A long, long time ago, there was an AM radio station in North Carolina with the call letters WPTF. In its earliest incarnation, the acronym stood for We Protect The Family. In 1991, the station came to be owned by a good citizen named Don Curtis, a very nice guy and a shrewd business man.
Curtis himself has been very active in Civic and Community affairs including service on the boards of Peace College, St. Andrews College, the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors, UNC-TV Board of Trustees, The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Board of Visitors, The Food Bank of North Carolina, the Lineberger Cancer Center Board of Visitors, The Methodist Children’s Home Board, The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Tammy Lynn Center Board.
Active in the University of North Carolina, his alma mater, he currently serves on the Board of the UNC Alumni Association, The National Development Council, the UNC School of Journalism Board of Visitors, the UNC Educational Foundation Board of Directors, and has previously also served on the UNC Board of Visitors. In 2005, he received the William R. Davie Award for his service to the University.
Years ago, Mr. Curtis was a client of mine. My job was to help him with marketing strategy and his job was to make a boatload of money, which he has done very successfully. Today WPTF is the flagship station in the Curtis media empire.
On good days, WPTF is the voice of Wolfpack sports, which I'm sure NC State fans greatly appreciate. But on five days a week, WPTF is a high-powered platform for a drug-addled windbag and purveyor of hate named Rush Limbaugh.
I'm sure a person can point to principles such as freedom of expression and first amendment rights in defending the existence of people like Rush Limbaugh. And the truth is, broadcasters today can put almost anything they want on the air, which they do. Pandering to the worst in human-kind is good business, no doubt, and WPTF seems happy to laugh all the way to the bank as they promote a man who has said:
"Why should Blacks be heard? They're 12% of the population. Who the hell cares."
"Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
"Condoms only work during the school year."
"And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."
"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."
"One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the homeless Olympics...the 10-metre shopping cart relay, the dumpster dig, and the hop, skip, and trip."
"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."
"The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them."
"If the owl can't adapt to the superiority of humans, screw it."
“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation.”
There you have it. A small sampling of just how far a business will go in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
I don't know Mr. Curtis anymore, and I doubt he even listens to his own trashy radio station. Back when we were acquainted, he was a country music fan, so I suspect he spends more time with WQDR, his FM flagship station. But in any case, Rush Limbaugh became a fixture of WPTF under his watchful eye. Which is pretty darn sad.
It's hard to say what WPTF stands for anymore, but it sure as heck isn't "we protect the family."
PS WPTF came onto my radar again recently when I complained to the station about Rick Martinez, who writes conservative columns for the N&O. Martinez is the news and programming director at WPTF. The station says what Martinez does on his own time is none of their business.
PPS Updated with a link to the WPTF "contact" page. Click their logo or this link. I'm sure they'd looooove to hear how much you enjoy the Fatman every day.