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Facebook shuts down pages for conservative radio host and Antrim County political group

"Trucker” Randy Bishop, host of “Your Defending Fathers” radio show and leader in Michigan second amendment rights groups, says Facebook has taken down his account.

Facebook has not yet responded to inquiries from IPR about why Bishop’s account was removed. Bishop admits he once communicated with one of the men accused of a terrorist plot against the Governor.

Bishop says his personal and professional pages, as well as political groups he moderates, were removed without warning just after his radio program ended around noon on Friday. Facebook alerted him that he violated community standards.

“I did nothing wrong,” Bishop says. “I’ve never even been placed in Facebook jail.”

Several Facebook pages and groups which Bishop moderated are now unavailable, including the local political group, the Antrim County Conservative Union, the conservative publication, Antrim County Times, and the Antrim County Young Conservatives.

The biggest of the groups he’s an admin for, Michigan 2A for Sanctuary Counties, which had more than 94,000 members, was also shut down. A Facebook representative told Michigan Radio the page was shut down because it violates the website’s policy on “militarized social movements.” 

Despite a felony record, which strips Bishop of the right to own a firearm, the radio host has helped people get their counties to pass 2nd Amendment Sanctuary City resolutions. He is close with many militia groups in the state and corresponded with Eric Molitor, who faces state terrorist act and felony weapons charges. 

Bishop recalls Molitor, along with his mother, Sue Molitor, were leaders in the Wexford County second amendment sanctuary city movement. The Facebook group Wexford County 2A shows Sue Molitor is an admin, and posts reference Eric Molitor’s involvement as well, even though his Facebook account has been deleted. 

“I chat messaged him and [his mother] numerous times on Facebook, where they would ask us questions, ‘how do we do this with the county commissioners, how do we say this to the Sheriff,’” Bishop says.

But he says they weren’t close.

“I have 20,000 followers on all my pages, plus 98,000 members on that statewide page. So it’s hard for me to keep track of everybody,” Bishop says.

He says he never knew of Molitor’s plot, and that neither he or any of the militia groups he knows, would support their plans.

“I talked to six different militia leaders that I know personally because I’ve been training and done shootings with these guys,” Bishop says. “I know them from all across the state, down southeastern Michigan, southwest Michigan, up in the UP. Nobody has ever heard of this Wolverine Watchmen group as a militia group. Nobody knew who these guys were.”

He’s tried to repeal Facebook’s decision, but the company said it was final. Bishop says he’s reached out to an attorney and he plans to sue the social media website, as well as its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for discriminating against right-wing groups.

Bishop is an active, if controversial, member in local conservative groups. He left Antrim County Republican Party in 2018, after being its chariman, and now leads the Antrim County Conservative Union. In August, he organized an event, touting appearances from Jack Bergman and John James, in which the Proud Boys volunteered as security.

Bishop says he is being targeted for supporting the right to bear arms and that the social media website is discriminating against those with conservative views.

“I think they should just shut Facebook down. It should be shut down period,” he says. “If I don’t have rights, nobody should have rights.”

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.