Offender: Blogger Erick Erickson
Media Outlet: RedState.com and CNN
The Offense: The conservative blog Red State, of which Erickson is editor-in-chief, ran a piece posted by “The Directors” that said, in relation to the Roe v. Wade decision: “. . . once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again, but only if those committed to justice do not waiver or compromise, and send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials of what must be necessary to earn our support.” (emphasis added)
NOW’s Analysis: We do not find it the least bit surprising that right-wing websites run posts like this, using language like “mass bloodshed.” Of course, that doesn’t make it acceptable, just sadly predictable. Normally, we wouldn’t spend time addressing the content on a conservative blog.
What makes this post relevant, however, is that Erick Erickson is a political contributor on CNN’s John King, USA. And NOW believes that a mainstream media outlet like CNN has no business employing a radical propagandist like Erickson.
Let’s count the ways in which this quote is scary: First of all, doctors, clinic workers, volunteer escorts, security guards and others have already been killed and injured in the name of protecting the “sanctity of human life.” If there’s an audience that doesn’t need any riling up with allusions to violence, it’s anti-abortion rights extremists.
And how about the careful phrasing that claims bloodshed won’t be necessary, “but only if…”? The caveat that follows sounds quite difficult to measure. So, if those “committed to justice do not waiver or compromise” (what constitutes a waiver?) and they “send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials” (what qualifies as a clear signal? how many representatives must be signaled?), only then is there no need for “mass bloodshed.” Who is going to be measuring whether these conditions are met or not? Is there a time certain for the conditions to be met? If they aren’t met, what form will the bloodshed take? Who will be the targets of the bloodshed, and will they be warned that it’s about to commence? If this series of questions comes off sounding sarcastic or facetious, it’s not meant to be. This is dead serious.
Erickson reportedly will offer analysis during CNN’s State of the Union coverage. Imagine a liberal in charge of a website that suggests the terms under which “mass bloodshed” should or should not take place in the U.S. being given a prominent and regular position on a mainstream cable news network. Not likely. Why is it ok for a member of the radical right to be given such a platform? It’s not.
Take Action: Tell CNN that Erick Erickson has got to go. NOW. Make sure to put Erick Erickson’s name in the box that says “Anchor or reporter’s name.”
Thanks to our friends at Media Matters for alerting us to this outrage.
National Organization for Women