Washington: Darla Shine, the wife of new White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, hosted a radio show in the late 2000s where she once mocked victims of sexual harassment in the military and repeatedly pushed fringe conspiracy theories about vaccines.
CNN's KFile reviewed hours of audio from Darla Shine's radio program after her controversial views came to light. Shine, who long maintained a blog called "Happy Housewives Club" where she featured recipes and tips for cleaning and budgeting and promoted her radio show and book, has faced scrutiny in recent days after Mediaite and Huffington Post reported she had made racially charged comments and spread baseless anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on her now-deleted Twitter account.
Shine pushed her controversial views to a much wider audience and in much more depth on the "Darla Shine Show," a radio broadcast she hosted on the Talk Radio Network in 2008 and 2009 that boasted syndication on 100 radio stations nationwide.
Speaking in August 2009, Shine declared herself a "sexist" and said women serving with men in the military should expect to be sexually harassed.
"And why on earth would you fight to go on the submarine ship for months on end? You know there was just a story with these girls, these women who are upset that they are sexually harassed in the military," Shine said. "What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers?
"I hate to say it, but it's true. They should not even be allowed. The top military should say, 'No way, you're not allowed.' But you know, the feminists have fought for these rights. It's so stupid. I don't know why anybody would want that."
Bill Shine exited his job as president of Fox News in 2017 amid allegations he had mishandled reports of sexual harassment at the network. He joined the White House earlier this month.
Darla Shine routinely had on as guests prominent members of the anti-vaccination movement and pushed conspiracy theories about vaccines herself. Shine also weighed in on cultural and political issues.
She did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The White House did not respond to CNN KFile's request about whether Bill Shine endorses his wife's views.
Darla Shine devoted much of the time on her radio show to spreading unfounded and debunked conspiracy theories about vaccinations.
In various episodes, Shine suggested a flu pandemic could be a "setup" by the government in collusion with pharmaceutical companies, pushed a rumor that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was planning on rounding up those afflicted with swine flu and putting them in camps, and said the government could break into homes and force citizens to get the flu vaccine.
Shine said armed resistance might be needed to fight against this. She also called for the closing all US borders because of the swine flu.
Shine declared sunscreen "a hoax" and said she refused to put it on her children.
The American Academy of Dermatology has said there is no evidence that sunscreen is hazardous, while the Food and Drug Administration has declared that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
Shine also passed on a false "rumor" that Barack Obama could not get a security clearance when running for president.
She claimed to believe in UFOs and interviewed self-identified alien abductees.
At the top of her radio program, a man's voice reads out a disclaimer, saying, "Warning: This is the 'Darla Shine Show.' Everything you hear is Darla's opinion. Some facts are true; others are made up. So take what you want, use what you can and you get what you get so don't get upset."
Here's the full context of what Shine said
On women in the military:
"And you know what, I'm the first person to admit I'm sexist. I don't think that girls should play on the boys' high school team. I don't think that the girls should be -- I think it's insanity that there are feminists who are stupid enough to fight to go to combat. Are you kidding me? Let the men go die on the front lines," Shine said in an August 2009 episode. "Why would you want to go die on the front line? You have to be an idiot. And why on earth would you fight to go on the submarine ship for months on end? You know there was just a story with these girls, these women who are upset that they are sexually harassed in the military. What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers? I hate to say it, but it's true. They should not even be allowed. The top military should say, 'No way, you're not allowed.' But you know, but you know the feminists have fought for these rights. It's so stupid. I don't know why anybody would want that."
Spread the conspiracy theory that Obama couldn't get a security clearance:
"And I'm sure you heard the rumor that Barack Obama couldn't get a security clearance required to work for the FBI or CIA," Shine said in a November 2008 show. "And I want to know if this is true. I mean I'm just a little housewife at home, living my life, taking care of my children. But I'm concerned if we're going to have a president that could not pass a security clearance. Especially, aren't we in a war against terrorism? Aren't we, like, fighting terrorists? So why wouldn't we have a security check for a man who's going to run the country? And I mean not just Barack Obama, but what about our senators, our congresspeople? Do they go through the same security background check as a CIA person would have to go through? I never thought about this."
"I really do not believe in this whole sunscreen hoax. It just seems ridiculous to me to take your little infant -- the number one organ in your body is your skin," Shine said in a May 2008 episode, "But yet we take these chemicals and slather it all over our little babies' bodies to be soaked in day after day, sweating into their body. I just can't think that this is good. So let's just use common sense. Guess what? Keep your baby out of the sun. It's pretty easy to do. I don't think it's that difficult if you have a little newborn baby."
On closing the borders:
On a May 2009 episode, in response to the ongoing swine flu pandemic, Shine said, "People can say that I'm a racist and I'm a terrorist or I'm extreme because I want to shut the borders, but right now I'm thinking if we are going to go to a level six, we do need to shut down our borders. We don't let anyone in and we shouldn't let anyone out. We should protect our country."
