The Political Cesspool
The Political Cesspool is a far-right, white supremacist weekly talk radio show syndicated by Liberty News Radio Network, and Accent Radio Network. First broadcast in 2004 twice a week from radio station WMQM, it is currently broadcast from Millington, Tennessee, from radio station WLRM on Saturday nights.
According to its statement of principles, the program stands for "The Dispossessed Majority", represents "a philosophy that is pro-White", and is "against political centralization." It has attracted criticism from The Nation, The New Republic, the Stephen Roth Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Anti-Defamation League for promoting anti-Jewish and racist views.
The show features founder and main host James Edwards, co-hosts Bill Rolen, Winston Smith, Keith Alexander, and Eddie Miller, and producer Art Frith; former staffers include Co-founder Austin Farley. Its guests have included author Jerome Corsi, Minuteman Project leader Jim Gilchrist, former Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka, actor Sonny Landham, British National Party leader Nick Griffin, Vermont secessionist Thomas Naylor, and paleoconservative activist Pat Buchanan. It is carried by at least three licensed radio stations in the United States, in addition to one unlicensed Part 15 station and the satellite Galaxy 19.
Foundation and history[change | change source]
James Edwards and Austin Farley established The Political Cesspool on October 26, 2004, as a paleoconservative alternative to GOP radio shows such as the Sean Hannity Show; in Farley's words, the show focused on efforts "to preserve our Southern heritage and its symbols," while James Edwards described the show as "politically incorrect". It was initially broadcast on AM 1600 WMQM, a Memphis-based radio station, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Edwards and Farley invited friends Bill Rolen, who is a board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, and Jess Bonds as guest hosts, as well as radio expert Art Frith. Before, Frith had worked for a number of other radio stations including American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) (in Keflavik, Iceland; Anchorage, Alaska; and Nea Makri, Greece), KFQD (in Anchorage), and WBCK (in Battle Creek, Michigan).
In 2005, the group moved to WMQM's Millington-based sister station, AM 1380 WLRM, and switched to a nightly schedule, Monday through Friday. Farley left the program in November of that year. Two years later, Goeff Melton joined to help set up the show's official website and the show entered syndication with Dixie Broadcasting Radio Network. The program went on hiatus on February 15, 2008, because staff members said they "needed a break".
In June 2008, the show returned to the airwaves on WLRM, but airing only on Saturday nights (its schedule as of 2010). One year later, the show switched from Republic Broadcasting Network to Liberty News Radio Network, with which it is currently associated. As of August 2009, Bonds and Melton are no longer linked with the program. Frith now lives in Nashville, Michigan, but remains a part of the show's staff. Since WLRM is not audited by Arbitron, the show's ratings are unknown.
Statement of principles[change | change source]
The Political Cesspool describes its views as "pro-White" and "against political centralization". Its statement of principles, borrowed from the Council of Conservative Citizens, reads:
The Political Cesspool Radio Program stands for The Dispossessed Majority. We represent a philosophy that is pro-White and are against political centralization. You can trust The Political Cesspool to give you the "other side of the news"–to report on events which are vital to your welfare but which would otherwise be hushed up or distorted by the controlled press.
We make no attempt to give you "both sides." We'll leave the establishment side to your daily newspaper, television and other radio shows. We will bring to you some of the most renowned thinkers, writers, pundits, activists, entertainers and elected officials each broadcast as our guests. Furthermore, we pledge that The Political Cesspool will correct any meaningful error or fact. Make up your own mind who is being honest with you: the establishment media or The Political Cesspool Radio Program.
- The United States government should be independent of any international organization of governments and American law should not be imposed by organizations such as the United Nations.
- America would not be as prosperous, ruggedly individualistic, and a land of opportunity if the founding stock were not Europeans.
- Since family is the foundation of any strong society, we are against feminism, abortion, and primitivism.
- Private property rights are inviolable. They come from our God-given right to life.
- We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.
- Issues such as education, environmental law, and police should be decentralized down to the lowest level to insure natural rights and efficiency.
- Secession is a right of all people and individuals. It was successful in 1776 and this show honors those who tried to make it successful in 1865.
- We are cultural conservatives because we have certain morals to which we adhere. We are against homosexuality, vulgarity, loveless sex, and masochism.
- We wish for American government to stop interfering politically, militarily, and socially outside of the borders of the United States of America. We want non-interventionism.
