It was big national news when it was reported that Cumulus sent around a memo telling its talk show hosts to tone down any stolen election claims. The memo was reported to be sent around by VP Brian Philips, however Cumulus has never confirmed or commented publicly on it. It’s clear The Washington Post doesn’t believe anything has changed.
The paper’s position in a Wednesday article called “On conservative talk radio, efforts to tone down inflammatory rhetoric appear limited,” is that talk radio hasn’t toned down the rhetoric enough, despite the Cumulus HQ memo telling them to do so.
The paper alleges that big name hosts such as Mark Levin, Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro, who all say they never received a memo from Cumulus, will carry on and those less known will feel the heat if they continue to harp on Trump’s election claims.
The paper also takes aim at Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh stating he has not “moderated his post-election rhetoric.”
Brian Rosenwald, the author of “Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States,” tells The Post that popular syndicated hosts who have more leverage than smaller market conservative talkers will simply change the narrative. Rosenwald predicts to The Post that many hosts will change the subject from the Capitol violence, or attack Democrats and the news media by claiming they didn’t condemn the violence associated with protests surrounding the death of George Floyd. “Talk radio’s go-to move when there is something indefensible on the right has always been to [point] out [liberals’] double standards. A Democratic administration equals a new boogeymen to focus on. You might have offhand references or conversation about Biden being an illegitimate president, but the focus won’t be on the ‘stolen election’ unless and until there is fresh news on the topic.”