Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson attacked religious groups advocating for the United States to accept more Syrian refugees into the country, calling them "phony" and suggesting they are "criminals."
During the September 29 broadcast of his show, Mickelson hosted Roy Beck, executive director of the nativist anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA -- and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, former "Washington editor of The Social Contract, a quarterly journal that has published articles by 'white nationalists'" -- to talk about the Syrian refugee crisis and religious groups asking the United States government to increase the number allowed to resettle here.
During the interview, Mickelson said Beck was "way too nice" about the situation, and went on to repeatedly call the religious groups "phony" and say he thought some were "criminals."
While Mickelson did not specifically name which religious organizations he thought may be criminals, he referred to Jewish, Lutheran, Quaker, and Catholic organizations generally, saying refugees should be forced to "live in their neighborhoods" and attend "their schools." After Beck claimed that local churches and church members often can't meet the needs of refugees they support, Mickelson said, "We ought to foreclose on their property."
According to Reuters, the organizations that support accepting refugees include the Church World Service, "that represents 37 Christian denominations," and Catholic, Lutheran, and Jewish organizations:
Church World Service, a global humanitarian organization that represents 37 Christian denominations, has called on the government to take in 100,000 Syrians over the next year, said Jen Smyers, who works on the group's immigration and refugee program.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and the Jewish refugee assistance agency HIAS along with secular groups have also backed that figure.
From the Sept. 25 edition of iHeartRadio's Mickelson in the Morning:
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In a September 23 article for Conservative Review that ranked each 2016 GOP presidential candidate's chances of winning the Iowa Caucus, conservative political commenter and former radio host Steve Deace referred to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as "transgendered:"
Lindsey Graham (1,000-1) Iowa Caucus voters apparently aren't ready for a transgendered candidate yet.
This marks the second time Deace has referred to Graham as "transgendered." Deace, who officially endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president in August, gave Cruz the best odds to win Iowa.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) published a misleading and contradictory editorial about the effectiveness of expanded background checks in preventing gun violence, omitting crucial statistics showing the value of gun violence prevention measures.
Iowa-based radio host Steve Deace said he will be providing "post-debate analysis" for USA Today following tonight's CNN-sponsored GOP debate. However, Deace's endorsement of Ted Cruz on August 19 calls into question the objectivity of his analysis.
Deace's contribution to USA Today is a continuation of the two contradictory roles he has carved out for himself as both a conservative firebrand who attacks LGBT and Muslim communities on his radio show and a seemingly sober political analyst who provides a conservative perspective on MSNBC and NPR. Deace provided a timely example of his dual roles by writing an article for the Washington Times describing how the national debt, the arrest of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, and the continued existence of Planned Parenthood prove that America has "forgotten" the lessons of 9/11 on the same day he's set to provide objective "post-debate analysis" for USA Today.
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson said that Muslim refugees shouldn't be allowed into the United States because they've "imbibed" the "despoti[c]" nature of Islam and "would have no clue coming to this culture about the virtues of self-government."
On the September 16 edition of his WHO Radio show, Mickelson relayed a "parable" about a fictional Baptist church in Pennsylvania whose congregation changed over time, increased its "diversity of thought," and ultimately -- when the newer congregants outnumbered the older ones -- adopted positions different from those of the "founding members." Mickelson warned, "That's what democracy looks like" and referenced Thomas Jefferson to argue that allowing Muslim refugees into the country would be bad for America because they "would have no clue coming to this culture about the virtues of self-government":
MICKELSON: We have not been listening to the warnings of Jefferson. If ever there was a population that is (sic) imbibed the philosophy of despotism, it is people from -- who've imbibed Islam from the moment of their birth, who would have no clue coming to this culture about the virtues of self-government and the disciplines that come along with it.
Mickelson has been heavily criticized recently for proposing an immigration plan that would make undocumented immigrants who don't leave Iowa "property of the state" and for saying Supreme Court Justices Kagan and Ginsburg should have recused themselves from this year's landmark marriage equality case because they're "liberal Jews." Most recently, he mocked the "magical thinking" of Jewish groups in America who are trying to help Syrian refugees resettle here.
The New Hampshire Union Leader has hired Grant Bosse, a former researcher at a think tank funded by the Koch brothers, to be the new editor of the paper's editorial page. In his previous role as a columnist for New Hampshire's Concord Monitor, Bosse defended the Koch brothers and once wrote that progressives who believe the billionaire industrialists are trying to control the Republican Party subscribe to a "conspiracy theory."
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Net metering policies, which allow utilities' customers to send energy from solar panels on their homes into the electric grid in exchange for a credit, are being threatened by efforts in several states to roll back or dismantle the policies -- most of which are bolstered by anti-solar myths from utilities and fossil fuel interests that are being parroted in the media. Here are the facts about net metering.
A Chicago Sun-Times editorial board member made the inflammatory and false suggestion that sex workers cannot be victims of rape.
