Nikki Haley, who was sworn in as Governor of South Carolina in January, has attacked Columbia’s WACH after the Fox-affiliate ran a story about a forthcoming book from Will Folks, a political consultant and former gubernatorial spokesman who claimed last spring to have had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley.
“WACH FOX 57 is a tabloid news station and has no concept of journalism,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page, after WACH reported that Folks was daring Haley to sue him for libel in connection with his account of their relationship.
Haley’s political campaign was forced into damage control mode last May when Folks claimed to have had a relationship with Haley “several years ago.” At the time, Haley stated that she has “been 100 percent faithful” to her husband and that Folks’s claim was “totally false.”
WACH reported in its post, attributed to news director Bryan Cox, that “Folks has seized on the fact that Haley has not filed a lawsuit against him for libel or defamation as evidence to support his allegations.” WACH also linked to a 281-word excerpt from Folks’s forthcoming book in which he writes, “It was apparent to both Nikki and I that the sexual chemistry between the two of us was very strong.”
WACH’s Cox has released a statement, responding to Haley’s criticism:
As busy as the governor must be addressing the important issues facing our state, I am humbled to learn Governor Haley deems WACH Fox News important enough to follow our reporting. To be singled out for comment by the governor is a clear signal of how significant our news content is viewed throughout the Midlands, and I invite fellow South Carolinians to join our governor in relying on WACH Fox News as your local source for information.
Please follow our governor’s example and join WACH Fox News in the important discussion about issues facing our state. All the reporting posted to our website, midlandsconnect.com, is open for public comment; you can also give feedback on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We exist to serve the public and deeply value your feedback. On behalf of all the journalists at WACH Fox News, thank you to Governor Haley for helping us share this important information.