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."
Right-wing media slammed ESPN for suspending baseball analyst Curt Schilling over his tweet comparing Muslims to Nazis, calling Schilling's suspension "outrageous" and a "disgrace."
A RedState post claimed that Hillary Clinton proves "even a homely woman can sleep her way into power." RedState's editor-in-chief Erick Erickson recently disinvited Donald Trump from the RedState Gathering event for Trump's sexist attacks on Fox's Megyn Kelly.
The attack on Clinton comes in a RedState post from one of its front page contributors, who goes by "streiff," who wrote:
If Hillary Clinton possesses any unique selling propostion beyond proving even a homely woman can sleep her way into power, it is her tenure as Barack Obama's secretary of state. That seems to be a slender enough reed when polls show the electorate could give a flying rat's patootie about experience and favor a change agent above all.
The post is featured at the top of the RedState home page:
Erickson is currently both editor-in-chief of the site and a Fox News contributor.
Trump was disinvited from the RedState Gathering after he complained about Kelly's questions to him during the Fox News Republican presidential debate, telling CNN that "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever."
Erickson told reporters that he had disinvited Trump because, "No legitimate candidate suggests somehow a female asking questions is doing it because she's hormonal," adding, "When you make comments about a reporter like that -- look, I've made plenty of comments about reporters in the past, male and female, but I've never once suggested one of them was angry because it was her time of the month. That's just a party foul. No candidate should do something like that, I'm embarrassed to even talk about what he's implying."
Despite Erickson's own long history of sexist attacks -- he's said that males should be "dominant" over females, claimed women should be "at home" while men bring "home the bacon," and labeled Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy wife" -- much of the rest of the Republican presidential field was in attendance at the RedState Gathering this past weekend.
This drew the condemnation of groups like EMILY's List, which said the candidates were siding "with a man who believes women should not be in the workplace and calls women lawmakers names like 'Abortion Barbie," adding, "Donald Trump and Erick Erickson are just symptoms of a larger problem. At its core, the ideology that Republican Party policies are grounded in is a fundamental distrust of women."
Fox News voices have also taken note of Erickson's hypocrisy for feuding with Trump. Host Greta Van Susteren wrote, "You have to love the irony of Erick Erickson disinviting Trump when Erickson has said the worst things about women," while Neil Cavuto referenced Erickson's past statements during an on-air interview.
From the August 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
Numerous organizations are criticizing Republican presidential candidates who attended Fox News contributor Erick Erickson's RedState Gathering this weekend, after he disinvited Donald Trump over sexist remarks despite his history of sexist and bigoted comments.
Erickson hosted his annual RedState Gathering August 6-9, billing it as "a very grassroots event." In attendance was most of the Republican presidential field, including Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Jeb Bush, and Gov. Scott Walker. Several current Republican members of Congress were also in attendance.
Erickson barred Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from the event for his sexist attack on Fox host Megyn Kelly, asserting "his comment about Megyn Kelly on CNN is a bridge too far for me."
But Kelly's fellow Fox host Greta Van Susteren took note of Erickson's hypocrisy, writing, "You have to love the irony of Erick Erickson disinviting Trump when Erickson has said the worst things about women."
Erickson has said that males should be "dominant" over females, claimed women should be "at home" while men bring "home the bacon," and labeled Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy wife."
And several organizations are now calling out the Republican presidential candidates that are continuing to court Erickson despite his long history of bigoted, sexist comments.
In a statement to Media Matters, MoveOn.org said, "Erick Erickson is an extremist, plain and simple. He's attacked working moms, the LGBTQ community, and others. His record of out-of-bounds remarks is a long one, and GOP presidential candidates' pandering to Erickson and his ilk show that they are out of touch with American voters and out of line with mainstream American values."
Planned Parenthood Action Fund noted, "GOP presidential hopefuls are currently gathering in Atlanta to stand side by side with extreme right-wing pundit Erick Erickson -- infamous for his hostility to women and incendiary remarks that include comparing pregnant women to 'female animals' and referring to a female Democratic candidate as 'Abortion Barbie'."
EMILY's List criticized the 2016 presidential field for siding "with a man who believes women should not be in the workplace and calls women lawmakers names like 'Abortion Barbie,'" adding, "Donald Trump and Erick Erickson are just symptoms of a larger problem. At its core, the ideology that Republican Party policies are grounded in is a fundamental distrust of women."
