accusation (at least I think so) at me in the Yahoo! Asheville Politics Forum:

  20. Gordon, I read your blog about the accusation, if indeed it was that. The interpretation is somewhat unsure so I leave eventual agreement on meaning to the affected parties.

    I have know Carl personally for 15 years or so and published three of his books, he is one of the most considerate people I have ever known, not that I agree with him or anyone (even myself) on everything. … Don, I have known essentially all my life. He is a lot smarter than folks give him credit for and a real hoot to be around … Chad is from out here in my part of the county. I know his family but not much about him. Carolina Stompers, admittedly, could use a good proof reader.

    Me? I am the old cliched mystery wrapped in an enigma. A good ole mountain boy who got a good education and has written a pile of books but who still remains true to his roots and heritage… in the long run… like most of us … just a human.

    NOW… back to mud wrassling… I still think it is the ultimate answer to solving political disputes in Buncombe County. … Council elections? No problem. We puts all six candidates in a hog wallow and the first three to slither out get declared winners.

  21. Nam Vet

    Kudos to Samuel Clements, PHD etc etc. Very funny and right on (oops could I be one of those pesky evil republicans?). Ms Hammond PHD is wildly paranoid when she states that the “lefty” Cecil was let go because of republican pressure on the head poobahs in charge over at the XPress. Ms Hammond PHD must be fresh from the college brainwashing environment where hate-republicanism is so common. Ms Hammond, the evils of our society are not the fault of republicans. And I can assure you that the in-charge folks of the XPress are most likely democrats.

  22. marsha hammond pile high deep

    Seems you boys didn’t read my above assumption that it was not just the pubes who would hve liked to brave ulysees go. the fight is between Lite and Freeborn. It will be 2 progressives and one moderate that will go in re: the upcoming election. it won’t be 3 progressives.

    as re: bothwell writing style, it was plenty good enough and his familiarity w/ the community cannot be sucked out of his brain and plopped into someone else’s.

    yes, its the history of things that matter, Carl M, e.g., the history of the (let’s stay regional for argument’s sake) black people here; the history of the cherokees here; the history of the wealth that pores into Asheville (more art traded in Asheville than any other city in the US including NYC), etc.

    you saw it piled deep here first re: that election outcome.

  23. Matt Mittan

    Maybe Cecil can use this “change in careers” to find his way into another, more suitable, format for his style of presentation… like I did. Wouldn’t he make a great radio host? This town needs more competing local radio voices… it’s lonely out here. Maybe even have him on opposite me somewhere – wouldn’t THAT be fun!?!

    PS: … “punked” Lumpy??? LOL

  24. Matt, you da man in local radio! Cecil would have get a golden voice to compete with you. ;-) … seriously, I listen to you a bunch, keep up the good work.

  25. Nam Vet

    I love to listen to you too Matt. And thanks for taking that stand on partisan local elections. Folks, Matt is on 570am from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

  26. P-38

    I’ve found people that obsess, over how a person constructs a sentence, has just shown they have no argument of their on in the first place. Taking cheap shots over punctuation is so much easier than having a cogent argument.

    And it shows “such” intolerance as well. I’m shocked, shocked I say! What a bunch of hypocrites.
    Tolerance indeed!

  27. P-38

    How strange to hear the host of local talk radio, “now” say that he wants another talk radio station, when he has said in the past that the WWNC market could not support another talk station. What ever works to pander to both sides I guess. But then I’ve stopped listening like I use to a long time ago. Take a Stand? What a joke.

  28. Matt Mittan

    True to form, True Native twists things out of context and only gives half a quote…

    In the past – and currently – I have stated the documented fact that this market can not sustain more than one CONSERVATIVE talk station. There have been four attempts and none have lasted other than WWNC. I know how hard people have tried because I hosted shows on all but one of them. (I have had shows on 880, 1350 and 570. 1310 was the only previous political talker that I never worked for.)

    Also, I have ALWAYS supported more voices in local media, whether it’s WPVM, URTV or MAIN or any other independent platforms. That’s why I also have highlighted a parade of different guest co-hosts and had fill-in hosts from all stripes of local politicos. (From Wally Bowen to Jason Bugg, from David Morgan to Gordon Smith. From Chad Adams to Errington Thompson or even Virato.)

