Conservative media have paved the way for a government shutdown by championing Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and uncritically hyping deceptively-edited smear videos by the Center for Medical Progress -- even though state and federal investigations continue to find no wrongdoing by the health provider.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called for the destruction of the Republican party if they "will not fight" to defund Planned Parenthood, writing that if they fail to do so "we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on their remains (metaphorically speaking, of course)."
Calls from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood have grown louder since The Center for Medical Progress released nine videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood "selling aborted baby parts." Although the videos have been roundly called out by the media for "show[ing] nothing illegal" and containing selectively edited footage -- and multiple state and federal investigations have cleared the health care provider of any wrongdoing -- the videos nonetheless continue to prompt calls to defund the reproductive health organization.
In a September 3 post, Erickson, editor-in chief of RedState.com -- who previously encouraged individuals to show Republicans in Congress "violence in the polling booth" if they don't defund Planned Parenthood -- took the calls even further, demanding that the Republican party be "destroyed" should they fail to follow-through with the move. Erickson wrote that if Republicans "are not willing to defund Planned Parenthood, we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on the remains," and went on to say that if the party "will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die":
What we are learning now is that Republican leaders have no inclination to fight this evil. They have for years been protected by a Washington pro-life establishment that has worked damn hard to keep Bart Stupak listed as a pro-life warrior as he sold out the cause on Obamacare. The pro-life establishment in Washington puts their Republican affiliation ahead of children who are being ripped apart.
If Republicans and the Washington Pro-Life movement, when confronted by the evil documented on unedited tape, are not willing to defund Planned Parenthood, we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on the remains (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Republicans in Washington have spent more time avoiding their constituents over the August recess than they have fighting for anything in the past several years. Now here is a perfect opportunity to stand up for smaller government, fight evil, and put the left on defense.
Already there are voices on the right saying no, but then they always say no. Already there are voices on the right saying they can't, but then they always say they can't. Already there are voices on the right saying the President will veto it, but the President will always veto it.
And the babies continue to die -- ripped from their mothers wombs and their organs harvested.
If the Republicans will not fight this evil, they should be destroyed.
Every Republican Presidential candidates should be on record on whether they think the GOP should hold the line against funding Planned Parenthood no matter what.
If Republicans in Washington will not stop this and defund Planned Parenthood, Republican voters should take any and all action to destroy the party at the ballot box. If this party will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
A RedState post claimed that Hillary Clinton proves "even a homely woman can sleep her way into power." RedState's editor-in-chief Erick Erickson recently disinvited Donald Trump from the RedState Gathering event for Trump's sexist attacks on Fox's Megyn Kelly.
The attack on Clinton comes in a RedState post from one of its front page contributors, who goes by "streiff," who wrote:
If Hillary Clinton possesses any unique selling propostion beyond proving even a homely woman can sleep her way into power, it is her tenure as Barack Obama's secretary of state. That seems to be a slender enough reed when polls show the electorate could give a flying rat's patootie about experience and favor a change agent above all.
The post is featured at the top of the RedState home page:
Erickson is currently both editor-in-chief of the site and a Fox News contributor.
Trump was disinvited from the RedState Gathering after he complained about Kelly's questions to him during the Fox News Republican presidential debate, telling CNN that "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever."
Erickson told reporters that he had disinvited Trump because, "No legitimate candidate suggests somehow a female asking questions is doing it because she's hormonal," adding, "When you make comments about a reporter like that -- look, I've made plenty of comments about reporters in the past, male and female, but I've never once suggested one of them was angry because it was her time of the month. That's just a party foul. No candidate should do something like that, I'm embarrassed to even talk about what he's implying."
Despite Erickson's own long history of sexist attacks -- he's said that males should be "dominant" over females, claimed women should be "at home" while men bring "home the bacon," and labeled Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy wife" -- much of the rest of the Republican presidential field was in attendance at the RedState Gathering this past weekend.