Numerous Republican presidential candidates are attending the 2015 RedState Gathering hosted by conservative pundit Erick Erickson. Erickson has said males should be "dominant" over females, claimed women should be "at home" while men bring "home the bacon," labeled Michelle Obama a "marxist harpy wife" and Justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester," argued LGBT people are "on the road to hell," and wondered when Americans would raid legislators' houses and beat them to "a bloody pulp."
An Erick Erickson blog post called for forcing "a fight in Congress" to "shut down the government if that is what it takes" to defund Planned Parenthood.
Conservative Republicans in Congress are currently "threatening to shut down the government" by rejecting "any spending bill that does not cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood," following the release of four deceptively edited videos by conservative group Center For Medical Progress to attack the women's health organization.
In a July 31 blog post titled "Shut Down The Government. Now." Erickson encouraged individuals to show Republicans in Congress "violence in the polling booth" if they don't defund Planned Parenthood arguing, "shut down the government if that is what it takes. Shut it down now":
Your taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize an organization that extracts children, weeks from birth and capable of feeling pain and hearing, from their mothers' wombs. The organization inserts instruments into the soft part of the child's skull, rips it open, and extracts its brain. It then crushes the head and pulls it further out of the womb. From there it extracts the child's heart, liver, lungs, and other viable organs.
Friends, if Republicans in Congress will not stop giving tax payer dollars to the American Joseph Mengele, we should show the party violence in the polling booth.
The national media will not cover the savage butchery of Planned Parenthood. Forcing this fight in Congress will force coverage. They will spin it against us, but every congressman who speaks up should stand surrounded by the images of butchered children so that all Americans can see what we are fighting for.
The budget and appropriations fights are forthcoming. If Barack Obama is willing to risk a government shutdown because he demands our tax dollars continue funding an organization that kills our children and sells their organs, we should have that fight.
Shut down the government if that is what it takes. Shut it down now. If we cannot stand on this high ground, we should not stand at all. Children are being ripped apart and their hearts, brains, lungs, and livers sold. Is this not a fight worth having?
Update: Erickson additionally said he "intend[s] to ask each POTUS candidate" at the RedState Gathering on August 7, "if they'd support a gov't shutdown" to defund Planned Parenthood in a July 31 tweet:
I intend to ask each POTUS candidate next week if they'd support a gov't shutdown if that's what it took to defund Planned Parenthood.-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 31, 2015
Conservative media figures are using the death of Cecil the Lion to push bogus stories of Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetal tissue.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called on companies to cease donations to Planned Parenthood, accusing donors of having "subsidized the brutal killing of animals."
Right-wing media and the GOP have pounced on deceptively cut videos released by the anti-choice conservative group The Center For Medical Progress (CMP), which claim to have caught Planned Parenthood officials "haggling over" prices for fetal tissue and discussing "the selling [of] aborted baby parts" for profit. Although fact checkers and mainstream media quickly and roundly denounced the "shady" videos" for "show[ing] nothing illegal" and fabricating the myth that the reproductive health provider profits from the sale of fetal tissue, conservatives have exploited the videos to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Erickson, editor-in chief of RedState.com, took the right-wing drumbeat a step further in a July 23 post. He equated pregnant women seeking reproductive health care to "pregnant female animals," going on to write that companies that support Planned Parenthood "subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals." Companies who support these practices "should be ashamed," Erickson said, calling on a list of 39 companies that support Planned Parenthood to cease their donations:
Coca-Cola has not only ruined its signature product with that idiotic Freestyle machine that makes all its drinks taste terrible, it also has subsidized the brutal killing of animals. It is horrific news that should unite the left and the right. Coca-Cola has been joined by Verizon in subsidizing this.
Both companies have contributed to an organization that takes pregnant female animals and pulls their unborn from them and crushes them. In numerous cases, the barbarians who do this procedure then take the organs from the small, crushed animals and give them to others for scientific research.
PETA and other organizations have long protested the use of animals for scientific research, yet Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals. In some cases, a procedure is done on the pregnant females where their unborn are vacuumed out. In other cases, the unborn baby animals have their heads slit open and their brains sucked out before the rest of the animal is ripped apart and extracted from its mother via the animal's birth canal.
Coca-Cola has subsidized this organization. Verizon has subsidized this organization. The have contributed money that is used to make this happen. Even worse, scientific evidence strongly suggests that the baby animals in many cases can feel themselves being ripped apart. In fact, they have to let the animals grow to an advanced stage to be able to harvest the organs -- a stage advanced enough for brain function and nerve function and pain sensors to develop.
Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized this. They should be ashamed.
There are thirty-seven other companies that have subsidized the brutal extraction of small animals from their mothers to harvest their organs. The Homo sapiens need to be protected and cared for against this brutal torture.