    Really True Native… your time ‘taking a seat’ from the airwaves seems to have diminished your capacity to recognize facts. LOL

  29. Matt Mittan

    Oh and by the way… just in the happenstance that True Native WANTS true facts… the Asheville market IS sustaining THREE true talk stations currently… One mostly conservative, one mostly progressive and one all sports. And I DO wish there were more local voices on each of them – I have ALWAYS said that. Not that it will matter to someone with an axe to grind… LOL

  30. Stewart David

    Thanks, Matt. Many of us appreciate the good work and contributions that both you and Cecil have made to our community. It’s clear that you can’t please everybody. If you did, you wouldn’t be telling it like it is! Those who dislike you or your message will always twist your words. Keep it up, no matter how much it annoys them!

  31. P-38

    (Quote) (From Wally Bowen to Jason Bugg, from David Morgan to Gordon Smith. From Chad Adams to Errington Thompson or even Virato.)

    I believe you’ve just made my point about the pandering.

    The show can’t make it in local talk radio totally conservative, nor totally liberal, such as Air America. So we see this sad case of expedience, doing what it takes to stay in business. Regardless of convictions one way or the other.

    As for the talk radio saturation comment. It was relayed the way it was heard, on more than one occasion. Sorry I couldn’t read your mind at the time the comments were made. I guess you could twist what I relayed as spin, since you do that so well yourself, but it’s not my fault you didn’t clarify your remarks at the time the comments were made.

    As for the ax to grind. Sorry but I have a problem with a program that encourages and reinforces dangerous and disastrous socialistic policies by validaing, and airing the views of those who advocate for them. Especially “without challenge.” Oh Yeah, save the explanation of (not a “raw meat” show), blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before.

    It seems anyone that espouses “strongly” held beliefs concerning the Founding principles of role of government would not help disseminate and promulgate socialistic policy ideas under the guise of “open dialog”, without “some sort of challenge.” Especially when they know this type of system goes directly against the principles and philosophy of the founding of this nation. That type of system will bring a nation to it’s knees. And waiting for listeners that may or may not call to challenge these viewpoints is a cop out.

    But it doesn’t matter anyway. My opinion is just that, an opinion. Occasionally I tune in to see if anything has changed. Seeing none, I move on. There’s no accounting for lovers of pablum. LOL

  32. Matt Mittan

    Wow… and here we all thought this was a discussion about Cecil…

    Maybe that’s it, isn’t it. A person who comes to the support of someone with differing philosphies then their own MUST not have ANY core beliefsof their own, right?

    True Native, I don’t want you to misunderstand, I am thankful that there are people like you who are there to guide me through my radio career…

    True Native formula for success: I must trash people and disrespect diverse opinions that don’t fit my/your own and only THEN will I be a person of ‘conviction’?

    Or maybe there’s another truth… I have more confidence in the Consititution and my positions than to have to put people down or belittle them when they see things a different way.

    On a side note: Thanks for informing us of the rarely mentioned “principle” of our founding fathers… that they were opposed to “open dialog” for fear of “dangerous and disastrous” people being able to “disseminate and promulgate socialistic policy ideas.”

    And here I always thought their first item in the Bill of Rights was “Freedom of Speech.”

    Hmmm, who knew???

  33. Don Yelton

    Matt, calling people names mmm what did you do when you called me a “media whore” if you were not out of words and the only thing you could do was name call.

    Matt everyone, excuse me, those that think for themselves know that you play both sides against the middle and that instead of taking a stand it is the no stand Matten show. Seriouly, Matt, remember the country song, if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything and people have figured that out and use you for their gain.

    You are sandwiched in between the number one and number two conservative shows in the nation and you try to address both sides because you are not conservative or liberal and that means you do not and will not take a stand. You bounce back and forth like a rubber ball.

    Then you brag about being number one in the market area when you are the only station that has a really good signal. You also take claim for Jim Black and only 17% of the people knew who Jim Black was. Most thought he was a Republican. Sounds like you did a great job doesn’t it?

    Matt your real issue is to bury the Republican party and hopefully cuddle up to the power brokers. You do it every day and your true nature shows through as you try to create a vacuum. It will not work. Ralph Nader could not do it and he did some good. I suggest that you try to do some good and not wait to see if an issue is going to be a winner.

    You did that with Jim Black, Let Asheville Vote and several other things. You refuse to address the CTS plant and Cherokee and anything that requires investigation. You use your contacts with the large papers and only repeat what you see there.

    Why did you throw Bruce Goforth so many soft balls when you had him face to face and then suck up to Shuler and shut down Taylor.

