Right-wing radio clown who vowed to quit over employer's vax mandate is still on the job

Right-wing radio clown who vowed to quit over employer's vax mandate is still on the job
www.alternet.org

Yeah, Donald Trump also said we’d never see him again if he lost to Joe Biden. We all know how that turned out. After all, Trump is never really gone—as long we remember him. We see his eternal light and essence in every irregular, half-priced Grocery Outlet yam. Every time a bully farts on a weaker kid’s head, he is there—in spirit—gently guiding the bully’s sphincter. You see him in the wide, wonderstruck eyes of every tender moppet who stumbles off the Tilt-A-Whirl vomiting circus peanuts and orange Fanta on his sister’s brand-new Chucks.

But the fucker never actually left, so there’s no need to rely on any of those reminders.

This seems to be a pattern. Conservatives love to talk shit and set ultimatums, but when their “sincerely held beliefs” run up against their “careers,” they somehow find the moral wiggle room to show up for work.

Meet radio talk show host Dan Bongino, who is one of these characters:

Two months ago, Dan Bongino sounded ready to give up one of the best slots in conservative talk radio over his objection to his employer’s coronavirus vaccine mandate.

“You can have me, or you can have the mandate, but you can’t have both,” he said on Oct. 18, threatening to stop hosting his three-hour program on Cumulus Media — which launched in March — if the radio giant did not back down from health requirements imposed on employees this fall.

A lot has happened since then, but not much has changed for Bongino and his bosses. He is still hosting the same show, even though Cumulus Media does not appear to have changed its mandate. That’s led some radio hosts and industry observers to question Bongino’s commitment to his ultimatum. Talk radio historian Brian Rosenwald said “there was a stunt element to it.”

A conservative media figure involved in a performative stunt? Nooooooooo! You don’t say!

Of course, much as pro-COVID crusader Tucker Carlson almost certainly is, Bongino is definitely vaccinated. He received the shot on advice from his doctor after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But he stands tall in his commitment to preserving every American’s sacred, God-given right to die for silly reasons—or no reason at all.

After telling his listeners in October that he was going to fight on behalf of his Cumulus colleagues who have not fully slaked their thirst for gruesome, unnecessary death, he took a week and a half off and returned in early November.

“I’m not going to let this go,” he said before his hiatus. “Cumulus is going to have to make a decision with me if they want to continue this partnership, or they don’t. I want something to change, and I’m giving them an opportunity to do it. But if they don’t, this is going to be an entirely untenable situation going forward.”

Well, we’ve gone forward, and this preening peacock is still on the air talking shit, so …

At least one key industry observer The Post talked to thinks Bongino may have overplayed his hand.

Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison said Bongino “painted himself into a corner and threatened to leave and then didn’t make good on that threat.” He added, “With all due respect to Dan Bongino, who is extremely talented and appears to have a potentially bright future in talk radio ahead of him, I think he miscalculated the level of his clout as a talk-show host and employee of Cumulus Media. Platform usually wins in these spaces, and Cumulus Media is a very large and powerful platform.”

Of course, this sort of thing is a problem for a lot of right-wing hosts who want to keep their jobs. Fox News has done some Leni Riefenstahl-worthy work on behalf of rampant, preventable death, but the suits at the company have decided an office full of disease vectors is nevertheless bad for business. In fact, Fox recently tightened up its already strict vaccine mandates, requiring all its New York City employees to get the jab in lieu of opting for daily tests. (Bongino also hosts a show on Fox.)

So the very corporations allowing poisonous rhetoric to proliferate unchecked on their airwaves also know what it takes to stop this pandemic. They just don't care. As long as they can squeeze enough outrage and cash out of the viewers who remain after the culling, they won’t worry so much about their dead audience members. They’re just marks, after all.

Of course, Tucker Carlson should have been fired months ago for his anti-vaxxer agitating, and Cumulus should have told Bongino to pound sand, but they’ll just keep letting their highest-profile hosts destroy lives as they cover their own asses.

Sounds like par for the course for these ghouls.

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