In a September 12 column, the Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell wrote about criminal charges against an Illinois man who is accused of raping a sex worker at gunpoint, claiming that the case "is making a mockery of rape victims" and arguing that "it's tough to see this unidentified prostitute as a victim."
Mitchell contended that the case is "actually more like theft of services" rather than sexual assault to push the false suggestion that sex workers cannot be raped.
Furthermore, sex workers have a dramatically higher-than-average chance (45 to 75 percent) of experiencing sexual violence at some point during their careers, and the homicide rate for female prostitutes "constitutes a higher occupational mortality rate than any other group of women ever studied," according to a 2012 report from anti-human trafficking group Fondation Scelles.
In her column, Mitchell also engaged in victim blaming, writing that "when you agree to meet a strange man in a strange place for the purpose of having strange sex for money, you are putting yourself at risk for harm." Mitchell even asserted that she is "grateful" that the man charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault in the case "isn't being accused of snatching an innocent woman off the street," absurdly implying the victim had a hand in bringing on her own assault. From Mitchell's column (emphasis added):
A recent case involving a prostitute and a john is making a mockery of rape victims.
Authorities say Roy Akins went to Backpage.com and agreed to pay a prostitute $180 for sex.
When the unidentified woman showed up at his Austin home for the transaction, Akins allegedly took her to the bedroom and, instead of handing over the cash, pulled a gun.
I don't have one iota of sympathy for Akins' plight. But I'm grateful he isn't being accused of snatching an innocent woman off the street.
But when you agree to meet a strange man in a strange place for the purpose of having strange sex for money, you are putting yourself at risk for harm.
It's tough to see this unidentified prostitute as a victim. And because this incident is being charged as a criminal sexual assault -- when it's actually more like theft of services -- it minimizes the act of rape.
Earlier this month, we saw what a rape victim looks like. Melissa Schuster, 26, of Willowbrook, was stabbed 17 times and suffered a fractured nose, broken bones and eye injuries when she was raped by a man who broke into her home after demanding cash.
As Jezebel's Stassa Edwards accurately noted, Mitchell's assertion that "real rape victims ... are women who have been beaten, bruised and assaulted despite doing 'nothing to bring about this terrible, terrible ordeal'" implies that sex workers are less than human, and consequently suggests -- incomprehensibly -- that "being raped at gunpoint is hardly a crime."
Jan Mickelson claimed Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have recused themselves from the Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage not only because they had officiated same-sex weddings prior to the case's decision, but because they are also "liberal Jews."
Discussing June's Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on his September 9 show, Mickelson repeated the debunked notion that the two justices should have recused themselves from the case -- a call that originated with the anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, and was picked up by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly -- because they had officiated at same-sex weddings and are "disingenuous," "biased," "liberal Jews" with a "religious motivation" (emphasis added):
JAN MICKELSON: I know this is a story that we were just talking about, is in the background, but I agree with Pastor Demastus. Our culture is in the process of being picked apart by activists who are just fundamentally broken, damaged people. And also by disingenuous judges and disingenuous lawyers. The case to which I refer: Judge Roberts should have required two of the members of the Supreme Court to recuse themselves, Kagan and Ginsburg, because both of them had literally presided over same-gender weddings previous to the ruling. In any other kind of thing, if they-- a vested emotional interest and a vested religious interest in their part, would have caused them to have been required to recuse themselves. If they had a monetary interest in the outcome of a court case, they would have been required to recuse themselves. In this case, they had a religious motivation for moving forward and conducting same-gender marriage: they are both liberal Jews. No, I'm not saying anything bad, this is a correct assessment of their world view.
Why is it if Christians use their religion to resist same-gender marriage -- "Well they're the Taliban, dude" -- well then, why is it that if people with different religions do exactly the same thing, they are exempt from the same criticism? Well, I am not going to exempt them. They are biased, they had legal bias. They should not have been in a position to decide. They should have recused themselves. Roberts should have required it. And if they were both gone, that ruling would not have advanced the hoax of same-gender marriage because they wouldn't have had the votes. It's a totally safe and useless gesture. When his authority meant something, he didn't use it. It was a contrivance and a scam, just like the court shopping down in Kentucky that found a gay rights activist to decide over the lady that eventually got tossed into jail for refusing to issue a bogus marriage license.
Earlier this week prominent Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee, a major sponsor of Mickelson's employer, WHO Radio, announced that it no longer wanted its promotional message played during his broadcasts from Hy-Vee Studio. However, Hy-Vee's ads were still running as of September 9 on the livestream of Mickelson's show carried by iHeartMedia, corporate owners of WHO radio.* Mickelson was widely criticized in August for proposing an immigration plan that would make undocumented immigrants who don't leave Iowa "property of the state," and other sponsors are reportedly also reconsidering their ties to the embattled host. Meanwhile, Mickelson has continued to play host to GOP 2016 presidential candidates -- including Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and Bobby Jindal, all of whom appeared on his show this week, after these comments about the justices were made.
