They stole it, but it’s conservatives who are being commanded to heal the wounds.
For radio announcers with Cumulus media, that means going so far as to say two plus two equals five.
In an internal memo, a talk radio firm that fields some of the nation’s most popular conservative radio hosts has barred talent from questioning the 2020 presidential election.
“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” wrote an executive with Cumulus Media in a directive on Jan. 6, the same day as demonstrators broke into the U.S. Capitol, according to The Washington Post.
Company executive vice president Brian Philips went on to say Cumulus and its program syndication branch, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths’. ”
“If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately,” he added.
Cumulus hosts include big names Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino. Rush Limbaugh, broadcast on a number of Cumulus stations but syndicated by Premiere Networks, is not subject to the directive.
It remains to be seen whether firebrands like Levin who have built big audiences will abide by the memo and whether Cumulus would be willing to “cancel” them if they do not. As recently as Jan. 7, Levin stated, “Everything I say is based on principle and mission. Everything is based on liberty, family, faith, the Constitution. … My enemies and my critics can’t say the same.”
Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, said the memo shows how the corporate side of the talk radio industry can pull rank on on-air talent who often portray themselves as independent.