Have some courtesy, have some sympathy and some taste

Erick Erickson has a thoughtful piece on his time at CNN (via Jim Newell):

I’ve learned that some of the people I grew up thinking were in the enemy’s camp, so to speak, are spectacular people who share many of the same interests and opinions I do.


I learned that I will never be competitive with Roland Martin on the fashion front, but he makes an excellent road trip companion through South Carolina. One of the most formative moments of my career at CNN was standing outside a hotel with Roland Martin and tourists began handing him luggage and keys as if he worked at the hotel — only because he was in a suit. His courteousness to the people when he did not have to be courteous and the fact that in the 21st century that’d happen at all really struck me profoundly.

Because of CNN I’m not just better at my job, but I’m a better person. For all the hate and angst from a lot of folks on the right over me going to CNN, I know many of the contributors I consider good friends were initially skeptical of my hiring. I had to learn an art form too often missing these days in partisan talk — the art of conversation, particularly with those who might disagree with me. I had to learn to be friends with people who I disagreed with. And I leave deeply caring for those people.

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71 replies
  1. 1
    General Stuck says:

    I swear. It’s going to start raining fishes any minute now.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    Must have been some suit.

  3. 3

    I’m trying to translate. ‘After hanging out with conservatives, it was a shock to me that not everyone in the world is a raging asshole. Fortunately, almost everyone on television thinks screwing the poor is the right thing to do, and I was able to bridge the social gap between that and my opinion that everyone who doesn’t worship Reagan Christ is a sub-human deserving of death.’ Does that sound right?

  4. 4
    redshirt says:

    Hardy har har. I hope Roland was wearing Capulets or somethin’.

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    The Lizard Queen though, has yet to receive the moderation memo.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m a better person for his time on CNN, too!

  7. 7
    Mark B. says:

    Lemme guess. Roland Martin is black.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @General Stuck: Not. Getting. Out. Of. That. Boat.

  9. 9
    danielx says:

    @General Stuck:

    And she never will, though I’m not certain it matters – Our Lady Of The Pompoms is a little past her sell-by date.

    And nope, I’ll never tire of that clip – it’s almost unheard of for a wingnut public figure to deliberately make a complete ass of him/herself; they usually do it unconsciously.

  10. 10
    Justin says:

    It’s a quite graceful statement, but if you suspect that Redstate, as a community, has benefited from Erick’s time at CNN, just read the comments.

  11. 11
    amk says:

    Another john cole in the making ?


    Nah. The batshit crazy will soon return to his normal self.

  12. 12
    Drunken hausfrau says:


  13. 13
    muddy says:

    The comment that made me laugh the most was the one saying, Good on you for being civil with lefties, altho they are all so mean that they pretend to like you behind the scenes and then they still come out and spew their liberal crap on tv! How dare they, what hypocrites!!!11!! etc etc

    But the converse, that he was nice behind the scenes (well, according to him) and then him coming out and having a conservative viewpoint on tv is right and proper. Hello, samesame?

    As a small child, I learned to turn a situation around backward in my mind and see if it still seemed fair. Blows holes in a lot of ideas I was being fed. These people are so astoundingly unaware of themselves. It must be really hard to hold their worldview together under these circumstances.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mark B.:

    Yup, but Erick doesn’t see that being because of his skin color. Erick said that what they saw was his impeccable dress and were fooled into thinking he worked at that SC hotel.

    Yeah… right.

  16. 16
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Is the children learning?

  17. 17
    gbear says:

    I had to learn an art form too often missing these days in partisan talk — the art of conversation, particularly with those who might disagree with me.

    And so he’s taking those skills to work at Fox news? Right. I’m thinking he found that those skills have exactly zero value to him.

  18. 18
    bago says:

    Mistakes are a part of the learning process. At the very least, with the FOX branding, his content will have a proper frame of reference.

  19. 19
    C.J. says:


    The best is the mod commenting on “picking fights” i.e. that both sides condemn the other for doing it, followed by a “Nah, liberals pick fights and conservatives use logic all the time, they’re still scum.”

