News & Politics

Radio Silence: Where's Dan Bongino?

Where’s Dan Bongino?

The Fox News contributor, successful podcaster, and tech entrepreneur added “nationally syndicated talk host” to his resume in May. But, curiously, The Dan Bongino Show is all reruns this week.

Bongino filled the spot left behind by Rush Limbaugh on many radio stations across the country when the radio icon succumbed to lung cancer in February.

The host is currently in a showdown with his radio syndicator, Cumulus, over the company’s COVID-19 shot mandate. The company won’t comment on the battle with Bongino. He, however, is anything but silent, telling his podcast listeners that he’s lost a lot of sleep over the conflict, but believes he’s right to use his position to fight on behalf of Cumulus employees who will lose their jobs if they can’t or won’t get the shot.

Bongino, who battles Hodgkin’s lymphoma, got a COVID-19 shot on the advice of his doctor.

Related: It’s OK to Be Pro-Vaccine and Anti-Mandate—in Fact, It’s a Winning Message

Industry publication RadioInk.com reported that Bongino said his fight with Cumulus is getting downright “ugly.”

They didn’t consult with us content providers. I strongly object to the mandate. The fight with them is having a real impact. Behind the scenes it’s getting a little ugly here. I wasn’t on the radio today. I don’t know what they did, played the ‘best of’ or whatever. You don’t treat people this way.

Bongino’s website calls the nationwide protest against compulsory injections a “rebellion” against “the immoral, unethical, anti-science vaccine mandates.”

Bongino says he got a gut punch when he received an email from a Cumulus employee, who requested a religious exemption but was denied. It motivated him to fight harder for people like them.

[T]hey denied his religious request. It was a slap in the face to not be legitimately considered. When Cumulus needed him during the pandemic he was there for them. Folks, you don’t treat people that way. I’m not going to let it happen. This fight has been wearing me down but it’s not wearing me out.

Bongino says he hopes the two sides can come to an understanding about mandatory shots and let him stay on, but he’s kicking himself for signing a long-term deal.

I’m working on a lot of different avenues. It’s not easy. They are making it difficult for a lot of us. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over this. If you trust your content don’t ever sign any long-term deals with anyone.

It’s unclear who pulled the plug on live Dan Bongino shows this week. The company owns 300 radio stations. Cumulus’s Westwood One network may have thought that putting on a host bashing their COVID-19 policy is a bad idea. Or, Bongino might be doing it to show the company what it’s missing. Either way, Bongino makes a strong point: “You don’t let people go because they insist their body is theirs.”