Colion Noir, a commentator and web series host for the National Rifle Association (NRA), addressed his widely criticized claim that the parents of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward should not "become so emotional" in response to the fatal shooting of their children so as to misdirect their "grief-inspired advocacy."
In an interview with Lynchburg, Virginia ABC affiliate station WSET, Noir said that as a gun rights activist he felt compelled to respond to Andy Parker, who said following the killing of his daughter that he would make it his "mission in life" to get stronger gun laws passed.
Noir told WSET, "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm."
The NRA and Noir have been criticized in the wake of an August 30 video posted by Noir where he told the parents of Parker and Ward that "sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us." WSET reported that Noir's claims are "causing quite the controversy online."
The NRA often attacks calls for stronger gun calls by claiming such advocacy is based on emotion rather than logic, despite consensus among academic researchers on gun violence that stronger gun laws help reduce homicide.
More from WSET on Noir's "warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward":
On the other side of the conversation is NRA Commentator Colion Noir. "Turning this murder into a gun control dog and pony show minutes after the shooting, because you can't make sense of what just happened, is ridiculous" said Colion Noir on a Youtube video.
Noir uploaded this Youtube video on Sunday... with a warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward. "Sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and everything starts looking like the enemy, even if they are there to help us" said Noir.
The video has gotten more than 54-thousand views, but Noir says he almost opted out of making it. "From the NRA perspective, if they don't say anything they are considered cold and callous, if they say something immediately then they are considered capitalizing off of a tragedy" said Noir.
Noir expresses his condolences to the families of Ward and Parker in the video, but says as a gun rights advocate he felt the need to address Parker's comments. "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm" said Noir.
The Parkers are already reaching out to leading gun control advocates including Astronaut Mark Kelly and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A "featured blogger" for Mississippi's Clarion-Ledger touted the Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) widely debunked sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood to compare doctors who perform abortions to terror group ISIS.
In an August 31 column on the Clarion-Ledger's website, "featured blogger" Daniel Gardner, wrote a piece under the headline "Evil today" which promoted the series of deceptively-edited videos released by CMP that falsely claim Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue for profit. Gardner wrote that the videos show "barbarous carnage" and asks readers to "compare America's abortion 'doctors' with ISIS" (emphasis added):
Abortion wars in America have exploded this summer with release of 8 videos of grizzly details including graphic video of aborted babies. Center for Medical Progress produced the videos from undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood and StemExpress over the past 3 years.All 8 videos are posted online edited.
I won't describe the barbarous carnage in the videos, but will quote Holly O'Donnell, a technician assisting abortion doctors in San Jose, CA. "'You want to see something kind of cool,'" O'Donnell says her supervisor asked her. "And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I'm sitting here and I'm looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don't know what to think."" Cool is evil.
Compare America's abortion "doctors" with ISIS. Yes, I know Hillary Clinton, who fully supports abortion doctors, compared GOP presidential candidates with "terrorists;" but none of these candidates are comparable with abortion doctors, much less terrorists. ISIS is systematically committing genocide against Christians in Syria and Iraq. They use rape, crucifixion, and beheadings to intimidate and conquer Christians solely because they are Christians. ISIS' agenda and goals are pure evil.
Numerous government investigations into Planned Parenthood undertaken in the wake of CMP's claims have found no wrongdoing on the part of the healthcare provider. An independent investigation commissioned by Planned Parenthood found that CMP's videos "contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations."
An earlier version of Gardner's column that claimed "all 8 videos are posted online" by CMP were "unedited" was updated with a correction stating: "A previous version of this opinion column incorrectly stated the videos posted online were unedited."
Influential conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace likened ESPN to Nazis after the sports network suspended former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling as a commentator for posting an Islamaphobic meme to his Facebook page.
In an August 28 article for the Conservative Review, Deace wrote that the network's executive "brown shirts" (sic) -- a reference to the Nazi's feared Sturmabteilung assault division -- were overreacting to Schilling's post, a meme likening Muslims to Nazis. Schilling has a long history of posting offensive material to social media. Deace also quoted Hitler's Mein Kampf to support his claim that, in punishing Schilling for his hate speech, ESPN was "trying to take down [American] culture" by taking away people's "freedoms" (emphasis added):
No such legend will be allowed to broadcast the rest of the Little League World Series, though, because it turns out Schilling has a personal life with opinions unapproved by ESPN's division of politically correct goose-steppers.