    Baby steps, I guess.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    with Roland Martin and tourists began handing him luggage and keys as if he worked at the hotel

    Shit like this still beggars my imagination.

    I managed to never see Erickson, except one time when his “Harry Reid fucks goats” self was paired with noted liberal David Gergen. For balance. But fact that they shit-canned the Matalins makes me happy. Of course, I think they still manifest on all three broadcast networks.

  21. 21
    Hill Dweller says:

    This ranks right up there with Bill O’Reilly being shocked that black people used forks and knives just like white people.

  22. 22
    Justin says:

    @C.J.: Here’s mine:

    And that is the difference between the two sides, I guess. We see the goodness and potential and God-given gifts in our fellow human being – born and unborn – and they only see allies and enemies, color and sexuality and gender and victim class. Humans are sifted and sorted, pigeon-holed and categorized, and woe be unto those who try to slip the bonds of the label.

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    If their worlds are inside of their heads, it’s a small world indeed.
    They bend the outside world to fit their inside fantasy.
    The sky is a different color in their world.

  24. 24
    Leszek Pawlowicz says:

    You missed the punchline at the end:

    “Effective today I am a Fox News contributor.”

  25. 25
    gbear says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    He is probably articulate too.

  26. 26
    General Stuck says:


    Her and the other alternate wingnut media are about to get run over by history and the ultimate progress toward a more perfect union. With all our many faults and bad behavior as a nation, sometimes, whatever the founders were thinking individually, collectively, they created an instruction manual with survival seeds of progress. We go through all kinds of angst and injustice, and even a very bloody civil war, but somehow the worm turns, even if way late.

    The haters catch the bouquet from the matrimony of diligence and the better angels of our nature. It is one reason I am a dedicated small d democrat. And the fealty to process that keeps our progress viable, and not the temptation to violate that process for a desired result. That eventually delivers justice as an imperfect final result.

  27. 27
    geg6 says:

    Yeah, they were handing Roland Martin luggage while he stood outside a hotel in South Cackalacky was all because of the suit.

    Jeebus, do these assholes ever listen to themselves? Even in an attempt to be as gracious as an utter asshole can possibly be, he is an utter asshole.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    I clicked and read it. Nice thoughtful post by EE.

    But last line said he was moving to Fox News.

    Let’s see whether he keeps up the thoughtfulness there.

    Edit: I see three commenters beat me to it. I guess one of front posters will check in and give us a report later on.

  29. 29
    Doug Galt says:


    I think he means because he’s black and he’s in a suit. He didn’t phrase it right.

  30. 30
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    Well there you go, a perfect explanation. I bet Erick would kick himself for not noticing that could have been the reason they were handing Roland their luggage.

    Sharp dresser and well spoken indeed, it fools those white people all of the time.

  31. 31
    muddy says:


    The Erickson abuse starts at about 3:30 if you are impatient.

    ETA: and continues to the end of the segment.

  32. 32
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Hey, now. Whenever I see a guy in a suit, I always assume he’s there to park my car or tote my shit. Why you raggin’ on Erick^2?

  33. 33
    Calouste says:

    @Doug Galt:

    I thought that was fairly obvious from the “and the fact that in the 21st century that’d happen at all really struck me profoundly” follow up.

  34. 34
    Nemo_N says:

    Stop with the suit nonsense, Erickson made it clear it was because he was black with the line “the fact that in the 21st century that’d happen”.

    The “only because he was in a suit” is acknowledging that that alone is not enough reason to think someone is the help.

    It isn’t that vague.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Justin: which is why they’d give those illegal rats the time of day if it weren’t for those anchor babies they keep having.

  36. 36
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Meh. “Erick Erickson has a thoughtful piece.” This the kind of shit that keeps Sullivan employed. Ericksonofericksonoferick does this shit often enough on his blog. He’s as bad as the rest of them, and deserves to be shunned in polite society.

  37. 37
    TooManyJens says:

    I just want to know if this means Erickson will acknowledge that sometimes people really are racist, and it’s not just a “card” being played by people of color and/or liberals.

