CNN contributor Erick Erickson is reportedly leaving the network for Fox News. During his nearly three-year tenure at CNN, Erickson repeatedly made inflammatory statements, indulged in conspiracy theories, and false statements such as the smear that Democrats support mythical "death panels."
Erickson Reportedly Out At CNN
Politico: "Erick Erickson Is Leaving CNN For Fox News." According to a report from Politico, Erickson is leaving CNN for Fox: "Red State blogger and conservative columnist Erick Erickson is leaving CNN for Fox News, sources at CNN confirm." [Politico, 1/29/13]
Upon Hiring, CNN Called Erickson "A Perfect Fit" Who Is "In Touch With The Very People" Network Wants To Reach. In a post on Erickson's hiring, CNN reported:
Prominent conservative commentator and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson will join CNN as a political contributor, appearing primarily on CNN's new show John King, USA¸ the network announced Tuesday.
Erickson, a self described "obsessive news junkie" who grew up in Dubai and rural Louisiana, will also provide perspective and commentary on other programs across the network.
"Erick's a perfect fit for John King, USA, because not only is he an agenda-setter whose words are closely watched in Washington, but as a person who still lives in small-town America, Erick is in touch with the very people John hopes to reach," said Sam Feist, CNN political director and vice president of Washington-based programming. "With Erick's exceptional knowledge of politics, as well as his role as a conservative opinion leader, he will add an important voice to CNN's ideologically diverse group of political contributors." [CNN's Political Ticker, 3/16/10]
Erickson Has A Long History Of Inflammatory Rhetoric
Erickson Endorsed Whites-Only Scholarship, Suggested Women Have Always Had Equal Opportunity. On the March 1, 2011, edition of CNN Newsroom, Erickson endorsed white-men-only scholarships provided by a Texas group called "Former Majority Association for Equality," saying, "If we're going to get rid of scholarships for African-Americans and get rid of scholarships for Hispanics and get rid of scholarships for Asians and get rid of scholarships for women, then let's get rid of the scholarships. But if we're not going to get rid of those, then let's keep this one." Erickson then suggested that women, Hispanics, and Asians have not been historically disadvantaged in America. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 3/1/11, via Media Matters]
Erickson: "If It Weren't For Constitutionally Mandated Racial Gerrymandering," There'd Be Fewer Congressional Dems In South. On the September 16 edition of CNN's John King USA, Erickson said that "[i]f it weren't for constitutionally mandated racial gerrymandering in the south, you'd probably have even fewer Democrats down there." [CNN, John King USA, 9/16/10]
Erickson: Turn New Black Panthers' Case Into Willie Horton Ad. In a July 13, 2010, blog post headlined, "[New Black Panther Party member] King Samir Shabazz Should Be 2010's Willie Horton," Erickson wrote: "Republican candidates nationwide should seize on this issue. The Democrats are giving a pass to radicals who advocate killing white kids in the name of racial justice and who try to block voters from the polls." Erickson added: "The Democrats will scream racism. Let them. Republicans are not going to pick up significant black support anyway." [Media Matters, 7/13/10]
ATTACKS ON WOMEN
Erickson Compared First Night Of Democratic National Convention To The "Vagina Monologues." Referring to the first night of the Democratic National Convention, during which first lady Michelle Obama and other women leaders appeared, Erickson tweeted, "First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected":
Erickson: "Who Cares That" IBM CEO Wasn't Given Augusta Membership? "She's A Woman" And "Women Aren't Allowed." In response to controversy over the female IBM CEO being denied admittance to the Augusta National Golf Club, Erickson said "Who cares that she wasn't invited into the club? She's a woman. Women aren't allowed." [WSB, The Erick Erickson Show, 4/6/12]
Erickson: The National Association Of Women Are "The NAG Gang... The Angry Ones. Angry In Their Unibrows." On his radio show, Erickson parroted Rush Limbaugh's smear of the National Association of Women, calling them "The NAG gang, as the godfather of radio Rush Limbaugh would call them, the National Association of Gals. They are the angry ones. Angry in their unibrows I believe it was once said." [WSB, The Erick Erickson Show, 4/2/12, via Media Matters]
Erickson On Obama's Libya Strategy: "What Is It With Barack Obama Caving To The Women?" Saying he wanted to bring out his "inner sexist," Erickson attacked what he called "women drivers" in the administration, claiming that "back-seat driving by the women" will "get Barack Obama lost." Erickson, referring to President Obama's stance on Libya, continued: "What is it with Barack Obama caving to the women? I mean, now we know who rules his personal life. I guess Michelle is firmly in charge as well, if Barack Obama is going to cave that easy to three women in his administration over what to do with Libya." [RedState.com, 3/21/12]
Erickson Defended Rep. Todd Akin's "Legitimate Rape" Remarks. When Rep. Todd Akin claimed it was "really rare" for victims of "legitimate rape" to become pregnant from assault, Erickson tweeted that the statement was "dumb" but that he would still support Akin in the Senate race:
ATTACKS ON OBAMA AND ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
Erickson Accused Obama Of "Choosing To "Pervert God's Word." In a post on his RedState blog, Erickson attacked Obama's invocation of scripture at the National Prayer Breakfast as a "perversion" of the word of God, saying "The President this week chose to pervert God's Word to make the case for a tax increase, but he also chose to ignore God's word on life and is ordering Christians, while he claims to be one, to violate their Christian conscience on abortion". [RedState, 2/5/12, via Media Matters]
Erickson "Theory": Obama "Manufactured" Libyan Crisis For Reelection. From RedState.com:
There is not in any way, shape, or form any rational explanation for the United States engaged in Libya to do nothing except for one I can think of -- Barack Obama's re-election.