You know, like the Nazis. What a hilarious coincidence. Because what Schilling got in trouble for was taking to Twitter to compare Islamic extremists to Nazis. Not all Muslims, mind you, but the murderous Islamic extremists who viciously kill Muslims and infidels alike.
So let's do the mentally insane math here. Compare a group of murderers bent on global hegemony to another group of murderers bent on global hegemony and your status with ESPN's brown shirts gets called into question? That's the kind of irony that reminds me of when Islamo-Fascists lash out violently in protest to claims their religion promotes violence.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think ESPN is trying to take down a culture here. But that might be giving them too much credit. Perhaps the cult of progressivism is simply so ridiculous it routinely produces stupidity like this.
If you were trying to take down a culture you would know this: "The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed."
That's from Mein Kampf, which is on the approved-reading list of Jihadists, who actually aligned with Hitler during World War II. History, I'm sure the brass at ESPN is totally unaware of. Because, tolerance. And the crusades.
When the news of Schilling's suspension first broke, Deace defended the former ballplayer on Twitter by echoing the meme's message.
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who is under fire for suggesting that undocumented immigrants should become "property of the state" unless they leave Iowa, applauded a decision by Texas' Department of State Health Services to deny birth certificates to American children of undocumented immigrants.
On his August 28 show, Mickelson criticized what he called "street hustler" civil rights groups who have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services for refusing to issue birth certificates to U.S. citizen children born to undocumented immigrant parents. As Talking Points Memo explained, the plaintiff's complaint alleges that Texas stopped allowing "matricula consular" identifications -- official papers issued by the U.S.-based consulate of the immigrant parents' home country -- "to meet the requirements to acquire a birth certificate for their U.S.-born children" around two years ago.
Mickelson, who denies that the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright citizenship applies to the children of undocumented immigrants, said he thinks it is "cool" that Texas is refusing to issue these birth certificates and expressed his appreciation of Texas' approach as "Iowa passive-aggressive," which will prevent such children "to start this process of looting." Listen (emphasis added):
JAN MICKELSON: The Mexican government has now filed its amicus brief -- that's 'a friend of the court' -- supporting a coalition of undocumented parents who are suing the state of Texas because they were denied birth certificates for their kids. So all of the usual suspects, the ACLU, La Raza, and every street hustler organization that has its hooks in us, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid Society and the Department of Health and Social Services and the Friends of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, have all decided to sue the state of Texas because they can't get documentation of the birth of their kids, that were illegitimately born here in the United States and they're not following form. Now Texas is doing the Iowa passive-aggressive thing, "Okay, you can be born here, just no record of your existence and you can't use anything from us to start this process of looting." That is cool.
Mickelson has come under fire recently for comments he made on his August 17 radio show advocating that undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave Iowa after being warned become "property of the state" and be forced into "compelled labor." It was the latest of Mickleson's many anti-immigrant remarks, which include his assumption that anyone with a Hispanic-sounding name who gets involved with the police is an undocumented immigrant, and his declaration that educating undocumented children in public schools is "a scam."
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who recently suggested enslaving undocumented immigrants who don't leave his state, misrepresented a comment made in 1866 by one of the authors of the 14th Amendment to argue that the U.S. Constitution doesn't grant automatic citizenship to American-born children of undocumented immigrants, a wildly revisionist misreading of both American history and legal precedent
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who recently suggested enslaving undocumented immigrants who don't leave Iowa after being warned, attacked Fox News host Bill O'Reilly for questioning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's extreme views on birthright citizenship and deportation, and said Americans should "applaud" the billionaire businessman for starting a debate.
