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Jan Mickelson

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  • Rep. King Finds Safe Haven For His White Nationalism On Jan Mickelson’s Radio Show

    Iowa Radio Host Mickelson Is Notorious For His Bigotry Against Muslims, LGBTQ Individuals, And Immigrants

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appeared on Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson’s show to address the outrage over his racist tweet in which he claimed that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Mickelson, who is notorious for his bigotry against Muslims and LGBTQ Americans, as well as for calling for undocumented immigrants to be enslaved, helped King defend his tweet, and the interview ended with King urging Mickelson’s listeners to read the novel The Camp of the Saints, which The Huffington Post called “breathtakingly racist.”

    On March 12, King drew fire after tweeting, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” in apparent support of a prominent anti-Muslim Dutch politician, Geert Wilders. King’s tweet was cheered on by white nationalists and neo-Nazis, who rallied around the Republican congressman, calling him a “hero” for “openly endorsing White nationalism.”

    King defended his tweet during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo on Monday, saying, “I meant exactly what I said,” and again on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, where the host agreed with King’s tweet. King additionally appeared on Mickelson’s show for a nearly 20-minute interview in which Mickelson offered defenses of King’s tweet by quoting John Jay, the country's first chief justice of the Supreme Court, criticizing diversity. Later Mickelson said, “You were accused of being a white supremist” (sic), but “you’re not talking about race, are you, at all?” CNN’s KFile first reported on this interview by highlighting a comment King made in which he predicted that “Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other” before they outnumber white people in America.

    Despite his claim that the tweet had nothing to do with race, at the end of the interview King recommended that Mickelson’s listeners read a novel titled The Camp of the Saints. The Huffington Post reported earlier this month that Stephen Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has spent years telling people that this novel explains the European refugee crisis. The article explained why it’s so alarming that someone in power is citing this book:

    The book is a cult favorite on the far right, yet it’s never found a wider audience. There’s a good reason for that: It’s breathtakingly racist.

    “[This book is] racist in the literal sense of the term. It uses race as the main characterization of characters,” said Cécile Alduy, professor of French at Stanford University and an expert on the contemporary French far right. “It describes the takeover of Europe by waves of immigrants that wash ashore like the plague.”

    The book, she said, “reframes everything as the fight to death between races.”

    Upon the novel’s release in the United States in 1975, the influential book review magazine Kirkus Reviews pulled no punches: “The publishers are presenting The Camp of the Saints as a major event, and it probably is, in much the same sense that Mein Kampf was a major event.”

    Linda Chavez, a Republican commentator who has worked for GOP presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush but opposed Trump’s election, also reviewed the book back then. Forty years later, she hasn’t forgotten it.

    “It is really shockingly racist,” Chavez told The Huffington Post, “and to have the counselor to the president see this as one of his touchstones, I think, says volumes about his attitude.”

    Mickelson’s show is an interesting choice for King to defend himself from accusations of racism, given the radio host’s own bigoted statements. In late 2015, Mickelson repeatedly characterized Muslims in America as not culturally compatible with the country. Mickelson also called LGBTQ advocates “same-gender Nazis” and said they are part of a “gay Taliban,” agreed with ex-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that homosexuality is “ugly behavior,” and, years earlier, suggested that God invented AIDS to punish homosexuality. In August 2015, Mickelson suggested that the U.S. enslave undocumented immigrants who don’t leave America.

  • Conservative Media Advocated For Illegally Keeping Immigrant Students Out Of School, And Now It’s Actually Happening

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Right-wing media figures have for years advocated in favor of denying undocumented immigrant students access to public education,and now an Associated Press investigation reports that it may be happening "in at least 35 districts in 14 states." These policies may be not only unconstitutional -- according to a Supreme Court ruling that specifically bans public school districts from denying enrollment to children based on their immigration status -- but also illegal under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

  • IA's Mickelson Says It's "Total Rubbish" That Paris Attackers Do Not Represent Islam

    Mickelson: "Americanized" "Cigar Store Muslims" Do Not Represent "The True Islam"

    Blog ››› ››› MICHAELA HALNON

    Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson argued that the terrorists who committed the Paris attacks represent the "true Islam," not Muslims who denounced the attacks. 