This drew the condemnation of groups like EMILY's List, which said the candidates were siding "with a man who believes women should not be in the workplace and calls women lawmakers names like 'Abortion Barbie," adding, "Donald Trump and Erick Erickson are just symptoms of a larger problem. At its core, the ideology that Republican Party policies are grounded in is a fundamental distrust of women."
Fox News voices have also taken note of Erickson's hypocrisy for feuding with Trump. Host Greta Van Susteren wrote, "You have to love the irony of Erick Erickson disinviting Trump when Erickson has said the worst things about women," while Neil Cavuto referenced Erickson's past statements during an on-air interview.
From the August 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
Numerous Republican presidential candidates are attending the 2015 RedState Gathering hosted by conservative pundit Erick Erickson. Erickson has said males should be "dominant" over females, claimed women should be "at home" while men bring "home the bacon," labeled Michelle Obama a "marxist harpy wife" and Justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester," argued LGBT people are "on the road to hell," and wondered when Americans would raid legislators' houses and beat them to "a bloody pulp."
A RedState.com blog post claimed that deceptively-edited videos from an anti-choice group smearing Planned Parenthood demonstrate that the organization is "our Auschwitz."
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a third video on July 28 claiming to show Planned Parenthood officials engaging in a "black market in baby parts." Like the two deceptively-edited videos previously released by CMP, the latest video once again features strategically-edited conversations that merely show that Planned Parenthood is being reimbursed for costs associated with the procurement of fetal tissue, which federal law allows.
A July 29 RedState.com blog post used the highly-edited videos to call Planned Parenthood "our Auschwitz." Writing that Planned Parenthood is "outpacing" the Nazis, the post claimed that for the organization "extinction is not enough. They want to make money off the slaughter":
The third undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood from the Center for Medical Progress is out. By now, the takeaway from this media is clear: this is our Auschwitz.
Some might recoil at this statement. Wait a minute, they're thinking, cool your jets. Auschwitz was a concentration camp. That's not Planned Parenthood. In the simplest terms, no, Planned Parenthood is not a concentration camp. It is not performing ethnic cleansing (anymore). It performs certain medical services that are of value to women. But for decades, the real "value added" function of the organization has been this: it has provided a safe and legal way for the killing and disposal of babies.
Sometimes, people make this connection where it's not warranted. This, however, is a cultural moment that put things in black and white. Planned Parenthood is facilitating preposterous acts of evil. In its abortion-and-fetal-tissue-business, it is doing the following: 1) killing innocent lives, 2) desecrating their bodies, and 3) profiting from these bodies.
Our muddy moral moment might obscure this searing truth: we are not simply keeping up to speed with the Nazis. We are outpacing them. Planned Parenthood is operating by a for-profit motive that was largely alien to the Third Reich. The point of the Final Solution was not profit. It was extinction of the Jews and other disposable persons. But for Planned Parenthood, extinction is not enough. They want to make money off of slaughter.
As a society, we have tolerated a culture of death. But now the lights are on, and the opportunity for reckoning is at hand. Let us not quiet our consciences. Let us not fail to seize this moment to save many more tiny boys and girls. Let us not miss the opportunity to do good. In this horrible instance, doing good means making clear what Planned Parenthood is: our Auschwitz.
Como respuesta a la histórica resolución de la Corte Suprema de Justicia a favor de la igualdad matrimonial, los medios conservadores están apoyando una nueva ley federal llamada "Ley Defensora de la Primera Enmienda" (FADA por sus siglas en inglés). A pesar de que los conservadores están promoviendo FADA como un esfuerzo para proteger la libertad religiosa, críticos advierten que la ley podría poner en peligro la capacidad del gobierno para combatir la discriminación anti-gay.
In response to the Supreme Court's historic marriage equality ruling, conservative media has endorsed a newly proposed federal bill called the "First Amendment Defense Act" (FADA). Though conservatives have touted FADA as an effort to protect religious liberty, critics warn the bill would undermine the government's ability to combat anti-gay discrimination.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called on companies to cease donations to Planned Parenthood, accusing donors of having "subsidized the brutal killing of animals."
