Pete Buttigieg’s country radio interview was blocked from the air

A popular country radio host conducted an interview with 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, but it was blocked from airing, according to numerous reports.

Blair Garner, a syndicated country radio host, said he spoke with the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, but was “told that I couldn’t air” the recorded interview. Garner, in a Facebook post explaining what happened, said that he later uploaded the 20-minute interview to his personal SoundCloud account.

“I was stunned when we were contacted by Mayor Pete’s team requesting an interview. Absolutely stunned,” Garner wrote on Facebook. “Since Country music tends to lean in a conservative direction, I was surprised. But more than surprised, I was EXTREMELY flattered. One of the few truly viable candidates in the race raised his hand and asked for a place at the table. I was willing to give him that seat.

Cumulus Media, Garner’s employer, alleged that the interview was spiked because of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “equal-time rule,” according to the Washington Post.

“Cumulus Nashville’s programming managers made the decision not to air Blair Garner’s pre-recorded interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg because of the large number of political candidates currently in this race,” Cumulus Media told the newspaper in a statement. “The decision was made by local programming management based solely on concerns related to the application of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule. The effects of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule are widely understood and considered whenever these types of issues arise.”

However, Andrew Schwartzman of Georgetown’s Institute for Public Representation told Talking Points Memo that the interview likely wouldn’t fall within the scope of the FCC rule because it was a news interview.

You can listen to Garner’s interview with Buttigieg here.

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).