Here’s a classic example of how the so-called Republican media — in this case Talk Radio — controls who is offered up as a candidate (example: John McCain).

On an Orlando radio station Tuesday morning, a caller asked the host why he wasn’t bringing on Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike McCalister for any interviews. The caller asked the host why we don’t hear of any candidates other than republican gubernatorial hopefuls Rick Scott and Bill McCollum. A good question.

McCallister-1McCalister’s name will be on Florida’s GOP primary ballot on Aug. 24th. He is a retired U. S. Army Colonel who worked at CentCom; holds a PhD and MBA and taught in several colleges, and operates a business growing palm trees in Plant City. Judging from his resume, he is eminently qualified to lead a growing state of more than 15 million residents.

The morning show host answered that he wasn’t going to waste his time on someone who was only drawing 1% in the polls. End of phone call. End of subject. He didn’t explain how he knew McCalister was drawing 1%, or the polling source from which he was getting his information. Or why he was limiting the candidates he’d bring on the air for his listeners’ review, edification, and inspection. The host hung up and went on to something else.

Typical.

McCalister also was ovelooked when a gubernatorial debate was hosted by a local Fox News affiliate. When McCalister’s campaign manager sought explanation, she was ignored and “given the runaround”. The debate went on without McCalister’s participation. According to a report in the Naples (Fl) News titled “Third Wheel? GOP’s Mike McCalister is on ballot with Rick Scott, Bill McCollum”:

“On Thursday, while McCollum and Scott debate issues and policies on a FOX station in Tampa, McCalister will have to sit at home and watch.

“I was told I wasn’t important enough to debate,” he said.

He also wasn’t invited to participate in the Univision debate, which was taped Monday in Miami.

[ snip ]

Neither Univision nor the FOX affiliate could provide a comment on why McCalister wasn’t allowed into the debate. But it’s customary for debate hosts to use polling data to choose which candidates to invite. McCalister isn’t charting on any of the major polls.

“There were three candidates who actually qualified to be on the ballot, but only two will be on TV,” McCalister said.

Then he comes back with another rhetorical question: “Why not let the voters make the decision?”

I repeat: A good question.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, many believe we were force-fed a campaign diet of Mitt, Rudy, Huckabee, Edwards, Fred Thompson, and McCain, to the virtual exclusion of Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and earlier on, Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson, and Jim Gilmore.

The sole exception was Rep. Ron Paul who got some TV play on the 24-hour news channels, due in large part to a devoted base that was relentless in its demands for media coverage of their candidate. Nevertheless, much of the resulting coverage portrayed Cong. Paul as a nutjob.

So how did it turn out? We got McCain, a media-made candidate who fought a lackluster campaign and who few Republican voters wanted.

So after hearing about Orlando’s morning show host’s comment, I called Col. McCalister directly to get his reaction.

A late-comer to the gubernatorial race, McCalister said the media’s been ignoring him since he began his campaign. This, despite the fact that he’s won several straw polls including one taken at The Villages (“Florida’s friendliest home town”) following speeches given by Scott, McCollum, and McCalister, where he said the poll showed him out ahead of the two others.

McCalister added he has won the support and endorsement of several Florida Tea Parties and is encouraged by the grassroots support he’s getting, despite the fact that the influential and popularly understood to be “Republican” media is giving him little to no time to air his views and answer voters’ questions.

This is troublesome. The media — once again by its selective censorship — is cheating the voter of his right to know ALL the candidates and their stand on the issues. How is it that the media categorically omit candidates because they aren’t polling high enough? Seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy: no exposure, no voter recognition, no votes on election day.

I saw first hand how the media manipulates its candidates into the spotlight.

I attended the October 2007 Republican Presidential “Debate” in Orlando, hosted by Fox News and the Florida Republican Party. I witnessed how debate organizers favored certain candidates by their position on stage, how much time was devoted to them, and the questions they were asked.

The two-hour Orlando event took place the same evening as the 2007 World Series third playoff game, scheduled to air from Coors Field in Denver on another channel, cutting into the debate broadcast some 35 minutes in. Thus the debate’s first half hour was critical, as it could be expected that many viewers would switch over to the ballgame.

Here’s what happened: During the first 30 minutes, the Fox News moderator (Chris Wallace) directed questions to candidates Giuliani, Romney, Fred Thompson, and John McCain, who stood center and front, best positioned for the TV cameras. Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter served as bookends. They weren’t asked a question until at 25 minutes Tom Tancredo was asked a question by political reporter Carl Cameron.

This is not an endorsement of Col. Mike McCalister. But in an effort to provide a forum for the lesser known, media-ignored candidate, I have invited him to join me on my radio program for a special edition of The ANDREA SHEA KING SHOW on Wednesday, Aug 18th at 3p ET. It will be replayed Wednesday night on my regularly scheduled show at 9p ET.

Please take advantage of this opportunity. It’s for sure you won’t be getting it on the Republican-controlled talk radio shows or the supposedly “fair and balanced” 24-hour news channel and its local affiliates.

We are the new media and we are making end-runs around the establishment media as we become more relevant every day. Keeping it honest and open — fair and balanced no longer belongs to the Fox. The claim that “We report, you decide”? Not anymore. I’m going with Michael Savage who says: “I decide. YOU report.”