The Two Very Different Faces Of Conservative Radio Host Steve Deace

Deace's Intolerant Views And Conflict Of Interest Campaign Work Calls Into Question His Objectivity As A GOP Analyst

Iowa radio host Steve Deace is frequently interviewed as a political analyst by mainstream media outlets like NPR, MSNBC, and The Hill when they need an insider's perspective on the GOP primary and Iowa political landscape. However, these outlets may not all be aware that Deace gained his insider status in conservative circles by broadcasting full-throated endorsements of extreme right-wing positions on his radio show and writing online columns filled with intolerant views that he never reveals during main stream media appearances.

Deace Frequently Appears As A Commentator And GOP Analyst In Mainstream Media

Deace's Website Highlights His Dual Role As A Serious Analyst And Conservative Firebrand. A list of all of the media outlets that have interviewed Deace, including his right-wing media contributions, is on his website:

Deace has been interviewed on: The American Spectator, Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barron's, Canadian Broadcasting Company, CNN, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSNBC, National Review, The New Republic, Newsweek, The New York Times, NPR, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Politico, Reuters, Sky News, Time, The Washington Post, and Weekly Standard.

Steve Deace is also a prolific writer. He's a columnist for The Washington Times, one of the most respected names in conservative media. He's also a regular contributor to Town Hall and has written for USA Today, Politico, Business Insider, Breitbart, CNS News, and WND. [SteveDeace.com, accessed 7/29/15]

Deace: I Am MSNBC's “Token Conservative” During Presidential Elections. During an episode of The Steve Deace Show, Deace talked about his role representing broad conservative views during his appearances on MSNBC. [The Steve Deace Show, 5/5/15]

MSNBC Interviewed Deace Nearly Every Time A 2016 GOP Presidential Candidate Entered The Race. In his many appearances on MSNBC for its coverage of the Republican presidential field, Deace has provided fairly objective commentary and analysis. [SteveDeace.com, accessed7/29/15]

NPR Interviewed Deace About Iowa's GOP Primary. NPR's Rachel Martin turned to Deace as a source for analysis of the GOP candidate field and to offer insight into evangelical voters in Iowa. Deace has appeared or been quoted by NPR at least six times in the last four years. [NPR, 7/26/15; NPR.org, accessed 7/29/15]

NPR Included Deace On A Panel Discussion On Chris Christie's 2016 Presidential Prospects. Deace joined NPR's “On Point” to discuss the implications of the “Bridgegate” scandal on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's GOP presidential aspirations. [WBUR, 1/15/14]

The Hill Turned To Deace To Explain Donald Trump's Success Among Conservatives. Looking for an explanation for Donald Trump's surging poll numbers, The Hill interviewed Deace for his thoughts on why Trump was connecting with voters. [The Hill, 7/11/15]

Deace, A Frequent Guest On MSNBC, Has Openly Mocked The Network

In An Open Letter To MSNBC, Deace Taunted The Network Over Its Low Ratings. Writing for the Washington Times, Deace claimed that there is no market for MSNBC “in an industry already dominated by liberals.” :

Dear MSNBC,

The public is sending a message. Are you open-minded enough to receive it?

Your downward trend in the ratings has reached critical mass. Your primetime lineup has finished below your sister station CNBC the past two quarters. CNN's sister station Headline News has bested you in total day demo four straight quarters now, and I honestly don't know anyone who even watches that channel.

[...]

Bottom line: There just doesn't appear to be much of a market for an uber-liberal perspective in an industry already dominated by liberals. [Washington Times, 4/6/15]

Deace: MSNBC Is The “Greatest Trolling Network Ever Devised.” In a discussion of TV news audiences for political media, Deace mocked MSNBC's ratings and claimed the network has only been able to retain its market share because of its “trolling” of conservatives:

They don't have a lot of viewers. Not a lot of people watch. Most of MSNBC's publicity comes from conservatives reacting to it. It's the greatest trolling network ever devised. But there is one group of people -- even though they are hemorrhaging viewers, hemorrhaging readers - there is one group of people they have still under their thumbs, that they are still in complete and total control of. And that would be the Republicans. [Steve Deace Show, 6/24/15]

