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.