On rumors of FEMA camps:
"Rumors flying around that FEMA is ready to round you up and take you off to a concentration camp," Shine said in May 2009. "Forget about socialism. I think we're headed towards full blown communism and forget about your freedom of speech. Radio hosts are being kicked off the air for suggesting that we close our borders and stay away from illegal immigrants. Are you kidding me? What is going on? I am willing to get kicked off the air. Here I am. Come and get me. I am going down with a fight. Why on earth are we not allowed to have this conversation? There's a country that has a full blown epidemic and it's called Mexico. Why on earth is it racist for us to say we need to close our borders to them at this time?"
Claimed the 2009 flu pandemic could be a "setup":
"So back when Bush was still in office, they bring over this, this pharmaceutical company," Shine said in a May 2009 interview with anti-vaccination activist Rita Palma. "It's not a pharmaceutical, it's a vaccination company, Novaris (sic), but they make drugs also. So they are here in the United States and their goal, their number one reason for existing here is to make a flu vaccination. And then all of a sudden we have this big pandemic. It almost sounds like it's a setup."
Claimed the government wants people to be "diabetic and cancer-ridden" so they can't think for themselves:
"They don't want people to be healthy," Shine said in the same 2009 interview with Palma, speculating as to why the government does not remove toxic food products from the shelves. "If people were really healthy -- everyone is fat and overweight -- and the next half-hour we're going to talk about how we can cut back on our favorite summer foods and cut calories with Cooking Light executive chef -- but if they keep everyone fat and overweight and diabetic and cancer-ridden and stupid and sick, no one has any willpower to fight back or even think for themselves. That's what the goal is."
Said vaccines make children sicker to get people to buy more medication:
"Why do they even want to do this? Do you think they care if you get sick or I get sick?" Shine asked of the government in a May 2008 episode. "I think they do care because they want you to get sick so you could buy more meds, more pharmaceuticals, more drugs. Why aren't they pushing instead, instead of putting out this idea to have another vaccination, why not put out a proposal to -- guess what -- live healthier? Oh, we have soda machines and ice cream machines in the schools. We have irradiated meat and toxic cows that we're using to the -- give to the kids for lunch. OK, but let's give them the flu vaccine too. Let's get them sick. Let's make them obese, but let's give them the flu vaccine. Now we've got to vaccinate our kids for the chicken pox. What's wrong with having the chicken pox? It's ridiculous. Why not instead teach Americans how to boost their children's immunity? Well, I'll tell you this. If your child continues to get these vaccinations over and over, I think it compromises their immunity. This is my opinion. I'm not a doctor, but I do all the research. And, listen, some vaccinations I think we need, but do our children need to have all of these other ridiculous ones like meningitis and chicken pox and now the flu? It's insanity."
Claimed that small children's bodies can't handle vaccines:
"When we were children we had what, three vaccinations and they were spread out and we got them older. Now they have these newborn babies that are getting this five-in-one vaccination. Their little bodies cannot handle this," Shine also said in May 2008 while interviewing anti-vaccination activist John Gilmore. "And what I want to know from you, and I'm going to keep you on after we go to the commercial, but what I know from you is what is the government up to -- like, really, if I get the flu or my kids get the flu, they could care less. I'm sure they'd be happy if I dropped dead so I can stop trashing them each week on the radio. So what on earth are they up to? Are we really gonna do this to our society just so people can make money?"
On forced vaccinations and armed resistance:
In August 2009, Shine said the government was going to put people in camps to force untested vaccines on them.
"There are some people dying, but does this mean that we rush a vaccine to market without even testing this vaccination? First of all, this flu is mutating like crazy. It's changing every single day, so whatever they're putting together is not going to protect you from the swine flu in the fall. Number two, billions of dollars of government tax money, your money and my money, is paying these drug companies to rush this to the market. This way fat cats can make more money in their pocket. This is publicly traded, and they're going to test it on your children. You have to start reading this. I started reading about this. They're putting together underneath the Homeland Security Act. They can round you up. They could break into your house, hold you down, give you this freaking vaccination. They could give it to your kid at school. I can't even believe it. They're putting together quarantine camps. Is this happening in America?"
"I have a woman coming on who's an expert on this. When you hear what she has to say, you better just get your gun locked and loaded and start putting big locks on your doors," Shine added.
Called mandated vaccines unconstitutional:
"We're not going to be forced to vaccinate our children," Shine said in August 2009. "We're not going to be forced to give our children what we don't want to give them. It's unconstitutional. We have the power over our families and if we allow that loss, if we lose that power, I ask you this, what is next, folks? I want you to think about that all week. What will be next if we allow this happen?"
Said vaccines are linked to autism:
"When we come back, I want to ask you about this, what I believe is an obvious link to autism and mercury, the preservatives and the shots," Shine said on a May 2008 show. "But guys, we have a constitutional right to take care of her own family. This is ridiculous. You know what, instead of mandating the flu shot, the government should be worrying about creating jobs in America."