Deace's Radio Show And Writings Are More Extreme And Intolerant Than His Comments In Mainstream Media

Deace: Supporters Of Equal Rights For LGBT People Are Part Of A “Rainbow Jihad.” In a Washington Times column headlined, “The Rainbow Jihad Of The Cultural Marxists,” Deace attacked LGBT supporters whom he claimed have “hijacked” the rainbow, declaring that “most of the media are all in for the rainbow jihad” :

Nowadays the rainbow is symbolic of judgment again. Except this time no mercy is forthcoming from the cultural Marxists who have hijacked it. They seek to ruthlessly banish from public life any who still believe as those who founded America once did.

See, everything we social conservatives warned you years ago would happen if we went down the Rainbow Road is now here.

When we warned you granting a “right” to sexual perversion would lead to a fight over redefining marriage, the ruling class snickered. But it did, just as we predicted. When we warned you the battle over redefining marriage would lead to a debate over whether gender exists at all, the ruling class again snickered. But it has, just as we predicted. [The Washington Times, 10/20/14; Media Matters, 4/9/15]

Deace: “Jesus Says Obama Is Not A Christian.” In a Washington Times column headlined, “Jesus says Obama is not a Christian,” Deace wrote about an imaginary conversation he had with Jesus Christ and announced that “Jesus made it quite clear that President Obama is not a Christian” :

Who is more qualified to consult on who is and isn't a Christian than Jesus Christ?

When I asked him what he thought, Jesus made it quite clear that President Obama is not a Christian. And he was also kind enough to give me some quotes I could pass on to ya'll. [The Washington Times, 2/23/15; Media Matters, 4/9/15]

Deace: “Bruce Jenner Exposes There's No Such Thing As Feminism.” Writing for the Washington Times Deace referred to Caitlyn Jenner as a “bearded lady” and claimed that support for Jenner and trans peoples undermined feminist values:

Otherwise they would realize the bearded lady they're currently cheering on really represents the complete and total demise of the feminist movement. A 65-year-old man attempting to mutilate and transform himself into a big-busted, 40-years-younger caricature of actress Jessica Lange makes a statement alright, but it's probably not the one Betty Friedan was going for.

[...]

Most feminist enclaves and their sympathizers are celebrating Mr. Jenner's creepy impersonation of the very caricature they claimed for decades to oppose. Not that I want to judge, but that would seem to be an obvious hypocrisy until you realize this was never about “equality.” This was always about whether we will still acknowledge we're made male or female in the image of the creator, with the clearly defined responsibilities roles, and rules that go along with his divinely-given ordinations. [Washington Times, 6/8/15]

Deace: “I Want To Be The First To Congratulate The First Transgendered Presidential Candidate. Call Him Lindsey.” Writing in Conservative Review, Deace took an apparent personal shot at Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), saying, “I want to be the first to congratulate the first transgendered presidential candidate. Call him Lindsey.” [Conservative Review, 6/30/15]

Deace: The Republican Party Should Thank Donald Trump For His Offensive Comments On Immigration. In another column for the Conservative Review, Deace claimed that Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus should thank GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for making racist statements about Mexican immigrants, who said were rapists":

This is the phone conversation Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus should have had with 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump last week:

Ring, ring.

Priebus: Hey Donald, I'd like to thank you for this one-man wrecking crew act you've put together on the illegal immigration issue. I've got my popcorn popped and can't wait to see where you take things from here. You've got your boot to the throat of the opposition. Don't let up. [Conservative Review, 7/13/15]

Deace: John McCain's Political Career “Nullifie[s] Any Purpose To His Persevering” As A Vietnam POW. In an article headlined, “From American Hero to American Zero” in Townhall.com, Deace wrote that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has “nullified any purpose” of surviving as a prisoner of war because he has supported bipartisan cooperation in Congress (emphasis added):

To sum up, McCain has actively opposed the ideals that make our enemies hate us for all the right reasons - faith, family, and freedom. And he did so in many cases while running for president. Most politicians master the art of pandering as they gear up to advance their ambitions, but not McCain. It's almost like he has such disdain for American Exceptionalism he prides himself on opposing it, and panders to the progressive dolts in our liberal media instead.

