Aaron Klein’s WABC Radio show experienced what the host called a “tech meltdown” while he was conducting a live, on-air interview with the lawyer who won an injunction against the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records.
Software used by the radio station dropped the guest, Larry Klayman, and listeners who had called in to ask Klayman questions were cut off in mid-sentence. Other callers could not be put on the air due to technical difficulties at the radio station.
Audio clips saved on an independent system played at the wrong time.
Klein’s headphones had massive feedback that could be heard on the air.
At one point, the WABC call screener said, “We lost control of the software. It’s all going nuts.”
The technical difficulties started on the show about 10 minutes prior to the Klayman interview. They subsided following the two segments that featured Klayman.
“In my three years of broadcasting at WABC we never had such a technological meltdown as we are having today,” Klein told the audience.
He continued: “Calls are dropping. We cant get the guests on. Once the guests are on they are dropping. We’ve had several meltdowns. Feedback from the microphone. I can barely broadcast. … However we are going to land this airplane and we’re going to have fun doing it.”
During the interview, Klayman called NSA data collection the “worst violation of constitutional rights in American history.”
Klayman founded the legal watchdog groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch.
He claimed: “What’s most dangerous about what is going on is the fact that every time someone picks up their phone, or sends an email, or goes to social media like Facebook, or uses Skype, they now know that the government is watching. And this keeps us from being critical of the government. … And that’s not just un-American, it’s like the former Soviet Union or China.
He continued: “If our Founding Fathers had lived in these times, and if King George III had had an NSA with that kind of technological capability, the Founding Fathers would have been picked up, arrested and executed before they ever got to Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence.
“We live in what the judge said, and I used the term, too, when I appeared in front of him, an Orwellian state.”
Asked by WND whether he thinks the technical problems were related to Klayman, Klein said, “I have no idea but my guess is that I don’t think so. It’s probably just a coincidence. Let’s not get paranoid.”
“Klayman has done scores of other interviews and none of those outlets reported experiencing any problems. He didn’t say anything more extreme on my show. So even if we are going to get imaginative, it wouldn’t make any sense to try to sabotage or jam this one show.”
“Still, the tech problems were quite out of the ordinary.”
Klein said the show before him also had a problem, with the host temporarily unable to connect to the studio from a remote location. That issue, however, is not abnormal.The technical glitches experienced during Klein’s show were far more drastic.
“It wouldn’t be logical for the NSA to target my show,” Klein said, pointing out he has aired numerous broadcasts questioning the loyalties of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Other broadcasts investigated what Klein described as the anti-American leanings of former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who has been serving as a conduit for Snowden to communicate to the public.
“I think Snowden is being used in a big way to turn Americans against the NSA,” said Klein. “The whole Snowden story stinks.”
During the WABC interview, Klein challenged Klayman about whether his lawsuit could harm national security.
Klein asked: “Isn’t it understandable that let’s say they are tracing a terrorist today who they didn’t know about last week or the week before. Let’s say this terrorist is about to carry out an attack on the United States. What about the argument from the NSA, and I can kind of understand this, that since they didn’t know who he was, they therefore need to collect everyone’s metadata but they are not going to go through it, they say.
“So that this way they can now, if they have this terrorist that they are looking at in particular, trace back his metadata because they saved it and then look at his connections, look at his phone calls, look at his bank transactions. Do you agree that there are possibly some circumstances where maybe this is good for national security?”
Klayman replied: “Certainly, no one is saying that it’s not. But you can’t abuse it. The Patriot Act, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which themselves have problems … they basically say you have to have a suspect under investigation and that suspect, if it’s a domestic citizen, has to have some contact with a foreign terrorist source. And as long as you gave that nexus, his lawyers say, then that’s fine. But what the NSA has been doing is gathering the metadata on all citizens.”