Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. It serves a very large and diverse population. Of its nearly 20,000 students, more than half are minority:
CPCC airs ads on WBT's broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh Show, long after thousands of advertisers have decided that the content of this show is so offensive that they will not allow their ad to legitimize it. Despite pressure from the StopRush movement for months, CPCC has steadfastly refused to pull their ads from the show.
Advertisers like CPCC run what are often called "bulk ads." These ads generally run at the discretion of the station. However, in view of how offensive Limbaugh's program has become, stations have created "No Rush" lists for businesses and institutions who prefer to avoid racist, sexist, or homophobic content. The advertiser need only call the station and ask to not be rotated on during this 3 hour, Monday to Friday block of time.
This is just a sampling of the other schools across the nation have done so:
Baldwin Wallace University
Bay State College
Boston Reed College
Concordia University (Nebraska)
Ohio Dominican University
Olivet Nazarene University
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Point Loma Nazarene University
St. Louis University
Southern California University
University of Dayton
University of Michigan
University of Nevada Las Vegas
University of Omaha
University of Maryland--University College
University of Redlands
University of San Diego School of Law
Valley Forge Military Academy & College
Wayne County Community Colllege
Young Harris College
Schools who pull their ads often send StopRush volunteers a message like the following:
Thank you so much for making us aware of both your concerns and this situation.
The advertisements recently played on Rush Limbaugh’s show were part of a general traffic sponsorship buy, in which we did not dictate the specific stations or programming. However, when this was brought to our attention, we immediately took the necessary steps to exclude all Rush Limbaugh programming from every market in which we advertise for the future.
Again, we very much appreciate you reaching out to us and bringing this issue to our attention.
Thank you for contacting us with your concerns. Our advertising agency made the media buy based on ratings in the market. We have directed the agency media buyers to change as soon as possible. We have also provided additional direction to the agency to ensure other matters are considered in addition to ratings when negotiating media buys. Again, thank you for contacting us.
We would like to thank you for sharing your concerns with us and apologize for any offense incurred. Thanks to loyal supporters like you, we were recently made aware that our radio ads were being placed during Mr. Limbaugh's show. However, our marketing department has taken the necessary action to have our ads removed from that radio segment. We appreciate and value your continued conscious support. After all, we believe people like you are the reason why our school has the esteemed reputation we hold today!
I spoke to our media buyer about this. We purchase ad packages and the ads are spread throughout a period of time. We were unaware of the exact times the spots were being ran, but we have contacted the station and asked that our ads be removed from that specific programming.
Why are these schools so appreciative of the heads up that their ads are running on Limbaugh? Take a look at the content of the show:
Limbaugh says abortions should occur with a gun
Limbaugh says statistics show Mexicans are lazy
Limbaugh calls a young college student a slut and says she was probably having so much sex in middle school it's a wonder she can walk
Limbaugh says the Civil Rights Movement wouldn't have needed Selma if African Americans had more guns
Limbaugh says all black people want is more food stamps
Limbaugh links gay marriage and pedophilia
And on and on and on.
So why would Central Piedmont refuse to call WBT and ask that their ad not be played during this program that maligns its own diverse student population?
It's important to note that CPCC president Tony Zeiss has a history of financially supporting extreme right wing politics. In 2006 Zeiss made a $1500 contribution to the campaign of NC Representative Robin Hayes, listing CPCC as his address:
"Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God"
...when speaking to a crowd of supporters.
When the story broke Hayes lied about his outrageous statement. His spokeswoman Amanda Little said he absolutely denied making the comments and accused
the source of "irresponsible journalism."
Then this audio was made public:
After being publicly caught in the lie, Hayes then denied denying making the statement.
Perhaps unsurprisingly he lost his next election.
CPCC President Tony Zeiss has a right to donate his money to whomever he pleases. But he also has an ethical responsibility to keep his taxpayer-funded school away from offensive radio programming. A school that has female, Mexican, homosexual, and African American students should not allow its name to air alongside attacks on those very groups. Zeiss needs to do the right thing and request that WBT not play CPCC's ads during Limbaugh's offensive program.