On his August 24 radio show, Mickelson -- who has recently come in for withering criticism for suggesting that undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave Iowa should become "property of the state" forced to do "compelled labor" -- brought up O'Reilly's recent interview with Trump. Mickelson criticized a question O'Reilly asked Trump about his position on birthright citizenship, complaining that O'Reilly's hypothetical example of two illegal immigrant parents with two legal American-born children -- he asked if Trump would order immigration agents to 'put them in a van [and] bring them to a detention center' for deportation -- was "a scam starting with the notion of birthright citizenship":
When he finished critiquing the Trump-O'Reilly interview, Mickelson read aloud an entire National Review article titled, "The Very Real Economic Costs of Birthright Citizenship," which relies heavily on data and analysis from the anti-immigrant nativist organization, the Center for Immigration Studies, to claim that birthright citizenship is harming America. Citing that data, Mickelson heaped praise on Trump and declared, "We owe Donald Trump at least a round of applause for bringing these issues to the forefront":
Mickelson has a long history of attacking immigrants and Hispanics in America. He has said that he assumes anyone with a Hispanic-sounding name who is involved with police is "not here legally" and that it's "a scam" to let undocumented students attend public schools in the United States.
But despite his racist rhetoric towards immigrants and Hispanics, Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 election have appeared on Mickelson's show over 40 times so far this year. Not even wide condemnation of his undocumented immigrant enslavement plan could keep them away: candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on his show four days after he said it. Mickelson's slavery plan did not come up.
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who used his August 17 show to call for undocumented immigrants to perform forced labor as "property of the state," is now misrepresenting what he said in an attempt to play down his incendiary comments, claiming he merely said that Iowa should erect signs threatening undocumented immigrants with indentured servitude if they did not leave the state. What Mickelson actually said was that such signs would only work if some immigrants were actually rounded up and forced into compelled labor.
In the aftermath of Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson's public call to make undocumented immigrants who don't leave voluntarily the "property of the state of Iowa" and forced into "compelled labor," the state's largest newspaper published two opinion columns condemning Mickelson's rhetoric and calling for an end to attacks on immigrants.
On the August 17 broadcast of his radio show, Mickelson proposed a plan to drive undocumented immigrants out of Iowa by posting signs around the state saying that after an allotted time, any undocumented immigrant who remained in Iowa would become "property of the state of Iowa" and as such, would be forced to perform manual labor such as building a wall between Mexico and the United States.
Two columnists at The Des Moines Register called out Mickelson's comments, rebuking his rhetoric and calling for more civility in the immigration debate. In her August 22 column for The Register, Rekha Basu called Mickelson "this year's chief demagogue" for attacking undocumented immigrants and warned that by putting ideas immigrant slaver on the table, "people assume it has legitimacy." She urged that the debate over immigration be held "in a responsible way," and continued:
This inflammatory rhetoric is a long way from the approach of past GOP leaders like former President George W. Bush and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. Iowa's beloved former Iowa Gov. Bob Ray, who welcomed Southeast Asian war refugees in the 1970s, issued a statement earlier this year supporting Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free legal services to unaccompanied undocumented minors. "Iowa is a welcoming state!" Ray declared. At least it was then.
I'm hopeful most Iowans will respond to Mickelson's slave-ownership plan by showing it still is.
Kyle Munson also criticized Mickelson's comments in an August 23 Register column, writing that after he heard what was said, he went to talk to Mickelson at the Iowa State Fair. Munson told readers that Mickelson "reaffirmed in person what he said on air," and added:
I just can't wrap my mind around Mickelson's proposal, whether as an intentionally controversial rhetorical device or serious policy. Makes me think of the horrific workhouses of Victorian England.
Like Basu, Munson -- who is hosting a forum on immigration where audience members will be able to discuss and debate the issue with panelists and presidential candidates -- called for civility in the immigration debate. He wrote, "As a columnist it would be easier for me to radicalize this immigration issue than to try to bring everybody beneath a big tent to be more productive. But I believe wholeheartedly that it's worth it."
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who recently pushed an immigration plan that would force undocumented immigrants to become enslaved workers if they refuse to leave, has hosted Republican presidential candidates 43 times in 2015. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) leads all candidates with 11 appearances; former Gov. Mike Huckabee has appeared 8 times.
On his August 17 show, Mickelson proposed an immigration plan that included posting signs around Iowa warning undocumented immigrants that they could either leave or "become property of the state." When confronted by a caller who said the plan sounded like slavery, Mickelson responded, "what's wrong with slavery?"
Asked by Media Matters to explain his comments, Mickelson argued his plan was "constitutionally defensible, legally defensible, morally defensible, biblically defensible and historically defensible." He claimed Republican presidential candidates "would understand [his position] from a historical and intellectual point of view," adding, "most of them would understand my point isn't serious, the point is philosophical" -- though he told a caller on the 17th, "you think I'm just pulling your leg. I am not."
