At Salem Media, Kurt Schlichter’s Violent Rhetoric is ‘Christian and Family-Themed Content’

(Screenshot / C-SPAN)

Salem Media Group is a national media company that includes on its website for investors and advertisers that the company is “targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.” Despite this, the network employs Kurt Schlichter, who openly expresses his fetish for what would seem to be profoundly non-Christian principles.

Schlichter is currently employed as a senior columnist for Salem Media Group’s Townhall website, and also produces video content for far-right Canadian media outlet Rebel Media, which was founded by Ezra Levant. Rebel Media produces a constant stream of anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ, and far-right content, as well as Schlichter’s videos about whatever captured his attention that day. There, Schlichter contributes alongside figures like Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys hate group.

An article authored by Christian Vanderbrouk at The Bulwark last month examined talks in conservative circles about a “national divorce” or civil war, and it highlighted Schlichter’s book series. In those writings, Schlichter details a fictional account of a civil war that is eerily akin to the Turner Diaries, a fictional novel about a race war that was authored by a neo-Nazi and serves as a foundational text for America’s white nationalist movement. Vanderbrouk wrote, “Schlichter’s books and The Turner Diaries share the same paranoia that progressive governments, aided by white collaborators, are empowering blacks to enable them to rape white women and ultimately exterminate the white race.”

But it seems that for Schlichter, his is a dream in search of realization. In a 2018 column, he took this visualization to Salem Media Group, where at Townhall, he hypothesized a second civil war between Republicans and Democrats, working himself up over what he believed would be an imminent “red state” victory.

Schlichter has also trafficked in conspiracy theories, pushing claims that explosive devices mailed to prominent Democrats and news organizations targeted for scorn by President Trump were an elaborate hoax. He once referred to the then-teenage survivors of the Parkland school shooting as “lying ventriloquist dummies.” In 2015, he insisted during a CNN appearance that a “large number” of Muslims supported radical jihad, but floundered when asked to cite the sources for his claim.

Schlichter is not without critics from within conservative media. Last year Alex Griswold, a reporter at Free Beacon, called out Schlichter for applauding right-wing men who violently attacked a group of protesters demonstrating in Olympia, Washington. When called out, Schlichter doubled-down on his applause for the group of men.

Salem Media Group is a publicly held company that trades under the NASDAQ listing “SALM.” Over the past year, its shares have tumbled downward and been unable to recover. Last year the company laid off bloggers from the conservative site RedState who were reportedly “insufficiently supportive of Trump.”

The company continues to market itself content as “Christian and family-themed.” It’s hard to imagine where Schlichter’s content fits into that billing.