Shortwave radio station WBCQ is one of the 20 or so broadcast shortwave stations in the US, and amongst those one of only a few that aren’t exclusively religious or evangelical. Started by pioneering radio pirate Allan Weiner, who took to the seas with Radio New York Int’l during the 1980s, WBCQ was intended to offer alternative programming by shortwave to a nationwide and international audience. While it does offer programs like the Tom & Darryl show, which focuses on progressive uses of technology, and “Off the Hook,” produced by the hacker journal 2600, the station has also come to increasingly rely on paid programming with a striking right-wing Christian perspective.
Int’l shortwave broadcaster Radio For Peace Int’l tracks the activity of the right-wing on shortwave on its program “Right Wing Radio Watch.” Randi Steele is guest onthe June 13 edition of the program. Ms. Steele served as WBCQ’s operation manager during the initial start-up of the station and discusses the rise of right-wing programming at the station, and how the hostility and hate being aired on those programs eventually motivated her to leave the station.