At first, I was surprised CNN would hire Erick Erickson despite his long record of misogynist comments. Erickson has, after all, called Michelle Obama a "harpy" and used the Limbaugh-esque pejorative "feminazis" and suggested feminists are "too ugly to get a date" and told "Ugly feminists" to "return to their kitchens." That doesn't seem like the kind of commentary the self-styled "most respected name in news" would favor, does it?
Then I remembered Alex Castellanos. Castellanos is a CNN contributor and Republican consultant most famous for creating the infamous race-baiting "Hands" ad for Jesse Helms. He's used his perch at CNN to defend calling a woman a "bitch" and to compare Hillary Clinton to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and to mock Nancy Pelosi's physical appearance.
And, of course, it was CNN's Headline News that first brought Glenn Beck to cable news.
So maybe Erickson won't be out of place at CNN after all.
Earlier today, Media Matters' Eric Schroeck noted RedState blogger Dave Poff's defense of his boss, RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, recently hired by CNN as a political commentator. Poff, as Schroeck explained, seems to be unaware of one of Erickson's more notable comments -- his reference to David Souter as a "goat fucking child molester."
Poff's bizarre rant also included this charming description of the news media:
From Non-Conservatives, to Academics and Liberal Elitists, to self-soiling and unprincipled Professional Politicians and firmly-entrenched good ole boys inside the M(ostly) S(cumbags) M(edia), each of these clowns has a tale of doom about the hell we're headed for compliments of CNN's hand basket. Problem is, as with every OTHER decent human being out there trying to do what he thinks is right for himself, his family, and his country, Erickson has pissed off people that disagree with his principles and can't fathom that his success story grows and is in no small part sustained by his having stood unflinchingly by them. [All emphasis in original]
This raises a some questions: Does Erick Erickson agree his new CNN colleagues are "mostly scumbags"? Which CNN reporters, specifically, does RedState's Poff think are "scumbags"?
Amid criticism of CNN for its recent decision to hire RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson as a political commentator, RedState blogger Dave Poff offered up a defense of his boss, noting that one of the reasons CNN would want to hire Erickson is the fact that he "isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line":
Tell me again how it is that Erickson is evil for starting in this business as an unpaid member, doing well enough at it to get hired on to RUN the place, and is now being asked to add his 2 cents worth on a freaking political News program? Oh, yeah, I forgot-it's because he's articulate, intelligent, experienced...isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line. [emphasis in original]
I guess Poff didn't read Erickson's response last year to Justice David Souter's decision to retire from the Supreme Court:
Of course, this isn't the first time a RedState blogger apparently overlooked some of Erickson's comments. As Media Matters' Ben Dimiero noted, RedState blogger Hogan wrote that media figures who called Sen. Jim Bunning's recent block on legislation a "filibuster" were "freaking idiots." Unfortunately for Hogan, Erickson had at least twice previously called Bunning's action a "filibuster."
CNN announced that RedState.com editor Erick Erickson will join the channel as a political commentator, stating that he is "a perfect fit" for the new show John King, USA. Erickson's long history of incendiary, sexist, and racially charged statements includes asking when voters would "march down" and "beat" lawmakers "to a bloody pulp" and referring to former Supreme Court Justice David Souter as a "goat fucking child molester."
Reacting to progress on health care reform legislation, conservative media figures have repeatedly referred to President Obama and Democratic officials as "health care suicide bombers" and characterized their efforts to pass a bill as "a kamizake mission" and "political suicide missions."
From Erickson's March 7 Redstate.com blog post:
At least since the 19th century, it has been the left employing murder and death as a political weapon. From Hitler to Mao to Lenin to Stalin to Chavez to Castro to Guevera to Arafat to Pol Pot to Mugabe to [insert your favorite American union] to Margaret Sanger the left and its heroes have used death, violence, and murder to advance their agenda.
For every Pinochet or Netanyahu the left grasps for, the list is three times as long on the left.
It is inconvenient. The left will try to laugh it off or attack the person pointing out, but the truth remains.
It is not conservatives burning down homes in Washington State with the ELF. It is not conservatives throwing blood on women wearing fur. It is not conservatives burning down the Texas Governor's Mansion during riots. It is not conservatives rioting during G-8 summits.
It is and has always been the left. Deal with it.
Right-wing media have praised Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) for blocking legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans, prevent rural areas from losing local television, and prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. The Department of Transportation also reportedly furloughed nearly 2,000 workers without pay as a result of Bunning's action.
Echoing Republican Party talking points, conservative media figures rushed to declare Republicans the winner of President Obama's February 25 health care summit. For instance, Fox News contributor and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stated that Republicans scored a "victory" while the Democrats engaged in "a whole lot of lecturing again."
Conservative media outlets have used recent winter storms in Washington, DC, as an excuse to forward attacks against former Vice President Al Gore and climate science. In fact, winter snow on the east coast of the United States does not disprove the scientific consensus that global warming is real.
Conservative media figures have used the recent snowstorms in the Washington, D.C., area to level more science-free attacks on global warming. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, scientists agree that short-term localized weather patterns are not relevant to global warming.
Numerous conservative media outlets have criticized President Obama's plan to hold a bipartisan health care summit "to go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward," by attacking the summit as a "dog and pony" show or a "PR stunt" before the event has even occurred. Additionally, some have urged Republicans not to participate.
From RedState managing editor Erick Erickson's Twitter feed:
From Erick Erickson's Twitter feed:
RedState managing editor Erick Erickson stated that Harry Knox, a Human Rights Campaign official appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is an "insult to the Christian faith" who "cannot be trusted to fairly work with Catholics" after criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for "hurting people in the name of Jesus." But Erickson, who stated that "the basis" for Knox's "attack on the Catholic Church is its position on homosexuality," did not note that Knox's comments came in response to the Pope's statement that condom distribution "increases the problem" of AIDS, a remark for which the Pope received widespread criticism, including from ministers of several nations.
Red State's Erick Erickson has uncovered what he thinks is a shocking admission in President Obama's 2011 budget: that "the White House is now admitting" that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being distributed over the course of two years. Erickson has also determined their purpose. From Red State:
Washington was "unwilling to solve" the problems because 2009 was not an election year and 2010 is. The President of the United States refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.
You can't blame Erickson for jumping to this conclusion. Who wouldn't accuse the President of prolonging economic hardships in order to rig elections when no other justifiable reason has been presented?
Except Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag discussed exactly this last July:
In designing the Recovery Act, we also recognized that the economic situation we inherited was so severe that we needed to assure producers and consumers that aggregate demand would be boosted not just for a few months, but for a sustained period. That is why we envisioned a Recovery Act that would ramp up rapidly in 2009, have its peak impact in 2010, and lay the groundwork for further growth thereafter.
And in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office illustrated the fact that the stimulus money was designed to be distributed over two years:
Combining the spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase federal budget deficits by $169 billion over the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, by $356 billion in 2010, by $174 billion in 2011, and by $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that enacting H.R. 1 would increase budget deficits by $526 billion over the 2009-2010 period (about 19 months) and by a total of $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
And, as Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a July, 2009 New York Times op-ed:
The care with which we are carrying out the provisions of the Recovery Act has led some people to ask whether we are moving too slowly. But the act was intended to provide steady support for our economy over an extended period - not a jolt that would last only a few months. Instead of quick-hit rebates, we are giving Americans a tax cut in each paycheck. Instead of pumping out all the state aid immediately, we are spreading it over the two years that it will be needed. Road projects, energy projects and construction projects are being started as soon as they pass review, contracts are competitively bid and reporting systems are in place.