Despite the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, conservative talk radio seem unified on their favorite: Donald Trump.
Thanks to talk radio, Buzzfeed News' Rosie Gray noted in her August 27 article "The Real Media Machine Behind Trump: Conservative Talk Radio," "you can almost listen to pro-Trump News all day." Gray pointed how "some of the biggest names in conservative talk radio -- Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Savage -- have praised Trump and his bashing of the politically correct left and Republican establishment":
Unlike cable news, conservative talk radio speaks directly to the disaffected conservative base fueling Trump's rise. Rush Limbaugh's is still the most-listened-to talk radio program in the country, pulling in 13 and a quarter million weekly listeners, according to estimates in Talkers magazine, an industry publication (Limbaugh himself has estimated it in the past at 20 million). Talkers puts Sean Hannity in second, with 12.5 million. Mark Levin ties with Glenn Beck (a Trump critic) for fourth, with 7 million. Savage has more than 5 million, according to Talkers' estimates.
And if you're someone who listens to a lot of talk radio, you can go from Ingraham to Limbaugh to Hannity or Savage to Levin in a day and hear nary a word of displeasure with Trump.
Though many hosts have avoided a formal endorsement, they've heaped praise on the candidate and signaled to their listeners that Trump is their guy.
Indeed, Limbaugh has spent the summer praising Trump for tapping into the base Republicans need to win and for his "ability to illuminate" issues. Hannity has lauded Trump as "impressive and refreshing," while Ingraham has claimed he resonates with voters because he's willing to say what "no one else is saying."
It's not mere compliments spewing from talk radio -- the conservative pundits are championing Trump's offensive and dangerous proposals. And as Gray noted, "[i]f Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin or Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham decide that birthright citizenship is going to be a big issue, then lo, it becomes the issue of the week, or month." She went on:
And right now, Trump's embrace of hardline immigration ideas like ending birthright citizenship matches up perfectly with the policies that some of these hosts have been promoting for some time. The Trump-inspired debate over immigration is allowing them to mainstream ideas that once didn't have much purchase, the birthright citizenship question being a notable recent example. Both Levin and Limbaugh have seized on a quote by Sen. Jacob Howard, the original sponsor of the Citizenship Clause, that they're using to bolster their case that the 14th amendment doesn't guarantee citizenship to the children of people in the country illegally. Laura Ingraham has also referenced it.
Limbaugh has bragged that Trump's smear of Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and criminals is similar to what he's been saying on the radio for years. On birthright citizenship, Limbaugh applauded Trump's call to end the constitutional right, saying Trump "has people standing up and cheering." Hannity and Levin joined forces to declare that "Trump was right" on the 14th Amendment.
The praise should come as no surprise, as Trump's call to end birthright citizenship is itself taken from right-wing talk radio talking points. For years, Ingraham and Levin have been demanding an end to birthright citizenship, which Levin dismissed as a "nut-job policy" and Ingraham attacked as "nonsense."
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."
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White nationalist media figures are backing Donald Trump's presidential campaign and celebrating his stance on immigration. They have hailed Trump as "doing the Lord's work," someone who "represents our interests," "the best of the lot," and the "last hope for a president who would be good for white people."
CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord attacked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for playing the "race card" even though he is a "blue-eyed, light-skinned ... European Mexican." Lord also connected Ramos to Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II and alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, claiming they all engaged in "dividing the country by race."
On August 25, Ramos, one of the country's top Hispanic journalists, was booted from Donald Trump's press conference while attempting to ask the Republican presidential candidate questions about his immigration policy. Ramos was later allowed to return. Conservative media subsequently cheered Trump for his treatment of Ramos.
In his August 27 column for The American Spectator, Lord criticized Ramos for being "in Iowa to score a blow for race card playing" by "rant[ing]" against Trump on immigration. Lord dismissed him as "a left-wing illegal immigration activist disguised as a journalist" who fulfills "every stereotype of the smarty-pants rude media type that millions of Americans have come to loathe."