    Matt you play the audience to get ratings and do not investigate corruption in NC and Buncombe. Where is Shuler today. Have the Democrats treated you better than the Republicans. Man you are now known as no stand Matten. You may be playing to a winner now but when the Republicans win what will you do then to hedge your bet.

    Switch sides…

  34. P-38

    Oh brother! The big “WOW!”

    I was waiting for the accusation of advocating for restricting Freedom of Speech. So tell me, exactly where did I state that? Once again we see spinning, exaggeration and twisting of the context to further a weak argument. What part of my comments about “challenging people” on their views did you miss? I don’t believe that was advocating for restricting freedom of speech. There are all kinds of ideas, and philosophies, but not all are equal or deserving to be held in esteem as a system or philosophy of govenment that should be advocated for “without challenge.” As stated before, it’s the validation and lack of challenge to these destructive philosophies, and the people who hold these socialistic views. You might as well put your stamp of approval on these socialistic philosophies when you continually let advocates for that system disseminate that viewpoint without challenge. And it also means, “with no challenge,” the equation of that form of government, with the formula of government set in place by the Founding Fathers.

    Every opportunity should be used to challenge people that espouse disastrous and destructive forms of government. To not do so, is to be complicit in the seeding and validation of these concepts “and” the people who advocate for them. Now! Where did I say they should be denied freedom of speech? Or do you want to spin that to. You can also spin what it means to “challenge viewpoints.”
    Vigorous challenges can be made without resorting to what you call “trashing someone.” But then that doesn’t go with the plan of expediency.

    Agree completely with confidence in the Constitution. But what exactly “is” your position? I never did know from one day to the next.

    And what is this “us” and “we?” Got a rat in your pocket? Or do you need your compadres to back you up? LOL

    No doubt there will be a whine fest on the station in the next few days, as has been seen in the past when someone dares to challenge the game plan of the show.

    But I will give credit for the Black and Decker coverage, and for “so far,” confronting the illegal alien problem. But I expect any day to hear you’ve flipped to the other side on the illegal alien issue.

    But why be concerned about an insignificant occasional listener, and their opinions. We all play the occasional game from time to time. LOL

    what does this have to do with the original article?

    Cecil Bothwell is, in my opinion a socialist.

  35. Don Yelton

    I agree about Matt not being clear in his wording and where he is going and that is what happens when we take talk show host words and also other explinations for happenings.

    Why would someone want to work for someone that did not want them there. I think that Cecil is surprised at the firing but I bet he would not want to work there if they did not want him there.

    That says a lot about him if it is true. I know Cecil and appreciated his covering of the County Commissioners meetings and I encourage the Mt. Xpress to continue that coverage. I also thank them for their coverage of the CTS problems.

    Matt you could help more there yourself. Maybe you are so busy cuddling up with the progressives and so called libertians that you forget the other side of the equation.

    Seems like you have gone to using this forum to drop names and also calling other people names..that is not dialogue is it..

    I find that Cecil and I can dialogue even thought we do not agree on everything. I wish him well in his future endeavors.

  36. Stewart David

    True Native, calling Cecil a socialist is silly. I guess you find it easier to marginalize people with labels than discuss issues. Cecil is a progressive, and he doesn’t seek to disguise that. He’s done a lot of good work at the Mountain Xpress and should be commended for it.

    Don, your criticism of Matt is unfair. I don’t think he cuddles up to anyone. I think he just likes to present both sides of issues, and we need more of that! I’d rather listen to intelligent discussion by people I disagree with than the rantings of a partisan, no matter what side they are on.

  37. Don Yelton

    Stewart isn’t calling some one partisan also labeling someone. We all are partisan or bias in one way or the other. To pretend otherwise is foolish. I enjoy reading Cecil’s work. We do not agree on things and one time we were both vocal and on opposite sides.

    That is our right as Americans and I do believe we both would fight for our right to offend each other. You learn by doing and you have just done what you called silly and unfair, labeling people. Matt is his best when he drops his guard and gets real passionate. He also shows his weakness there too.

    I think that Cecil will come out of this a bigger and better man.

  38. P-38

    <>calling Cecil a socialist is silly. I guess you find it easier to marginalize people with labels than discuss issues.<>

    Silly?? Now who is marginalizing by using labels? LOL

    And why should harmful policies and those who advocate for them not be marginalized? Regardless of which political perspective they come form.
    I mean George Bush and a few other Republicans are pushing hard for the “North American Union.” These are bad ideas and policies and “should” be marginalized.

