Limbaugh, Hannity used paid actors for call-ins?
March 9, 2011
[ChattahBox] – In unsettling news concerning Rush Limbaugh it’s being reported the company behind both his show and those for such names as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have been hiring actors to pose as call-in guests.
A new report in Tablet claims the company, Premiere Radio Networks – a division of Clear Channel Communications – hired actors to pose as guests for both shows and even provided scripts for their topics.
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service. We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts,” said their web site. “Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”
The site went offline when the report surfaced, but a member of Premiere’s staff who spoke on condition of anonymity says the practice is ongoing. Actors seeking auditions must even sign confidentiality agreements to keep their role secret.
“By requesting an audition you are also agreeing to keep the details of the audition and the type of work you may perform confidential,” reads the form. “Disclosure to any third party, sharing project information or publicizing what you do (including via social media) may be considered grounds for dismissal.”
One actor told reporters he auditioned for Premiere by calling a fake radio show and lamenting an imaginary bachelor party that was marred when one attendee brought his girlfriend along. Premiere loved it;
“Thank you for auditioning for Premiere On Call,” he was told by email. “Your audition was great! We’d like to invite you to join our official roster of ‘ready-to-work’ actors.”
They offered $40-an-hour, with at least one hour of work a day guaranteed. The source explained the actor’s job thusly;
“If he passed the audition he’d be invited to call in to various talk shows and recite scenarios that made for interesting radio,” they explained. “He would never be identified as an actor, and his scenarios would never be identified as fabricated — which they always were.”
In their defense, Premiere’s rep, Rachel Nelson says the responsibility for any such nefarious fakery was the responsibility of the stations that used their service.
“Premiere provides a variety services, one of which is connecting local stations with great voice talent to supplement their programming needs,” she told the reporters via email. “Premiere facilitates casting, while how the talent’s contribution is integrated into programs is handled by the varied stations.”
The stations involved – most of whom have ongoing dealings with Premiere – have made no comment so far, but some observers say the report’s findings regarding Sean Hannity are well supported by history.
“Hannity’s record of being caught manipulating public opinion, deceptively editing video, suppressing opposing views, and his lopsided call ratios speaks for itself,” Gustav Wynn wrote in a recent column on OpEdNews.
Overtures made to Rush Limbaugh’s office to gain his response were unsuccessful at press time.
Source: Raw Story