State Rep. Mike C. Stone (R-NC), left, is being accused this week of pressuring the closure of a weekly radio program at the Central Carolina Community College called “The Rant.” Stone appears remarkably sensitive as a politician to criticism and contacted the school about the program and its funding. CCCC President T.E. “Bud” Marchant reportedly responded to the pressure by tossing out any notions of journalistic and academic independence, though he denies the program was shutdown over “content.”
Stone complained to the college’s president after Stone was criticized for a proposals viewed as injecting more partisanship to the political process. It really does not matter such the subject is. The key was Stone’s response. Stone’s legislative assistant sent CCCC President T.E. “Bud” Marchant an email asking if the program is affiliated with the college and later demanded to know:
What is their programming schedule and format? Each day, each time slot. What show filled the FCC requirement when they stopped doing The Rant. Or did they stop? Has the show been in production since 2008? What is the radio station’s budget? What is the source of its funding?
Most reputable academic leaders would respond to such a request with a terse reference to the tradition of free speech at academic institutions. Instead, two days later, the CCCC issued an announcement that Marchant had suspended the program.
Stone lists his education as “Attended, Accounting, Central Carolina Business” and lists his experience as “Business Owner, OConnells Grocery Store.” He appears to have picked up a taste for power judging from his successful effort to shutdown this program.
As for Marchant, 54, he is the former vice president for Educational Affairs at Piedmont Technical College, Greenwood, S.C. and holds a bachelor’s degree in History/Education from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in Administration from Winthrop College. He also holds his Educational Specialist degree from The Citadel and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota.
It would be useful if Marchant would explain to the rest of the academic community why he shutdown the program within days of receiving an email from a state legislator if it were not based on “content” because many would see the alternatives as cowardice or avarice.
Source: Think Progress