Erick Erickson, FOX News commentator, radio host and editor and chief of redstate.com, professed his undying love for MSNBC at symposium held at Troy University on Friday.
Actually, that was a blatant overstatement, which I felt was appropriate given Erickson’s professional history.
For the last two weeks I had been familiarizing myself with Ericksons incite-full body of work, and had prepared myself for a deluge of nastiness.
I think I had a few reasons to believe that was a possibility. Allow me to give you the short list of his—his finer moments in nastiness.
- Erickson talking about how “watching a hippie protester get tased” makes his day.
- Erickson talking about accusations that Pope Francis was complicit in regards to Argentinian crimes against humanity makes him like the pope more.
- Erickson calling Michelle Obama a “Marxist harpy.”
- Erickson calling a retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “donkey [expletive deleted] child molester.”
- Erickson saying feminists are angry because they are too ugly to get a date.
But I also had reason to believe that reason was lurking amongst the dark, dark shadows of his thoughts. This reason can be witnessed when he speaks about how the conservative anger is perceived by those outside the conservative bubble.
“I think conservative media is failing to advance ideas and stories… The echo in the chamber has gotten so loud it is not well understood outside the echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public. It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion.”
This might have been a good sign of a turning point in his career and a move towards fostering reasonable dialogue, but within the weeks following the statement he had already made the statement from above about the pope, as well as alienated libertarians by calling them smug in regards to their views on same-sex marriage.
For a man that has proven himself cognizant of what techniques are persuasive, it appears he has no interest in practicing those techniques. I suppose it’s a case of “do as I say, and not as I do.”
Curious to dig deeper into his ability to discern what reasonable dialogue is, and what is not, I formulated a question to prod his brain.
It’s a very complex and well thought out question, so prepare yourself.
“Who do you believe are good representatives of reasonable dialogue?”
I was astounded as four of the people that he named are also people I’d consider reasonable: George Will, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.
I know the list was just off the top of his head, but I found it interesting that three of the five people he named were MSNBC hosts. He also named CNN’s Paul Begala.
I found myself impressed, but after I had more time to think about it, the more it upset me.
His picks indicate to me, quite clearly, that he understands what is reasonable. Therefore he should be capable of conduct himself reasonably and without these incendiary incidents.
I have thought of an analogy for the way this experience made me feel.
Imagine you have a misbehaving child. You can be frustrated with the child, but at the end of the day you can reconcile that the child is behaving as a child.
If one day you were to discover the child had the capacity of an adult all along, then the behavior becomes something wholly inexcusable.