Right-wing media and the GOP have pounced on deceptively cut videos released by the anti-choice conservative group The Center For Medical Progress (CMP), which claim to have caught Planned Parenthood officials "haggling over" prices for fetal tissue and discussing "the selling [of] aborted baby parts" for profit. Although fact checkers and mainstream media quickly and roundly denounced the "shady" videos" for "show[ing] nothing illegal" and fabricating the myth that the reproductive health provider profits from the sale of fetal tissue, conservatives have exploited the videos to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Erickson, editor-in chief of RedState.com, took the right-wing drumbeat a step further in a July 23 post. He equated pregnant women seeking reproductive health care to "pregnant female animals," going on to write that companies that support Planned Parenthood "subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals." Companies who support these practices "should be ashamed," Erickson said, calling on a list of 39 companies that support Planned Parenthood to cease their donations:
Coca-Cola has not only ruined its signature product with that idiotic Freestyle machine that makes all its drinks taste terrible, it also has subsidized the brutal killing of animals. It is horrific news that should unite the left and the right. Coca-Cola has been joined by Verizon in subsidizing this.
Both companies have contributed to an organization that takes pregnant female animals and pulls their unborn from them and crushes them. In numerous cases, the barbarians who do this procedure then take the organs from the small, crushed animals and give them to others for scientific research.
PETA and other organizations have long protested the use of animals for scientific research, yet Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized the harvesting of organs from young animals that are otherwise crushed up through direct donations to the organization crushing the animals. In some cases, a procedure is done on the pregnant females where their unborn are vacuumed out. In other cases, the unborn baby animals have their heads slit open and their brains sucked out before the rest of the animal is ripped apart and extracted from its mother via the animal's birth canal.
Coca-Cola has subsidized this organization. Verizon has subsidized this organization. The have contributed money that is used to make this happen. Even worse, scientific evidence strongly suggests that the baby animals in many cases can feel themselves being ripped apart. In fact, they have to let the animals grow to an advanced stage to be able to harvest the organs -- a stage advanced enough for brain function and nerve function and pain sensors to develop.
Coca-Cola and Verizon have subsidized this. They should be ashamed.
There are thirty-seven other companies that have subsidized the brutal extraction of small animals from their mothers to harvest their organs. The Homo sapiens need to be protected and cared for against this brutal torture.
In the wake of the June 17 mass shooting in a Charleston, S.C. church, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that Americans can no longer distinguish "normal from crazy and evil from good," citing society's acceptance of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner.
On the June 18 edition of The Erick Erickson Show, and in an accompanying blog post on RedState.com headlined, "The Conversation We Won't Have," Erickson denounced the "political" conversation in the wake of the attack that killed nine people, and criticized what he called "cries from the left" about racism and gun laws. He lamented that "as a nation, when these things happen, we never have the conversation about real evil. We also never have the conversation about mental health:"
Erickson wrote that society's acceptance of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner was evidence that people are reluctant to discuss things like the nature of evil and mental health issues (emphasis added):
As a nation, when these things happen, we never have the conversation about real evil. We also never have the conversation about mental health. For that matter, we don't have honest conversations about why some kid in Minnesota or Alabama would want to go join ISIS and kill their fellow citizens or why some kid would want to join neo-nazis or a gang.
Instead, we descend into partisan conversations where everything is political and neither side can concede or acknowledge the other's points. Everyone and everything gets blamed while ignoring the actual person who killed.
I realize now why that is. I realize why we will never have the conversation we should have.
A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and "a new normal" cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness -- overwhelming narcissism and delusion -- and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.
While Erickson is the first Fox personality to link Caitlyn Jenner to the Charleston shooting, his comments are part of the larger effort by conservative media to steer the public conversation about the massacre away from the underlying factors of racism and gun laws.
