If you missed it, Erick Erickson is at it again. This time, the CNN contributor tweeted, “First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected” on day one of the DNC.
You might recall Erickson from his Limbaugh-esque “FemiNazi” references to women who speak their minds without his permission.
Erick was hired as part of CNN’s “balanced” approach, meaning they went to the dregs of the allegedly conservative movement (actually quite a radical anarchist movement, but that is for another day) and plucked two know-nothing rudesters out of obscurity in order to appeal to the “heartland” of America.
In response to CNN’s continued refusal to deal with Erickson’s inexcusable conduct, the Ultra Violet team started a petition calling for Erickson to be fired. According to Ultra Violet, 64,000 people signed it in under 24 hours. That’s what happens when you insult social media savvy women like Ultra Violet founders Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas, who are funded by the progressive nonprofit Citizen Engagement Lab.
Erickson’s non-apology apology read like the typical bully’s apology: “My apologies to those offended by my tweet. Wasn’t my intention.”
Yes, ladies, if you are offended, that’s on you. See, Mr. Erickson didn’t mean to offend you by referring to you by your body parts. Heh. It’s all “entertainment” for the Right wing, just like saying President Obama is “perverting the word of God”, calling President Obama the “food stamp president” and “Hitler” is all in good fun.
Who can forget Erickson’s rage filled tweet upon Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s retirement: “The nation loses the only goat f***ing child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.”
Or this sad lament that women are stopping him from being a man somehow, “I don’t care that the Masters is a male dominated event. Frankly, I kind of like the idea that women aren’t members of the Masters. Can’t men go anywhere and just be men? ….”
Ah, yes, this is CNN’s “small town America” representative, because everyone from small towns is a misogynistic bigot? Is this really what CNN thinks of small town America?
Never mind that precisely because men like Erickson are allowed to continue behaving this way and in fact their behavior is obviously condoned by mainstream outlet like CNN, his attitudes and words trickle down into our cultural dialogue.
Yesterday, for example, when I pointed out that President Obama was the smallest spender since Eisenhower on Twitter, I was called a “c*nt” by a conservative, sadly not an unusual refrain — intended as it is to be the Great Silencer. How does this fellow’s failure to present a decent rebuttal relate to Erickson’s offensive tweet? Body parts.
It’s not okay. If you don’t want your daughter referred to by her vagina when she is presenting herself in a professional manner discussing serious policy, you’d better let CNN know that this is not acceptable. Because yes, as Sandra Fluke pointed out last night, it could be any woman who is called a slut as she was. It happens every minute of the day, but when men with large platforms who are supposed to be political pundits do it, it’s the job of the network to demonstrate that they do not condone gender based hate speech.
If you don’t want your wife, girlfriend, sister, daughter, friend or yourself referred to by her/your body parts, you might want to let CNN know that Erick Erickson has got to go.
I linked to the petition yesterday, and I’m going to do it again today, because Erick Erickson is a serial offender whose apology shows not even the hint of regret, let alone self-examination or determination to not repeat the mistake.
Firing Erickson won’t get rid of misogyny, but it will send a message that it is not acceptable for serious professionals. If Erickson wants to call women in his personal life “vagina monologues” or “ugly feminists” or “FemiNazis” that is his business. But when he does it with the huge platform of CNN ostensibly condoning his actions, he puts all women at risk of being dismissed as a body part. And just for the record, since when is CNN okay with Erickson’s Nazi reference? Are women who speak their minds really just like the Nazis? Is this a reasonable or even remotely sane suggestion? What exactly is it about a woman speaking that makes her a Nazi, and how is this not hate speech?
CNN’s Erick Erickson and the Right he represents find it entertaining to insult, humiliate, degrade and belittle American citizens because they have a vagina. And honestly, for an allegedly straight male, that is the oddest reason to ignore a woman, and yet, it’s their go-to defense against women speaking their minds.
Erickson tried to shame the women speaking at the DNC. He bullied them via Twitter and demeaned them to mere body parts. It’s no different than what Rush Limbaugh did to Sandra Fluke, and it’s SO not okay.
Erickson’s obvious issues with women are his problem, and something he needs to work out in therapy and not under the platform of an allegedly serious news outlet.
Tonight, gorgeous feminist Scarlett Johansson is rumored to be attending the DNC. But of course, if they can’t call us ugly, they call us sluts. Both insults imply that women are nothing if not desired by the man speaking. I note that the men who frequently resort to these insults are men like Rush Limbaugh and Erick Erickson, who no doubt are not prone to attracting women with their personalities or charm.
The newsflash is that many of us do not operate within the world view that Erick Erickson’s approval and/or desire is even a goal. We are more than our vaginas; we are human beings with thoughts and ideas. We are half of this country, and we expect a news outlet like CNN to stand with us and our dignity, and against hate speech.
We just aren’t that into Erickson’s CNN condoned 1980’s style misogyny. Until CNN takes action to demonstrate that they do not condone Erickson’s sentiments, they are allowing him to use the platform they provide in order to spread hate speech against women.
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Image: Media Matters
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.