According to a Media Matters analysis of Mickelson's show, in 2015 alone he has hosted most of the Republican presidential field. Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Jim Gilmore, Chris Christie, George Pataki, and John Kasich have not appeared on his program this year (click to enlarge):
According to a tweet by Mickelson, he said he hosted Trump "a few months ago," but it appears that was in October 2014 and outside the scope of this analysis. One of Carson's appearances was during an episode featuring a guest host.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on the program on August 21 amid widespread outrage over Mickelson's immigration proposal, but the controversial plan was not discussed.
Mickelson told Media Matters earlier this week about how candidates end up on his show: "They'll come, they'll pursue it and say 'can we come on,' and 'sure,' I don't chase them around looking for them to come on, they usually call and ask me."
Although these recent inflammatory comments have garnered significant attention -- due in part to Mickelson's kingmaker status in the state -- Mickelson has a long history of making offensive comments about immigrants. Earlier this year, Mickelson said he assumed anyone with a Hispanic last name who gets in trouble with police is "not here legally" and called educating undocumented children at public schools "a scam." Mickelson has also suggested bringing back Jim Crow-era voting laws such as something similar to a literacy test.
Mickelson has promoted his anti-immigration theories during interviews with candidates, including pushing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to embrace the argument that undocumented children shouldn't be allowed to attend public schools and asking Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) if they believed a debunked Dick Morris conspiracy theory about the Trans Pacific Partnership including a provision for unrestricted immigration to the United States.
Media Matters listened to every edition of Mickelson In The Morning from Jan 1, 2015, through August 21, 2015, and counted every time all declared and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate were hosted.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is scheduled to appear on Jan Mickelson's radio show tomorrow, just days after the Iowa host proposed a plan to enslave undocumented immigrants if they refuse to leave the country.
On his August 17 show, Mickelson proposed an immigration plan that included posting signs around Iowa warning undocumented immigrants that they could either leave or "become property of the state." He added, "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." When confronted about his plan by a caller who said "everybody would believe it sounds like slavery," Mickelson responded, "what's wrong with slavery?"
During an interview with Media Matters, Mickelson stood by his comments, calling them "constitutionally defensible, legally defensible, morally defensible, biblically defensible and historically defensible." He claimed you would likely only have to force "maybe one or two people" to work in a "highly visible fashion," which would lead to "a vast sucking sound of illegals departing the state."
Republican presidential candidates have flocked to Mickelson's show. According to Mickelson, candidates "would understand [his position] from a historical and intellectual point of view," and "most of them would understand my point isn't serious, the point is philosophical." (On his show the day he laid out his plan, Mickelson told a caller, "you think I'm just pulling your leg. I am not.")
MICKELSON: Good morning everybody, welcome back to the conversation. I'm Jan Mickelson. We have some open line time between now and the bottom of the hour when The Big Show starts. Tomorrow's program, at a little bit after 9 o'clock [AM CST] we'll be talking with Senator Ted Cruz. He will be out here as a presidential candidate. That should be lots and lots of fun and very, very interesting. He's one of the most dynamic speakers on the tour this time and I've been reading some of his think pieces as a legal scholar in one of the Texas legal scholarly magazines and I'm going to be talking to him about some of that tomorrow morning. That should be interesting.
Mickelson told Media Matters that presidential candidates actively pursue appearances on his show: "They'll come, they'll pursue it and say 'can we come on,' and 'sure,' I don't chase them around looking for them to come on, they usually call and ask me."
On August 19, Cruz was endorsed by Steve Deace, another prominent Iowa-based conservative radio host. Like Mickelson, Deace has made offensive remarks about the LGBT and immigrant communities. He also recently suggested that the Republican Party should have thanked presidential candidate Donald Trump for his suggestion that Mexican immigrants are rapists.
Influential Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson -- whose show is a frequent destination for Republican presidential candidates -- is standing by his plan to make undocumented immigrants "property of the state" if they refuse to leave the country after an allotted period of time. In comments to Media Matters, Mickelson described his plan as "constitutionally defensible, legally defensible, morally defensible, biblically defensible and historically defensible."