Right-wing media outlets are attacking a new rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to increase diversity in American neighborhoods, calling it an attempt by President Obama to dictate where people live. But the program merely provides grant money to encourage communities to provide affordable housing and greater access to community resources.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson recently criticized potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for pitching products like survival food and shady diabetes treatments, decrying the types of ads Huckabee endorsed as a "plague on conservatives." But Erickson is a hypocrite -- his RedState website also cashed in on Huckabee's shady diabetes infomercial and has previously sold out readers to a wide range of hucksters and conspiracy theorists.
On March 15, The New York Times reported that former Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee had recently appeared in an "infomercial for a dubious diabetes treatment, in which Mr. Huckabee, who is contemplating a run for the Republican nomination in 2016, tells viewers to ignore 'Big Pharma' and instead points them to a 'weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure,' consisting of dietary supplements."
Times reporter Trip Gabriel explained that the diabetes treatment -- a "Diabetes Solution Kit" from Barton Publishing -- is part of a wide series of shady ads Huckabee has placed in his email commentaries while he explores a presidential bid. (Huckabee also spent years using his celebrity as a Fox News personality to sell out his fans to scam artists.)
After laying out the types of pitches Huckabee has recently sent to his supporters -- including survival food ads and a "miracle cure for cancer hidden in the Bible" -- Gabriel writes that they are all "designed to pry open the wallets of small-donor conservatives, some of whom distrust mainstream sources of information."
The article then quotes influential conservative activist Erick Erickson lamenting the proliferation of these types of scams as a "plague on conservatives":
"This is a plague on conservatives," said Erick Erickson, the founder of the influential blog Red State, who has criticized ads for products and outside political groups that he calls "hucksters," which prey on conservatives.
While a radio or TV host might not be able to choose his sponsors, Mr. Huckabee can presumably pick who he sells space to on email commentaries. "I don't know that a potential presidential candidate should be running survival food ads," Mr. Erickson said.
While the Times gave Erickson a platform to contrast himself favorably with "hucksters," Erickson's own RedState site has repeatedly sold out its readers to the very same groups.
For example, RedState sent out a paid advertisement last month featuring the Huckabee diabetes infomercial that was the focus of the Times article:
Prior to Huckabee's involvement, Erickson's RedState had previously sent out at least three email pitches -- all featuring the subject line "1 Weird Spice That Destroys Diabetes" -- promoting Barton Publishing's "Diabetes Solution Kit."
RedState has also sent numerous pitches to its readers from "Food4Patriots," the survival food kit company the Times notes Huckabee has promoted.
When Politico noted in January that Erickson's email list had been rented to the "scam PACs" that he has repeatedly criticized, it quoted Erickson saying that he does not control who rents his list and that "and it horrifies me that the list sometimes get rented to some of these guys." (Salem Media company Townhall Media owns RedState and manages its email list.)
As Media Matters has documented, Erickson's RedState fans have also been sent sponsored messages about "Reagan's Secret Victory Over Cancer," "Obama's Deadly FDA Secret," "1 Weird Trick to KILL old age," and the "Obama scandal" that "WILL KILL MILIONS [sic]."
Erick Erickson's email list subscribers have received a bizarre array of pitches from conspiracy theorists and dubious practitioners warning of the impending death of millions of Americans and promising "cures" to cancer, Alzheimer's, and aging.
Politico's Ken Vogel recently reported how the conservative movement has been infected by "scam PACs," which "critics say exist mostly to pad the pockets of the consultants who run them." One of the favorite avenues for these sketchy schemes is the email list of Fox News contributor Erick Erickson's RedState.com.
Vogel wrote that Erickson is a frequent critic of dubious PACs, yet RedState's list has promoted many of their efforts. Erickson told Vogel he does not control who rents his list, "and it horrifies me that the list sometimes get rented to some of these guys."
