Daily Show Sparks Local Controversy
It's the interview heard around the state and the nation. Don Yelton, a Buncombe County GOP activist was interviewed by a reporter from The Daily Show about North Carolina's new voting law several weeks ago. The episode aired Wednesday night on Comedy Central.
Click here to watch the Daily Show clip.
New York Magazine calls it the most racist Daily Show interview ever and social media has not been kind to Yelton. The Buncombe County Republican Party asked Yelton to resign Thursday as precinct chair.
Yelton tells News 13 he knew exactly what he was signing up for when he talked to Comedy Central and couldn't care less about his critics.
"I've been laughed at by Democrats since I left the party. They try to make me look like a fool. This is being picked up in Raleigh, across the state, they're trying to say look at this guy he's racist. The whole question isn't about racism," said Yelton.
Click here for Yelton's interview with News 13.
Buncombe County Republican Party released this statement about the comments made by Don Yelton on The Daily Show:
"On behalf of the Buncombe County Republican Party we would like to express our sincerest regrets and disappointment in the comments made by Don Yelton on the Wednesday edition of Jon Stewarts "The Daily Show". Mr. Yeltons comments are offensive, uniformed, and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party. In no way are his comments representative of the local or state Republican Party.
"Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton's comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon" said Chairman Mitchell. "This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party".
Mr. Yelton was recently reprimanded and removed from his position as a precinct chair in Buncombe County for a period of time in 2012 through 2013 and was then reelected to precinct chair by 2 votes (his wife and himself) at the 2013 convention placing him back on the Buncombe County Executive Committee.
"We have requested that Don resign his position of precinct chair and if he is unwilling to do this, we will again be pursuing avenues to remove him from any and all positions at any level within the state" said Chairman Mitchell.
"The Daily Show" led viewers to believe that Mr. Yelton was speaking on behalf of the NCGOP. Mr. Yelton did not seek the approval of any party official before accepting the interview request."
The NC GOP is also calling for Yelton's resignation. The follow is a press release from the NC GOP:
"Raleigh, NC Following outrageous and intolerant comments by Buncombe County precinct chair Don Yelton on the Daily Show last night, North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope called for his immediate resignation:
The North Carolina Republican Party finds the comments made by Mr. Yelton to be completely inappropriate and highly offensive.
I have asked for Mr. Yeltons resignation as the precinct chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party. If Mr. Yelton declines to resign, the NCGOP will immediately initiate the process to remove him from his position.
I would like to make it very clear that Mr. Yelton does not speak for either the Buncombe County Republican Party or the North Carolina Republican Party. And contrary to reports, Mr. Yelton is not a member of the NCGOP Executive Committee.
Don Yelton told News Radio 570 Thursday that he would resign.