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Back to VISTA Library Far Right Radio Review
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 stations.

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 eugenics.

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 rhetoric.

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.

1999
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