Back on January 11, CNN's John King hosted CNN contributor Erick Erickson for a discussion of inflammatory rhetoric. King didn't mention Erickson's history of violent rhetoric -- which includes talking about beating elected officials to a "bloody pulp" and pulling a shotgun on government workers -- even as Erickson criticized liberals' rhetoric. Even worse, King quested his Democratic guest about Erickson's criticism of liberals while ignoring Erickson's own rhetoric.
Last Thursday, King again ignored Erickson's pattern of violent comments during a conversation about controversial rhetoric. After playing a clip of Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen accusing Republicans of "a big lie just like Goebbels" and another clip of Cohen responding to criticism of the comment, King asked Erickson if Cohen's response was sufficient:
KING: Mr. Erickson is speaking for the right. It wasn't quite an apology, but does Mr. Cohen's statement today satisfy you?
Later, King prompted Erickson to declare Cohen's statement over the line:
KING: Nazi -- Nazi seems a little beyond the line --
ERICKSON: It absolutely is beyond the pale, but I don't think we should be shocked that this is continuing. It's not going to change.
Now, it's absolutely incredible that John King would invite Erick Erickson to denounce a Democrat's "beyond the line" rhetoric without mentioning that Erickson himself has crossed a line or two by talking about beating elected officials to a bloody pulp. What's even more incredible is that during the segment, King accused Democrats of hypocrisy for not criticizing Cohen after calling for civility:
KING: Now we would like to bring you tonight the outrage of all the senior Democrats who said that what Congressman Cohen said violated their call for more civility. We can't bring it to you because none of them said anything publicly and they might maybe should be asked about that…
And maybe CNN's John King should ask CNN's Erick Erickson about his pattern of violent rhetoric, including his statement over the weekend that "mass bloodshed" may be necessary if Roe v. Wade isn't overturned, rather than simply encouraging Erickson to attack progressives for their rhetoric. While chiding Democrats for hypocrisy, King is encouraging his CNN colleague to engage in it -- and helping him hide his hypocrisy.
Here at RedState, we too have drawn a line. We will not endorse any candidate who will not reject the judicial usurpation of Roe v. Wade and affirm that the unborn are no less entitled to a right to live simply because of their size or their physical location. Those who wish to write on the front page of RedState must make the same pledge. The reason for this is simple: once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again, but only if those committed to justice do not waiver or compromise, and send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials of what must be necessary to earn our support.
That "only if" construct means that -- according to Erick Erickson's Red State -- "mass bloodshed" will be "necessary" if elected officials don't overturn Roe v. Wade. Again: Red State doesn't say "mass bloodshed" may occur if elected officials don't do what is "necessary to earn our support" -- it says such bloodshed will be "necessary." Erickson and his Red State colleagues didn't indicate how much time elected officials have to earn their support before mass bloodshed becomes necessary.
This certainly is not the first time CNN's Erick Erickson has used violent rhetoric in discussing elected officials. This kind of talk must have some fans at CNN, though: Erickson has been chosen to provide "insight and analysis" for CNN's State of the Union coverage.
From a January 21 post to Erick Erickson's Twitter account:
From the January 21 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
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From the January 20 edition of CNN's John King, USA:
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Yesterday, news broke that a bomb "capable of inflicting multiple casualties" was found along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Washington. The FBI has described bomb as a case of "domestic terrorism."
Today, CNN's Erick Erickson and National Review's Jim Geraghty had the following Twitter exchange:
Erickson has previously spoken of pulling shotguns on government officials and beating state legislators to a "bloody pulp for being an idiot"and written that "metaphorically speaking," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should get "punched in the face."
In other Erickson news, CNN has chosen him to provide "insight and analysis" for its State of the Union coverage.
Interestingly, on last night's edition of CNN's John King, USA, King apologized for a guest's use of the word "crosshairs":
Before we go to break, I want to make a quick point. We were just having a discussion about the Chicago mayoral race, just a moment ago. My friend Andy Shaw, who now works for a good government group out there, used the term "in the crosshairs" in talking about the candidates out there. We're trying-we're trying to get away from that language. Andy is a good friend, he's covered politics for a long time, but we're trying to get away from using that kind of language. We won't always be perfect. So hold us accountable when we don't meet your standards.
So, when a CNN guest uses the term "in the crosshairs" to describe political targeting, King apologizes to his audience and says "we're trying to get away from that language." And, at the same time, CNN gives a contributor who routinely uses far more graphically violent rhetoric a plum gig analyzing the State of the Union. And remember: Last week, King hosted Erickson for a discussion of inflammatory rhetoric, and adopted Erickson's criticisms of liberals' rhetoric without ever asking Erickson about his own track record.