Lord then transitioned to an attack on Ramos' ethnic background. He cited a 2011 column by Ruben Navarrette Jr. stating that in Mexico, many of the most important jobs go to those who "have the lightest skin." Lord then wrote, "Now let's get back to Jorge Ramos. The blue-eyed, light-skinned Ramos -- let's be candid he is a European Mexican -- is the epitome of what Navarrete is saying."
Lord proceeded to criticize the idea that America should be a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation, claiming:
Ramos also penned a 2002 column in which he revealed that he wants to turn America from the "melting pot" of historical fame into a North American version of Mexico -- divided by class and race. In the words of Ramos, "the challenge of the United States is that it recognize itself as it is--a multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural nation."
This is exactly antithetical to the American Dream. America is not supposed to be an "ethnic" or "racial" nation let alone a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation. "All men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence is about "all men." Period. Full stop. It says nothing about race or ethnicity. The nation is founded on principles of freedom and liberty -- ideas, not skin color or class structure.
Yet that is not what Ramos is seeking. He is playing the Mexican version of the race card and wanting to transfer the rigid class structure of his native country northward.
He continued by drawing a line from Ramos' advocacy to "slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan":
It is no accident that his ideas get such a warm welcome on the American Left. As we note here so often, the political party that fuels the American Left is the Democrats -- the party that arose around the organizing principle of dividing Americans by skin color. From slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan to illegal immigration, the beating heart of the American left is race -- race card-playing, outright racism.
It is no wonder that Ramos, coming from a Mexican society that is itself hopelessly divided by out and out racism thinks it would be terrific to import this way of life to America. And it is no wonder that millions of Americans -- yes, those supporters of Donald Trump -- are furiously resisting. Trump supporters come from a wide diversity of ethnicities -- and in a country that is 100% populated by the descendants of immigrants from all over the globe -- Trump supporters are demanding a colorblind society of American social mobility -- where race and class remain the foreign notions that so many millions came here to escape.
During an appearance today on CNN's New Day, Lord also connected Jorge Ramos to mass shooters in Virginia and Charleston.
When asked about potential solutions to shootings, Lord said that "when you read this guy's manifesto ... he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race." He then connected the mass-shooters to Ramos, stating: "I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path." From CNN:
LORD: You know, two things that are not being discussed here at all when you read this guy's manifesto, one is race and the other is value of life. And what do we have here? We have this whole Planned Parenthood issue going on in which basically they're selling baby parts, devaluing life.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: But how is that connected to a man who's just, who feels slighted and decides that killing other people is the answer?
LORD: Right. In other words he's not valuing life. He didn't value the lives of the people that he killed. And aside from that, he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race. So I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path. This is a color blind country, that was Dr. King's goal, that's where we should be headed, and I think that is something that we should be discussing as well as mental illness and guns.
Lord has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. He engaged in a "profoundly ahistorical" crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, has repeatedly defended Trump's false anti-Mexican immigrant rhetoric, and pushed bogus conspiracies about progressives and Democrats.
Despite his history, CNN hired Lord as a CNN political commentator earlier this month.
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
From the August 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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From the August 26 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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From the August 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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From the August 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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Conservative media praised 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for forcibly removing Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from his Iowa press conference, claiming that Ramos "thinks Mexicans can barge in and demand rights that aren't theirs," and "was treated exactly as he deserved."
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) condemned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for ejecting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from his press conference after Jorge Ramos attempted to ask a question about Trump's immigration proposals. Ramos was later permitted to return to the conference to question Trump.
Media have criticized Trump's immigration plan for its high cost, ineffectiveness, and unconstitutionality. The NAHJ's condemnation comes in the wake of increased efforts by the Trump campaign to reach out to the Hispanic media. NAHJ's statement:
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists condemns presidential candidate Donald Trump for allowing Univision journalist Jorge Ramos to be ejected from a news conference for simply asking questions.
"Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades - asking questions!," said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ President. "Ramos was simply trying to hold a candidate for president accountable for statements he made about a very important topic to the American people. Mr. Trump has avoided Mr. Ramos' attempts for an interview to reasonably discuss Mr. Trump's opinions and ideas about immigration and American children born to undocumented immigrants."
Mr. Trump's recent attacks on FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly is also unacceptable and disturbing. NAHJ stands with journalists everywhere who are simply working to pursue the truth and hold people in power accountable for their statements and their actions.
NAHJ invites Mr. Trump to answer questions by Mr. Ramos & other Latino journalists at #EIJ15 national conference in Orlando on September 18th.
[Update: Ramos was allowed back into the news conference after several other reporters questioned Trump on why Ramos was ejected. Ramos was able to ask several questions after being allowed back into the news conference]
From the August 26 edition of CNN's New Day:
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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.
After falling for right-wing media talking points about ending birthright citizenship and "anchor babies," Republican presidential candidates Gov. Scott Walker (WI) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (FL) are scrambling to justify and backtrack their offensive rhetoric.
Conservative media have spent years complaining about "anchor babies" and "birth tourism," and calling for an end to birthright citizenship -- a constitutional guarantee -- and recently they've found a sympathetic ear with Republican presidential hopefuls. Donald Trump called for dismantling the 14th Amendment as part of his immigration plan, a platform that quickly won him acclaim from right-wing pundits and outlets.
In turn, contenders Jeb Bush and Scott Walker offered their opinions on the matter. Walker told NBC's Kasie Hunt on August 17 that we should "absolutely, going forward" end birthright citizenship, and in an interview just two days later, Bush called for better enforcement to prevent "'anchor babies', as they're described, coming into the country" -- Remarks the two men are now frantically walking back.
Bush received heavy criticism for his use of the slur "anchor babies," and despite initially defending his remarks and telling reporters he didn't believe the slur was offensive, Bush has since changed his tune. During an August 24 news conference, Bush claimed that when he was talking about "anchor babies," he wasn't referring to Latinos, but instead, the term is "more related to Asian people." Bush's attempt to backtrack landed him in the midst of yet another right-wing media talking point, birth tourism.
Bush is trying to have it both ways here. He's trying to use the phrase "anchor babies" to reassure the base that Donald Trump isn't the only one who knows the downsides of birthright citizenship. But he's trying to tie it to a policy issue that actually does exist, rather than one that (to all appearances) does not.
What's more, it's clear Bush was referring to Hispanic immigrants with his initial remarks about "anchor babies." As MSNBC's Steve Benen explained:
Bush simply isn't telling the truth. We've heard the recording - when the Florida Republican used the term "anchor babies" last week, he wasn't talking about Asians and "birth tourism." He very specifically referred to Mexico, border enforcement, and "our relationship with our third largest trading partner."
Similarly, Walker received widespread media attention for his week-long effort to explain his call to end birthright citizenship. Three days after parroting the right-wing media talking point, Walker moved to refusing to take a position on birthright citizenship, arguing that until the border is secure, "any discussion about anything else is really looking past" what we need to do. By August 23, Walker had completely backtracked, stating he was not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment. As The Washington Post's Dana Milbank summarized the week's events, "Walker has spun himself into a triple axel -- and landed on his face."
And while Bush and Walker may be trying their best to sweep their initial condemnation of the 14th Amendment under the rug, it's not hard to see where they initially got their talking points.
Conservative media figures going back to Glenn Beck in his Fox News days have railed against so-called "anchor babies" and "birth tourism," the former a derogatory slur and debunked myth used against U.S. born children of non-citizens, the latter of which represents a sliver of births that experts have repeatedly pointed out are "extraordinarily rare" and an insignificant immigration problem. As Salon's Simon Maloy wrote, this "grossly nativist and legally dubious" rhetoric has nevertheless found a receptive audience among conservatives.