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Wing Nut Media Beginning To Wane But Trump Still Hangs On

Phil Garber
9 min readApr 13, 2024


Trump continues to thrive in the far right, conspiracy/news world but a new report notes that right wing news sites are losing viewers, a positive glimmer that misinformation may be getting too much and too distasteful for an increasing number of people to swallow.

The report was composed by The Righting, a website that aggregates stories from right wing media outlets and tracks and analyzes traffic. Its president and founder, Howard Polskin, is a frequent contributor to Columbia Journalism Review.

In its second election year traffic report, TheRighting found that the vast majority of right-wing news websites it monitored had significant audience erosion. Eighty-six percent saw declines of 44 percent or more. TheRighting’s analysis looked at February 2024 unique visitors and compared it to February 2020 traffic. Only one right wing news website posted a year-over-year traffic increase in TheRighting’s top 15 election year comparison.

Traffic fell more than 80 percent for five news websites TheRighting monitored in this period: Twitchy (-93%), The Federalist (-91%), Washington Times (-89%), Western Journal (-84%) and the Drudge Report (-81%). For the second straight month, of all the news websites surveyed by TheRighting in its February election year comparison, only Newsmax posted a rise in unique visitors from 2020 to 2024 (+37 percent).

The report provides a bit of welcome news but the far right dis-, mis-information world is far from dead, and it remains a singular source of bad information for millions of Americans. One site, “Real America’s Voice,” stands out and it makes Fox News looks like the pinnacle of journalistic excellence. Last week, Real America’s Voice “interviewed” trump for the 15th time, giving an unchallenged podium to the autocratic presidential hopeful who compares himself to Jesus Christ, Abe Lincoln and Nelson Mandella.

Real America’s Voice features the worst conspiracy and hate mongers of the far right, including such characters as Wayne Allyn Root, Darren Beattie, Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, Steve Gruber, Lance Wallnau, Royce White, Tim Murtaugh, Ted Nugent, David Brody, Ben Bergquam, Ed Henry and Phillip D. Kline.

Founded in 2018, Real America’s Voice claims to leverage 130 years of combined media expertise “to deliver the country’s first audience-driven news platform!” Real America’s Voice (RAV) is offered on Apple TV, Roku, Pluto TV, Amazon Fire, and an APP on IOS and Android.

Real America’s Voice is a wholly owned subsidiary of Performance One Media LLC., based in Colorado. The president is Rob Sigg and Howard Diamond is the CEO of Real America’s Voice. Sigg’s career in media began with Turner Media Group and outdoor sports channel In Country Television. Performance One Media also is the parent of WeatherNation TV.

Sigg’s arrest record dates back to the 1980s and includes arrests for domestic violence, driving under the influence, assault, battery, burglary, and drug offenses; the charges were later dismissed.

In 2006, Sigg was convicted for his role in a $19 million mortgage-fraud scheme. At the time of his arrest, the FBIsaid that Sigg and his fellow defendants were charged because of their “alleged roles in a scheme to obtain loans employing stolen identities, and then utilizing these loan proceeds to purchase substandard houses.”

Sigg pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and he was sentenced to time served and was ordered him to pay more than $140,000 in restitution.

His son, Austin, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of a 10-year-old girl from Westminster, Colorado, in 2013.

The Real America’s Voice website streams live programming, with shows like Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic, which supports numerous conspiracy theories. Bannon, a former trump advisor, was banned from Twitter (now X) and Youtube after claiming he would like to see Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “head on a pike,” language that is acceptable at Real America’s Voice. Another show, “Securing America,” is hosted by Frank Gaffney, an anti-immigration advocate who is considered a purveyor of hate based on Islamophobia.

Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, said that “America’s Voice News has been one of a dozen of our strong distribution partners, which has allowed us to reach over tens of millions of views and over 10 million downloads.”

Right Wing Media Watch rated Real America’s Voice “biased and borderline questionable based on the promotion of misinformation regarding Coronavirus and election fraud by their hosts.” The media watchdog noted that Real America’s sources “may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports, and omit information that may damage conservative causes.”

Conspiracist Wayne Allyn Root, who most recently interviewed trump, is one of the leading commentators for Real America’s Voice. Root ran for vice president under the Libertarian Party in 2008. In 2012, he rejoined the Republican Party, and endorsed Mitt Romney in 2016 and trump in 2020. He has remained a staunch supporter of trump.

In June 2016, Root described himself as a “Jew turned Evangelical Christian.” He said he considers trump to be the first Jewish president.

“Trust me, Donald Trump is as close as you can come to being our first Jewish president,” Root said. “Donald is the most relentless person I’ve ever met. Relentless is a very uniquely Jewish trait. Jews are relentless fighters- we have survived thousands of years of hate, discrimination, persecution, robbery, slavery and murder. We haven’t just survived…we have thrived!”

Root said trump is “the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.” Trump later tweeted thanks for Root’s “the very nice words.”

Like trump, Root was a leading proponent of the disproven, birther conspiracy that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and shouldn’t be president. Root was in the same graduating class as Obama at Columbia University. He said he had no recollection of having met or seen Obama at Columbia and that it made Obama’s educational claims highly “suspicious” and should be “a cause for great concern.”

Root was the opening speaker for trump’s presidential rally in Las Vegas in late October 2016. Root, suggested that he hoped Hillary Clinton and her friend, Huma Abedin , would meet the same ending as Thelma & Louise, the lead characters in the film who took their own lives by driving off a cliff.