Standing for all the wrong things these past few years essentially nullified any purpose to his persevering through the Hanoi Hilton. Why suffer through torture if you were just going to oppose the ideals that put you there in the first place? I suffered through physical and emotional abuse growing up. But there would've been no meaning to persevering through that suffering if I would've turned around and abused my own children as well. [Townhall.com, 7/13/13; Media Matters, 4/9/15]

Deace Suggested Divorce Could Make Children Gay. Discussing the modern family structure and the rise of divorce rates, Deace suggested that divorce could lead to instability in children's lives that could make them gay. Deace later attributed Ireland's historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage in part to the decadence of a divorce culture." [The Steve Deace Show, 5/27/15; Townhall.com, 5/30/15]

Deace Calls Hillary Clinton “Killary” On-Air And In Articles. When discussing Hillary Clinton on the radio or in his columns for conservative media outlets, Deace often refers to the former secretary of state as “Killary.”

Rand went on offense last week as the feces was hitting the fan over the Killary email scandal. He booked appearances on national television right away, including Killary's home turf like the Today Show (Commandment 10). And didn't hesitate to say “Hillary Clinton broke the law” (Commandment 2), which earned him top billing on Drudge. [SteveDeace.com, 3/17/15]

Deace's Involvement And Influence On Political Campaigns Compromises His Analyst Persona

Harvard Study Of Conservative Media Calls Deace An “Agenda Setter” Who Pulls Candidates To The Right. A new Harvard study on the effect of conservative media on Republican policy positions singles out Deace in a section titled, “Agenda Setter - Steve Deace: Fear God. Tell the Truth. Make Money.” The report argues for his status as a kingmaker for Iowa Republican candidates and notes his close relationships with them.

By early 2015, nearly everyone coveting the Republican nomination had been in Deace's studio at least once - except Bush and Rubio, who, like Bush, is suspect mainly because of his immigration stance. In an early March interview, Deace gave an accounting: “Huckabee's been on a ton. Santorum has been on a ton, too - he's even guest-hosted twice. Ben Carson has been on at least three times - have a pic from Carson of him reading my latest book on a plane. Bobby Jindal has been on numerous times. Donald Trump - I know Donald Trump on a first-name basis, which is crazy for a kid from Iowa. He's been on numerous times. Walker's been on once; when he came to Iowa, I was the only one-on-one interview that he did. In fact, I was contacted today by one of the guys who's going to run his presidential campaign - he wants to get together with me on Friday. I know Ted Cruz on a first-name basis; I've been around him and his team a ton. Rand Paul's been on a ton, though not in the last year, because I started asking questions like, 'How come you're taking every conceivable position on every conceivable issue?' Rather than explain that they just decided to ignore me.” [ “They Don't Give a Damn about Governing,” 7/27/15]

Des Moines Register: “Deace Has Served As An Informal, Unpaid Consultant” To Ted Cruz. In a report describing Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) Iowa campaign strategy for 2016, The Des Moines Register reported that Deace has served as an “informal” advisor to Cruz:

Cruz has already started organizing in Iowa. His paid Iowa adviser is Bryan English, a former staffer for the Christian conservative organization Iowa Family Leader and a former policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Steve King. English's hire was announced by Cruz's Jobs, Growth, and Freedom Fund PAC in early March. Iowa Christian conservative radio host Steve Deace has served as an informal, unpaid consultant, giving Cruz his take on the Iowa landscape and recommending connections with certain Iowans. And Kansas-based GOP strategist Jeff Roe, who has experience with Iowa political work, is Cruz's top organizing strategist. [Des Moines Register, 3/24/15; Media Matters, 4/9/15]

Des Moines Register Reporter Questioned Deace About Consulting For Campaigns. After Deace announced that he would be making an endorsement for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Des Moines Register reporter Jason Noble challenged him for allegedly previously confirming that he was already a consultant for some of the candidates. Deace denied that he was working for any candidate in an official capacity.