*UPDATE: After publishing, Hy-Vee contacted Media Matters and stated any ads still running on Mickelson's show are a scheduling mistake. The language in this post has been updated to reflect Hy-Vee's reiterated statement that "We will continue our overall sponsorship with WHO Radio. And we will continue to own the naming rights to the studio, which is governed by a legal contract that does not specify the sponsoring of Mickelson's show."
Influential Iowa conservative Christian radio host Steve Deace attacked Fox News for interviewing legal experts critical of Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to obey a court order to provide marriage licenses to same sex couples.
During a discussion on his September 9 show with Bob Vander Plaats, head of the virulently anti-gay group, The Family Leader, about a recent legal panel on Fox News, Deace compared Davis' disobeying the court order to America's Founding Fathers' rejecting England's King George III's authority. After playing a montage of Fox News panelists explaining that Kim Davis has a legal obligation to perform the duties of her elected office, Vander Plaats suggested that the panelists would have called for the Founding Fathers to be hung, too -- a comment to which Deace responded by suggesting the panelists should be hung, adding that* he "hates these people."
Deace finished by saying the problem with Fox News and the conservative movement -- which he included himself in -- is that "we're an industry, not a movement" and focused on "too many books to sell, too many commercial avail[abilitie]s to sell out [to], too many ratings...too many donor lists, too many conferences," all of which interfere with supporting true believers like Davis.
Deace will leave USA Radio Network on September 17 and has explained his impending departure by saying the station "was no longer able to meet the requirements of growing/managing" his current show. He also has a new book due out in February.
*CLARIFICATION: The original post described both Deace and Vander Plaats as suggesting the Fox panelists "deserved to be hung." After publication, a spokesperson from The FAMiLY LEADER contacted Media Matters to clarify that Vander Plaats instead was arguing that the Fox panelists would have directed that sentiment at the Founding Fathers. The text of this post has been changed accordingly and the transcript added.
VANDER PLAATS: And these guys [Fox News] would have called the founders completely nuts, completely insane, they deserve to be in jail --
DEACE: I hate these people in case you haven't noticed
VANDER PLAATS: Yea, they deserve to be hung, they deserve anything they get because they want their --
DEACE: You're talking about the people on Fox News panel, I agree with that.
VANDER PLAATS: Right, [laughs], they're in clear violation of the law.
A major advertiser is distancing itself from Jan Mickelson's radio show. Last month, the Iowa radio host caused widespread controversy by suggesting undocumented immigrants should "become property of the state" if they do not leave.
Hy-Vee, a Des Moines-based grocery store chain that boasts more than 230 stores in eight states, revealed it has asked WHO radio, Mickelson's employer, to stop promoting the company on his show.
"Hy-Vee has asked WHO Radio to no longer air the recorded announcement referencing the Hy-Vee studio name during the Jan Mickelson show," Tara Deering-Hansen, Hy-Vee's Group Vice President, Communications, said in a statement issued Friday. "We have also instructed WHO Radio to no longer air pre-recorded Hy-Vee commercials during his program. We will continue our overall sponsorship with WHO Radio. And we will continue to own the naming rights to the studio, which is governed by a legal contract that does not specify the sponsoring of Mickelson's show. As with all programming, we neither support nor endorse the views expressed by a show's host or listeners."
Despite Hy-Vee's statement, an advertisement for the company recorded by WHO hosts Van and Bonnie aired on today's edition of Mickelson's program. Hy-Vee told Media Matters they are "checking into" what happened.
The move away from Mickelson's show comes after the host laid out a plan on his August 17 program that included posting signs warning undocumented immigrants they would "become property of the state" if they did not leave before a chosen deadline.
He said, in part, "So if you are here without our permission, and we have given you two months to leave, and you're still here, and we find that you're still here after we we've given you the deadline to leave, then you become property of the State of Iowa. And we have a job for you. And we start using compelled labor, the people who are here illegally would therefore be owned by the state and become an asset of the state rather than a liability and we start inventing jobs for them to do."
A second advertiser is also taking steps to distance its brand from Mickelson. When contacted by Media Matters about its ad running on Mickelson's program, a representative for Bankers Trust said, "I believe there has been a misunderstanding, as we have not been an advertiser on Mr. Mickelson's show. When we were made aware that an ad was aired by mistake we notified the station. We were assured it would not happen again."
Iowa based radio host Steve Deace said Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis is comparable to civil rights icon Rosa Parks because, like Parks, who famously refused to give up her bus seat for a white person, Davis is refusing to obey a Supreme Court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Deace, an influential, nationally syndicated radio personality popular with Christian conservatives, tweeted the comparison between Davis and Parks on September 2 while promoting his afternoon radio show. The host, who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president, also took to Facebook to criticize GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina for calling on Davis to do her job and issue marriage licenses to all couples who apply.
Deace's last show at USA Radio Network will air September 17 after the host said the station was "no longer able to meet the requirements of growing/managing" his show. USA Radio Network did not respond to Media Matters' request for comment about the split between Deace and the network.
From the September 2 edition of USA Radio Network's Steve Deace Show:
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