Blair Garner, whose country music radio show is heard in over 200 cities, was recently contacted by the presidential campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg requesting an interview.
Garner openly admits he was “stunned” by the request considering his radio show isn’t political, and most country music fans tend to be on the conservative end of the political spectrum.
But the veteran radio host also says he was “extremely flattered” by the approach.
“One of the few truly viable candidates in the race raised his hand and asked for a place at the table,” says Garner. “I was willing to give him that seat.”
Garner shares, via social media, that his only condition was that the Buttigieg campaign “value and appreciate our listeners, and never treat them as pawns.”
Have to give it to @PeteButtigieg … he’s the only #Democratic candidate running for President who would come to #Nashville and sit down with #CountryRadio to try and reach the #CountryMusic audience … awesome to see this kind of outreach! #PeteButtigieg #PeteForAmerica pic.twitter.com/HfKvUehhAF
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) July 17, 2019
But after recording the 20 minute chat, Garner was told by his bosses at Cumulus Media he couldn’t share the interview on air.
“I was proud of it,” says the National Radio Hall of Famer. “But in the end, I was told I couldn’t air it.”
Cumulus issued a statement explaining their decision was based on the “large number of political candidates” currently running and the FCC’s Equal Time Rule, which requires media companies to provide equal airtime to all candidates.
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. 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.
Garner says he would “GLADLY” welcome other serious candidates as a guest but “nobody else reached out.”
Garner did ask for, and received, permission to post the interview on his Soundcloud account.
You can listen to the chat between Blair Garner and Mayor Pete below.
Here’s Garner’s post on Instagram sharing the story behind the interview.
View this post on Instagram
I'm not a political guy. My radio show isn't political, nor does it aspire to be. I'm just the host of a syndicated Country music program who loves his country – both the amazing land in which we live, and the outstanding music from today's Country artists. The phrase, "I love my Country" is one that I state proudly and without reservation. I mean it to my core. I was stunned when we were contacted by Mayor Pete's team requesting an interview. Absolutely stunned. 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. I would have also given a seat to any other viable candidate, from both sides. The only condition? They must also value and appreciate our listeners, and never treat them as pawns. Nobody else reached out. I assume nobody else even thought to reach out. The interview is twenty minutes in total length. I was proud of it. But in the end, I was told that I couldn't air it. Again, I would have GLADLY welcomed any other viable candidates to be a guest, especially President Trump. To my thinking, the best way to a reasoned, thoughtful position on any topic, is to hear from both sides. Regardless, the interview was killed. I did, however, ask for permission to post the interview on my own personal SoundCloud account. I was given that blessing, and I am happy to share it with you there. (Link in Bio) #buttigieg #petebuttigieg #mayorpete #pete #peteforamerica #presidentpete #chastenbuttigieg #warren #democraticprimary #firstgent #biden #peteforprez #bootedgeedge #harris #election #beto #iowa #joe #sanders #bernie #runningforpresident #nextgeneration #policies #democracy #hope #youthvote #democrats #partywithpete #mayorpetebuttigieg