Right-wing media have accused Rep. Henry Waxman and the Obama administration of "tyrannical" actions after Waxman announced a hearing looking into several large corporations' assertions about prescription drug costs related to health care reform. According to Waxman, the companies' claims "appear to conflict with independent analyses."
Earlier today on CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz spoke to newly minted CNN contributor Erick Erickson about the controversy his new job with the network has fueled, and confronted Erickson with several of the inflammatory things Erickson has written in his capacity as editor of RedState.com.
Erickson tried to come off as contrite throughout the interview, and after Kurtz noted that Erickson had called Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy," Erickson had this to say: "Since that time I've really learned, headed into, frankly, the David Souter comment, that I don't have to get personal in blogging to make my point. I definitely evolved over time."
The "David Souter comment," of course, was Erickson's April 2009 reference to the retiring Supreme Court justice as a "goat f##king child molester." When Kurtz took that opening to confront him with that scurrilous attack, Erickson explained the "good" that came out of it:
ERICKSON: Being a blogger, up until that moment, I always considered I was just a guy chatting with friends, even on Twitter, and realized that I've actually reached the point where people listen to what I say and care about what I say and, frankly, it was a wake-up call to me that I had to grow up in how I write.
Well I must say it's certainly good to see that Erick Erickson finally decided to "evolve" and "grow up" as a writer. That newfound sense of maturity must have been on display three weeks ago when he made a "poor attempt at conspiracy humor" in suggesting that Democrats would kill former Rep. Eric Massa. And he really demonstrated some true growth when he spent the Super Bowl insulting "ugly feminists" who are "too ugly to get a date" and should "return to their kitchens." And, truly, only a writer who has really "grown up" and "evolved" would call two sitting senators "health care suicide bombers," as Erickson did in January.
So thank goodness Erick Erickson has decided to grow up, because now we all -- CNN viewers in particular -- can enjoy his mature and enlightened perspective on the world.
From RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson's Twitter feed:
From the March 28 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
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From a March 21 RedState.com post:
Already we have a few Republicans positioning themselves in grand theatrics to call for full repeal of Obamacare. But these same Republicans in the past have talked about the good parts of the bill and how repeal should be measured. The only way to ensure today's rhetoric turns into future consistent actions is to surround these Republicans with true conservative warriors.
Friends, if we are going to destroy the Democrats, we must first build up an army of real conservatives in Congress. Half measures, Democrat-lite, and men who compromise in favor of more government must be unacceptable.
There is a God, there is good, and there will be a last day. And on that last day we will win. Victory comes though we know not when. So we must be happy warriors until the end -- warriors willing to fight with a smile and willingness to sacrifice for freedom.
We have not yet begun to fight.
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.