    On his November 18 radio show, Mickelson criticized Muslims who say "terrorists hijack their religion." Mickelson began by playing audio from a local television news broadcast, in which Muslims from Des Moines, Iowa, said the Paris attackers do not represent Islam, "because Muslims do not kill innocent people." Mickelson called their comments "total rubbish," and said, "I call them cigar store Muslims, meaning they are template Muslims, Americanized Muslims." Mickelson continued:

    MICKELSON: So the people out here in the cheap seats saying that the cigar store Muslims here in Des Moines are the true Muslims -- the non violent, worldwide peaceful kind -- while those people over there are the aberration and they've just invented a new religion. Who's left to actually believe that except, well, people like that?

    Mickelson also played an interview with Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher from the United Kingdom. Choudary, who has been condemned by major Muslim groups in the UK, is well-known for his support of ISIS and Sharia Law. Mickelson told his listeners to "put an asterisk in your memory" when some "cigar store Muslim tries to sell you otherwise," connecting Choudary's extremist statements with the local Muslims interviewed previously.

    MICKELSON: Why they would allow this guy who, he, you just heard him say, "do you support the people who want to commit those kinds of acts of violence in the United States?" The guy said of course he does! And he says the Internet makes the world a very very small place. Put a little asterisk in your memory at this very point when some cigar store Muslim tries to sell you otherwise.

    Mickelson has been advocating in recent months for Americans to reject Muslim refugees and keep "Islamic cultures" out of the United States. The host also recently argued "we ought to foreclose on [the] property" of churches who can't fully pay for refugees they help resettle.

  • IA Radio Host Jan Mickelson Defends School Bus Driver Charged With Assaulting Child With Special Needs

    Mickelson: "Even A Special Needs Kid Can Be A Twerp"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Conservative Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson defended an Iowa school bus driver who was jailed after video surfaced of the driver assaulting a student with special needs. Mickelson claims the child should have known to obey the adult's authority and said he refuses to call the child a victim.

    According to the Des Moines Register, a Johnston, Iowa school bus driver was "arrested on charges of assaulting a child with special needs." The October 29 Des Moines Register article reported that, according to police, the driver "pulled the student out of his seat... hit the student in the head and pushed him down to the floor of the bus", after the student allegedly told the bus driver to "shut up." A video posted on social media shows other students on the bus yelling at the bus driver to stop. The Register reported that students then got off the bus and went to the sheriff's office to report the incident. According to police the driver was arrested and the student received medical attention in an ambulance on scene.

    On his November 4 show, Mickelson -- a former bus driver -- commented on the news of the driver's arrest, saying he was "rooting for the bus driver." He responded to reports that the fifteen-year-old victim has the mental capacity of an eight-year-old, arguing "an eight-year-old understands obeying the people who are in charge" and refused to call the student a victim, stating, "even a special needs kid can be a twerp."

    JAN MICKELSON: Alright, 'You can't put your hands on another kid.' And you heard the attorney say 'it's never okay to put your hands on a child when angry.' That's rubbish. There are many times when a parent is angry and they must put their hands on a child. It is never right to manhandle a child, whether angry or not, inappropriately. If there's a safety issue involved or if there's an authority issue involved -- I know that you can be charged with assault, but some cases putting your hands on a child to restrain them from hurting themselves or others is necessary. I am not saying that was what happened in this case but I'm also not entirely thrilled with the way this is being positioned, either.

