Turning informant on your fans can be lucrative, if you’re a shock jock by the name of Hal Turner.
Amid a trial where Turner faces criminal charges for making threats of violence against public servants, he disclosed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation paid him “in excess of $100,000” over a five-year period.
Turner, a long-time racist radio host who attracted an audience of white supremacists and neonazis, was first revealed as an FBI informant in 2008. After becoming the subject of ridicule on infamous Internet forum 4chan, Turner was confronted by hackers on his site’s discussion boards with copies of e-mails he’d allegedly sent to the FBI, bragging about how he’d helped in “flush[ing] out another crazy.”
The arrest came after Turner called for the murder of three judges.
“Let me be the first to say this plainly: these Judges deserve to be killed,” he wrote on his Web site, according to MSNBC. “He included their pictures, phone numbers, work address and room numbers along with a photo of the courthouse in which they work and a map of its location, the FBI says.”
“In gripping testimony on Tuesday, all three Chicago appellate court judges took the stand and said they felt threatened by Turner’s blog posting…” NorthJersey.com reported. The publication also revealed details about Turner’s compensation on the public’s dime.
According to Turner’s lawyer, the shock jock was specially trained to incite fringe individuals. “His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner which would lead to their arrest,” attorney Michael Orozco said.
Turner’s famously vile broadcasts began in 2002, though the one-time Pat Buchanan campaign coordinator did not begin his relationship with the FBI until 2003. Before Turner began his work in radio, he was a frequent guest on the Sean Hannity radio show in New Jersey. Turner ceased broadcasting in 2008 amid an investigation into his increasingly violent rhetoric.
A judge in December declared proceedings against Turner a mistrial after the jury became deadlocked on an argument of whether hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. The trial was postponed and moved to Brooklyn, where it resumed on March 1.