In his speech, Root said “Trump warriors” armed with “pitchforks, jack hammers and blow torches” would violently take over Washington D.C.

“We’re coming to tear it down. We’re coming to rip it up. We’re coming to kick your ass. And we’re coming to put you in prison”, he said referring to a fantasy he said he had about Clinton and Abedin.

Root has claimed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen; that the that reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine were being concealed by the government; and that millions of illegal immigrants were voting in U.S. elections and tipping the vote in favor of Democrats.

Another Real America’s Voice host is Phillip D. Kline, a former Kansas state legislator and district attorney. Kline gained notoriety for using his offices to investigate abortion providers. In 2013, his law license was indefinitely suspended by the Kansas Supreme Court, which found “clear and convincing evidence” that Kline committed numerous violations of conduct rules, which included providing false testimony.

Kline is currently an assistant professor at Liberty University, an evangelical Christian college in Lynchburg, Va.

Lance Wallnau, a leading Christian nationalist, hosts the Real America’s Voice program, “Firewall.” Wallnau predicted that Trump would be known as a modern-day Cyrus, referring to Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Following the Achaemenid conquest of Babylon, Cyrus authorized and encouraged the return of the Jewish people to what had been the Kingdom of Judah, officially ending the Babylonian captivity. The Old Testament refers to Cyrus for his role in returning Jews to Zion.

Lance also created the Christian nationalist bedrock position known as the “Seven Mountains of Culture,” a template for Christians to commandeer the seven aspects of culture, family, religion, education, media, arts and entertainment, business, and government.

In 2018, Wallnau claimed that God had shown him that there would be “massive disclosures” that would prove that Barack Obama and members of his administration had worked with the “deep state” to surveil, spy upon, and undermine trump. The revelation never materialized.

Another contributor to Real America’s Voice is Darren Beattie, the founder of “Revolver News.” Beattie was a trump speechwriter until he was fired in 2018 after he attended a conference frequently attended by white nationalists.

The conference, The H.L Mencken Club, describes itself as an “organization for independent-minded intellectuals and academics of the Right.” It started in 2008 and was named after the American journalist who once described Jews as “plausibly…the most unpleasant race ever heard of,” and an educated black person as being a “low-caste man” who will “remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.”

Previous speakers at the conference include alt-right figurehead and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and writer John Derbyshire, who was fired from the National Review after he wrote an article for Taki’s Magazine in 2012 suggesting parents should warn their children about black people.

Upon his dismissal as speechwriter, Beattie said “It was the honor of my life to serve in the Trump Administration. I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him one hundred percent.”

Beattie was a professor of political science at Duke University, whose doctoral thesis was based on the teachings of Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher who was also a member of the Nazi party.

Ed Henry, who co-hosted a program on Real America’s Voice, was previously fired by Fox News for “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace.” The alleged victim was Jennifer Eckhart, a former Fox News producer. Her lawyer said that Real America’s Voice hiring of Henry “is yet another example of why so many survivors of abuse are afraid to come forward while their perpetrators are often rewarded in the workplace.”

Months after Eckhart’s lawsuit was filed, Henry was accused of pushing “revenge porn” in an attempt to dismiss her complaint, a move victims’ rights advocates described as a blatant attempt to “slut-shame” his accuser.

Another so-called reporter for Real America’s Voice is David Brody, a staunch trump supporter, Christian nationalist and chief political analyst for the right wing, Christian Broadcasting Network. Brody, who hosts his show, “The Water Cooler,” has a history of spreading anti-LGBTQ+, xenophobic and dangerous anti-abortion rhetoric.

In 2021, Brody named people he said had disrespected the U.S. and would “love to jettison” to “freedomless countries” like Venezuela, Cuba, and Yemen. Brody’s list included actors Alyssa Milano and Robert DeNiro and comedian Kathy Griffin. He said that Rep. Ilhan Oman, D-Minn and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should be sent to the Gaza Strip where they can go “have fun” and “pick up a couple of rocks.” Brody was referring to the symbolic Palestinian gesture of throwing rocks at Israeli forces. Oman and Tlaib have been supportive of the rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Royce White, a former NBA player and mixed martial arts fighter, is another host on “Real America’s Voice.” White lost a bid for Congress in Minnesota in 2022 despite being endorsed by Bannon. He is a current candidate for U.S. Senate from Minnesota. In 2022, published reports referred to White as “a far-right populist,” who has “embraced conspiracy theories ranging from the origins of the coronavirus to the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and satanic influences in the federal government.”

White has referred to the Federal Reserve as a “corporate merged power — of globalist power, of financial tyranny” and has criticized the “pervasive effect” of the LGBTQ community on society. After the October 28, 2022 attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., White promoted the false conspiracy theory that the attack was the result of Paul Pelosi’s involvement in an extramarital gay affair.

Rock and roller Ted Nugent hosts his program, “Spirit Campfire,” on Real America’s Voice. Nugent, a flaming opponent of gun controls and a fervent trump supporter, once said about the release of Nelson Mandela, that “apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal.” He described black South Africans as “a different breed of man” who “still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands.”

As a reward for entertaining U.S. troops in Iraq in 2004, Nugent visited Saddam Hussein’s war room where he said about the U.S. invasion, “Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them.” Nugent has described Islam as a “voodoo religion” that “believes in world domination.”

Nugent has been married twice and has six children with four women. His 1981 song “Jailbait” describes having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Nugent admitted to several affairs with underage girls in a Behind the Music episode. Musician Courtney Love claims that she performed oral sex on Nugent when she was 12 and again when she was 14.