    'Johnston school bus driver arrested on charges of assaulting a special needs student.' Now, that immediately, the language of that immediately puts any school bus driver on the defensive because, 'Oh, this child had special needs.' Well the story itself said he was a fifteen-year-old had a mind of an eight-year-old. I would argue that an eight-year-old can restrain themselves. And an eight-year-old can obey simple directions like, 'You can't sit there and you have to move.' And an eight-year-old can understand adult authority and school authority. And an eight-year-old understands obeying the people who are in charge. And I'm not going to call this kid, special needs or otherwise, a victim.

    This kid thought of himself as having special needs and was demanding that he not be required to move. It was a question of wills. And you have an adult, a sixty-one-year-old bus driver, apparently got fed up with the mouthy little twerp. Now even a special needs kid can be a twerp. Because they are in one sense diminished doesn't mean they're automatically virtuous.

    No, I don't think everybody that's a twerp needs to be whacked. But in this case I'm thinking, I could be persuaded to the other side of this, but because of my own experience as a bus driver I'm thinking right now that I'm rooting for the bus driver. You can persuade me otherwise. [Mickelson in the Morning, 11/4/15]

    Below is video of the incident on the bus as filmed by another student:

  • IA Radio Host Mickelson's Months-Long Effort To Keep "Islamic Cultures" Out Of America


    Iowa based radio host Jan Mickelson has spent several months attacking Islam and Syrian refugees, claiming they are not culturally compatible with "Christian-based, Western-based, Democratic-based cultures" and repeatedly arguing they cannot be assimilated into Western society. To back his assertions, Mickelson highlights anti-Islamic extremists, such as Nicholas Sennels, who has claimed Muslims are incompatible with Western society due to "inbreeding" and has suggested that the West stop allowing Muslims to enter until they can prove they are able to be integrated into society.

  • IA's Jan Mickelson's Criminal Justice Reform: Sell "Anyone Who Steals" At A "Slave Market" If They Can't Pay Restitution

    Mickelson: "That Should Be The Default Position...It Always Used To Be. But Slowly The Pagans Took Over Our Criminal Justice System"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    On the October 14 edition of his show, Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson suggested he would reform the criminal justice system by forcing the sale of people who cannot pay off their restitution.

    Mickelson brought up a story of a woman unable to pay restitution on money she stole from her employer. Referencing "anyone who steals," he suggested the adoption of a new type of system that mimics the chapter Exodus in the Bible, which calls for those who are unable to pay restitution to be "sold to pay for their theft" at a "slave market" and profits made from the sale should go to pay for the criminal's restitution:

    After a commercial break Mickelson stated for the benefit of "you guys at Media Matters" he was not talking about illegal "chattel slavery" but instead "indenturing people" because "if somebody is a thief and they have to make restitution -- and that's what justice is -- if they don't have any money, Exodus says, Moses said, [and] God said they must be sold for their theft":

    Mickelson has previously come under scrutiny for saying that undocumented immigrants who don't leave Iowa should become "property of the state," a position he tried to walk back days later. 

  • How Conservative Media Obliterated The Space For "Compassionate Conservatism" On Immigration

    Blog ››› ››› JESSICA TORRES

    On June 26, 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush shared his view of immigrants and Latino-Americans in a speech before the 71st National Conference of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). "Latinos come to the U.S. to seek the same dreams that have inspired millions of others: they want a better life for their children," Bush said, calling immigration "not a problem to be solved," but "the sign of a successful nation."

    With campaign strategist Karl Rove "acting as his guide," Bush went on to champion "compassionate conservatism" throughout his first presidential campaign, with an unprecedented -- for the GOP -- Hispanic outreach effort as its centerpiece. To this day, no Republican candidate has come close to winning as much of the Hispanic vote as Bush did in 2000 -- (34 percent) and 2004 (44 percent).

    Ten years on, George's brother Jeb has tried to strike a similarly compassionate tone on immigration in his own quest for the White House. In April, 2014 -- more than a year before he declared his candidacy -- Jeb Bush told Fox News' Shannon Bream that many immigrants who enter the United States illegally often do so as "an act of love" for their families.

    But unlike his brother, whose gentler tone on immigration was viewed as a strength, Jeb Bush was skewered for his remarks, especially by conservative media figures.

