Faculty members’ and students’ opinions were widely varied in response to the University’s rejection of its affiliation with talk show host, Rush Limbaugh.
On March 6, UNC asked the local radio station, WRDU, to stop referencing the Tar Heel Sports Network and UNC alongside the Limbaugh program, said Mike McFarland, a UNC spokesman, in an email.
The decision was made in response to comments Limbaugh made in February about a Georgetown University Law student. Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” during a discussion about the use of contraceptives.
Rick Steinbacher, associate athletic director for marketing and promotions for the University, said he believes the agreement between Tar Heel Sports Properties and WDRU will go on indefinitely.
Jane Brown, a professor of journalism and mass communication at UNC, said she hoped to stop the University’s presence on the same network as Limbaugh, but Chancellor Holden Thorp opted for a compromise.
“I wish we were not on Rush Radio at all,” she said. “We give Rush credence and credibility by being associated with him.”
“We stand for civil discourse and pursuit of the truth,” she said. “We should not associate with those who do not hold similar values.”
Lifei Huang, a senior chemistry major, said she wanted to separate the University from Limbaugh’s defamatory statements.
“I wouldn’t feel right to be affiliated with the things that Rush has said about women in particular, especially because I am a woman,” she said. “I wouldn’t want any woman here to be called a slut.”
Previously, at the beginning of every hour, the Tar Heel Sports Network was affiliated with Rush radio because of Federal Communications Commission regulations, Steinbacher said.
Jesus Ruiz, a senior chemistry and biology double major, said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with being on the same station as Rush, but he didn’t want UNC to be associated with Limbaugh’s remarks.
But Logan Icenhour, a freshman biology major, said he didn’t think that it mattered if UNC was affiliated with Rush’s show.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. Everyone has their problems with Rush Limbaugh,” Icenhour said. “He’s just a political analyst.”
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