    I call ’em the way I see ’em. I’ve seen what Mr. Bothwell advocates for, and socialism is exactly what he would like to see implemented. You know, a classless Utopian society, where we all are collectively poor. Except of course, for the ruling elite. Sort of like Al Gore, who lives in huge mansions and consumes massive amounts of energy. Then he buys these bogus carbon credits form “his own company” so he can continue his excessive consumption. He then expects the rest of us slubs to live in grass huts and walk to work. It reminds me of the elite in the old Soviet Union who had their dachas, and elitist privilege living the good life, as the rest of the peasants scrounged and savaged for the essentials of life.

    Oh yes!! The ideology of Progressives “is” socialism. Look at Hillary Clinton and the policies she is espousing. Confiscating the fruits of a persons labor, and calling it “social justice.” Coercion of people, or business to be charitable through force of government is “NOT” the principles established by the Founding Fathers for role of government. But then I was told the other day by someone that travels in Progressive circles that many from the Left now see the Founders as evil fascists. Unbelievable! Now this insidious idea and philosophy in my opinion, “should” be marginalized post-haste.

  39. gigi

    The Mt Xpress comments are BS. Here is a quote of some of Bothwell’s accomplishments, and it doesn’t even include all his awards, not the least of which was best reporter this year:

    “His opinion column, Duck Soup: Essays on the Submerging Culture, was syndicated nationally for 10 years and aired on WNCW 88.7FM. He was founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, and served as managing editor of Mountain Xpress from 2002 to 2004. Bothwell’s books include Gorillas in the Myth, The Icarus Glitch and co-authorship (with Betsy Ball) of the local best-selling guidebook, Finding Your Way in Asheville.”

    Thomas Wolfe was fired from the Asheville Citizen, me too, and I know how Cecil feels. MX statements are repugnant and self-serving. Their poorly written failed argument doesn’t recognize it’s not the “paper” that happens, it’s the writers, designers, photographers, printers, and so on. Paper organizers can’t exist without their artists, but the artists can. What has happened to ordinary human respect?

    Just becuz of some in-house riff, why couldn’t the chief honchoes suck it up and tolerate a little difference? Becuz they’re petty power hoes. Or could it possibly be, heavens no, that the head wastriles are WRONG? Mt. Xpress, if it’s really true he could do columns instead of working in the newsroom, then why didn’t you children down there be nice and simply announce Cecil was a gonna be doing just columns now? It was a cheap move, booting him, shame on you miserable misbehavers and marauders.

    Wherever Cecil goes, whatever he does, my heart goes with him. Because I know how it is to miss the newsroom, the clatter of machinery, the smell of ink, the coffee, the rubbing elbows with pasteup artists, and the bigggest prize of all, the writing. But my friend, there is an even more beautiful world waiting for you, it’s just around the corner, and while memories will sting, hey, they would have sting, stang, stung when you retired anyhoooo.

    Cecil Bothwell doesn’t remember me, but I will always remember him. He paid attention to a small request I made a few years ago, was unbelievably gracious when others just told me to step off. Mt. Xpress, you’ve become a runaway megacorp because you could care less about the people who got you there. You guys put on blinkers about five years ago, missed many opportunities to improve. And I’m sick and tired of your newsprint on my hands, just to get to the good sections.

    Cecil was a good section. He was the right brand of renegade, a master of the English language. And Mt. Xpress had no right, NO RIGHT to banish our favorite reporter, I don’t give a hoot in hell why. Bothwell is a legend, a mountain of a man, and certainly committed no crime so big as to warrant jail time. I write all this because I want the Mt. Xpress leaders to feel the pain of what they hath wrought. Yup, I ain’t perfect, I want it to hurt.

    Oh, but I saw there’s a new paper in town, trying to do what MX does. And guess what? I think I’ll give them a try.

  40. Don Yelton

    gigi thanks for being rarely open and honest and saying you want it to hurt. Yes when you give you best and other turn in on you – you do hurt.

    I love your history about Wolfe and the ACT. How many good people have been booted from the ACT because they were going to get the real story. Bob Gabordia, Jeff Greene, and who else and how long has that been going on here in WNC.

    We refuse to learn from out mistakes and continue on in the future re-electing the same politicians.

    we must just keep asking questions.

