In arguing that the younger Mr. Berger, who does not have a criminal history, was a threat and should be detained until trial, prosecutors cited the anti-government and anti-law enforcement views espoused on his podcast.
In one episode, Mr. Berger said “a white man with a rifle can be very dangerous to the system indeed if he has the right motivation” and also praised the values of Eric Frein, who was convicted and sentenced to death in the 2014 ambush killing of a Pennsylvania state trooper, prosecutors said in court documents.
Mr. Berger and an unidentified co-host also discuss targeting the police, along with “legislators, lobbyists and left-wing billionaires,” for assassination, prosecutors said.
“They halfheartedly claim that the discussion is a ‘prank’ and a ‘playful thought,’ and they are not advocating for violence, but it is clear that the discussions are serious,” prosecutors wrote.
A magistrate judge granted the prosecutors’ motion to keep the younger Mr. Berger detained. The judge released the elder Mr. Berger on $25,000 bail. He could not be reached at his home on Saturday night. If convicted, they face up to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.
In the pilot episode of his podcast on Jan. 14, 2019, the younger Mr. Berger explained the origin of his love of guns.
It started when he was 5-years-old, shooting milk cartons with an air pistol in the Poconos in Northeastern Pennsylvania. But it wasn’t until after he went to a shooting range for his birthday, when he was 9 or 10, shortly after watching “Dirty Harry,” the 1971 movie starring Clint Eastwood in the role of a homicide division inspector who uses brutal tactics against criminals, that Mr. Berger became hooked on guns, he said.