On June 28, CNN had on conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson to discuss the first day of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. If you don't know Erick Erickson's history of making incendiary, sexist, and racially charge statements, perhaps you know him as the guy who called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester." Today, Erickson continued to prove that he has no business being a commentator on Supreme Court issues.
When CNN host Rick Sanchez challenged Erickson on the conservative myth that Kagan is anti-military, Erickson claimed that Kagan "went further" than Harvard Law School's stated policy when she restricted military recruiters' access to the Office of Career Services. Unfortunately for him, the "exact details" of how Kagan "went further" escaped him (perhaps because his claim is just not true):
SANCHEZ: What about the accusations that she's anti-military because she didn't let some of the recruiters there at Harvard come on. When in actuality we checked into this today, it sounds to me like she wasn't creating policy there, she was following the strategy or the policy that was already set at Harvard, wasn't she?
ERICKSON No, that's not exactly right, and I realize that some groups on the left like Media Matters have been trying to spin it that way, but in fact what happened was, when the Supreme Court issued the -- one of the lawsuits -- I forget the exact details -- but Elena Kagan jumped on this. She went further than what the policy had been the moment she got in a position to do it. So yes, she kept the policy in place but she took it a step further the moment she got in position to do it. That's given some of the people in the military real pause.
In fact, Kagan did not go further than the policy that had previously been in place. Harvard's anti-discrimination policy had been in effect long before Kagan became dean. Indeed, according to an op-ed by Kagan's predecessor as dean, Robert C. Clark, Kagan applied an anti-discrimination policy that was put in place in 1979. And the law school's policy of banning its Office of Career Services from working with military recruiters had also been in place for years:
Here, some background may be helpful: Since 1979, the law school has had a policy requiring all employers who wish to use the assistance of the School's Office of Career Services (OCS) to schedule interviews and recruit students to sign a statement that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. For years, the U.S. military, because of its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, was not able to sign such a statement and so did not use OCS. It did, however, regularly recruit on campus because it was invited to do so by an official student organization, the Harvard Law School Veterans Association.
On the eve of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, right-wing media pushed numerous myths and falsehoods regarding Kagan's nomination.
According to a press release, CNN is planning "comprehensive coverage of [the] Kagan [and] Petraeus hearings" with "members of the Best Political Team on Television" including Red State editor Erick Erickson.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Is that the same Erickson who about a year ago posted on his Twitter profile that then-Supreme Court Justice David Souter was a "goat fucking child molester." Yes, that's him and yes he is a member of CNN's "Best Political Team on Television."
Fear not though, Erickson claims to have "grown up" since making that and other hateful and incendiary comments. So, he's going to stay away from the crazy and stick to the facts, right? Don't hold your breath.
Erickson and Red State have helped perpetuate baseless attacks against Kagan -- particularly the smear that she kicked military recruiters off campus -- so watch for him to do the same on CNN.
Read CNN's release after the jump.
On CNN's John King, USA tonight, RedState's Erick Erickson brought up a "story that percolated yesterday" that BP's escrow account would be used to pay for "something or other related to health care." Erickson went on to say, "Stories like that get lodged in people's minds regardless of the details."
No doubt that "story" will "get lodged in people's minds," thanks in part to Erickson bringing it up on CNN. But about those details.
This story has indeed been "percolating" -- at the Drudge Report and fringe right-wing blogs, where comments made by Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak have been misconstrued to suggest he supports using the escrow account to help pay for health care reform. In reality, Stupak said that it would be legitimate to use funds in the BP-funded escrow account to pay for health care for Gulf residents who lost their jobs and insurance as a result of the BP oil spill.
From the June 18 edition of CNN's John King, USA
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Right-wing media have complained that BP was "persecuted" at a congressional hearing on the company's role in the Gulf oil spill and compared the hearing to a "Stalinist show trial," "Inca ritual slaughter," the Salem witch trials, the McCarthy hearings, and the Romans feeding Christians to lions.
Numerous right-wing media have agreed with Rep. Joe Barton's (R-TX) claim that the BP escrow account fund designed to aid Gulf residents affected by the oil spill resulted from a White House "shakedown," despite the fact that the plan was "mutually agreed to" by both the administration and BP.
CNN's Erick Erickson praises George W. Bush's response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks:
When George Bush stood on the rubble of the World Trade Center and said, "I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" people knew he meant business.
People knew that George Bush would take action. They believed him.
Then, just two sentences later, he attacks Barack Obama:
Barack Obama is a man who cannot function without an enemy — someone to blame for all his and our ills. Without an enemy, or a scapegoat if you will, he will not act.
So, in Erick Erickson's warped, partisan little mind, Barack Obama is a bad, weak man who creates scapegoats, but George W. Bush is to be commended for his strong leadership in response to 9/11 -- which, by the way, involved lying the country into war against a nation that didn't attack us. "Or a scapegoat if you will."
