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Back to VISTA Library Far Right Radio Review
Violent Words, Violent Actions

by James Latham, April 1995

A few nights back, I sat in front of a friend's new digital shortwave receiver pressing buttons, programming in frequencies. I had been asked to program into memory all of RFPI's frequencies, and since she wanted to do some critical monitoring of the far-right programmers, theirs as well.

The RFPI frequencies came first -- quite simple, two daytime and two nighttime frequencies. Then on to the far-right's channels. Each time I entered a frequency into memory I would pause a moment and listen in to confirm that my entry was correct, a micro-glimpse into the world of hate and paranoia. It was early evening, prime time for the Americas. Five frequencies were abuzz with different far-right programs, each with its own brand of patriotic prattle. Each of these transmitters would be switched to their daytime channels, bringing the total to 10 frequencies. It is fortunate that my friend's receiver has 40 memories.

When I first started monitoring these broadcasts in 1990, one receiver and one recorder were all that was needed. Today I use three receivers and two tape recorders, and my co-host, Brad Heavner, utilizes a similar system as well. It is a daunting task to try and keep up with so many new far-right programmers coming on the air weekly. Consider a one hour program five nights a week versus several channels going 24 hours a day and you get the idea.

As the militant-right forces turn up as perpetrators of more and more violent acts (see sidebar), including murder, intimidation, bombings, and attempted bombings, the question is often asked: Is there a connection between these hate crimes against humanity and the rise of far-right programs on shortwave? I, for one, believe there is.

Consider, if you will, two incidents that occurred in the past year. First, the shooting at the White House by Martin Duran. Though the mainstream press portrayed Duran as a lone gun nut, Duran was heavily influenced by the militia movement and was an avid listener of far-right programs, including Linda Thompson's. Billing herself as the Acting Adjutant General of the unorganized militias of the USA, she called for an armed march on Washington, DC, to take place in September, 1994. Thompson, who has been a regular guest on William Cooper's shortwave program, The Hour of The Time , and briefly hosted her own program on shortwave station WWCR (Nashville, TN), called off the armed march. However, listener Martin Duran refused the order to stand down. Leaving his wife and home in Colorado, he drove to Washington, DC, where he fired off a round from his automatic assault rifle at the White House. He was shooting at, in his words, an "evil mist" that was hanging over the White House. At present it has not been determined if Duran was a shortwave listener or just caught Thompson as a guest on Chuck Baker's AM program in Colorado Springs. It is certain, however, that Thompson honed her rhetoric on her many appearances on shortwave stations.

In the case of Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh, we have a much clearer connection between a violent act and a far-right shortwave program.

The following quote is from a recent article in the Arizona Republic, February 4, 1996, by Mark Shaffer. Mr. Shaffer was reporting on information presented by the right-wing publication Media Bypass and its reporter Lawrence Myers.

"McVeigh has headphones attached to a wall-mounted radio and tunes into conservative radio broadcasters G. Gorden Liddy and Chuck Harder ... But McVeigh's first love, on shortwave radio, which he doesn't have in his cell, apparently is a program called The Hour of the Time, broadcast out of St. Johns, Ariz. by William Cooper. Terry Nichols' brother, James Nichols, who attended the hearing, said McVeigh was a regular listener to Cooper's anti-government programs before the bombing."

It is interesting to note that during the months prior to the bombing the level of hate on Cooper's program broadcast on WWCR hit an all time high, with Cooper making such statements as "go there bodily and rip [the UN] building down," "kick those bastards off our soil," and "we are at war."

Martin Duran and Timothy McVeigh may be the two most widely known individuals influenced by far-right broadcasts, but certainly they are not alone. Day by day in our research we hear about violent crimes committed by the militias or similar groups.

How many listen to shortwave and how many are motivated by what they hear? Certainly the availability is there with programming 24 hours a day ranging from slick to simple, psychologically massaging the paranoia and hatred of this growing movement.

The answer may be seen, too, in television coverage. When CBS television interviewed Commander Olson of the Michigan Militia, as the cameraperson panned Olson's gun shop, there on a shelf was a shortwave receiver. Commander Olson's umbilical cord to the brainwashing hatred of the militant leadership was only an arm's reach away. Not surprisingly, most militia literature recommends a shortwave receiver as an essential item for survival gear.

Mark Koernke and his militia program, The Intelligence Report, has returned to shortwave via the transmitters of WWCR. This after WWCR temporarily suspended it for several months when news stories surfaced connecting Koernke with McVeigh. Koernke is back, supplying tactical information to the militia forces. In one recent program he gave examples of how he had infiltrated public schools -- elementary, jr. high and high schools -- by visiting and leaving cassette tapes of militia propaganda around the schoolyards for the kids.

In another program Koernke gave his listeners some insight into how, with the completion of their revolution, the militia will hold a court for traitorous elected officials in Washington, DC. Trials and sentencing are to be carried out on the spot (we suspect with those assault rifles they talk about so much).

Chuck Harder, one-time consumer advocate turned right-wing broadcaster, who is heard on numerous AM stations, is also on shortwave. During the UN Women's Conference in Beijing, China, he gave the show's listeners his insight into the conference. "They eat human fetuses in China, ladies and gentleman. They make soups and stews out of them." Harder implied that by having a conference in China, the UN is trying to force such a diet on all of us.

William Cooper, on his program The Hour of The Time, heard on WWCR, in response to FRRR's  discussion of Timothy McVeigh's radio listening habits, went ballistic. He shouted into the microphone about RFPI and the FRRR show, stopping in the midst to warn us to remember what happened in Dealey Plaza at high noon.

The Far Right Radio Review has been challenging the voices of the intolerant right-wing on shortwave for over two years. Some 80 programs have been produced to date, 12 of which were live call-in shows. Requested material about the far-right's use of shortwave has also gone out to many other news agencies.

With a little more financial support we hope to turn up the volume by increasing the Far Right Radio Review airtime from once a week to five nights a week, expanding the subject matter, and increasing the live call-in shows from once a month to several a week. For this effort to succeed we are asking our members to give additional financial contributions to expand the program. Please give what you can so we can drown out the voices of anti-democracy and bigotry on shortwave. Your help is urgently needed now more than ever before.

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