Suddenly Obama can look Presidential again -- all through manufacturing the need for American involvement where there was no need. Barack Obama wants to be re-elected. The best playbook for his re-election is that of Bill Clinton. But Clinton had a government shutdown and Kosovo. In the absence of either, Barack Obama must manufacture them.
And he has. [RedState.com, 3/22/11]
Erickson: Transportation Secretary "Has Come Out In Favor Of The Chicoms Over Americans." After Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Chinese success in infrastructure, Erickson took his remarks out of context to claim LaHood "has come out in favor of the Chicoms over Americans." [RedState, 7/5/12, via Media Matters]
Erickson Called Obama A "Composite Kenyan." Erickson praised Breitbart.com for its "vetting" post on Obama, using the post to call Obama a "Composite Kenyan." [RedState, 5/18/12, via Media Matters]
ATTACKS ON ISLAM
Erickson On Bombing In Oslo: "I Bet You It Was Not Lutherans Who Did It." From Erickson's twitter feed:
Erickson: "Violence" Is "Extremely Common And Can Fairly Well Be Considered Mainstream Within Much Of Islam" Internationally. Erickson wrote a post in the aftermath of the July 22, 2011, terrorist attacks in Norway explaining why his first instinct was to assume that the killer was a Muslim. Erickson claimed that it is "willfully naïve" for the "secular left" to ignore the "fairly common ties between terrorists and Islam" and went on to claim that while "violence and Islam may not be very common among American muslims," "internationally it is extremely common and can fairly well be considered mainstream within much of Islam." [RedState, 7/23/11]
ATTACKS ON LGBT COMMUNITY
Erickson Agreed "With Every Word" Of Anti-Gay Sermon. In a January 11 Twitter post, Erickson wrote that he "agreed with every word" of a sermon from pastor Louis Giglio from the 1990s. In that sermon, Giglio advocated for "ex-gay" therapy, called on Christians to "lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda" of gay activists, and compared homosexuality to an unwanted addiction. Giglio was slated to deliver the benediction and inaugural prayer at Obama's inauguration, but withdrew after his views opposing same-sex marriage drew criticism. From Erickson's Twitter feed:
Erickson: Idea That Gay People Shouldn't Be Called "Gay" Because They "Have Nothing To Be Happy About" Is "Pretty Good." On his radio show, Erickson spoke to a caller who claimed that he took exception with the word "gays" because "They have nothing to be happy about, in the sense that marriage is between a man and a woman." Erickson replied: "I'm still stuck on you not calling them gays because they have nothing to be happy about. That's actually pretty good." [WSB Radio, 1/31/11]
Erickson Threatened To "Pull Out [His] Wife's Shotgun" If Arrested For Not Filling Out American Community Survey. In response to the American Community Survey portion of the U.S. Census, Erickson insisted "I'm not filling out this form. I dare them to try and come throw me in jail. I dare them to. Pull out my wife's shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door." [WMAC, In the Morning with Erick Erickson, 4/1/10, via Media Matters]
Erickson: "Watching A Hippie Protester Get Tased Just Makes My Day." Discussing an Occupy Wall Street protest, Erickson said "Watching a hippie protester get tased just makes my day. It is just made of awesome." [WSB, The Erick Erickson Show, 1/30/12, via Media Matters]
OTHER INFLAMMATORY STATEMENTS
Erickson Likened Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist To A Child Molester. In August 2010, Erickson likened former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to a child molester, writing in a post on Twitter: "We know what Rubio's truck looks like. Is this Crist's?" For Crist's truck (according to Erickson), he linked to an image of a van with the words "free candy" written on the side. [Media Matters, 8/24/10]
Erickson Equated Abortion With Holocaust. Erickson equated abortion with the Holocaust, saying, "I think the Holocaust of the millions of children killed in this country is pretty equal to [slavery]." [CNN, John King USA, 1/20/11]
Erickson Asked If "Atlanta Need[s] Its Own Version Of Katrina To Get Its Schools Fixed." In a January 18, 2011 post on Twitter, 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?"
[Twitter, 1/18/11, via Media Matters]
Erickson: "Social Security Is, For All Intents And Purposes, A Ponzi Scheme." In a September 8 Redstate post, Erickson said "Social Security is, for all intents and purposes, a ponzi scheme." [RedState, 9/8/11, via Media Matters]
Erickson Tweet Brings Back "Death Panels" Smear. From Erickson's twitter:
Erickson: In Wake Of Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Attempted Murder, It's Important To Stress "A Saving Faith In Jesus Christ." In the aftermath of the attempted assassination of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is Jewish, Erickson was upset that "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." [RedState, 1/11/11, via Media Matters]
Erickson: "God Is Upset" With Atheists. From Erickson's Twitter page: