Home » Rudy Guiliani’s radio show has been canceled after he repeatedly discussed false 2020 elec

Rudy Guiliani’s radio show has been canceled after he repeatedly discussed false 2020 elec

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CNN
 — 

Rudy Giuliani was suspended from New York City radio station WABC and his talk show canceled after he flagrantly ignored orders not to discuss false 2020 election conspiracy theories, the station’s owner said Monday.

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer who has hosted a daily talk show on the AM station for three years, was pulled from the airwaves Friday after he repeated bogus claims of vote rigging in the 2020 presidential election.

In recent months, Giuliani was repeatedly directed to not make claims of electronic voting manipulation surrounding the 2020 election, John Catsimatidis, the billionaire GOP donor and owner of the radio station, said in a statement.

Catsimatidis said the station received a letter in January 2021 from election technology company Dominion Voting Systems, which has been the target of baseless vote rigging claims by right-wing media figures, including Giuliani. WABC instructed its on-air hosts, including Giuliani, to avoid the subject, Catsimatidis said.

“Guiliani has admitted repeatedly over the past few days that he agreed not to speak about Dominion,” Catsimatidis said. “However, he was also warned numerous times, particularly in the past few months, to refrain from any allegations of electronic voting manipulation surrounding the 2020 election.”

But on Wednesday, a Bloomberg News article highlighted Giuliani had doubled down on potentially defamatory comments about two Georgia poll workers who had previously won a $148 million judgment against Giuliani, Catsimatidis said. Giuliani was sent a letter the same day, reminding him to avoid the subject on-air, Catsimatidis said, though this, too, was ignored, with Giuliani again broaching the subject on his show that same day. Later that night, Giuliani allegedly texted Catsimatidis saying, “I am disregarding every order given in this letter.”

Giuliani was ultimately suspended from the station on Friday for violating the agreement and refusing to adhere to company policy, Catsimatidis said. Giuliani’s talk show was no longer listed on the WABC schedule Monday, and his show page had been scrubbed from the website.

The suspension could add to the already massive financial woes plaguing Giuliani, who is on the hook for millions in legal fees in addition to the nearly $150 million he owes the Georgia election workers. Last week, Catsimatidis said that Giuliani “gave me an ultimatum. He texted me that I had to double his airtime and compensation by May 28.  I told him I wanted to sit down in person to discuss this.”

The false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election that ricocheted through right-wing media have resulted in multiple high-profile defamation lawsuits, including Fox News’ settlement with Dominion for a record $787 million. Last month, the far-right cable channel One America News settled with another voting technology company, Smartmatic, for its airing of false claims. The financial details of that settlement were not revealed.

Giuliani has also been criminally charged in Georgia and Arizona over lies related to overturning the 2020 presidential election. Catsimatidis told CNN that he learned from a New York Post article that the former mayor is also being paid by Newsmax, “which is trying to make a case against us with Dominion.”

“I won’t jeopardize WABC over stupid things like that,” he said.

On Friday, the same day as his suspension, Giuliani published an episode of his YouTube-based talk show, “America’s Mayor Live,” seemingly in response to reports of his suspension and his show’s cancelation. Giuliani decried WABC’s decision as a violation of free speech.

“You fired me to interfere in the election — because once a Democrat, always a Democrat — and you’re sucking up to them, John, and don’t tell me you’re not,” Giuliani ranted on his show.

Giuliani did not respond to a CNN request for comment.

Catsimatidis told CNN that he had not yet made a decision whether to terminate Giuliani. The station owner said that as a rule he will not fire someone unless he has had a chance to sit down with them face to face. As of Monday, he has not had a chance to meet with Giuliani, who is in Florida and said he can’t return to New York City, due to a bad knee.

Catsimatidis said he is willing to sit down with Giuliani should the former mayor be willing to do so but if that does not happen, he may rethink Giuliani’s employment status.

“The number one item is the fact that he started to talk about the electronic machines and that’s not negotiable,” he said. “That’s absolutely zero, no way will we allow that to happen.”

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