Paonia’s High Country Shopper under fire for running outrageous, false political ad

Ad that ran in June 12, 2024 edition of the classified ad paper the High Country Shopper

Delta County residents are up in arms about a display ad that appeared on Page 20 of the June 12 edition of the High Country Shopper, a weekly newspaper published in Paonia that runs classified ads and promotes local businesses.

The ad, which is a departure from the norm for the Shopper, shows a photo of President Biden among an array photos of fascist dictators who have “had their opponents arrested,” including Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Stalin and others. The ad was paid for by Cedaredge resident Wes Fisher.

Where could someone get such a misleading idea as this?

After Donald Trump pleaded “not guilty” in Miami in June of 2023 to 37 felony charges for hoarding sensitive and top secret government documents and refusing to give them back, he claimed without evidence in a forceful public speech that President Joe Biden had played a role in prosecuting him to keep him from being re-elected, and falsely claimed it was an “attempt to rig and steal an election.”

But Biden had absolutely no role in Trump’s arrest and Trump’s claim was a lie.

Despite this, people like Wes Fisher heard what Trump said, believed it and are now working to propagate it.

The ad violates the Shopper’s own Terms of Service, which prohibit false, defamatory, deceptive, misleading or deceitful content. The High Country Spotlight/Shopper, says in its own description that “While typical newspapers have often taken a decidedly political stance by aligning with one party or another and endorsing various local and national candidates, we have made a conscious choice to remain a-political.” They say they refuse to print Letters to the Editor because they are “often rife with misinformation,” and on their web page describing their publications, they pledge to make ethical decisions and seek a “consistent commitment to integrity.”

Despite all these promises, they ran the misleading ad anyway.

High Country Shopper reader Elena Goldstein contacted the Shopper about the false, inflammatory ad and spoke with “Tina,” who told Goldstein she had given the ad her approval. Goldstein said Tina “realizes her mistake,” but that she “does not intend to apologize or explain why she let the ad run… other than the paper needs the revenue.”

Paonia residents are encouraging readers to call the Shopper at (970) 527-4576 or email and ask them to provide an explanation and apology in the next issue.

Page 20 of the June 12 High Country Shopper showing the false and inflammatory 5″ x 5″ ad at the lower left corner


  4 comments for “Paonia’s High Country Shopper under fire for running outrageous, false political ad

    • It’s a strange thing to add to an anti-Biden smear; I think it’s a comment on government spending or national debt, but lord cheeto’s time in office saw the national debt increase by almost $8 trillion, so Wes takes a very poorly conceived [being polite here] ad and ices it with a non sequiter.

  1. This is a political ad. I don’t see anything in the terms of service that precludes political ads. And everyone knows (or should know) that political ads sometimes / often include untruths and hyperbole.

    I would think that Anne would appreciate the flamethrower quality of this ad because she did the same thing when she displayed a billboard near Lowes with GOP spelled with a communist hammer and sickle for the O.

    Something about people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

    • The claim the ad makes is false; thus, it’s against the TOS.
      Biden didn’t have Trump arrested.
      You’re still an embarrassment.

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