Two months ago, John Sieglinger of Raleigh removed his raiment and ran across the field at halftime of the East Carolina University-Southern Miss football game. Three days after that, The East Carolinian student paper published uncensored photos of Sieglinger's Streak on its front page and its website, sparking moral apoplexy among dongphobic school administrators.
The same administrators this week created for themselves a First Amendment issue—and possibly a wrongful termination suit—by firing the school's student media director. Paul Isom, who was on staff at ECU since 2008, oversaw all student media on campus and directly advised The East Carolinian. Isom didn't make the decision to put penis on the front page, but that matters little. History informs us that someone always pays for a dong flap, and Isom was dismissed with all the courtesy you'd expect from a bunch of sanctimonious prigs, according to a write-up by the Student Press Law Center:
Isom said he returned to his office shortly after 11 a.m. to find two unexpected guests—his direct supervisor, Director of Marketing and Communications Chris Stansbury, and a representative from human resources.
He said they initially gave him four hours to clean out his office and leave campus.
"They said that I would get severance and my final paycheck at the end of the month," Isom said.
Isom said he received no explanation other than that they "wanted to move in a different direction."
A "team of administrators" took part in deliberations about Isom's job, but Stansbury was the one who ultimately made the decision, proving once again that flacks really do get you the publicity you pay them for. The East Carolinian should run a daily dong photo in protest.