The far-right false flag narrative over the attempted bombings of Democrats was all over talk radio

The far-right false flag narrative over the attempted bombings of Democrats was all over talk radio

Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN & JOHN KERR


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

The far-right conspiracy theory that the several explosive devices sent to Democratic Party figures and progressives who have criticized President Donald Trump spread widely on talk radio shows around the country. Far-right figures started pushing the claim soon after the news broke, and it spread widely on social media. A suspect has since been arrested whose social media presence is filled with far-right conspiracy theories and memes.

A review of radio shows and stations around the country found numerous hosts suggesting that the incidents were a “false flag” operation and some kind of liberal plot to frame conservatives:

  • Radio host Brian Kilmeade: “A lot of people said” it was a false flag “right away” and “people are like don’t trust anything they see right now. Things aren’t as they appear.”

  • Radio host Rush Limbaugh: “Republicans just don't do this kind of thing.”

  • Radio host Michael Savage: “It's a high probability that the whole thing is set up as a false flag to gain sympathy for the Democrats number one, and number two, to get our minds off the hordes of illegal aliens approaching our southern border. Yes, that is what I'm saying.”

  • Radio host Lars Larson: “It may be just a false flag.”

  • SiriusXM’s The Wilkow Majority with Andrew Wilkow: “I am still in the camp that this is a false flag until proven otherwise.”

  • Texas syndicated radio host Chris Salcedo: It is “very plausible” that it is a false flag.

  • Syndicated The Kate Dalley Show, which is part of TheBlaze Radio Network: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the false flaggy time of the year.”

  • Baltimore, Maryland talk station WCBM-AM’s The Bruce Elliott Show: “Is this some loon or is this simply a false flag operation? We’ll find out, I would hope. Something tells me we may not find out until after the election, but we will find out.”

  • Fairbanks, Alaska talk station KFAR-AM’s The Michael Dukes Show: “Is it a false flag? I don’t know. … From a propaganda viewpoint, it would make sense that if it was a false flag … Is it to discredit some right-wing [group]?”

  • Atlanta, Georgia talk station WYAY-FM’s The Mike Brooks Show: “Could it be a false flag? … Could it be possibly a Democrat who’s sending these to them?”

  • Lexington, Kentucky talk station WVLK-AM’s Larry Glover Live: “I wouldn’t be entirely stunned if this were a false flag.”

  • Cincinnati, Ohio talk station WLW-AM’s Mike McConnell: “Yes it does -- it does bear all the resemblance of a false flag.”

  • Houston, Texas talk station KNTH-AM’s Sam Malone Show: “Talking about the alleged bombs or whatever they were sent to Democrats. Was it an act of violence? Was it a false flag? A lot of suspicions, a lot of eyebrows raised in this situation.”

  • Greenville, South Carolina talk station WYRD-AM’s The Tara Show: “That will be interesting, won’t it,” if it was “an inside false flag job.”

  • Greenville, South Carolina talk station WYRD-AM’s Bob McClain Show: “I don’t totally discount the fact that” these incidents could be a “false flag operation” because “everything else the left has tried has failed. … So is it possible this is part of an October surprise from the left? I don’t discount anything at this point.”

  • Richmond, Virginia talk station WRVA-AM’s John Reid: “I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, but I mean this could be a false flag situation possibly.”

  • Detroit, Michigan talk station WJR-AM’s The Frank Beckmann Show: It’s “interesting” that “there’s always something it seems that keeps” the headlines of Trump’s achievements “off the front page.”

  • Anderson, South Carolina talk station WAIM-AM’s Rick Driver Show: “These bombs” are “nothing more than false flag,” and “folks on the left are extremely desperate -- anything to disrupt the ship. Anything to get rid of the president. Anything.”

  • Quincy, Massachusetts talk station WMEX-AM’s Renegade Radio: “It absolutely is” a false flag.

  • Aurora, Colorado talk station KNUS-AM’s Peter Boyles Show: “My personal belief at this time: This is a false flag, this is a Reichstag fire.”

  • Denver, Colorado talk station KHOW-AM’s The Ross Kaminsky Show: “I’m not inclined to believe that this is a false flag, but the reaction of the left shows why you can’t rule it out. They’ll say and maybe do anything.”

  • Nashville, Tennessee talk station WWTN-FM’s Nashville’s Morning News: “Do I think that this is a false flag operation? I don’t know. … It seems that some of this stuff is a little too cute, if you get my drift.”

  • Wilmington, North Carolina talk station WAAV-AM’s The Tyler Cralle Show: “I don’t know” if it’s a false flag, but there’s “just as much evidence that it’s a Democrat trying to frame Republicans as there is there’s a Trump supporter trying to hurt critics of Donald Trump.”

  • Idaho Falls, Idaho talk station KID-AM’s Neal Larson: “My immediate reaction” to the news “was this feels like a false flag, possibly.”

  • Mount Pleasant, South Carolina talk station WSCC-FM’s Mornings with Kelly Golden: “People aren’t really buying” the news and it “smells like rotten eggs.”

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado talk station KVOR-AM’s The Richard Randall Show: “I think the more likely avenue is that this is a false flag. This is self-inflicted. This is -- we do this to ourselves to make ourselves look like the victims. ”

  • Charlotte, North Carolina station WBT-AM’s The Vince Coakley Show: “My betting would still be that it is a false flag.”

  • Jefferson City, Missouri talk station KWOS-AM’s The Gary Nolan Show: “It is, as they are describing it, a false flag.”

  • New York City talk station WOR-AM’s Mark Simone Show: “If I had to guess, just instinctively, it just looks like a left-wing operation, a total false flag. … Everything about it is suspicious.”

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin talk station WISN-AM’s The Jay Weber Show: “Given the history of these things and the extreme amount of venom poisoning the left, I do believe a false flag scenario is more likely.”

  • West Palm Beach, Florida talk station WFTL-AM’s The South Florida Morning Show: “This is all too obvious” and “it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it turned out to be” a false flag.

  • Knoxville, Tennessee talk station WETR-AM’s Steve Gill: The misspelled names on the packages could mean it is a “false flag” and “maybe the whole thing is intended as a distraction.”

  • Rehoboth Beach, Delaware talk station WGMD-FM’s Radio Free Delmarva: “Most people seem to think that what’s happening today is a false flag attack” that “the left” can use against Republicans.

  • Greenville, South Carolina talk station WGTK-FM’s Upstate Live: It’s “not too far fetched” that the bombs were a “false flag” from “someone on the left hoping the Republicans would get blamed for it.”

  • Montgomery, Alabama talk station WACV-FM’s Happy Hour with Greg Budell: It’s “my suspicion” that it is a “false flag.”

  • Santa Cruz, California talk station KSCO-AM’s The Charles Freedman Show: “I think this is a false flag operation. That’s what I think. I do not really believe that it was some crazed right-winger.”

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