Mike Huckabee took his first phone call of his new talk radio call-in show 4/9, but The American Spectator says that call was staged. The call, 50 minutes into the show, was from “Mike in San Francisco.” That Mike, says the story, was none other than Mike McVay, Cumulus Media Networks SVP/Programming.
Said The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord: “To anyone with an ear for talk radio it had a startling quality. Why? No one seemed to remember to give the call-in number to the audience until the very last few seconds of those first fifty minutes. But yet… presto!… within seconds, Mike Huckabee did in fact have a caller on the line! Without ever questioning how that caller could have gotten on that line in less time than it takes Obama to blame Bush for anything!
The caller…”Mike from San Francisco”… was in fact not just your average Mike.
Huckabee began this way:
“Alright, we’re going to go to the phone lines and we’ve got a call from Mike in San Francisco. Welcome to the Mike Huckabee Show, Mike.”
What did “Mike” have on his mind? He started this way:
“Well Governor, let me start by saying it’s great to have a different opinion and a different person on the radio and I’m very, very happy that you’re doing this radio show. One of the reasons why I want to listen to your program every day is because you ran for office and you’ve been a politician, you have a different perspective I think.”
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.
In fact, “Mike from San Francisco” turned out after some digging to be one Mike McVay, the senior vice president of programming for… wait for it… the Cumulus Media Network. None of which was acknowledged on the air by either “Mike from San Francisco” or, more to the point, Mike Huckabee.
After receiving several tips on this I contacted Mr. McVay himself, asking the following:
This is Jeff Lord from The American Spectator.
I have been told that in the debut of Governor Huckabee’s show today the first caller was “Mike from San Francisco.” The caller thanked Huckabee for his new format etc.
I have information that you were that caller…and failed to identify yourself to the audience as a Cumulus executive, nor did Governor Huckabee identify you.
In other words, Mike, you were a “plant”….not a real caller who really wanted to call in and talk to Governor Huckabee.”