Hugh Hewitt's guest host goes on bigoted rants

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter largely devoted a guest hosting spot on MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt's radio show to attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and defending a racist chant that targeted her. He also twice plugged his explicitly racist book series that has direct parallels to The Turner Diaries, a white nationalist book that inspired Timothy McVeigh to bomb an Oklahoma federal building in 1995. 

The July 19 edition was the 10th time Schlichter has guest hosted The Hugh Hewitt Show this year. The show, which is nationally syndicated by Salem Radio Network, has been widely praised in establishment media for its supposed moderation and tone, but the fact that Schlichter is invited so often to guest host belies that claim. 

During the broadcast, Schlichter defended audience members who chanted “send her back” while President Donald Trump ranted about Omar during a July 17 rally in Greenville, NC. Schlichter said that the racist chant evidenced “a legitimate frustration by American citizens with the profound ingratitude of people like Rep. Ilhan Omar,” adding, “Does she deserve people being particularly nice to her? No.” (Hewitt has also responded to the chant by promoting Trump’s lie that he disapproved of the chant during the rally and tried to stop it.) 

Schlichter launched a litany of attacks on Omar, claiming that “she despises this country and she despises you,” that “she hates America,” and that “she is a terrible person.” Schlichter said that when Omar watches Black Hawk Down, she “roots for the bad guys.” (Omar has pointed out that U.S. forces killed large numbers of civilians during the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in which two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and 18 U.S. soldiers were killed.) Schlichter said that Omar “thinks this country’s garbage” and that “she wants to turn it into a socialist hellhole, the same kind of hellhole that she was born in.” He also added that she has done nothing to show she earned her citizenship. 

During the three-hour show, Schlichter promoted more than 30 times the unfounded rumor that Omar married her brother. As Will Sommer explained at The Daily Beast, “What many of the smear’s promoters never reveal to their audience is both the evidence Omar has provided to disprove their conspiracies and the fact that the completely unproven idea that she married her brother is based entirely on a single, anonymous, unsourced allegation initially made on an obscure internet forum.”

At the top of the first and second hours of The Hugh Hewitt Show, Schlichter plugged his “Kelly Turnbull” book series. As documented at The Bulwark, the three-book series imagines a second civil war in the United States in which the U.S. government deputizes Black people on government assistance to violently persecute white conservatives. The books feature explicit racism, including a character named Do-Rag who murders white characters and a character named Skinny whose “bladder and his legs were freed from their slavery to his faraway brain when Turnbull’s rounds severed his spinal column.” The Bulwark also found that the books contain direct parallels -- in both plot and language -- to The Turner Diaries

Importantly, Schlichter has written that he sees his novels not merely for entertainment but as an actual premonition of what will happen in the U.S. In a laudatory blurb for these novels, Hewitt wrote, “Schlichter puts a whole flight of Black Swans in the air --each of them plausible-- and the result is a riveting, page-turner, and a demand from Schlichter for...more.”