The Aaron Klein Investigative Radio show, set to launch on WNTP NewsTalk 990 AM on Feb. 8, will cover domestic and foreign U.S. policy and current events in the Middle East.
Starting this weekend, a voice familiar to some area residents will be returning home to debut on a local talk radio show.
On Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., WNTP NewsTalk 990 AM, the Lafayette Hill-based station will begin regular Sunday broadcasts of the Aaron Klein Investigative Radio show. During the show’s two-hour run time, the 35-year-old Northeast Philadelphia native covers a range of topics focusing on domestic and foreign U.S. policy and current events in the Middle East.
Klein airs his program live from a studio in Tel Aviv. He has lived in Israel since 2005, when he initially moved to the Gaza Strip to cover the evacuation of the former Jewish settlements there known as Gush Katif for WorldNetDaily, for whom he still serves as a Mideast correspondent. He also pens weekly columns for the Jewish Press and The Jerusalem Post.
His show has been running since 2009 after he was approached about the idea of hosting a radio show by New York’s WABC-AM following a guest appearance on another WABC-AM show hosted by John Batchelor, he said in a phone interview.
He said his program switched six months ago to the California-based Salem Communications when he made it clear that he wanted the show to expand nationally. So far, the show is currently airing on AM 970 The Answer in New York, the sister station of and through which Salem Communications Philadelphia’s programming director, Mark Daniels, first learned about Klein. The Philadelphia broadcast will be the first step in Klein’s expansion efforts.
“I’m very excited to be in Philly; if there’s any market I’m most excited to be in, it’s my original hometown,” said Klein, who attended Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia, a kindergarten through eighth-grade Orthodox day school in Wynnewood. He later attended Yeshiva University, where he majored in biology and was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Commentator.
Klein said he has built his show by interviewing known terrorists, including Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official, whom Klein said is a regular guest every six weeks or so, and by tackling controversial issues that affect the American public.
He said his first episode broadcast locally will include a discussion about the current outbreak of measles in this country and the upcoming elections in Israel.
In June 2010, Klein hosted Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim leader behind a proposed Islamic cultural center near the site of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. During Rauf’s appearance, the imam reportedly danced around describing Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Klein also joined Batchelor’s show in 2008 to co-interview Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On that show, Yousef gave Hamas’ endorsement of then-Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections.
Klein has authored or co-authored several books about Obama, including The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists and Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.
“It’s surprisingly easy to cultivate terrorist contacts,” Klein said, adding that in 1999, during his time at Yeshiva University, he not only interviewed, but was actually hosted for two days in London by members of Al-Muhajiroun, a banned terrorist organization that was based in Britain. “It’s as easy as getting a phone number and dialing it up and having them on the show.”
Because jihadist terrorism represents the single biggest threat to both Israel and the United States, he said, he has no reservations about hosting terrorists in an effort to expose their ideology. Klein said he will soon be interviewing a representative of ISIS as well.
For the “most dangerous terrorists, we screen their interviews first, and if there’s any terrorist threat that’s issued” during the interview, “we will never air that,” Klein said.
“I talk to them largely because I think it’s really important for Americans to understand the threat of Jihad, the threat of terror. It’s one thing for me as a Jew and Middle East reporter to explain terrorism to the audience, but it’s certainly another thing for them to actually hear the goals and ideologies from the terrorists themselves.”