Right-wing media are seizing on deceptively edited videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood profits from the illegal sale of fetal tissue to justify comparing the organization to Nazis, invoking the deadly human experimentation of notorious Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele. In reality, the full, unedited versions of the videos debunk the allegations. Many groups, including Planned Parenthood, donate fetal tissue to support medical research such as the development of treatments for diseases, and such donations are legal with consent from the donor. It's also legal for providers to accept payment "for reasonable expenses" with "informed consent," but Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donations -- Legal reimbursement helps offset the costs associated with donations.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson attacked transgender military members as "mentally ill" in response to the Pentagon's landmark announcement that the Department of Defense will create a working group to review "policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly."
On July 13, a press release from Secretary of Defense Carter Ash stated that the military's current ban on transgender service members is outdated and going forward, "must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve":
The Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they're able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines - real, patriotic Americans - who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit.
Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.
After this announcement, Erickson responded on Twitter that transgender individuals, specifically those serving in the military, are "mentally ill":
It is very kind of the Obama administration to allow the mentally ill to serve openly in the military.-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 14, 2015
In its report on this news, Time cited a report from the Williams Institute at UCLA that estimated 15,500 transgender individuals currently serve in the U.S. military.
Note: This post has been updated for clarity.
In response to the Supreme Court's recent marriage equality ruling, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that many people become gay because of "abuse" and "parental issues."
On the June 29 edition of The Erick Erickson Show, Fox's Erickson claimed that it's "not really true in most cases" that people are born gay. Instead, "if you go back to it there's parental issues, there's abuse, and that has a lot to do with it":
ERICKSON: First of all, you're only talking 3 to 5 percent of the population. Now I know a lot of people, a lot of people the thought is that you're born gay. That's actually not really true in most cases. In some cases I think it probably is, but in a lot of cases if you go back to it there are parental issues, there's abuse, and that has a lot to do with it. And as you see a collapse of family - I don't think that it's a coincidence that a collapse of family is - is directly inverse proportional or inversely related to the rise in people who identify as being gay. [Emphasis added]
Erickson has a history of extreme anti-LGBT comments. He has previously said that countries with marriage equality are "bent on suicide," compared gay people to terrorists, and agreed that the "homosexual movement" is "destroying America." Erickson also regularly solicits support for an extreme anti-gay legal group working to criminalize homosexuality internationally.
On August 6-9, Erickson will be hosting the RedState Gathering - a conservative political conference - in Atlanta. A number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Gov. Jeb Bush and Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are slated to speak at the event.
In the wake of the June 17 mass shooting in a Charleston, S.C. church, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that Americans can no longer distinguish "normal from crazy and evil from good," citing society's acceptance of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner.
On the June 18 edition of The Erick Erickson Show, and in an accompanying blog post on RedState.com headlined, "The Conversation We Won't Have," Erickson denounced the "political" conversation in the wake of the attack that killed nine people, and criticized what he called "cries from the left" about racism and gun laws. He lamented that "as a nation, when these things happen, we never have the conversation about real evil. We also never have the conversation about mental health:"
Erickson wrote that society's acceptance of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner was evidence that people are reluctant to discuss things like the nature of evil and mental health issues (emphasis added):
As a nation, when these things happen, we never have the conversation about real evil. We also never have the conversation about mental health. For that matter, we don't have honest conversations about why some kid in Minnesota or Alabama would want to go join ISIS and kill their fellow citizens or why some kid would want to join neo-nazis or a gang.
Instead, we descend into partisan conversations where everything is political and neither side can concede or acknowledge the other's points. Everyone and everything gets blamed while ignoring the actual person who killed.
I realize now why that is. I realize why we will never have the conversation we should have.
A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and "a new normal" cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness -- overwhelming narcissism and delusion -- and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.
While Erickson is the first Fox personality to link Caitlyn Jenner to the Charleston shooting, his comments are part of the larger effort by conservative media to steer the public conversation about the massacre away from the underlying factors of racism and gun laws.
Following an investigation by Atlanta's 11Alive into the inner workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) -- the secretive organization that brings together corporate lobbyists and state legislators to draft model legislation businesses want to see passed - RedState editor-and-chief, Fox News contributor, and Atlanta-based radio host Erick Erickson gave an ALEC spokesman a platform to deflect questions raised by the report and used his own microphone to question the investigative reporter's character.
