Hate Radio: Talk-show hosts join Islamophobia campaign, amplifying anti-Islam rhetoric
American popular radio talk-show hosts collaborate with other elements of the Islamophobic network by repeating and further amplifying the alarmist threats and conspiracy theories promoted by anti-Islam news and publicity outlets and their supporters. The industry of “hate radio” includes nationally known personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and others. Together, they use their programs as bully pulpits to preach anti-Muslim messages of intolerance and hate.
‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’
Rush Limbaugh hosts the most popular radio talk show in America. “The Rush Limbaugh Show” is carried by more than 600 radio stations nationwide and is broadcast to more than 15 million listeners a week. The 65-year-old Limbaugh is self-described as “America’s anchorman” and “America’s truth detector.” He uses his highly influential radio pulpit to spread the word, and one of his favorite messages is casting suspicion on President Obama’s religious identity. Limbaugh has mockingly called Obama “Imam Obamadinejad,” adding that he is in a caliphate building, and that he might think of himself as "the 12th imam."
Such false rhetoric does make an impact on the audience. In 2010, nearly 18 percent of Americans erroneously believed that Obama was a Muslim, due in no small part to the media orchestration of such claims.
‘The Sean Hannity Show’
The nation’s second most popular talk show is “The Sean Hannity Show,” a nationally syndicated talk-radio show that airs on Premiere Radio Networks and is hosted by Sean Hannity. Hannity also hosts a cable-TV news show, “Hannity,” on Fox News. Nearly 14 million listeners tune into Hannity’s radio show each week to hear guests repeat the same talking points and conspiracy theories that can be heard on Limbaugh, Fox News, and other places. Questions abound about President Obama’s religious affiliation, the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the Conservative Political Action Committee, and threats of homegrown terrorism in our midst.
‘The Savage Nation’
Mike Savage hosts “The Savage Nation,” another top-rated national radio program, which is syndicated through Talk Radio Network. More than 350 radio stations broadcast his show to nearly 9 million weekly listeners, putting him just behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in ratings. The 74-year-old Savage is infamous for his angry outbursts against minorities, including Muslims. On April 17, 2006, for instance, he told listeners that Americans should “kill 100 million” Muslims. In October 2007 he also stated, “I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.” He then suggested that American Muslims be deported.
‘The Glenn Beck Program’
Glenn Beck also has a popular radio show that is broadcast by more than 400 stations and syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. Beck’s show ties with Savage’s show for third place for national radio talk shows with more than 9 million listeners weekly. Beck, who lacks any college education and admits to being a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, conjures fears equating Muslims with terrorists and brings religion into the mix. In 2010 he speculated on his show about the number of American Muslims who might be terrorists, stating: “Let’s say it’s half a percent of the US population. That’s being generous. What’s that number? What is the number of Islamic terrorists, one percent? I think it’s closer to 10 percent.”
In June 2011, Beck announced he was to be honored with the Zionist Organization of America's 2011 Defender of Israel Award. This is likely due to the fact that Beck has also used the context of "defending Israel" for defaming Muslims and Arabs, particularly the Palestinian, and spreading Islamophobic ideas during his shows based on alarmist claims by Israeli media and officials about some grand Muslim scheme to destroy Israel as a precursor to move on and establish an "Islamic state" in America.
Levin, Fischer, and Gaffney shows
Furthermore, there is Mark Levin, a former Justice Department official during the Reagan Administration who hosts the syndicated radio program “The Mark Levin Show.” Levin has frequently contributed legal opinions to “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and “The Sean Hannity Show,” where Hannity nicknamed him “The Great One.” Levin is the fourth most popular radio host in America, averaging more than 8.5 million listeners weekly. Levin joins the line-up of talk show hosts giving the microphone to biased voices against Islam, such as Zudhi Jasser -- a self-described devout Muslim -- who repeated talking points and conspiracy theories that the Park51 community center in New York City is an example of Islamic extremism that seeks to “create Islamic states.”
The religious right also boasts intensely anti-Muslim radio host Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) and host of “Focal Point” on American Family Radio. Fischer is also a blogger for the AFA sponsored blog Rightly Concerned. Some of Fischer’s rants are filled with raw hate. For instance, he says that Muslim Americans have no First Amendment rights, are stupid due to inbreeding, and should be deported and halted from immigrating to this country. Fischer also supports banning mosques.
Fischer adds his voice to the chorus of those who insist that “President Obama cannot possibly be a Christian.” He is adamant in his belief that practicing American Muslims cannot adopt American “values,” and says we should “only admit to our shores those who will strengthen our nation and assimilate themselves into it, adopting our flag, our history, our heroes, and our values. This is something that devout Muslims simply cannot do.”
Although most Islamophobic elements censure American Muslims by insisting that the US is a Judeo-Christian country, Fischer however, even exempts Jews as being part of the American society. He has suggested Jews and Muslims are not included in religious freedom protections in the US, asserting, “I have contended for years that the First Amendment, as given by the Founders, provides religious liberty protections for Christianity only.” He later wrote, “We are a Christian nation and not a Jewish or Muslim one.”
This is while Fischer's employer, AFA, is also staunchly pro-Israel and regularly sponsors all-expense-paid tours for Republican lawmakers to Israel to be briefed by Israeli authorities about what they refer to as Muslim and Arab terrorism as well as Israel's security concerns as the foremost US ally in the Middle East.