Primary host[change | change source]
James Edwards, a lifelong resident of Memphis, Tennessee, is the co-founder and primary host of The Political Cesspool. In 2000, Edwards volunteered for Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign. He later said that this experience inspired him to become politically active, and he wrote an essay called "Why I Love Pat Buchanan" in which he stated his view that Buchanan "tells it like it is". Edwards ran for the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2002 and lost. During the campaign he met fellow right-wing political activist Austin Farley, who later became a cohost of The Political Cesspool. Edwards sits on the Board of Directors of the American Third Position Party, a political cohort that advocates white nationalism —and a form of economic nationalism known as Third Position The Nation wrote that Edwards "has leveraged sponsorship from neo-Nazi and Holocaust denial groups to become America's most popular white supremacist radio host."
Guests[change | change source]
The Political Cesspool has over the years featured many guest appearances, including political activists, Holocaust deniers, economists, and musicians. Former Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Carl "Twofeathers" Whitaker, who claims partial Native American ancestry and is known for his strong support of the Minuteman movement, has appeared on the show, as has conservative Native American activist David Yeagley. Filmmakers Merlin Miller (A Place to Grow, Jericho) and Craig Bodeker (A Conversation about Race) have featured.
Author Jerome Corsi was interviewed in July 2008. During the discussion he spoke about his financial newsletter, and promoted his New York Times number one bestselling book The Obama Nation. The interview included several statements that have been widely described as racist; for example, he opined that US President Barack Obama identifies more with his "African blood" than his American roots and that the President "rejects everyone white, including his mother and his grandparents". Corsi scheduled another promotional appearance on the The Political Cesspool one month later, however, he canceled this appearance, citing "travel plans that changed". James Edwards said that he believed the incident "just goes to show what incredible pressure everyone in public life is under to never have anything to do with anyone who speaks up for the interests of white people."  Fellow authors John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer have also been guests.
Constitution Party nominee Michael Peroutka used his appearance in 2004 to promote his presidential campaign. Party member Michael Goza described the show as "Christian/Constitutionalist", and "a great blessing to our cause". Thomas Naylor, of the Vermont secessionist organization Second Vermont Republic, appeared on the show to celebrate Confederate History Month in April 2007, while American Third Position Party Chairman Bill Johnson appeared to promote his party.
On May 8, 2006, Minuteman Project leader Jim Gilchrist spoke on the program. Co-host Bill Rolen agreed with Gilchrist's view that illegal immigrants' intentions are to "just squat here and plunder whatever social benefits our programs provide them". However, Rolen disagreed with Gilchrist's claim that illegal immigration was "the 21st century slave trade". Gilchrist's colleague in the Minuteman movement, Chris Simcox, has also been a guest of the show.
Paleoconservative activist and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan has appeared twice as of May 2009. In a June 2008 interview arranged by his publicist, he promoted his book Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War. During the broadcast, Buchanan defended Charles Lindbergh against charges of saying bad things about Jews, stating that his reputation "has been blackened because of a single speech he gave and a couple of paragraphs in it where he said that ... the Jewish community is beating the drums for war but frankly, no one has said what he said was palpably untrue." At the end of the interview, James Edwards said, "Mr. Buchanan, thank you so much for coming back on our program, for fighting for our people." Previously, in September 2006, Buchanan had made an appearance to promote his book State of Emergency; during this interview, he said that “we are being invaded by people of different cultures” and argued that Americans “cannot survive a bifurcated culture or a heavily Hispanicized culture, tilted towards Mexico ... I think that's the beginning of the end of the United States.”
Self-proclaimed "racial realist" Jared Taylor, whom James Edwards considers to be a close friend, has appeared at least ten times. In an article he wrote for VDARE, Taylor described the program as "racially oriented". Although describing itself as "America First", the show has also hosted foreign guests, including Croatian racist Tomislav Sunić, Australian white nationalist Drew Fraser, Russian Austrian School economist Yuri Maltsev, British lawyer Adrian Davies, Canadian conservative blogger Kathy Shaidle, and British National Party (BNP) leaders Simon Darby and Nick Griffin; Griffin appeared as a guest before and after his election to the European Parliament. During his post-election appearance, Griffin attributed the BNP's electoral successes to a fear of "creeping process of Islamification".
Controversy and criticism[change | change source]
The show has frequently been criticised by anti-racist groups and persons over its stated views, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Stephen Roth Institute, and writer Max Blumenthal. The Political Cesspool was added to the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate group watch list in 2006. James Edwards was "ecstatic", saying "I don't think you've arrived in the conservative movement until you've made it to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Watch". Edwards describes the SPLC as a group composed of "communists and civil rights hustlers". The SPLC's Hatewatch has referred to The Political Cesspool as "an overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show hosted by [a] self-avowed white nationalist" and as "the nexus of hate in America". The Anti-Defamation League has also criticized the show; Edwards has attacked the ADL as "America's most powerful hate group" and has claimed that its definition of a "neo-Nazi [is] any white person who disagrees with a Jew".