On his August 17 radio show, Mickelson laid out his proposal for forcing undocumented immigrants out of Iowa. According to Mickelson, he would "put up some signs" alerting undocumented immigrants that they would be forced into "compelled labor" if they did not leave before a stated deadline. He continued, "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." After a caller raised a concern that "everybody would believe it sounds like slavery," Mickelson replied, "well, what's wrong with slavery?"
Mickelson strongly defended his proposal during a Wednesday interview with Media Matters.
"All you have to do is put up a sign on the border," Mickelson said. "Just put up a sign that says 'After 60 days from this date certain if you're in the state of Iowa and you are here without legal status and you are criminally in the state of Iowa, you will become the property of the state and we will compel labor from you because you are a criminal and the 13th Amendment allows us.'"
Mickelson tweeted today that he's hosted "everyone" from the Republican presidential field on his radio program except Jeb Bush.
Asked if he believed any of the GOP candidates would agree with his plan, Mickelson claimed, "most of them would understand my point isn't serious, the point is philosophical." (Mickelson told a caller during his radio show, "you think I'm just pulling your leg. I am not.")
He claimed that the intention of the plan was to scare people out of the state, but conceded that you may have to force "one or two people" into servitude to make a point.
"If you actually did it you would never have to do that, all you have to do is put up a sign," he claimed. "It is the cheapest." But he later stressed that "maybe one or two people" would have to be forced to work in a "highly visible fashion, the problem solves itself. You'll have a vast sucking sound of illegals departing the state."
Mickelson also said Republican presidential candidates "would understand it from a historical and intellectual point of view. Because most of these people have a good understanding of western law, they would understand the 13th Amendment as it's written. Most of the states following the Civil War have criminal restitution as part of our civil code."
Mickelson explained he does not currently have any interviews with Republican candidates scheduled, but added, "They'll come, they'll pursue it and say 'can we come on,' and 'sure,' I don't chase them around looking for them to come on, they usually call and ask me."
The host later expanded on his defense, saying, "The Constitution, 13th Amendment said indentured servitude, it is one of the most ancient ways that western culture has collected restitution for crime."
"You can't just enslave people, go around to become bigger and stronger and more powerful than you are ... the Torah says that's man stealing, that's a capital offense," he said.
"Indentured servitude, however, was the choice for debt collection. If you couldn't pay a loan you took out from someone you ended up working for that person until the loan was paid off." He added, "If you were criminal and caused property damage to someone either by mistake or on purpose you're indentured to that person and had to pay that person back four-fold."
According to Mickelson, "I'm not looking to start another tobacco farm or plantation or cotton farm here in Iowa, I'm just looking to hold people accountable for their behavior."
Iowa-based conservative radio host Steve Deace, who has a long history of making racist and anti-gay remarks, endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president, a move that was widely expected in light of his attacks on most of the other 2016 Republican candidates -- including former frontrunner Jeb Bush -- as "corporatists." Deace's support in 2008 for Mike Huckabee has been partially credited for the former Arkansas governor's upset victory in the Iowa Caucus.
During the August 19 broadcast of The Steve Deace Show, Deace endorsed Cruz for president, saying, "He is what we have been waiting for: an end to the false choice between our principles and electability":
Deace also tweeted his endorsement immediately after announcing it on air:
Deace's endorsement comes as little surprise to observers because he has made no secret of his admiration of Cruz and has expressed strong support for him on his show, calling the Texas senator "the conservative base" and declaring back in March that he would vote for Cruz if the election "were today." Among Iowa reporters there has also been speculation that Deace has been working for the Cruz campaign as an "informal, unpaid consultant."
Many of Cruz's opponents have come under fire from Deace, which may have damaged their standing in Iowa. Deace has been described by more than a few media outlets as having large sway with Christian conservatives in Iowa -- ABC News once called him a "conservative hitmaker - and hitman." Over the last few months, Deace has loudly proclaimed his distaste for the rest of the GOP field: He said Jeb Bush had given the conservative base "the finger" by hiring a gay spokesman and called Bush part of the "Rainbow Jihad" - a term Deace coined to characterize supporters of LGBT causes; of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), whose stock was rising in Iowa last month, Deace warned Iowans to "slow [their] roll" on him as a candidate, criticizing his hiring of a pro-choice campaign staffer and for opposing the government shut-down effort Cruz led over plans to defund the Affordable Care Act. Deace had previously hyped Walker on his website and in his book, but he attacked the candidate last month after Walker was late for an appearance on his show. Deace said Rand Paul's "record is great, [but] his rhetoric blows" after the Kentucky senator failed to take a strong enough stance against abortion.
