One of America’s biggest talk-radio platforms that added fuel to the election fraud misconception fire has decided to switch directions abruptly.
According to the Washington Post, Cumulus Media, employer of several popular right-wing talk-radio hosts across the nation, told its on-air personalities to stop joining in on the rhetoric that the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen from President Donald Trump.
If the hosts refuse to do so, they will face termination.
Cumulus’s plan came on Wednesday, the same day Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden‘s Electoral win. The same day a massive mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, resulting in five deaths and many injuries.
“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” Brian Phillips, the executive vice president of content for the company, wrote in an internal memo.
Phillips added that Cumulus’ program syndication branch, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion 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 warned.
Far-right Conservatives Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and Dan Bongino are Cumulus hosts. Controversial host Rush Limbaugh who appears on several of the company’s stations, is syndicated by another company, Premiere Networks. Therefore, he is not subject to the new order, The Hill reports.
Time will tell if hosts will follow the new directive. Levin has built a strong voice and brand that deters from the new rules. We will see if Levin abides by Wednesday’s memo and whether the company will have to take the major disciplinary actions it proposes.
On Thursday, Levin continued to deny any responsibility for what took place at the Capitol, saying, “I’m not stirring up a damn thing. 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.”
Publisher of Talkers magazine, Michael Harrison, says the memo shows the talk radio industry’s corporate side setting the tone for its on-air talent who often say they are independent of outside influences.
“Corporations have always called the tune ultimately,” he told the Post. “Everyone pays attention to the guys at the top and always has.”
Tech and social media companies have buckled down on possible incitement in the wake of the riots. Twitter banned Trump’s account and several leaders in the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, which were heavily represented among the mobs.