Writer Max Blumenthal, who reported on an attempt by one of the show's staff to advertise at a rally for former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, described The Political Cesspool as having a "racist ideology", and highlighted anti-Jewish, racist, and homophobic comments that Edwards had made on his blog. The Stephen Roth Institute has also written about the show, noting that "[James] Edwards openly espoused many of his guests' views and during speeches to extremist audiences, including members of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and the racist League of the South, he gained the support of a wide array of extremists." In an article about antisemitism in Belgium, the Stephen Roth Institute commented on the show's interview with Filip Dewinter, a member of the Belgian Parliament and a leader of the Vlaams Belang movement. Newsweek magazine used one of co-host Winston Smith's statements to argue that the rise in popularity of white racism is due to the combination of the late-2000s recession and the election of a black president. Many such groups have been attempting to gain new recruits and increase their political power by rebranding themselves as defenders of "white heritage" while trying to hide their dislike of minorities and Jews. Smith states, "[t]he emphasis is different now. We don't talk as much about what blacks have done to us; we're more focused on ourselves and our own culture."
City Park demonstration[change | change source]
In 2005, the staff of The Political Cesspool organized a rally at Confederate Park, which, along with two other Confederacy-themed parks in downtown Memphis, has been the subject of a longtime disagreement for honoring Confederate soldiers and ideals. The park had been criticized earlier by a black Shelby County official, which attracted the notice of New York-based activist Al Sharpton, who was invited by the Reverend LaSimba Gray to hold a demonstration in Memphis. Sharpton planned a march called the Rally for Dignity from downtown Memphis to another park honoring Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest who was involved early in the organization of the Ku Klux Klan. Sharpton canceled the march after Edwards and The Political Cesspool staff obtained a permit to demonstrate in Confederate Park, located along Sharpton's planned march route.
Sharpton settled for a protest at Forrest Park. At the demonstration, he argued that "We need to show the rest of the world that the day for honoring people like this is over", and said in an interview that his objections were not related to race but to Forrest's Civil War-era (1861–1865) actions against the United States. Estimates of attendance at the rallies vary; according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, James Edwards attracted about 200 white counter-demonstrators to the Confederate Park vigil, while Sharpton's protest at Forrest Park attracted a few dozen black demonstrators, whom Edwards referred to as "rabble". The Memphis Flyer estimated that Sharpton attracted about 250 supporters. In the aftermath of the city park controversy, show affiliates Edwards, Farley, Bonds, and Rolen received the "Dixie Defender Award" from the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Later that year, Memphis city councilman E. C. Jones awarded Edwards and Farley with a certificate "in appreciation of outstanding contributions to the community". Edwards and Farley also received an honorary city council membership from Jones, who had previously appeared on The Political Cesspool. According to The Commercial Appeal, Jones had not listened to the show before the incident, and was unaware of its views. After a reporter informed him of the show's views, Jones initially refused to say he was sorry. However, after another reporter confronted him with more details about the show's ideology, he changed his view, saying that he probably would not appear again. Carol Chumney, another member of the Memphis City Council, was also invited to appear on The Political Cesspool, but ultimately declined the invitation after listening to an episode of the show; Chumney said, "what I heard was about advocating for prostitution … So I told them I had other commitments."
Radio stations that air the show[change | change source]
The Political Cesspool airs on four stations as of 2010: WLRM in Millington, Tennessee, KHQN in Spanish Fork, Utah, KNAK-AM in Delta, Utah, and micro1650am in Tonawanda, New York; it is also broadcast from the satellite Galaxy 19. The Accent Radio Network-affiliated stations KHQN and KNAK-AM currently air a shortened version of the show (two hours), in contrast to the three-hour Liberty News Radio Network (WLRM) version. Galaxy 19 airs the full lineups of both ARN and Liberty News Radio Network on separate channels, and as such it airs both the long version and short version of the show. One of the stations, micro1650am, is a 100-milliwatt FCC Part 15 station, and as such it has no call letters.
References[change | change source]
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- White nationalism is a philosophy that asserts whites should be a nation unto themselves and live separately from other races
- Third Position is an philosophy that rejects both communism and capitalism while supporting "separate but equal" ethnic separatism and what its followers view as the rights of the working class.
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- "Nathan Bedford Forrest". Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2010. Subscription required.
- "KHQN Program Schedule". KHQN. Archived from the original on January 31, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- "KNAC Program Schedule". KNAC. Retrieved May 12, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Accent Radio Network program schedule". Accent Radio Network. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- "micro1650am Schedule". micro1650am. Retrieved August 10, 2009. External link in
|publisher=(help)[permanent dead link]
- "Satellite Galaxy 19 Located at 97 Degrees West". Galaxy. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
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