The Young Turks talk about our ouster this week, even though it happened last month. And they got a bunch of facts wrong. But it happened. And here it is … our 15 minutes are over, friends.
The Rant’s 15 minutes are in the 10-12 minute range. Here are a slew of statewide and national websites and blogs that have written about our suspension from the airwaves and the fallout of that suspension.
Poynter.org: For a group of former newspaper ruffians, it was odd seeing our names in a Poynter article.
Addictinginfo.org: Not sure they’re a fan of Republicans.
JonathanTurley.org: National blogger with a big following.
Ethicsalarms.com: We’re getting into blog territory now … proceed with caution.
Rumproast.com: Hippies love us, too.
Bluegrassbulletin.com: I’ll quote … “But there is a poison that drips from that government tit.”
There are more, of course … but these are some of the bigger ones. Let us know if you see more.
By Billy Liggett
I’ll begin by saying this … we did not seek press on our suspension. Honest, Mrs. Cleaver … when people started calling us regarding the college’s decision to suspend us following comments we made on N.C. Rep. Mike Stone, we were as surprised as anyone.
Since Friday, several stories have been published about our predicament. Sarah Ovaska from N.C. Policy Watch wrote a wonderful, well-researched and spot-on piece on what happened. The News & Observer’s Rob Christensen mentioned us in a column on Rep. Stone as well. And now it’s starting to get a little national attention.
That said, a lot of what’s been written hasn’t been entirely accurate. Their hearts are in the right place, but some of it is pretty wrong. We were NOT fired. The station was NOT shut down. I am NOT Brad Pitt’s cousin … though I can see why that assumption could be made.
Below are some of the stories mentioning the little ol’ Rant this week. We’ll add more as they come.
You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
— Obi Wan Kenobi
So, the Rant hasn’t been on the air for a couple weeks. Here’s why:
The last time we were on the air, we talked about Mike Stone, one of our representatives in the General Assembly, and local bills he introduced that drastically change the way local elections are conducted. We also posted a blog entry about the same topic. It was a discussion about a local topic that received lots of other press from actual media outlets, and our small town talk show wasn’t any harsher in our assessment of the legislation than anyone else.
Two days later, we received notice that The Rant had been suspended from WDCC 90.5 FM — which is run by CCCC — while the school’s board of trustees review their radio policy thanks to a complaint from the office of the aforementioned Mike Stone.
WDCC has been home to The Rant since we started in 2008 (not including a one-year hiatus) and we’re truly thankful that CCCC allowed us the time to come on the air and talk about the news, support and promote local events, interview “local celebrities,” ask questions of political candidates and office holders, take fake phone calls, and get silly.
We’ve decided to part ways with CCCC so that anything we might talk about in the future will not put the school in an awkward position with anyone at any level of government. We have too much respect for the college and too many longstanding relationships with people there to want anything else. This decision was ours and we made it immediately after the suspension.
We haven’t said anything yet because we’ve been working on figuring out a way to continue the show as an independent podcast. We plan to do so and will let you know how to download us very soon. We hope our small but devoted group of listeners will stay with us.
The Rant is just a hobby, but it’s one we enjoy. We like talking about the news, talking about movies, talking about what’s on our minds and goofing off. But we also like to think we provided some kind of service, even if it was just a little information and insight about what’s happening in our little community.
It appears we upset the wrong person, though. Nothing we said or wrote was inaccurate or offensive. It’s far from the most controversial subject we’ve touched on. We’ve even heard from friends who in disagreeing with our take said it was fair, well-researched and well-presented. That such a topic would draw the ire of a sitting legislator, if that is what happened, is puzzling at best.
But we’re glad to announce that we’re not dead and are continuing as a podcast – two thirds of us anyway. Jonathan has decided that work and family commitments (Jon’s a daddy!) are keeping him too busy to commit time each week to the show. We hope to have him on or call in from time to time to add his Moore County mystique and rustic patois to our podcast.
As for Billy and Gordon, we should be back within a week. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details on when and how to tune in.
Good job, Kevin.
By Gordon Anderson
Republicans talk a good game about local control during campaign season, but the North Carolina General Assembly’s recent moves show they’re interested in anything but. Commentators across the state have decried moves that attack, undermine and remove local control, whether it’s from the Charlotte airport, the Asheville water system or the Wake County Board of Education.
Until this week, Sanford and Lee County didn’t seem to be targets. But a trio of bills introduced in the past week by one of our representatives, Republican Mike Stone, make clear we too are in the cross hairs of a legislature that thinks we can’t handle our local affairs on a local basis.
House Bill 490, introduced Monday by Stone, would end nonpartisan elections for the Sanford City Council and the Lee County Board of Education. Stone told the Sanford Herald Tuesday that citizens across the district requested change (and have been doing so for years), indicating a clamor for the further creep of partisan politics into local elections. Since Stone’s past two campaigns were about job growth and government shrink, that’s pretty hard to swallow. It’s an issue that’s garnered zero public discussion, at least over the past decade. More likely, this bill is about the Lee County Republican Party’s success record in local elections.
By Billy Liggett
In just over two years, he’s tilted the Lee County Board of Commissioners to the right, and since joining the board, he’s made efforts to tilt the Board of Education the same way not only by running “his” candidates but also by publicly criticizing the district’s outgoing superintendent and recent decisions to purchase laptops or renovate schools.
His latest puppeteer-ing comes in the form of another email - not quite as forceful as the tank email but critical and sarcastic nonetheless - directed at Republicans on the Board of Education. It’s a public shaming (“public” because all emails like this are public record, despite the gmail account it came from) for the board’s decision to unanimously go forward with talks about another elementary school … a decision that would ultimately lead to more taxes.
We’ve got the email below. Check it out. Enjoy Womack’s command to show more respect. It’s
ridiculous stuff fun stuff, indeed.
Fun with headlines. Headlines with fun.
Who says you can’t go home? Billy’s heading to Texas in April for his high school class reunion … he and Jon talk about it.
The Rant discusses the upcoming summer and joining the local swimming hole