by Eric Martin
I admit that I waver between "what did you expect" cynicism and shocked discuss in reaction to news of the recent hire of Erick Erickson by CNN. On the one hand, John Cole is right that CNN already has some pretty awful on-air talent (Stephen Hayes anyone? - not to mention CNN was Glenn Beck's home prior to Fox's poaching). On the other hand, Erick Erickson is really, really, really terrible. And not good. Shall we peruse some of his greatest hits?
Steve Benen rounds up some of the classics:
The problem here is with Erickson himself.
For example, it wasn't long ago when Erickson explained his belief on why the left has a stronger online presence than the right. He attributed it to an asymmetry in free time, since conservatives "have families because we don't abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism."
This is the same Erickson who recently called retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat f--king child molester," referred to two sitting U.S. senators as "healthcare suicide bombers," praised protesters for "tell[ing] Nancy Pelosi and the Congress to send Obama to a death panel" (he later backpedaled on that one), and described President Obama's Nobel Prize as "an affirmative action quota."
And perhaps my personal favorite was the time, just last year, when Erickson was angry about new environmental regulations relating to dishwasher detergent. He told his readers, "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?"
There was a point when major professional outlets would look at a voice like this as an "extremist," to be shut out of the mainstream of America's civil discourse. CNN, however, considers this record of radical rhetoric, and concludes it should pay him to offer on-air political commentary.
The David Souter slur was a particularly nice touch. Echidne links to some more recent material - his reaction to the Tebow Super Bowl Ad. Methinks Erick has some issues with women:
Erickson...tweeted during the Super Bowl, "That's it?!?! That's what the feminazis were enraged over? Seriously?!? Wow. That's what being too ugly to get a date does to your brain."
Oh, and you know what else? They should get back in the kitchen! Yeah! "Thus ends the credibility of all pro-abortion groups. Thanks Mrs. Tebow for that. Ugly feminists return to their kitchens."
The conservative blogger, clearly determined to wedge every cartoon anti-feminist smear from the 70s into a great illustration of why booze and social media don't mix, continued "That's not smog in Miami. It's bras burning from the sheer stupidity of the pro-abortion crowd's reaction to the Tebow ad."
What will all those crazy, ugly feminists do next, to occupy all the empty time not spent on dates? What they do best: castrate.
"Next the feminist groups will lash out at all the commercials praising manly men. They'll trot out Lorena Bobbit to spade/neuter your man." [emphasis added]
That should play well with the soccer mom crowd.
Then there was the time he accused that news organization of "convey[ing] terrorist propaganda." The news organization being...CNN (via). And it's not like he has a great grasp of American history, or civics for that matter.
But other than that, heckuva job CNN! The most trusted name in news. Or something.