While it's true that political campaigns use all sorts of factors to determine where and when they will run television, radio and newspaper advertisements ... we've never heard of anything quite like this.
FITS has learned that Aiken Senator and candidate for State Treasurer Greg Ryberg is refusing to run radio advertisements on the popular Andy Thomas Show until part-time contributor Sic Willie is dismissed from the program's "Inside the Bubble" political segment.
The threat was made this Friday afternoon by a Ryberg spokesman, one day after our favorite bad boy criticized Ryberg for his hypocrisy on the gambling issue.
Thomas refused to be cowed and in fact stood up for Sic Willie, who appears on the show twice a week and is frequently joined by Club for Growth Executive Director Josh Gross, Post and Courier reporter John Frank and Queen of the S.C. Blogosphere Laurin Manning, among others.
Not surprisingly, this isn't the first time Folks has generated controversy for the program. Back in March, he called the NAACP the "National Association for the Abandonment of Colored People" on the school choice issue. On another segment discussing South Carolina's vaunted educational accountability program in February, Folks said, "Has it proven anything? Yes. It's proved our tests are smart but our kids are stupid."
Thomas, who indicated that this was the first time he could recall having a political campaign threaten to withhold an advertising buy, left a message for FITS saying that Sic Willie was staying on the show.
"This show is stirring the pot," Thomas said. "It's stirring and people are listening."
To hear for yourself what all the fuss is about, tune into "Inside the Bubble" every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on "The Andy Thomas Show," featured on Columbia's WOIC Radio, 1230 AM.