  38. 38
    Doug Galt says:


    Meh, I save my real hatred for Very Serious People. There’s hope for people like EE, there’s none for Cokie Roberts.

  39. 39
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @General Stuck:

    The haters catch the bouquet from the matrimony of diligence and the better angels of our nature.

    You drunk again?

  40. 40
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Doug Galt: I have enough for both of them. Ericksonoferick has never shown the slightest glimmer of a reason for hope. Cole leaked compassion quite a bit. E2 is just a dick.

  41. 41
    Fred Fnord says:

    That’s all pretty hilarious.

    “I had to learn at CNN that those people who I still constantly say are destroying the world on purpose because they hate everything that is good and right can actually be pretty nice people when you talk to them. Not that that stops me from telling everyone that they’re purposefully destroying the world because they’re awful people, but when I’m actually, you know, hanging around them one-on-one I don’t try to hit them with a crowbar any more.”

    Oh, and Lief? Maybe you could consider your little anecdote as evidence that maybe racism still is a factor in the world? Oop, no, sorry, not that much in the way of self-awareness.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    To paraphrase Chris Rock, what, he wants a cookie for finally waking up and realizing that racism actually exists and isn’t just a fairy tale made up by liberals?

  43. 43
    eemom says:

    What’s puzzling me is why the fuck anyone has Erick Erickson for a name.

    Woo woo.

  44. 44
    phil says:

    I feel sorry for the guy, only 37 and he looks worse than most 50-60 year olds. He won’t make it to 45 without a lot of assistance from Obamacare.

  45. 45
    muddy says:

    Maybe his parents thought it would be the only way he’d be memorable.

  46. 46
    Dexter's new approach says:

    This reminds me of how my parents interact with minorities. They show huge pride in their interaction with non-whites that “get it” (“Our door guy Darrell’s son is going to Duke!”) Not imagining the odds or extreme obstacles, rather they take partial credit.

  47. 47
    hitchhiker says:

    Oy. I wonder what Mr. Martin thinks of this . . . being the living lesson that finally convinced EE that it’s not all free stuff and watermelon, being black. And I wonder how it could possibly be that EE made it this far in life without realizing that racism is real and that there are still a whole bunch of people paying the price for that special, gracious southern way of life.

    Sometimes this country just. Ah. It’s too much.

  48. 48
    El Cid says:

    @hitchhiker: What? Those hotel guests were obviously trying to give him free stuff, i.e., their luggage. Clearly it was meant as a donation, misinterpreted by the white guilt lain upon Urk Urkson.

  49. 49
    magurakurin says:

    Fuck Erik Erikson. He’s a dick. It’s insulting that he actually believed that somehow the 21st century no longer had racism. If he truly was shocked to see it then he is an ignorant dick living in a bubble. But more likely he actually thought it was funny because the truth is he is a USDA grade A asshole whose stock and trade is racism and hate mongering.

    Fuck him.

  50. 50
    Citizen_X says:

    the fact that in the 21st century that’d happen at all really struck me profoundly

    Huh. Because I’d see that, and say, “Fucking South Carolina. Figures.”

    And Erick(sub)Erick? You’re from Georgia, right next door. This is news to you?

  51. 51
    honeybooboo says:

    I predict NOT Republican Wrong Way Cole’s next post will talk about what a great guy he thinks Erick is.

    Don’t let the door hit you Erick you asshole.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    Just watched last night’s Colbert pantsing of the goat-fucker re. Climate change. He can take that long leap off Al’s short pier any time.

    What a waste of perfectly good protoplasm.

  53. 53
    bryan says:

    I hate CNN.

  54. 54
    JoyfulA says:

    Only today I almost got in a brawl over CNN, which was on a giant screen in the doctor’s office. Chitchat about diners among patients during an extended piece on a FL newspaper quoting some health club guy that some baseball players took steroids. The next piece was on the CT father who was “SECOND AMENDMENT!!!” drowned out in a hearing, so this other patient in waiting started babbling about gun rights and can’t take our guns away. Seeing the look on my face, I guess, he said we really need guns now, more than in the good old days when we put the criminals in the electric chair, and now all they get is a cushy life with three meals a day. So I said I don’t believe in killing anyone, with my gun or in an electric chair. So he took a deep breath, and he was called back to see the doc.

