This is kind of incredible.
CNN contributor Erick Erickson appeared on John King, USA last night for a discussion of inflammatory rhetoric -- and, although Erickson criticized comments by various liberals, King never asked Erickson about his own track record of violent rhetoric. Instead, King simply asked his Democratic guest about the examples Erickson raised.
ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know it's always good to rethink how you say things, John. Except that this particular time the way the conversation got started was blaming Sarah Palin and blaming the Tea Party activists for having something to do with this, which we know wasn't the case. We weren't willing to have this conversation back when George Bush was president and MoveOn.org had people marching down the street with Bush equals Hitler posters.
King responded by asking Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher "[D]oes Erick have a point?" Then, a little later, King again adopted Erickson's example in questioning Belcher:
KING: Let me jump into the conversation. Then so in 2006 when MoveOn.org was saying those things, Cornell, is that a bad thing?
Erickson promptly interrupted Belcher's response and rattled off several more examples of inflammatory rhetoric he claims came from liberals.
At no point in the entire appearance did host John King ask Erickson -- or even mention -- a single example of inflammatory language used by conservatives. What makes that all the more incredible is that Erick Erickson has famously called former Supreme Court justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester” and spoken of pulling shotguns on government officials and beating state legislators to a “bloody pulp for being an idiot.”
John King didn't mention any of that. He just let Erickson go on about how liberals are responsible for inflammatory rhetoric -- then he pressed his Democratic guest about Erickson's examples.
Like I said: Incredible.
Here's what's even more incredible: Following that segment, in which John King dutifully parroted Erickson's criticisms of liberals while ignoring Erickson's own history of violent rhetoric, Erickson took to his blog to denounce the media for focusing only on the rhetorical excesses of conservatives. And in the process, Erickson claimed that unlike conservatives, liberals are guilty of actual violence:
I'll meet you half way on that, just for the sake of argument, and say the left and right can at times be equally vile, but only for the sake of argument.
But really, maybe the right's history of rhetoric is greater if only because the left goes beyond rhetoric to outright violence.