  41. Theresa La

    Lies! All lies! Plain and simple, They didn’t like what the guy had to say and you know it. I see a bunch of stuffed suits who are afraid that they are going to get showed up or that they are afraid people won’t agree. It is not wether we agree or not! those dopes! I hope Mountain Express ceases to exist. Not because of Cecil Bothwell, I just don’t want to have any dealings with a bunch of petty stuffed suits. And they have proven to be extremely, idiotically petty. I will never get their paper again, nor will I advertise. I advise others to pull out all of your ads because no one will be reading it anymore. You can call these guys anything you want, you can tell the world how, petty and soulless these people are but they do not care as long as they are making the almighty dollar.
    Pull out your ads so they won’t have any revenue. THEN they will listen. All they care about is status and money. Take that away and they have nothing else. So let’s start taking it away. They have lost their right to be successful because of their low morals… Let’s get them!!

  42. Lisa

    As a 7+ year employee of Mountain Xpress I just have to say this: Describing the publisher and managing editor of Mountain Xpress as “stuffed suits” is laughable.

    I love Cecil. I think he is a treasure to our community as a writer and an activist. It has been a true pleasure to work with him. I hope his voice will continue to be heard in many different ways. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have very mixed feelings about his departure from Xpress. But I also trust the publisher and managing editor’s judgement and, in the end, their decision. I think if you knew them personally and educated yourself on the history and mission of Mountain Xpress you might be less apt to see the situation in such starkly black and white terms.

    Lisa Watters
    Assistant Office Manager
    Mountain Xpress

  43. Nam Vet

    Lisa, that was one big polished apple you just handed your bosses! :)

  44. Patrick

    I think the Mountain Xpress is great.

    I can’t wait to get the new issue tomorrow, and next week, and the week after.

    It is by far the best and most entertaining paper in Asheville.

    Aren’t there more noble causes out there than to fulminate the publishers of an alternative weekly newspaper?

  45. Lisa

    Well, actually Nam Vet, the managing editor isn’t my boss – we’re in totally different departments. He’s in the editorial department, I’m in administration, and, oh, never mind …

    Once again, Lisa Watters
    Assistant Office Manager
    Montain Xpress

  46. Theresa La

    Lisa, how can we educate ourselves when your publication among others only tell us what you want us to know? If you want all these negative comments to stop, then lay it out there. Give us more info. Silence makes it look like you have something to hide.

  47. Jill Davies

    Is there anyone older than Cecil Bothwell still working at MX? If there isn’t, my, that does look suspicious.

    Keep in mind that you have no one to blame but yourselves for the public scrutiny and outrage. Had you handled this in a semi-professional manner a) no one would wonder why Cecil Bothwell and the MX parted ways

    because b) Cecil would not have felt the overwhelming need to issue a press release (which is his right, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and all that. I can’t imagine why you seemed so surprised and put out when he did so.)

    c) Your response to Cecil’s press release was ludicrous on every level. It would have been cringe-worthy enough had just one person authored it. But no! Two of you signed off on that joint masterpiece. Forgive us for doubting your judgment in firing Cecil Bothwell after perusing the common sense, sincerity, and diplomacy evident in your written statement that took two, count them, two people (at least) to get just so.

    d) I do think it is tremendously heroic of the two of you to hide behind MX ‘policy,’ in not mentioning the reason for Cecil’s termination. Heaven knows no one there has the power to change, bend or modify MX policy as it was handed down from on high, engraved in stone, and buried a hundred miles deep having first been wrapped quite securely in rattlesnakes and old pages of the MX still haunted by Cecil’s spirit and integrity.

    e) I can only conclude that you do not want the reasons brought to light because 1)the truth is even worse than all the horrible things readers, former readers, and current and ex-advertisers already suspect and 2)will make you look even less competent than what you have already written and done. A stellar job all around, gentlemen.

    Remember the good old days when Cecil Bothwell still worked there, when you could be proud of your jobs at the MX? You didn’t just harm Cecil, you see. You harmed your own reputations and the standing of the MX in this community.

    As for me, I’m afraid I only have time for so many alt-weeklies in my life. As soon as Cecil writes elsewhere, my dance card will too full to waste my time reading yours.

  48. A Reader

    “You didn’t just harm Cecil, you see. You harmed your own reputations and the standing of the MX in this community.”

    Yeah, I mean, I doubt that anyone will read the Xpress after this.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.