|The Continued Growth of Far Right Radio
by James Latham, October 1995
It was in the pages of VISTA in April of 1994 that I
first wrote about our shared concern regarding the growing trend of radical right programs
on U.S.-licensed shortwave stations. In the article titled, "The Rise of the Far
Right on Shortwave," I examined the content of the programs and their relationship
with racist hate organizations.
Unfortunately, today the landscape of shortwave
broadcasting is littered with more extremist programs than ever before. Some 28
independent programmers exist with a total of over 140 hours of airtime per week. We have
seen a steady growth since December, 1990, when the first far right program -- the Liberty
Lobby's Radio Free America -- went on the air with just five hours per week.
Another way to consider this growth is total spending for
the purchase of airtime. While I do not have data on dollars spent for every broadcaster,
one can get a general idea by using the conservative figure of $125 per hour, multiplied
by 560 hours per month. That comes to $70,000 per month being spent on advancing the
radical right's agenda. This dollar figure is by no means conclusive, as it does not take
into consideration the costs of program production, equipment costs, or delivery to the
shortwave station via satellite or telephone. It merely represents income to the shortwave
140 hours per week. Turn on your radio in the early
afternoon and listen to conspiracy-laden talk shows until well after midnight. Not all of
the programs are overtly racist or militant, but they all carry the same themes of evil
men plotting to control the world who must be eliminated. Realize also that the milder of
these act as a stepping stone for those programs that do speak bluntly about race wars and
With the media attention in the aftermath of the Oklahoma
City bombing and its coverage of shortwave use by extremist groups, some programmers did
suffer a setback. Militia supporter Mark Koernke (aka Mark from Michigan) had his show
canceled by WWCR. He has returned to that station, though, as a periodic guest host on
another program. He is allowed to use Viking International Trading's time slot twice per
month to organize his armed overthrow of the U.S. government. Koernke and co-host John
Stadtmiller can once again be heard giving coded messages to militia members as well.
The neo-Nazi National Alliance's Kevin Alfred Strom and
the anti-Semitic Kingdom Identity Ministry programs returned to the airwaves in July full
time after their suspension from WRNO of three months.
Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundell has not been allowed to
return to WRNO. After a few weeks on WRMI in Miami, station manager Jeff White pulled him
there and has since placed him on their companion station, Radio Copan, broadcasting into
the U.S. with a low power transmitter in Honduras.
Pete Peters, who proclaims that Jews pose a Satanic threat
to American civilization, that blacks and other people of color are genetically inferior
to whites, and that homosexuals should be executed, was dropped from shortwave station
WHRI in South Bend, Indiana in July. He showed up briefly on a small church station, WJCR
in Kentucky, until they had the chance to listen to a handful of his programs. After they
pulled the plug on Peters, he struck a deal with WWCR and WRNO, the two biggest domestic
shortwave stations, and is now heard an hour per week on each.
World Harvest Radio, with sister stations WHRI in Indiana
and KVOH in Hawaii, is still broadcasting Aid and Abet. Jack McLamb, retired from the
Phoenix PD, uses this program to recruit police officers and U.S. military personnel for
the militias. Also appearing on WHRI is Chuck Harder, a man who seemingly wants to be a
reasonable advocate of consumer rights but can't resist the lure of selling conspiracies.
He will catch people's allegiance by giving them good advice on using small claims court,
then pump them full of hatred for the 'international bankers.'
Having collected these program fees for years now, WWCR
has recently ordered their fourth 100 kilowatt transmitter. Last time I checked, these
transmitters were costing about a quarter of a million dollars each.
A new station to pick up on the radical right cash cow is
KVOH, "the Voice of Hope," with studios in Los Angeles. It is sad to see such a
change in this broadcaster, which for years had been focusing entirely on positive
evangelical messages in various languages directed overseas. It picked up Radio Liberty,
with Dr. Stan Monteith, in August. Dr. Stan comes at us every day with "Wise
Use" anti-environmentalism, UN-bashing, and anti-feminist messages. KVOH, with an
excellent signal in the midwestern states, will probably be eyed by others who want to
improve their coverage. Whether station management returns to their original mission or
succumbs to more contracted programming remains to be seen.
Racist organizations find shortwave to work well for them.
As their supporters are not concentrated within any one geographic area, AM/FM stations
don't reach their disparate constituencies effectively. When one station can cover most of
the country, however, the number of supporters they can reach is quite significant.
A large block advertisement in Seventieth Week Magazine --
which tries to save us from the New World Order -- typifies the approach. Bro. Ben tells
us in bold print, "I can't stress enough the importance for each of you to acquire a
good shortwave radio. Begin tuning in 5.065 [WWCR] at 6pm CST and listen until you just
flat can't stay awake!" Sell them the radio, then sell them your organization's
Before shortwave radio began to be used for domestic
broadcasts these past few years, shortwave listeners were an entirely open-minded lot by
nature. Purchasing a shortwave radio came from a desire to listen to the broadcasts of
foreign countries directly. We at the Far Right Radio Review want to see the medium
return to this spirit of learning from others who are far away or different from us. While
we do support the rights (within reasonable bounds) of people to express their particular
brands of dissent in the airtime which they are able to purchase, we would like conflict
resolution to be the goal and tolerance the norm.
The Far Right Radio Review has been countering this
hatred and misinformation for over a year and a half. It is now our intention to expand
the program to an hour per day, five days per week, going live with a talk radio program
of our own right up next to the others in the heart of the evening. We want to have a good
look at many of the same problems blamed on scapegoats elsewhere, with people who have
been doing their research properly as our guests. At present, we are busy raising money
and establishing contacts for this purpose. We hope that the next newsletter will bring
news of concrete plans for this expansion.