    But my blood pressure was only 118/80.

  55. 55
    Radio One says:

    Balloon-Juice has suppressed my comments and ultimately banned me, why???

  56. 56
    taylormattd says:

    Puke. Who fucking cares.

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    It’s a good, graceful au revoir, but I’ll bet:

    1) he didn’t really fit in at CNN,
    2) if you worked at CNN you’d know who he didn’t get along with,
    3) FOX offered some combination of more money and more air time,
    4) he’s concerned that FOX isn’t as good a place to work
    5) he sees no reason to burn bridges.

    It’s the real world and Erick has to make his choices.

  58. 58
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Yeah right. Watch how nasty he is to the “liberals/commies/fascists” once he gets to Faux Noise.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The Roland Martin thing sounds an awful lot like all of the situations where a conservative gets mugged by reality. He knows Martin as a colleague and a decent person; as a result, when Martin is treated in this way, he is appalled. It is like conservative who go to prison and then discover the need for prison reform. Or conservative who have an autistic grandchild and get interested in that. If it doesn’t touch them personally, they don’t care.

    Let’s see if EE can learn from this. I tend to doubt it.

  60. 60
    brantl says:

    @Mark B.: I was sure of this, too.

  61. 61
    Aimai says:

    Fred Clark at slacktivisit. Has a link to a post about evangelical orthodox alexthymia– a made up word that means the near sociopathic inability to truly feel with other people who are not in the orthodox (right with god in this case–conservative worldview in EE’ case.). The writer discovers people for whom the new town shootings are just a ” yes but” kind of moment. Not even a bump on thevroad where gods will is concerned.

    This piece reeks of the sociopath faking emotions like friendship and empathy. He uses words in the right order but it as nothing to do with the real redstate EE

  62. 62
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You drunk again?

    If so, he’ll sober up. You’ll always be an ignorant bag of dicks.

  63. 63
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Heh. In a couple of weeks EE will be handing his luggage to some black lawyer standing in front of a hotel somewhere.

    Pig ignorant to the core.

  64. 64
    danimal says:

    Eric son of Erick is graceful…and I don’t have time to think about it cuz the flying pigs are just so adorable.

  65. 65
    NCSteve says:

    No wonder he’s running to Fox. He was on the same slippery slope of exposure to other ideas and critical thinking that turned Cole into a Islamofascistsocialist Commie!

    Sure, you think you can handle it. A little exposure to the ideas of people you disagree with, a little skepticism about the purity of your heroes motives or the feasibility of their ideas. And then one day, boom! you’re, consorting with radical blah people and gays and waging Bolshevist jihad on your evil website!

    Run, Eric, run as fast as you can! Get away from all those people who don’t think exactly the way you do before it’s too late!

  66. 66
    joes527 says:

    @Leszek Pawlowicz: So he is the new caribou barbie?

  67. 67
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @General Stuck: I agree. It’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla and forget the importance of being a dedicated, small d, democrat. The humility that it demands isn’t much fun and offers no immediate reward.

  68. 68
    Epicurus says:

    Dear Mr. Erickson: Please don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. This spittle-flecked little Nazi will fare much better in the echo chambers of Faux Nooz. Buh-bye, you little shit.

  69. 69

    @Nemo_N: It isn’t that vague.

    Maybe if you know who Roland Martin is. Nowhere in Erickson’s piece does he explain why it’s strange that in the 21st century someone would hand their keys to a guy whose name sounds like the hosts of Laugh-In.

  70. 70

    Good for Erick. Not really that surprising. He’s always seemed to me to be a fellow who spent most of his life in a very tiny geographical area with limited personal exposure to the outside world. A thoughtful piece from Mark Halperin on the other hand …

  71. 71
    Jebediah says:

    I know its a little childish, but I would have been tickled if Martin had graciously taken all the luggage and keys, loaded them in his car, and driven off to the local Goodwill to donate it all.

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