    In the span of a few election cycles, "compassionate conservatism" on immigration has evolved from a winning Republican campaign strategy to a major liability for GOP presidential candidates. That shift is due in large part to the growing influence of conservative media in the debate over immigration.

    Though George W. Bush won two terms as a "compassionate conservative," he never succeeded in passing immigration reform in Congress. That failure was due in part to the mobilization of right-wing media, which coalesced in the wake of his 2004 re-election. "You could say that talk radio killed President Bush's attempts at immigration reform," Frank Sharry of America's Voice told The Washington Post in 2013. "They started to lurch to the right, they wanted to give Bush a bloody nose, the conservative media mobilized."

    Conservative media's opposition to immigration reform, led by talk radio, has only intensified since the defeat of the Senate immigration bill Bush supported in 2007: Rush Limbaugh recently claimed that the "colonization" or "invasion" of "illegal aliens" creates a "destructive" subculture in the U.S.; Laura Ingraham said that Congress's "Hispanic Caucus" should be renamed the "Open Borders Caucus" and claimed that migrant children were spreading diseases to "public school kids across the country;" and Texas radio host Michael Berry claimed that killings by "illegal aliens" are "not a rare occurrence."

    At the same time, right-wing radio hosts have worked tirelessly to pull Republican politicians to the right on immigration, often by inciting anti-Hispanic sentiment among listeners. Rush Limbaugh has told the GOP to ignore the "non-factor" Hispanic vote. Laura Ingraham told her listeners that former Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner needed to move closer to the views of the extreme right on immigration, like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Chuck Grassley.

    Perhaps the most extreme example of right-wing talk radio's hostility toward immigration came in August of 2015. Iowa Caucus GOP kingmaker and radio host Jan Mickelson, who has hosted several 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls on his show, proposed on-air that the state of Iowa enslave undocumented immigrants, saying, "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." Mickelson has previously said that he assumes that someone is not "here legally" if they have a Hispanic-sounding name and a history of involvement with the police.

    Fox News has also become a major driver of right-wing fearmongering on immigration. The network's personalities regularly disparage immigrants as criminals and murderers and use derogatory and racist terms like "illegals" and "anchor babies" to describe undocumented immigrants. They also attack Hispanic civil rights groups and indiscriminately show stock video footage of immigrants crossing the border during on-air discussions about immigration. Fox News personalities have peddled the harmful and false stereotype that Hispanics immigrants are all criminals. As Sean Hannity once told his millions of radio listeners: "You want to talk about crime? Well what do you think -- who's coming from Latin America and Mexico? Are they rich, successful Mexicans, Nicaraguans, El Salvador residents? No! Why would they leave if they're so successful?"

    Unsurprisingly, Fox's immigration coverage has been heavily influenced by the views of extreme anti-immigrant groups like FAIR, NumbersUSA, and Center for Immigration Studies - groups that Bush's former commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, named as part of the right-wing coalition that derailed immigration reform in 2007.

    Conservative media's disparaging treatment of Latinos and immigration is especially problematic given the lack of positive depictions of Latinos in mainstream media. According to a study by Columbia University, news "stories about Latinos constitute less than 1% of news media coverage, and the majority of these stories feature Latinos as lawbreakers."

    The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and Latino Decisions found that media stereotypes in news media about Latinos fuel negative and "hostile" attitudes, making it even harder to have reasonable or compassionate conversations about immigration reform. It's no surprise, then, that talk radio and Fox News audiences also exhibit "significantly more anti-immigrant and anti-Latino affect relative to other media consumer groups."