Deace has a long history of making inflammatory and offensive remarks, including claiming President Obama was "not a Christian" and that divorce could make children gay. His brand of unrelenting conservatism has put him at odds with the Republican establishment, most recently when he criticized Fox News over the August 6 GOP debate, which was moderated by several Fox hosts. Deace took issue with the moderators asking for a pledge from the candidates to support the eventual GOP candidate and claimed he was hearing from frustrated conservatives who felt Fox's Megyn Kelly had tried to "take out" Donald Trump.
Deace is often a guest of mainstream media like NPR and MSNBC, where he is asked to provide objective analysis of the GOP field. That might not happen as much in the future, given today's announcement.
Iowa radio host and influential conservative kingmaker Jan Mickelson unveiled an immigration plan that would make undocumented immigrants who don't leave the country after an allotted time "property of the state," asking, "What's wrong with slavery?" when a caller criticized his plan.
On the August 17 edition of his radio show, Mickelson announced that he had a plan to drive undocumented immigrants out of Iowa that involved making those who don't leave "property of the state" who are forced into "compelled labor," like building a wall on the US-Mexican border. Listen (emphasis added in transcript):
JAN MICKELSON: Now here is what would work. And I was asked by an immigration open border's activist a couple of weeks ago, how I would get all the illegals here in the state of Iowa to leave. "Are you going to call the police every time you find an illegal, are you going to round them up and put them in detention centers?"
I said, "No you don't have to do any of that stuff."
"Well you going to invite them to leave the country and leave Iowa?"
And I said, "Well, sort of."
"Well how you going to do it, Mickelson? You think you're so smart. How would you get thousands of illegals to leave Iowa?"
Well, I said, "Well if I wanted to do that I would just put up some signs."
"Well what would the signs say?"
I said, "Well I'd would put them on the end of the highway, on western part of the interstate system, and I'd put them on the eastern side of the state, right there on the interstate system, and in the north on the Minnesota border, and on the south Kansas and Missouri border and I would just say this: 'As of this date' -- whenever we decide to do this -- 'as of this date, 30--' this is a totally arbitrary number, '30 to 60 days from now anyone who is in the state of Iowa that who is not here legally and who cannot demonstrate their legal status to the satisfaction of the local and state authorities here in the State of Iowa, become property of the State of Iowa.' 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.
"Well how would you apply that logic to what Donald Trump is trying to do? Trying to get Mexico to pay for the border and for the wall?"
"Same way. We say, 'Hey, we are not going to make Mexico pay for the wall, we're going to invite the illegal Mexicans and illegal aliens to build it. If you have come across the border illegally, again give them another 60-day guideline, you need to go home and leave this jurisdiction, and if you don't you become property of the United States, and guess what? You will be building a wall. We will compel your labor. You would belong to these United States. You show up without an invitation, you get to be an asset. You get to be a construction worker. Cool!'
When a caller confronted Mickelson and said his plan amounted to "slavery," Mickelson replied, "What's wrong with slavery?" Mickelson told the caller his plan was "moral," "legal," and "politically doable" and should be modeled after Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "tent village" (emphasis added in transcript):
MICKELSON: So anyway back to the point. Put up a sign that says at the end of 60 days, if you are not here with our permission, can't prove your legal status, you become property of the state. And then we start to extort or exploit or indenture your labor. This is Fred. Good morning Fred.
CALLER: Hey good morning, how are you?
MICKELSON: I'm doing great.
CALLER: Great. Well you caught me--I was up at 4 o'clock this morning, I'm travelling from Tulsa through Des Moines. I think I'll stop by the state fair to see Carly and them, but your idea is clever on the face but it sounds an awful lot like slavery. I don't think - I think it'll go over like a lead balloon.
MICKELSON: No, just read the Constitution, Fred. What does the Constitution say about slavery?
CALLER: Well didn't we fix that in about 1865?
MICKELSON: Yeah we sure did and I'm willing to live with their fix. What does the 13th Amendment say?
