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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

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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2020 Election

Sanders unveils plan to end cash bail, ban private prisons, and ‘fundamentally transform’ US criminal justice system

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"If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up."

Decrying America's status as the "world's leading jailer," Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday released a comprehensive plan to confront the crisis of mass incarceration, end the criminalization of poverty, and dramatically overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system.

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2020 Election

Morning Joe uses Fox News report to ridicule Trump’s business skills in coming trade deal with China

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During a discussion on bad economic reports indicating that the U.S. may be heading for a recession, "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough first mocked President Donald Trump's business acumen before predicting that he will cobble together a bad deal with China in hopes of slowing down the economic slide before the 2020 election.

Using a report he heard on Fox News, which predicted that same scenario, the MSNBC host noted that China knows they have the president over a barrel.

"I actually heard this on Fox News last week. somebody expressing real concern that the Chinese already know that, for Donald Trump, the only sort of economic trick he has left in his bag is to come to a resolution on the trade war with China to get the economy going," Scarborough recalled. "Well, if we all know that, then the Chinese leaders know that. Xi [Jinping] knows that."

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