- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2021

Cumulus radio hosts who don’t cease and desist their chatter of stolen elections, fraudulent ballot counts and suggestions of the viability of continuing challenges to the Donald Trump-Joe Biden faceoff will be fired. Immediately. That’s according to a memo from a Cumulus top dog.

So much for lively debate and discussion, eh? Toe the line — or be gone.

“[We] all not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended,” wrote Brian Philips, the executive vice president of Cumulus Media, in a memo reported by The Hill. “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.”

Hmm. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 kind of immediately.

Free speech in America seems to be what corporate chiefs deem free speech. Once again — as with Twitter’s purge of President Trump, as with Amazon’s erasure of Parler, and more — once again, the justification is safety and security.



“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” the memo stated.

It’s unclear if Cumulus hosts will abide by zee new commands.

Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino — all hosts employed by Cumulus. Rush Limbaugh broadcasts on stations owned and operated by Cumulus, but his syndicate is actually Premiere Networks.

Ostensibly, Limbaugh isn’t included.

Ostensibly, too, the Cumulus stations that play Limbaugh could take it upon themselves to include him in zee new command.

Levin, for one, says his normal talk show rhetoric is informative, not inflammatory.

“I’m not stirring up a damn thing,” he said of accusations that he’s helped prod along riots on Capitol Hill, The Hill wrote. “Everything [I say] is based on liberty, family, faith, the Constitution.”

Bingo.

Therein is the problem

Liberty, faith, family, the Constitution — these are all topics that are deemed by the left to be breeding grounds for racists, misogynists, right-wing conspiracists, KKKers and the like. To love America is to hate Mexicans. To love family is to hate gays. To love the Constitution is to be racist. To love liberty is to — well, is to hate everybody. Because liberty, after all, is so damnably independent and focused on the individual. Collectivism — now that’s the way to go; that’s the way of the good little citizen. That’s in the eyes of the left, that is.

Another clamp of freedom of speech.

Let’s be clear: political dissent, as fiery as it might get, is not a call to violence.

And private companies behaving as they’re the moral compasses of an entire nation — as if they’re able to control the behaviors of those with violent tendencies — is a slippery slope that’s fast moving this country toward tyranny.

Americans shouldn’t have government controlling their speech — that’s according to the First Amendment.

But Americans shouldn’t have private companies controlling their speech, either — and that’s according to American spirit.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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