I'm starting to think CNN's Erick Erickson has some anger issues. How else to explain the intensity with which he alternates between pious declarations of his Christianity and fantasies about physical assaults on government officials?
As you may remember, Erickson has spoken of pulling shotguns on government officials and beating state legislators to a "bloody pulp for being an idiot." And now he writes that "metaphorically speaking," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should get "punched in the face":
Metaphorically Speaking, the Adults Should be Getting Punched
I realize we are not supposed to use "angry" rhetoric these days, but columns like this one in USA Today by Jody Bottum demand an answer.
The title is, "Where are adults in debt ceiling talks?" If there is justice in the world, the only correct answer is, "Getting punched in the face, though metaphorically speaking."
We can forgive a contributing editor of the Weekly Standard for taking to USA Today to take shots — also metaphorical — at Jim DeMint.
But to juxtapose Jim DeMint as a child and Tim Geithner as an adult is a bit much — let alone Geithner as the conservative and DeMint as the radical.
Just don't expect CNN's John King to ask Erickson about this the next time Erickson attacks liberals for their rhetoric.
In a January 18 post on Twitter, CNN's Erick Erickson linked to an Associated Press article titled "Atlanta public school system put on probation" and asked "Does Atlanta need its own version of Katrina to get its schools fixed?" From Erickson's Twitter feed:
Right-wing media have rushed to defend Sarah Palin over her use of the term "blood libel," a term that historically refers to the grave anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals -- a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence.
Following the shooting in Arizona, CNN contributor and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson has repeatedly lashed out on his blog against nonbelievers. Among other things, Erickson suggested that atheists shouldn't be "accomondate[d]" by the government and linked violent behavior to a lack of Christian faith.
On Monday, we highlighted how upset CNN's Erick Erickson seemed to be with people not talking about a "saving faith in Jesus Christ" following the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is Jewish. In response, Erick Erickson wrote in a January 12 RedState post:
The atheists and twinkie eaters at Media Matters, also known as the Westboro Baptist D.C. Branch, are enraged that I dared mention Jesus and the absence of discussing him in the debate over Arizona.
The Westboro Baptist Church is an extremist anti-gay group known for protesting the funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group claims the soldiers' deaths are inflicted by God to punish the United States for accepting the "sin" of homosexuality. Members often carry signs reading "God Hates Fags" at the protests, which is also the name of its website.
The group had recently announced it would picket the funeral of a 9-year-old victim of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, before agreeing not to protest, reportedly in exchange for air time on two radio stations. According to ABC News, "[t]he group still plans to picket Friday's funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll, and at the intersection where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot."
This is kind of incredible.
CNN contributor Erick Erickson appeared on John King, USA last night for a discussion of inflammatory rhetoric -- and, although Erickson criticized comments by various liberals, King never asked Erickson about his own track record of violent rhetoric. Instead, King simply asked his Democratic guest about the examples Erickson raised.
ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know it's always good to rethink how you say things, John. Except that this particular time the way the conversation got started was blaming Sarah Palin and blaming the Tea Party activists for having something to do with this, which we know wasn't the case. We weren't willing to have this conversation back when George Bush was president and MoveOn.org had people marching down the street with Bush equals Hitler posters.
King responded by asking Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher "[D]oes Erick have a point?" Then, a little later, King again adopted Erickson's example in questioning Belcher:
KING: Let me jump into the conversation. Then so in 2006 when MoveOn.org was saying those things, Cornell, is that a bad thing?
Erickson promptly interrupted Belcher's response and rattled off several more examples of inflammatory rhetoric he claims came from liberals.
At no point in the entire appearance did host John King ask Erickson -- or even mention -- a single example of inflammatory language used by conservatives. What makes that all the more incredible is that Erick Erickson has famously called former Supreme Court justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester" and spoken of pulling shotguns on government officials and beating state legislators to a "bloody pulp for being an idiot."
John King didn't mention any of that. He just let Erickson go on about how liberals are responsible for inflammatory rhetoric -- then he pressed his Democratic guest about Erickson's examples.
Like I said: Incredible.
Here's what's even more incredible: Following that segment, in which John King dutifully parroted Erickson's criticisms of liberals while ignoring Erickson's own history of violent rhetoric, Erickson took to his blog to denounce the media for focusing only on the rhetorical excesses of conservatives. And in the process, Erickson claimed that unlike conservatives, liberals are guilty of actual violence:
I'll meet you half way on that, just for the sake of argument, and say the left and right can at times be equally vile, but only for the sake of argument.
