A few weeks ago, reader Craig wrote me the following:
For the past 2 weeks, my local radio station, KOGO 600 AM in San Diego, California has been playing an ad from “If Americans knew” regarding the USS Liberty. The ad calls for an investigation, claims there was never an investigation and blames the IDF for a deliberate attack on the navy ship. They also direct listeners to go to their website USSLiberty.org. to buy a hat.
At the end of the ad, they mention the group IAK, Alison Weir’s hate group. I have contacted iHeartradio which owns the station and also sent messages directly to KOGO but have not received any response. Yesterday, I talked to someone at the station via their newsroom tip phone line and they said they would bring it up with their supervisor. However, today I heard the ad again. It usually plays at 11:22 PST AM, so I will try to get a recording of it this week after Yom Kippur.
I’m hoping you can look into this, as I’m surprised to hear this ad playing during one of the most popular radio talk shows (Clay Travis & Buck Sexton). Clay and Buck have no control over the ad played on a local station and they don’t agree with these views as far as I know.
Craig did not manage to get a recording of the, but weeks later, If Americans Knew bragged about the ad on Twitter, and included both a recording and a link to a YouTube video with some of the different radio stations running the ad.
Here’s what you need to know about the USS Liberty incident:
And here’s what you need to know about If Americans Knew and Alison Weir:
If Americans Knew (IAK), a non-profit founded by activist Alison Weir, has the rare distinction of being condemned for furthering anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation.
Weir earned this remarkable wall-to-wall opprobrium by promoting anti-Semitic myths, working with white supremacists, and publishing anti-Jewish content on IAK’s web site. Among other exploits:
Weir published an original blog post on her personal site which justified anti-Semitism by labeling the Jewish “race” as “an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself,” In the words of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, the piece “effectively blam[ed] Jews for anti-Semitism.”
Weir has not only promoted the conspiracy theory that Israel harvests the organs of Palestinians—an update of the medieval blood libel—but has actually asserted the accuracy of the original blood libel itself, which accused Jews of ritually murdering Christian children to use their blood in Passover matzo. (Weir cited the discredited and since withdrawn research of a Jewish writer.)
Weir has worked repeatedly with white supremacists, while never challenging their bigoted claims. For instance, in a series of appearances on the radio show of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Clayton Douglas, Weir dismissed allegations that he was a racist, did not challenge his repeated assertions of Jewish control of the world, and did not protest when he played a speech by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Writes the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, “Weir made little to no effort to challenge, confront, or rebut any of these views; on the contrary, she continued to appear on the show.”
For these actions and others, both Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation severed ties with Weir in July 2015. (Though the same cannot be said for many other anti-Israel activists, who continue to defend and even honor Weir.)
This did not deter If Americans Knew from spreading anti-Jewish content. On March 16, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unsurprisingly, Garland’s Jewish background immediately provoked upset among anti-Semites. Said David Duke:
Look at the Jewish control of this country. You already have three open Jewish members of the Supreme Court. Thirty-three percent. They’re only two percent of the population. You can count on those Jews to do whatever the Jewish agenda is, whatever the Jewish establishment wants…
And now Obama, who is totally under the power of the Jewish control, he’s been, in fact there’s a reason why the Chicago Tribune calls him the first Jewish president. And why the New Yorker magazine had him as the first Jewish president, alright? He’s appointed a Jewish supremacist to be the guy on the Supreme Court, which basically gives Jews total veto over the Supreme Court.
At the same time, If Americans Knew was echoing this anti-Semitic attack on Garland’s nomination on its Facebook page:
Even Israel-hating organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, and U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation find If Americans Knew to be antisemitic.
In other words, over 450 conservative radio stations around the US ran this ad, which furthers a conspiracy theory, from an antisemitic organization. While I do not know the full list of stations, they include:
- The Patriot – Real Talk
- Talk 1200
These stations are all owned by iHeartMedia, Inc, who were tagged in If Americans Knew’s tweet. So clearly, this antisemitic organization ran this campaign through iHeartMedia, who gave the green light. iHeartMedia are the US’ largest owner of radio stations, and claim to reach 9 out of 10 Americans every month.
I have no idea who at iHeartMedia was responsible for this. There is no evidence that its CEO Bob Pittman is antisemitic, or anyone else in its executive management team. Interestingly enough, its Chief Communications Officer is someone called Wendy Goldberg.
iHeartMedia says it is dedicated to inspiring and creating positive change that improves the lives of others, and that “the company’s community programs are built on the idea that through public awareness and education we give Americans enough information for them to make informed decisions around important public issues.”
Please join me in reaching out to iHeartMedia at [email protected] to object to this campaign.