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Top conservative broadcaster Cumulus Media blocks its own radio stations from airing Pete Buttigieg interview

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The third largest AM and FM broadcaster in America is blocking an interview one of its radio hosts conducted with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Cumulus Media, a conservative broadcaster that owns and operates over 400 radio stations in 87 media markets across the country, told Blair Garner, host of The Blair Garner Radio Show, he could not air any part of his interview with Buttigieg. Garner said via Twitter, “My employer decided I couldn’t air it.”

Garner hosts his show on FM country music radio stations and is nationally syndicated across more than 150 stations. Cumulus blocked any station from airing the 20-minute interview, according to HuffPost.

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“I’ve been told that the interview cannot air,” Garner also wrote in an email sent to affiliates. “I was very proud that a presidential candidate of any party valued our show to the degree that they would ask to be a guest.”

“It is not, in any way shape or form, my intention for our show to become political,” he also told affiliates, adding: “Just to be clear, I would have also enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to have any candidate, including President Trump, as a guest. It was simply that Mayor Pete showed up, and made the ask.”

Garner says he was allowed to post the interview to his personal Soundcloud page.

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Cumulus Media told HuffPost the decision to block the interview from airing is “because of the large number of political candidates currently in this race.”

“The decision was made by local programming management based solely on concerns related to the application of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule,” a Cumulus spokesperson told HuffPost in a statement. “The effects of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule are widely understood and considered whenever these types of issues arise.”

Country music newsletter publisher Kurt Bardella, a former Republican congressional spokesperson who became a Democrat after the GOP embraced accused child molester Roy Moore, called Cumulus’ decision “an incredible act of cowardice for a company who’s slogan is ‘Where Every Voice Matters’ to censor an interview with someone who, for the first time ever, thought it was worthwhile to engage the country music audience in a conversation about the future of our country.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Critics respond after Jill Biden says vote for husband even if you like policies of other candidates more

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"Jill Biden may have settled for her husband, but I'm not sure why anyone else should."

Critics are responding harshly to comments made by Dr. Jill Biden Monday in which she claimed that even if Democratic primary voters prefer the policies of other 2020 candidates over those of her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, they should vote for Biden anyway because he's more electable.

Dr. Biden made comments to that effect on Monday in a campaign appearance in Manchester, N.H., reported first by NBC News.

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2020 Election

Susan Sarandon scorched for attacking Elizabeth Warren at Bernie Sanders event (video)

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Susan Sarandon is still a pariah to many Democrats who believe her very active support of extremist Jill Stein during the 2016 presidential election helped elect Donald Trump president. And she’s under fire once again.

The Academy Award winning actress and activist on Monday spoke at an event supporting Senator Bernie Sanders, who is once again running for president as a Democrat. Sarandon appeared to throw shade at Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is currently battling the Vermont independent lawmaker for the number two slot in the polls.

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2020 Election

With key vote just days away, activists ramp up pressure on DNC to hold #ClimateDebate

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"Only a climate-specific debate will show whether the candidates are climate ready or not."

The Democratic National Committee faced increased pressure on Monday to hold a climate debate from progressive organizations demanding the party live up to its own governing platform and "treat this crisis like the emergency it is."

Efforts to change the DNC's mind appear headed to a headed to a fever pitch as the committee will meet later this week and reportedly vote (pdf) on a proposed resolution to hold a climate debate—and potentially a resolution put forth by DNC Chair Tom Perez that critics believe represents an effort to kill a climate-focused debate.

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