On RedState.com, CNN contributor Erick Erickson falsely suggested that President Obama "never addressed [Nashville, Tennessee] after its horrific floods." In fact, Obama acted swiftly to provide federal aid to the area and won praise from Tennessee Governor (and former Mayor of Nashville) Phil Bredesen.
Led by Fox News, right-wing media have attacked Attorney General Eric Holder over his announcement that the Justice Department has begun civil and criminal investigations into the Gulf oil spill. Their attacks echo previous criticism from Fox and right-wing media figures over SEC charges and congressional hearings into Goldman Sachs and hearings into a Toyota vehicle recall.
On Tuesday, Hannity's "Great American Panel" included CNN contributor Erick Erickson and WorldNetDaily.com senior writer and discredited birther Jerome Corsi. Erickson seemed right at home along Sean Hannity and Corsi, which makes it all the more curious why CNN would allow him to appear.
It was not Erickson's first appearance on Hannity since joining CNN and Hannity only mentioned Erickson's RedState.com credentials when introducing him.
Whether or not CNN was fully aware of (or cared about) Erickson's history of inflammatory rhetoric before hiring him as a contributor, it is now responsible for his rhetoric since he joined the network.
Since the network's March 16 announcement, Erickson has suggested he'll resort to violence against census workers and claimed that President Obama "really doesn't like the military" because he didn't lay a wreath at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Erickson has said he got a "nice deal" from CNN. So why is CNN still paying Erickson if they're going to let him go on Fox News (presumably) for free?
If you thought the conservative freak out over news that President Obama plans to attend a Memorial Day ceremony in his hometown of Chicago while Vice President Biden lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery couldn't get any stupider than Erick Erickson's claim that it shows Obama "really doesn't like the military," you were wrong.
Enter Fox & Friends.
This morning, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, historian (with a tenuous grasp on recent history) Richard Miller, National Review's Andrew McCarthy, and former Harry Reid aide Penny Lee discussed the "news" of Obama's Memorial Day plans, accompanied by chyrons featuring the text "Trampling On Tradition?", "Offensive To Soldiers?" and "Memorial Day Miss-Out?"
In order to "Trample on Tradition" as the chyron suggests, or "break tradition" as Kilmeade stated, Obama's decision to attend a ceremony in Chicago instead of Arlington would have to be unprecedented. It isn't.
CNN's new contributor Erick Erickson says President Obama, "really doesn't like the military," evidently because Obama is "skipping the Memorial Day tradition of the President laying a wreath" at Arlington Cemetery.
That's pretty weak evidence that Obama "doesn't like the military." Erickson himself notes that it's "not unprecedented" for a president to miss the ceremony, and Obama is not skipping out on the day in favor of a vacation. He's reportedly going to observe Memorial Day at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery's ceremony.
From Erickson's post on RedState.com:
Barack Obama is skipping the Memorial Day tradition of the President laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. It is not unprecedented. George H. W. Bush was on the campaign trail in 1992 and scheduled to speak at an American Legions event in Maine on Memorial Day.
There was no question they [troops] respected and loved Ronald Reagan. Same with George H. W. Bush, the last veteran of World War II to serve as President.
Obama? Not so much. And what does the left do when you point this out? They equate dead soldiers to political props/ Seriously.
By suggesting this President, in the midst of a war, should probably be going to Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day instead of taking his second vacation in a month, conservatives are somehow suggesting he use dead soldiers as political props.
After eight years of the left demanding publicity of flag draped coffins returning to Deleware from overseas to use as political props against George W. Bush, it is more than a little humorous to have the left now accuse the right of doing the same. It also ignores a fundamental point leftists too busy calling our soldiers "war criminals" and our dead soldiers "political props" miss -- going to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns has nothing to do with using dead soldiers as political props and everything to do with a Commander in Chief who seems to not like the military showing some basic respect to the men and women, alive and dead, who have actually kept us free.
Obama may talk about the government in the first person, but the men and women lying at Arlington know differently.
Of course, Obama really doesn't like the military, does he. [A period there, not a question mark, is intentional]
Conservative media have attacked President Obama, claiming that his plans to attend a Memorial Day ceremony in Chicago while allowing Vice President Joe Biden to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery are disrespectful to the military. However, previous presidents -- including Ronald Reagan -- allowed others to lay the wreath at Arlington to honor fallen troops.
Back in April, CNN pundit Erick Erickson said he would "pull out my wife's shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door" if a representative of the Census Department's American Community Survey tried to arrest him for not filling out his form. And now this from Yuba City, CA:
A Yuba City woman who police say was involved in a confrontation with a U.S. Census worker was shot and killed by Yuba City officers after allegedly refusing to drop a shotgun pointed at the officers, according to the Yuba City Police Department.
Census Bureau spokesman Sonny Le said a census worker arrived at the home sometime around 8 p.m. Thursday. After refusing to submit to census questions, the worker said the residents aimed a gun at her.
Census workers are gathering information that is important to the future of American communities. The last thing they need is a CNN pundit unnecessarily adding hostility to the atmosphere.