Clear Channel Disavows WHO-A Host's Remarks On Homosexuality
August 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO has publicly distanced itself from WHO-A/DES MOINES morning host JAN MICKELSON for his on-air comments on homosexuality and AIDS that "confused strong opinion with medical fact, and contained factual errors regarding HIV/AIDS, [how] it's spread and current efforts to inform the public about this disease." Apparently, MICKELSON's views were not offensive enough to warrant a suspension.
According to the IOWA INDEPENDENT, the whole brouhaha started when MICKELSON chided IOWA REPUBLICAN PARTY Chairman MATT STRAWN for criticizing a GOP legislative candidate for posting anti-gay statements on his FACEBOOK by noting that "HIV/AIDS does not discriminate." MICKELSON, who the paper asserted has made intolerant remarks about gays in the past, asserted that the disease does discriminate against those who engage in "stupid behavior," and since homosexuality is a "sexual disorder" that violates natural law, it "isn't rocket science" to conclude AIDS discriminates against homosexuals. "Homosexuality is intrinsically promiscuous because it violates the design of our bodies," he continued. "There is no safe way to do that."
Right before MICKELSON’s program started this morning (THURSDAY, 8/26), CLEAR CHANNEL management read a statement on-air which asserted that MICKELSON "confused strong opinion with medical fact, and contained factual errors regarding HIV/AIDS, [how] its spread and current efforts to inform the public about this disease." Furthermore, "Mr. MICKELSON's comments do not reflect the opinions of CLEAR CHANNEL, nor do they reflect the ongoing support CLEAR CHANNEL provides to public service campaigns, such as Greater than AIDS, that works to convey the message that AIDS does not discriminate. We regret any confusion about HIV/AIDS that may have resulted from MR. MICKELSON’s remarks."
LGBT-rights organization ONE IOWA Exec. Dir. CAROLYN JENISON responded with the following statement: "JAN MICKELSON’s comments on HIV/AIDS are reprehensible. Stigma and discrimination surrounding the discussion of this epidemic are barriers to prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. CLEAR CHANNEL did the appropriate thing in responding to and correcting this misinformation."
"We thank CLEAR CHANNEL for addressing this issue in an on air clarification, to ensure that WHO-A’s millions of listeners will have the facts about HIV/AIDS, and dismiss the highly offensive, anti-gay and misinformed statements made my JAN MICKELSON last week," GLAAD Dir./National News CINDI CREAGER said. "We'll continue to pay close attention to future broadcasts, and MICKELSON’s defamation will not go unchallenged."