But really, maybe the right's history of rhetoric is greater if only because the left goes beyond rhetoric to outright violence.
CNN's Erick Erickson is upset with what people aren't saying about the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:
Through it all though, well meaning people on both sides of the ideological and partisan divide are not talking about the one thing that should be talked about — a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
For the record: Rep. Giffords is Jewish, so "a saving faith in Jesus Christ" might not be "the one thing that should be talked about."
The topic of faith in Christ makes people cringe. But whether you believe it or not, here is the reality: beyond us is a world we cannot see with our eyes. It impacts us on a daily basis. It is a world of very real angels and very real demons. It is a world of a very real God and a very real Satan, a very real Heaven and a very real Hell.
The back and forth and accusations and lies surrounding Jared Loughner should be a constant reminder to us that there is more at play in our world than what we see. And, frankly, at times like this I am more and more mindful of the great chasm in this world between the saved and damned.
And who are the damned? Apparently anyone who doesn't share Erickson's faith, and thus angers God:
In addition to insisting that people talking about the attempted assassination of a Jewish public servant should emphasize the importance of "a saving faith in Jesus Christ," Erick Erickson laments the "extreme rhetoric" of non-Christians:
In all the discussions we're having, let's not forget that bad things have happened throughout history, but we are seeing more and more a pattern of violence from those who reject Christ and we are seeing the most extreme rhetoric from those who reject the only real truth while embracing every other historic fad and nonsense as variations of truth.
Erickson is right. Why, just this morning, I came across a quote from a loud-mouthed atheist who denounced former Supreme Court Justice David Souter as a "goat fucking child molester."
No, wait: That was Erick Erickson. And so was this: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" And it was Erick Erickson who said he'd pull a shotgun on any government employee who tried to make him fill out the American Community Survey, too.
If Erickson's well-advertised fondness for Christ doesn't stop him from talking about beating people to a pulp, or pulling guns on them, or from referring to public servants as child molesters, or from presuming to know who God is angry with at any given moment, he should at least take a look at what the Bible has to say about hypocrisy before going on about the "extreme rhetoric" of non-believers.
As we noted yesterday, CNN's Erick Erickson used President Obama's call for a moment of silence as an excuse to question Obama's faith:
I feel the need to make a political point here about why this President is getting bashed for his "moment of silence" when other Presidents, from Carter to Reagan to Bush to Clinton to Bush, did not.
He recently made people mad by quoting the Declaration of Independence and leaving out the bit about the Creator. During his inaugural address he mentioned atheists and subsequently proclaimed us not a Christian nation.
In yesterday's "moment of silence" he wanted prayer or reflection. Here's the problem — when conservatives push for school prayer and advocate for a "National Day of Prayer," they include "or reflection" to get around namby-pamby atheist objectors.
But the left uses it too. The left uses it to accommodate atheists.
President Obama's statement stands out because it is just another verbal telling that he's ideologically of the left. He already has problems with a public perception of him and his faith. That things like this keep coming up suggests the general public is right in their skepticism of the sincerity of his faith.
Note that Erickson explicitly spelled out his bad-faith approach to politics, justifying hypocritical conservative criticism of Barack Obama on the flimsy grounds that Barack Obama is "of the left." Seriously, that's all he's saying here. He may try to dress it up as something else, but that whole passage boils down to "Sure, Barack Obama merely did what Republican presidents before him did, but there's a reason why conservatives criticize him for it: He's of the left."
But that just demonstrates yet again that Erickson is a hack; it isn't what's truly offensive about the post. That would be Erickson's suggestion that the president should not "accommodate atheists," even in such a small way as saying "prayer or reflection." Erickson doesn't bother to explain what's wrong with "accommodating" atheists, or whether he plans to lead an effort to repeal the First Amendment. He just treats it as a given that atheists should not be accommodated -- and that the president should insist that people pray.
How long do you think CNN would retain Erickson's services if he made similar disparaging comments about "accommodating" Catholics or Jews? Maybe about five minutes?
Then again, CNN tends to overlook things it shouldn't when it comes to Erickson. In March of 2009, Erickson wrote: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" A year later, CNN hired him. Two weeks after that, Erickson said he'd pull a gun on government employees if they tried to arrest him for not filling out the census.
A January 10 tweet by CNN contributor Erick Erickson: