• Gordon Winrod Revisited

    • Posted on Mar 27, 1980

    3/27/80

    Gordon Winrod’s nightly radio program will remain on KXEL despite a reason spate of protests about its content, the general manager of the Waterloo radio station said Wednesday.

    Station manager Rick Hall denied reports that KXEL was considering yanking Winrod’s show, a 15-minute advertisement for literature published by the Gainesville, Mo., preacher.

    Protests, most of them from members of the local Jewish community, were triggered by a March 14 column in The Record, written by Scott Cawelti, which explained Winrod’s operation and the literature he sells.

    Included in the column was a quote from one of Winrod’s booklets: “Jews started Communism. Communism is Jewish. Juews publish and distribute all pornography. Jews control Hollywood and TV. Jews make money off all liquor, dope and wars. Jews are the murderers and children of the devil.”

    “I suppose Winrod and KXEL can get by with this trash because he doesn’t say it on the air,” Cawelti wrote. “But he writes it all and sends it freely, and that’s the tradition of free speech in which I believe. But I also believe we should freely protest…”

    George Zucker, a professor at the University of Northern Iowa, said he and other members of the Jewish community discussed the program after Cawelti’s column appeared, and decided to lodge their protest through the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization which fights anti-semitism. Zucker said any action against Winrod will come through the ADL.

    Hall said he has received complaints about the program, for which Winrod pays KXEL $1,400 a month, but said he has also had calls of support.

    “As of this point,” Hall said, “we’ve had a few complaints and more people wanting the program.

    “It’s a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Hall added. “Winrod hasn’t broken any laws on our station.”

    Hall said he discussed the matter Wednesday morning with Winrod, who was afraid KXEL would cancel the program, according to Hall. The station manager said that it was Winrod’s decision to move the program from 7:45 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.; a move made in hopes of gaining Winrod “more audience,” Hall said, and not because of the protests.

    Hall explained that he had “four or five calls a night” after the time change from people unaware of the switch and wondering why Winrod wasn’t on at 7:45.

    Winrod, contacted at his home, refused to comment.

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  • Gordon Winrod: Anti-Semitic Prose to Get Sick On

    • Posted on Mar 14, 1980

    3/14/80

    Reading affects me physically. Some books make me feel light and happy, some heavy and troubled, and some have made me literally sick—headachey, burpy stomach churning. I remember reading Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” and feeling nauseated from the shrill, hostile tone.

    After reading Thoreau’s “Walden,” though, and Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” I became expansive, joyful, playful, enlivened.

    Even newspapers have an effect. Long ago I had to quit taking a local newspaper because its editorials spoiled my supper at least once a week. And I have since tried to re-subscribe, but I still get a heavy, numb feeling from reading it, as though the newsprint were Novocaine that seeps into my fingers and courses to my nerve centers.

    Other newspapers have just the opposite effect, and I read them to wake up, to spark the morning.

    Lately, though, I’ve been amazed at how truly ugly and low I could feel from just reading words on a page. I have a preacher named Gordon Winrod to thank for my new print-caused nausea.

    Reading Preacher Winrod must be the equivalent to drinking day-old greasy dishwater. Urp.

     Gordon Winrod, for you who’ve been fortunate enough to miss him, is a radio preacher out of Gainesville, Missouri, who advertises his ugly prose (tracts, sermons, booklets) about the evils of communism and the joys of Christ on KXEL radio locally. Most such radio ranters can be switched off without so much as a burp, but this nutcase is such a violently anti-semitic flaming maniac—to  put it gently—that anyone remotely connected to reality has to swallow hard when reading him, if not right-out retch.

    Evidently he isn’t so rotten when he preaches on the radio, but a colleague recently wrote and received the Winrod prose. Let me quote him, so you can gag directly. Remember, this screwball advertises nightly right here on KXEL.

    “Jews started Communism. Communism is Jewish. Jews publish and distribute all pornography. Jews control Hollywood and TV. Jews make the money off all liquor, dope, and wars. Jews are the murderers and children of the devil.” Acch Acch yuk.

    And get this, from a Winrod tract: “Before the Jews can bring the masses of people of this nation into total unwitting subservience, the Jews will first have to take away freedoms of the people. The Jewish manacles will not be seen until first the American people have been reduced to deprivation of material goods and freedom, by means of artificially devised methods …”

    He raves about the devil’s people inhabiting Israel, how all communism is a Jewish conspiracy to destroy Christianity, and that the leaders of the Jews are in cahoots with the devil; in fact, they “are actually in communication with him.” Whoop, ergh.

    This moldy old fear, right out of Nazi Germany, tries to make the reader feel that all the world’s problems can be traced back to the Jews, and if we gentiles don’t wake up soon we’ll all be communists, watching those Jewish-commies carry off our money, if not our daughters, while we sink further into worshipping the anti-Christ.

     My stomach hurts when I read this stuff because it plays skillfully on so many fears and frustrations. Worse, it implies nothing less than the Nazi scapegoat solution to all our problems: Kill Jews. And it’s right here on KXEL nightly.

    I suspect Winrod and KXEL can get by with this trash (Winrod himself admits that he pays KXEL $1,400 a month for his 15-minute program) because he doesn’t say it all on the air. But he writes it all and sends it freely, and that’s the tradition of free speech in which I believe.

    But I also believe we should freely protest; I have, and I hope you do.

    We have enough sickening prose around without Winrod on KXEL.

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“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.

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