On May 21, Atlanta's 11Alive News Tonight aired a report by Brendan Keefe that exposed what went on at an ALEC conference at a hotel in Savannah, Georgia. Keefe's reporting laid bare the cozy relationships between lobbyists and legislators that ALEC facilitates and revealed ALEC's hostile attitude towards the press. Keefe and his crew were denied access to meetings between Georgia legislators and corporate representatives, even though they displayed official press credentials. ALEC's vice president of public affairs, Bill Meierling, even tried to get Keefe thrown out of the hotel, where Keefe was a registered guest, with the help of uniformed police officers hired by ALEC as private security.
ALEC responded to 11Alive's investigation by saying Keefe's questions had "caught [Meierling] off guard," but had no comment on the story's revelations.
But Meierling had plenty to say on the June 4 broadcast of The Erick Erickson Show. During the interview, Meierling attacked Keefe's reporting by claiming he "snuck into a conference room" under a fake name "not for the purpose of interviewing anyone or having a frank discussion but to shove three cameras in people's faces and have a 'gotcha' moment." Meierling said if Keefe applied for media credentials from ALEC, the group could "try to shape the things that he was interested in." Erickson also defended the group and attacked 11Alive's report by claiming that Keefe had attempted to portray ALEC as a "vast right wing conspiracy group fueled by money" and "wining and dining legislators and shaping evil policies," all of which Erickson posited is untrue.
Keefe responded to Erickson's interview in a June 11 article on 11Alive's website that contained screenshots of ALEC's website showing that the group had changed its media policy since 11Alive's investigation aired. He also noted that 11Alive had repeatedly requested an interview with someone from ALEC but received no response.
The sudden change in policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council was made after the 11Alive Investigators were kicked out of an ALEC legislative committee meeting inside a Savannah resort hotel. Chatham County Sheriff's deputies, directly hired and paid by ALEC, were used to remove us from the entire hotel even though we had paid for a room.
The ALEC media policy remains nearly identical to the one in place when we launched our investigation, but after our report the line barring media was quietly removed and replaced with, "plenary sessions and workshops are open to members of the media."
A screen grab obtained by The Investigators in May and a capture of the same web page from earlier this year on archive.org both show the original line prohibiting reporters and their cameras: "business meetings and networking events are not open to members of the media."
That media prohibition was quietly removed, and the new line was inserted at the same time ALEC complained to a political commentator that we had never contacted the organization before the event. It turns out we did reach out to ALEC media relations twice in the months leading up to the closed-door Savannah meeting, but we never received any response to our requests.
Keefe also addressed the charge that he had used a fake name, or tried to conceal his motives for seeking an interview, and corrected Meierling and Erickson's claim that it was a Georgia Democrat who criticized ALEC in 11Alive's report; it was, in fact, a Georgia Republican and former ALEC member who said the group was full of "angry white men...controlled by industry."
While Meierling still won't talk with us, he did speak to conservative talk show host Erick Erickson, insisting that we would have been welcome inside the meeting had we simply pre-registered for ALEC credentials. Erickson and Meierling insisted we had booked the hotel "under an assumed name." My whole family stayed at the hotel that week, and my wife and I booked the room under the name "Keefe" which I assumed 46 years ago at birth.
The radio interview also attributed a quote that ALEC was a group of "angry white men" to the wrong Georgia senator. Meierling and Erickson told listeners the quote came from Senator Nan Orrock, a democrat who was a member of a "left wing competitor of ALEC."
But Senator Orrock didn't say that. Republican senator and former ALEC member Renee Unterman told us ALEC was a group of "angry white men...controlled by industry."
Despite Meierling and Erickson claims that media have an easy time gaining access to ALEC meetings, attempts by journalists to investigate what really goes on inside ALEC meetings between legislators and lobbyists are often shut down by the group. And while Meierling tried to downplay the monetary influence these lobbyists have on legislators, saying "there's absolutely nothing nefarious about discussing limited government," lawmakers pay a very small proportion of ALEC's membership fees, while corporations pay up to $10,000 a year for access to legislators -- payments that add up to 98 percent of ALEC's revenues.
11Alive's investigation isn't the first to prove Erickson's claim that ALEC isn't "wining and dining" legislators wrong. In fact, ALEC's generosity towards lawmakers goes far beyond dinner, and includes "scholarship" programs that often involve paying legislators' way on trips to meet lobbyists at resorts and other vacation destinations, like the hotel in Savannah where Keefe tried to find out more about the group's activities. The same legislators who go on these junkets have supported such ALEC-promoted laws as "Stand Your Ground," which has been used to defend the reckless use of firearms; dangerous climate initiatives that promote corporate profits over public interests; and legislation to block increases in the minimum wage.
From the June 11 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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