Finally, chief anti-Islam misinformation expert Frank Gaffney also exerts influence through his radio show, “Secure Freedom Radio” – in addition to his Center for Security Policy (CSP) think tank and his Big Peace  blog. Promising to “find innovative ways to secure our homeland from threats, foreign and domestic,” the show promotes the usual anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and beats the drum against the impending threat of Sharia.
On his CSP website, Gaffney boasts that his "leadership" has been recognized by a number of organizations, including the pro-Israeli lobby group Zionist Organization of America, which awarded him with its "Louis Brandeis Award" in 2003.
1- “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” available at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/today.guest.html
2- “The Top Talk Radio Audiences,” March 11, 2011, Talkers magazine, available at http://talkers.com/online/?p=71
3- “Suggestion: Barack Obamadinejad,” The Rush Limbaugh Show, October 21, 2010, available at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2010/10/21/suggestion_barack_obamadinejad
4- Rush Limbaugh, “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” March 29, 2011. Online audio clip available at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2696348/posts?page=28
5- Jon Cohen and Michael D. Shear, “Poll shows more Americans think Obama is a Muslim,” The Washington Post, August 19, 2010, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/18/AR2010081806913.html
6- “The Sean Hannity Show,” available at http://www.hannity.com
7- “The Top Talk Radio Audiences,” Talkers magazine.
8- Hannity’s Focus Group Thinks Obama’s A Muslim,” News Hounds, February 8, 2011, available at http://www.newshounds.us/2011/02/08/hannitys_focus_group_thinks_obamas_a_muslim.php
9- Frank Gaffney, “The Sean Hannity Show,” February 15, 2011. Online audio clip available at http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201102150051
10- “Frightening Film on U.S. Terrorism Training Camps,” Fox News, February 17, 2009, available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/02/17/frightening-film-on-us-terrorism-training-camps.html
11- “The Michael Savage Show,” available at http://tunein.com/radio/The-Savage-Nation-p20626/
12- “The Top Talk Radio Audiences,” Talkers magazine.
13- Savage advocated ‘kill[ing] 100 million’ Muslims; called alleged Duke rape victim a ‘drunken slut stripping whore,’” Media Matters for America, April 19, 2006, available at http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200604190001
14- Bruce Tomaso, “Radio host sues CAIR for using clips of his antiIslam rant,” The Dallas Morning News, December 8, 2007, available at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2007/12/radiohost-sues-cair-for-using.html
15- “The Glenn Beck Program,” available at http://www.premiereradio.com/shows/view/glenn_beck.html
16- “The Top Talk Radio Audiences,” Talkers magazine.
17- Glenn Beck, “The Glenn Beck Program,” December 6, 2010. Online audio clip available at http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201012060007
18-- Wilson, "Glenn thoroughly dismantles erroneous Washington Post article attacking him, Lieberman," GlennBeck.com. June 20, 2011. Available at: http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/06/20/glenn-thoroughly-dismantles-erroneous-washington-post-article-attacking-him-lieberman/
19- “About Us,” The Mark Levin Show, available at http://www.marklevinshow.com/article.asp?id=1261987
20- “The Top Talk Radio Audiences,” Talkers magazine.
21- Sarah Posner, “Meet Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Star Witness in Peter King’s Anti-Muslim Show Trial,” The Nation, March 8, 2011, available at https://www.thenation.com/article/meet-dr-zuhdi-jasser-star-witness-peter-kings-anti-muslim-show-trial/
22- “Blog History for Bryan Fischer-Focal Point,” Rightly Concerned, available at http://www.afa.net/Blogs/StoryList.aspx?id=2147483746
23- Bryan Fischer, “Islam and the First Amendment: privileges but not rights,” RenewAmerica, March 24, 2011, available at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/110324
24- Bryan Fischer, “Focal Point,” May 12, 2011. Video clip available at http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/social_conservative_bryan_fischer_muslims_are_stupid_because_of_inbreeding.php
25- Kyle Mantyla, “AFA’s Fischer Calls For An End to Muslim Immigration And The Deportation of All Muslims In the US,” Right Wing Watch, April 8, 2010, available at http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/afas-fischer-calls-end-muslim-immigration-and-deportation-allmuslims-us
26- Stephanie Condon, “Christian Conservative Leader Calls for No More Mosques in U.S.,” CBS News: August 12, 2010, available at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/christian-conservative-leader-calls-for-no-more-mosques-in-us/
27- Bryan Fischer, “President Obama cannot possibly be a Christian,” RenewAmerica, August 30, 2010, available at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/100830
28- Bryan Fischer, “Wilders is right: ban Muslim immigration, building of mosques,” RenewAmerica, March 30, 2011, available at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/110330
29- Joseph P. McCormick, "American Family Association pretends to sack Bryan Fischer, who blamed the Holocaust on gays," pinknews.co.uk. Jan. 29, 2015, available at http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/01/29/bryan-fischer-who-blamed-the-holocaust-on-gays-sacked-by-the-american-family-association/
30 “Frank Gaffney,” Big Peace, available at http://bigpeace.com/fgaffney/
31 “Secure Freedom Radio: The Frank Gaffney Show,” available at http://www.securefreedomradio.org/
32- Franck Gaffney, Center for Security Policy, About us. Available at: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/about-us/frank-gaffney/
· Center for American Progress: Fear, Inc. report https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/
· Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) http://www.islamophobia.org
· Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/anti-muslim