    Conservative media's harmful coverage of immigration isn't purely motivated by animus towards Latinos; it's also a product of a media economy that incentivizes media outlets to make their coverage as sensational as possible, even if that means scaring audiences with unrealistic depictions of Latino criminality. Political media often thrives by making policy disputes as high-stakes as possible. In the case of immigration, that means emphasizing the "threat" posed by immigrants to the predominantly white, older Americans who consume conservative media. As Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) has pointed out, "it's a financially driven enterprise and market share matters":

    "While it's conservative in its orientation, it's a financially driven enterprise and market share matters. And playing to the prejudice of their audiences or reinforcing them - as opposed to engaging in enlightened and intellectual debate - is pretty widespread." The best example, he said, is immigration reform: "Here's an area we have to deal with, we've got to come to an accommodation. But the opposition, especially of talk radio, makes that almost impossible. Who in the conservative media is arguing for some kind of comprehensive immigration reform? Almost nobody."

    "Today's conservative media now shapes the agenda of the party, pushing it to the far right," writes Jackie Colmes, author of a Harvard study which examined conservative media's impact on conservative politicians. According to Colmes, the GOP's rhetoric and policy positions on immigration have largely followed conservative media's lead, despite the party's own advice about developing better relationships with Hispanics.

    The shrinking divide between conservative media and GOP policy on immigration helps explain why presidential candidate Donald Trump has soared in Republican voter polls by telling wildly false and exaggerated horror stories about Mexican immigrants. Trump is essentially mirroring the fear-based, fact-free approach to immigration popularized by conservative media outlets like Fox News. "[Roger] Ailes knows that Fox made Trump, politically, and that the two are made for each other," wrote Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky. And as former Reagan administration official Bruce Bartlett told Mother Jones, "Trump is sort of the most obvious example in which Fox is exercising outside influence on the Republican electoral process. I think without Fox, he would not be running, let alone a serious candidate." Various Fox News personalities have applauded Trump's immigrant smears -- echoing years of the network's own anti-immigrant rhetoric.

    Largely because of the influence of anti-immigration, right-wing media, GOP politicians are losing the space they once had to call for a more compassionate tone on immigration and towards Latinos. It's a symptom of a political landscape that's blurred the divide between profit-driven conservative infotainment -- which often plays up racist and xenophobic stereotypes about Latinos -- and mainstream Republican politics.

  • IA's Jan Mickelson: "Phony Baloney Religious Front Groups" Supporting Syrian Refugees "Are Criminals"

    MICKELSON: If Local Churches And Members Can't Pay In Full For Refugee Resettlement "We Ought To Foreclose On Their Property."

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    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.

  • IA Radio Host Jan Mickelson: Muslim Refugees Shouldn't Come To U.S. Because They "Would Have No Clue Coming To This Culture About The Virtues Of Self-Government"

    MICKELSON: "Here's Why Multiculturalism Is Destructive To The United States And Everywhere Else It's Tried"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    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.

  • IA Radio Host Jan Mickelson: Justices Kagan, Ginsburg Should Have Recused Themselves From Marriage Equality Case Because They're "Liberal Jews"

    Embattled Host Also Repeats Debunked Right-Wing Recusal Myth About Justices' Participation In Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    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."

  • Major Grocery Chain Distances Itself From Iowa Radio Host Mickelson

    Mickelson Previously Suggested Making Undocumented Immigrants "Property Of The State" If They Don't Leave

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    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."

    Mickelson's comments drew widespread condemnation.

    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."

  • Media Run With Discredited Nativist Group's Research To Claim More Than Half Of Immigrant Households Receive "Welfare"

    More Questionable Research From The SPLC-Labeled Nativist Group, The Center For Immigration Studies


    Numerous conservative media outlets are parroting the misleading conclusions of a September 2015 report by an anti-immigrant nativist group, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which claims that "immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households." Like previous flawed CIS studies, these findings have been called into question by immigration experts for failing to account for the economic hardship of some immigrant families, lumping American-born beneficiaries into "immigrant household" categorizations, and conflating numerous anti-poverty programs with so-called "welfare."

  • IA Radio Host Jan Mickelson Says It's "Cool" That Texas Is Denying Birth Certificates To U.S.-Born Children Of Undocumented Immigrants


    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."