CALLER: Well you know I don't have my Constitution in front of me and you know like I say, it sounds like a clever idea and maybe you can make it - put it in action, but I think the fall out would be so significant. And I, you know --
MICKELSON: What would be the nature of the fall out?
CALLER: Well I think everybody would believe it sounds like slavery?
MICKELSON: Well, what's wrong with slavery?
CALLER: Well we know what's wrong with slavery.
MICKELSON: Well apparently we don't because when we allow millions of people to come into the country who aren't here legally and people who are here are indentured to those people to pay their bills, their education of their kids, pay for their food, their food stamps, their medical bills, in some cases even subsidize their housing, and somehow the people who own the country, who pay the bills, pay the taxes, they get indentured to the new people who are not even supposed to be here. Isn't that a lot like slavery?
CALLER: Well you know, you're singing my song; we're all slaves today the way the government is growing -
MICKELSON: If that's the case, maybe it's time to reverse the process. Isn't this a perfectly good time to do that?
CALLER: Well that'll swing the pendulum back in a pretty broad swing and maybe too far and we may end up swinging back the other way further left than we are right now. I take it about halfway Jan. I think it's a clever idea, it's worth throwing out there. It isn't an easy topic -
MICKELSON: No this is pretty simple, actually this is very simple, what my solution is moral and it's legal. And I can't think - and it's also politically doable.
CALLER: So are you going to house all these people who have chosen to be indentured?
MICKELSON: Yes, yes, absolutely in a minimal fashion. We would take a lesson from Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio down in Arizona. Put up a tent village, we feed and water these new assets, we give them minimal shelter, minimal nutrition, and offer them the opportunity to work for the benefit of the taxpayers of the state of Iowa. All they have to do to avoid servitude is to leave.
CALLER: [laughing] Hey, good luck.
MICKELSON: All right, thank you very much I appreciate it.
CALLER: You bet. You bet.
MICKELSON: You think I'm just pulling your leg. I am not.
Mickelson has a history of making racially-charged, anti-immigrant remarks but he also has a strong pull with conservative caucus voters in Iowa. His influence is so big that he recently hosted several 2016 GOP candidates on his show, including Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson during their visits to the Iowa State Fair. After Mickelson defended his immigrant-slave plan, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) appeared on his show. Not surprisingly, Mickelson's immigration plan didn't come up.
Transgender homicide victims are frequently misgendered in local media reports about their deaths. Though some news outlets may be motivated by transphobia and bias, others -- like The Kansas City Star -- have justified the practice of misgendering transgender people by using shoddy appeals to journalistic integrity.
On August 15, Tamara Dominguez became one of the latest transgender woman of color to be murdered in the United States when she was repeatedly run over by an SUV. According to local reports, the Kansas City Police Department identified Dominguez using both her birth name and her preferred name, Tamara.
The Kansas City Star identified Dominguez as a "man" in its initial report on the murder - violating GLAAD and Associated Press guidelines and contributing to the widespread problem of misgendering transgender victims of violence in local news reports. In response to criticism from the LGBT community, The Kansas City Star eventually removed the problematic language from its report.
On August 18, Kansas City Star's Public Editor Derek Donovan published a defense of his paper's initial report, which exemplifies the problematic ways that local media outlets can justify the practice of misgendering transgender victims of violence.
Central to Donovan's defense is his argument that news outlets can't know with certainty if a victim of violence is transgender, especially when the victim is deceased:
Police directly told the reporter they did not know whether Dominguez identified as male or female. And as the victim is deceased, it's now impossible to get a firsthand answer to that question.
KCTV interviewed the victim's friend, who used female pronouns. The Star didn't have that (as of this writing at least). I've spoken to the newsroom, and they're following through on the story.
But as Donovan notes, other local media outlets, including KSHB and KCTV, reached out to Dominguez's social circle, including her roommate, to confirm her identity. Other reporters have used social media to confirm victims' gender identities. In other words, when faced with a question about how a subject identified, they did actual reporting rather than just making a snap judgment about Dominguez's gender identity.
That kind of reporting is important beyond merely respecting the victim. Ignoring a victim's gender identity can hamper police investigations, and it makes it harder for the public to understand the nature and frequency of violence against transgender people.