In addition to dubious PAC emails, RedState has sent sponsored missives about "Reagan's Secret Victory Over Cancer," "Obama's Deadly FDA Secret," "1 Weird Trick to KILL old age," items to "hoard" to protect your family from starving, and the "Obama scandal" that "WILL KILL MILIONS [sic]."
RedState is owned by Salem Media company Townhall Media, which manages RedState's email list. According to them, the dedicated RedState emails reach 265,000 subscribers. Other Salem properties include Townhall.com, Human Events, and HotAir.com. Many emails sent to RedState's list also went to the lists of those sites.
Below are six shady products and pitches RedState has sent to Erickson's email list in recent months.
Conservative media are falsely claiming that Atlanta's anti-gay fire chief was fired from his job because of his Christian faith, ignoring the unprofessional behavior that actually led to his termination.
On January 6, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed terminated Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, following a month-long suspension which began as a response to anti-gay comments Cochran made in a self-published 2013 religious book.
Cochran was suspended after employees complained about inflammatory remarks in his book, "Who Told You That You Were Naked?," which included calling homosexuality a "perversion" akin to bestiality and pederasty. Cochran had distributed copies of his book to employees at the fire department.
Cochran's suspension and eventual firing prompted a predictable reaction from right-wing commentators decrying alleged Christian persecution. Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that Cochran had been fired for "being a Christian," while Fox News reporter Todd Starnes suggested that Cochran was being persecuted for his religious beliefs.
But in a January 6 press conference, Mayor Reed stressed that the decision to fire Cochran wasn't based on his religious beliefs:
The mayor said he decided to terminate Cochran not just because the fire chief didn't consult him before publishing the book, but also spoke out about his suspension despite being told to remain quiet during the investigation into his leadership. What's more, Reed said he believes Cochran opened up the city to the potential for litigation over future discrimination claims.
Reed stressed that his decision is not because of Cochran's faith: "His religious (beliefs) are not the basis of the problem. His judgment is the basis of the problem."
Numerous conservative media outlets are scamming their followers with paid promotions for dubious marijuana stocks. In one instance, a promoted stock had its trading temporarily halted and was part of an FBI-investigated pump-and-dump scheme. In another, fine print acknowledged the promoters had "a direct conflict of interest" that would "negatively" affect "your shares."
Erick Erickson's RedState, Dick Morris, Newsmax, Townhall, and Human Events have all recently pushed the shady investments.
Readers who took the financial advice would have made a bad call as the stocks have plummeted. For example, conservatives sent sponsored emails recommending a company called MediJane at an entry point of $0.85. The stock's closing price on December 2 was $0.03. Dick Morris sent a sponsored email promoting Cannabis-Rx, Inc. on April 14, when it was trading at around $1. The stock's closing price on December 2 was $0.17.
Politico recently reported that pot companies "are a new vehicle for stock scammers promising big returns," prompting federal and state agencies to investigate stock manipulations. Scrutiny is focusing "on pump-and-dump schemes, which involve attempts to inflate a company's share price and then sell, or dump, the stock before unsuspecting investors get wise to the scheme." The schemes are more likely to target "penny stocks," which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines as "a very small company that trades at less than $5 per share." Penny stocks are traded over-the-counter instead of on formal exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange.
The SEC issued an investor alert in May warning that "fraudsters" are using penny pot stocks "to lure investors with the promise of high returns." It cautioned that red flags include "E-mail and fax spam recommending a stock" and "SEC trading suspensions" -- both characteristics of the conservative-promoted stocks.
These shady stock promotions are part of a larger trend of conservatives scamming their followers for profit. Fox Business host Charles Payne was paid to promote now virtually worthless penny stocks. Tobin Smith sent paid promotions for stocks that ended up tanking; he was eventually fired from his position at Fox News for the practice. And Fox News host Mike Huckabee sent sponsored emails touting Smith's recommendation of Gray Fox Petroleum (GFOX); GFOX's price has since tanked and is now trading at a near 52-week low.
Below is a look at two recent marijuana stocks that conservative media promoted to followers.