Uh Oh! Mike Huckabee Opens First Radio Show With Planted, Shill Caller

On Monday former Arkansas Governor and former GOP candidate for President Mike Huckabee started his new nationally syndicated radio talk show. Unfortunately, his first “caller” hit quite a sour note starting the show off with a less than auspicious beginning.

The caller, a “Mike from San Francisco,” happened to be a staged, shill caller, one that Huckabee unethically foisted on his listeners as just a random caller.

Jeffrey Lord has the scoop over at The American Spectator, but essentially what seems to have happened is that “Mike from San Francisco” is in reality Mike McVay, the senior vice president of programming for the Cumulus Media Network and Huckabee’s boss.

More ridiculously, this “Mike from San Francisco” supposedly called mere seconds after Huckabee gave out the call-in number, so it is patently obvious that “Mike from San Francisco” was already on the line waiting to go on the air.

Huckabee had to have known that this faux caller was his own boss yet he did not inform his listeners that he was talking to a planted caller.

Nice ethics, Mike Huckabee. It’s a sour note with which to start your new radio career.

RINO radio, you’re on the air.

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  • jim_m

    Huckabee always was an empty suit.

  • Mr Kimber

    Let me see…Huck or Rush… no contest there.

    Me thinks the blogger doth protest too much.

    I disagree with the claims in the above post.

    1) The American Spectator article specifically states that Gov. Huckabee did not know in advance who would be calling him.

    2) Nowhere does the article say that the caller said anything that was false.

    3) I do not recall any universal rule which says that the someone working for a particular radio program cannot be the first person to call into that program.

    4) Jeffrey Lord isn’t reporting news. Instead, he is giving commentary, and in doing so, he quickly gives away the reason he is opposed Gov. Huckabee’s radio program. It’s because Lord perceives the program as competing against Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.

    5) Lord doesn’t provide a complete transcript of the first call to Huckabee. As we have learned in the NBC screw-up with the Zimmerman call, it is important for the audience to have a full transcript in order to know what was going on. If anyone can find a link to the full transcript of that first call, then please share it.

    6) Cumulus Media executive John Dickey did respond to Lord’s inquiry about that first call.
    Here is what Dickey wrote: “Thanks for listening to the show. To your question a colleague in the company was excited about the new show and arranged to call in with the first question without Governor Huckabee’s knowledge. When I learned of this I began the process of reminding my colleagues in the company that we should reserve air-time for our listeners and refrain from calling in to our own shows.”

    So, there is no cover-up on the part of the top bosses. They readily admit that the first call was from one of their executives.

    7) The claim that Huckabee had to have known is disputable. Again, the Cumulus Media bosses said that Huckabee did not know in advance that the call would take place. Did Huckabee recognize the voice of the caller? Only he really knows. If he figured it out by the end of the call, then could he have felt embarrassed?

    If Jeff Lord had simply reported that the first call to Huckabee was from a Cumulus employee and then questioned whether such a call was ethical, then I would not be commenting. However, in his commentary, Lord reads into the first call something not in the given transcript.

    Here is what Lord says:

    Catch that? “Mike from San Francisco” begins by saying in supposedly unprompted fashion that (bold emphasis mine) “… it’s great to have a different opinion and a different person on the radio…

    Different opinion? Different person? Different from whom? Why, Rush Limbaugh, of course.

    Here is how Lord ends his opinion piece:

    But I do know for a fact that a staged, planted phone call was used to launch the Huckabee bid to topple Rush.

    Read my lips: RINO Radio has a problem.

    On day one.

    I will grant that Huckabee had better gain control of his program and address what happened with that first call. However, I will not ignore the possibility that Jeff Lord was prejudiced against Huckabee’s show before it began.

    • jim_m

       Whether you like it or not they do have a problem.  Whether Huckabee was complicit or not they have seriously damaged his credibility, something that he did not have a lot of with conservatives to begin with.  Huckabee is one of those conservative politicians who will do anything for the praise of the leftist media.  He’s allowed himself to be suckered into this attempt to destroy a significant and very popular voice of conservatism.  He’s a fool.

      • Sure, Huckabee has a problem. He has to address what happened during that first call. However, I see no evidence that he is trying to “destroy a significant and very popular voice of conservatism.”  Limbaugh (whom I believe you are referring to) will stand or fall with his own words.

        • jim_m

           My understanding of the entire purpose of Huckabee’s show was to undermine Limbaugh.  Huckabee is little more than a useful idiot.

          • herddog505

            Undermine Limbaugh?  Good luck with that.  How much money did the libs spend on Air America?

            Natch, this isn’t to say that Rush is universally popular, or that somebody else can’t come up with their own schtick and get a comparable (or even larger) audience.  But I think that it will be tough to take audience from Limbaugh.

      • Hugh_G

        Do you just hate everybody who doesn’t think like you?

        You know you really are a miserable person. I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for you. Sheeeesh.

    • warnertoddhuston

      Your criticisms seem a bit odd, David, since I never said that the linked article said any of those things. THIS article is MY opinion. I never claimed to be relaying the Spec’s opinions. I am saying Huckabee was unethical because I think there is NO WAY he didn’t know who the caller was. Yes, I am calling him a liar if he’s claiming he didn’t know.

    • herddog505

      Wow.  Excellent rebuttal.  Thank you.

    • herddog505

      Wow.  Excellent rebuttal.  Thank you.

  • Commander_Chico

    Huckabee always had a problem with right-wingers, thus the vitriol. 

    He has a heart, and appears to actually consider the teaching of Jesus instead of just beating other people with a Bible.

  • Having now received the chicka endorsement, Huckabee is dead to me.

  • Commander_Chico

    I endorse Romney.

  • That was predictable.

  • TaterSalad

    Good luck Huck but there is a News Flash for you on this one.  Don’t waste your money in trying to take Rush’s time slot and job.  He is #1 in our book.  It is great that we have another conservative on the airways but don’t push it buddy.  Got to go……..Rush is on and then Sean is next.  Sorry!