Donovan also argues that gender identity isn't always clearly defined, so journalists' attempts to define a victim's gender identity would require them to make a "journalistically unsound" assumption:
[T]here are also people who fall somewhere else along a continuum. Some identify as both genders simultaneously -- or even neither. Some identify as female but have male alter-aliases, and vice versa. Some continue to identify as their birth gender while cross-dressing. Sometimes even those closest to these people don't know exactly how to answer the intensely personal questions of gender identiy. [sic]
The police report was succinct, identifying the victim as Jesus -- the only legal name known, according to police, and noting the alias. It would have been premature, and ultimately journalistically unsound to make any assumption.
It's important that Donovan acknowledges the fluidity of gender expression and identity, especially for people who identify as non-binary. But that isn't an excuse for intentionally ignoring a news subject's gender presentation and preemptively choosing "male" over "female." According to Donovan, the police could not tell his paper "whether Dominguez identified as male or female," so when the Kansas City Star called Dominguez a "man," it made a "journalistically unsound" assumption about her gender identity, too. Rather than respecting gender fluidity as Donovan suggested they should have, they failed to determine how the victim would want to be identified, substituting a news subject's chosen identity with a reporter's own assumptions and biases, based apparently on nothing more than the name "Jesus."
Donovan claims that identifying Dominguez as a woman would ignore "basic reality," distinguishing her gender identity from her "legal identity":
And it's wrong to ignore a basic reality: This issue is inherently confusing and tricky. Legal identities do matter, both in trans people's lives and in reporting the news. Despite what one may glean from the always black/white world of Twitter, trans activists speak at great length about the murky details of names, passports, and birth certificates that are serious issues trans people deal with -- financial and social barriers to changing one's legal identification, for example. Pretending they don't exist is absurd.
It is true that it's often difficult for transgender people to have their gender identities legally recognized.
But that isn't an argument for refusing to acknowledge the way they prefer to be identified, especially after their deaths. The legitimacy of a transgender person's identity isn't contingent on a passport or birth certificate.
News outlets don't ask for legal documents when they talk about cisgender people. Reporters don't ask for passports or birth certificates to verify the names and identities of cisgender news subjects. Forcing transgender people to legally prove their identities before being taken seriously isn't tied to a widely-accepted journalistic norm, and it trivializes trans people by reinforcing the idea that trans identities shouldn't be taken seriously.
Donovan concludes by explaining that properly identifying transgender victims of violence can be difficult, even for reporters who make an effort to reach out to the victim's loved ones:
You could argue the story shouldn't have run at all until this detail was known, via an interview with a family member or someone who can be verified as a friend of Dominguez. And no, self-proclaimed "friends" in social media don't count. Dominguez does not appear to have had a public social media presence under the name Tamara or Jesus -- both rather common names, complicating matters.
[A]ctivism is too often hijacked by loud, irresponsible voices, even from people who mean well. I've heard from some today criticizing The Star for being behind on this story, yet ironically using terminology that transgender people generally consider offensive. It's impossible for everyone to be on the same page.
It's a sentiment that's been echoed by other journalists -- determining someone's gender identity can be burdensome, especially when law enforcement misgenders a victim in initial press releases. In local news environments that prioritize quick, breaking news reports, stopping to investigate a victim's gender identity is a lot to ask. And journalists don't want to incorrectly identify someone as transgender if they aren't sure.
In those cases, the solution is to avoid using gendered terminology to describe the victim, as several outlets did in their reports of Dominguez's death. Using gender-neutral descriptors, and then amending reports once the victim's gender identity is confirmed, allows local media outlets to avoid making harmful or lazy assumptions in their coverage.
2015's unprecedented streak of homicides of transgender women has brought renewed attention to the problem of misgendering in news media. But journalists have been grappling with how to identify trans people, and specially trans victims of violence, for years. As the trans community continues to gain visibility, ethical journalism will require that reporters let go of their excuses and do the necessary work of figuring out how to accurately and responsibly identify trans people from the very first draft of any article.
Influential conservative Iowa talk radio hosts Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson attacked Fox News over its handling of the first GOP presidential debate. Deace slammed the news channel for asking candidates to pledge their loyalty to the eventual GOP nominee and rule out a third party run, while Mickelson characterized the moderators' sometimes sharp questioning of candidates as "an inquisition."