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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

CNN and John King get played

By Greg Sargent

I was hoping to avoid writing any more about Erick Erickson's dishonesty, since the book has already been closed on that topic. But now that CNN and John King have provided Erickson a platform on CNN's Web site to spread his falsehoods about yours truly to a wider audience, another response, unfortuately, is in order.

CNN and King have now posted this from Erickson on King's blog:

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent went on Twitter to encourage unions in Wisconsin to get violent -- oblivious to incidents that have already happened. Sargent says he was being sarcastic, but he'd never give the benefit of the doubt to anyone on the right who did the same.

Emphasis mine. The notion that I encouraged unions in Wisconsin to get violent is entirely false. It's akin to claiming that Jonathan Swift advocated for the selling of children as food. And no, I'm not comparing myself to Swift.

Indeed, Erickson himself has essentially conceded the point already over on RedState.com, where he wrote this (emphasis mine):

I believe Sargent was being sarcastic. The problem is that if I or Sarah Palin or anyone on the right had said something similar, Greg Sargent and his friends would never, ever extend us the courtesy of recognizing the sarcasm...

After acknowledging elsewhere that he believes I was being sarcastic, which would appear to mean he doesn't believe I advocated for violence, he's now flatly asserting on CNN that I did advocate for violence, and is merely claiming that I "said" I was being sarcastic.

This kind of misdirection and and sleight of hand, of course, are par for the course for a huckster like Erickson. But you'd think King and the professional journalists at CNN would check out the facts of the matter before disseminating such an incendiary charge, particularly given Erickson's track record.

At bottom this is another cautionary tale, akin to the recent episodes involving Andrew Breitbart, about what happens when real news organizations let people like Erickson smuggle their complete absence of standards onto their platform. I'm assuming King and the other reputable journalists at CNN are unaware of what Erickson did here, since it's hard to imagine they'd be okay with CNN.com enabling Erickson's efforts to smear another reporter for political reasons.

UPDATE, 12:24 p.m.: Jamison Foser:

Now, here's what's really appalling about all this: CNN and John King are promoting Erick Erickson's false claims about Sargent without noting Erickson's own history of violent rhetoric. This is becoming something of a habit for King and CNN, who have repeatedly invited Erickson to denounce rhetoric coming from liberals, all while politely avoiding mention of Erickson's own track record. Which, for those who are unfamiliar with Erickson's work, includes talking about pulling shotguns on government officials and beating state legislators to a "bloody pulp for being an idiot."

Read the whole thing.

By Greg Sargent  | March 2, 2011; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Labor, Political media  
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Comments

The lesson here is that progressives need to cut way back on the sarcasm. It's used constantly and frequently creates problems like this.

Sarcasm is often lost in text form.
Sarcasm is often lost on right wingers.
Sarcasm can be used against us as we see here.

Just say no to sarcasm.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | March 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Do I detect sarcasm, ANDY01?

Posted by: Papagnello | March 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Greg, let me be the first to apologize to you for the way you have been slandered by CNN and Erick Erickson.

I suggest you ignore these pricks (both here and on twitter) and get back to exposing the right's policies for what they are, bad for America.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The nerve you struck with Erickson, Greg, is that he WANTS violence. Not just to discredit the union protests in WI, but because he can't imagine any other way for civil society to work.

He's a small-minded bigot with a big megaphone (likely supplementing his small....well, you get it).

Posted by: BGinCHI | March 2, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think it is clear that conservatives are lashing out in despair that violence is not occuring in Madison. And no discussion of Ericson is complete without a link to this:

http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2011/01/17/macon-bacon/

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 2, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Greg, did you see Eric Erickson's response to Tucker Carlson's MILF joke about Sarah Palin?

----

Maybe my sense of humor needs to be recalibrated, but when I heard @TuckerCarlson's MILFistan comment, I laughed then got out my passport."

----

Sarcasm is bad. Not funny. Joke about Palin's MILF-ism? Hahahahaha.

You should write a blog post titled: "Erickson Announces Trip to MILF-istan."

http://is.gd/vlXRzr

Posted by: jfs0425 | March 2, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Appealing to John King's sense of journalistic ethics seems like a losing strategy. Maybe if you change your name to John McCain you'll get some action out of him.

Posted by: flounder2 | March 2, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

BGinChi

Dude...where have you been! I was afraid you fell off your bike. :-)

You just made my and Tao's day. We along with others have been bemoaning your absence...how terrific to see your return!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 2, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I understand that Greg has been misquoted and unrightly so by Eric Erickson. But the number of people who see, hear, or care about this has to number in the low double digits. It's like Ezra posted the other day - people just don't really care about the nitty-gritty of politics. Think about it this way, what is your opinion on Paul Pierce? Now, what if Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups got into a spat about high-post short-range jump-shots (say in the 10-12 ft range) over twitter. What would be your opinion on that?

Posted by: willows1 | March 2, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Sorry for your experience with CNN.

I'm cautiously hopeful that CNN will stick their fingers into the breeze once again and realize they can't outFox Faux or out progressive MSNBC...their strength is in their international reputation, and a time long ago when they tried to be impartial journalists with only one show devoted to the "political shoutfests".

Given some recent stories I've read about how the rigidly partisan shows are losing their appeal as American's grow weary of all the conflict...talk radio's audience..mostly right wing shouters is going down the tubes...and there is audience erosion for both Faux and MSNBC...
If I could program CNN right now I would eliminate EVERY pundit...and ANYBODY who even had the slightest tint of partisanship and start anew with a commitment to honest, ethical, journalism.
That would serve a niche that is totally under served at the moment except perhaps for an hour or so on PBS in the evening news hour.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 2, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

ruk, great to hear you! Been really busy and lurking here on and off. Haven't had time to mix it up here of late.

A big hello to you and to tao (and lms and others). Will try to check in more often. Hope you've all been well.

Posted by: BGinCHI | March 2, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

BG

Well indeed. I've been faithfully attending "spinning class" and who knows..if you and the Mrs. make it to the UP this year maybe we can rent some mountain bikes and try to make the climb up Brockway mountain. I'm winded just thinking about it. lol

Hope your "busyness" involved your latest novel. Still writing?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 2, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@willows

I'm afraid I'd have to side with Paul Pierce. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 2, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Hi BG, we've really missed you and sarcasm is NOT dead as you're one of the best. Hope all is well with you and yours, looking forward to summer I bet!

Posted by: lmsinca | March 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Maybe you should attempt to get a comment from King or CNN on the subject?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | March 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Collateral damage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/world/asia/03afghan.html?_r=1&hp

disgusting

Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey BG! Nice to see you. It's Ethan2010 btw with a new handle. Hope you're well.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 2, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I feel the love. Hey lms. Yep, getting slowly warmer here and trying to put winter in the rearview. And yeah, still writing and trying to beat the shite fiction market. Stay tuned.

Anyone else hear the WI state Senator call the folks at the WI Capitol "slobs" last night on O'Donnell's show? And he added that the protesters are not really cops and firefighters and teachers but some unidentified "others."

I can't wait till the "Get Off My Lawn" Generation is lawnless and a distant political memory.

Posted by: BGinCHI | March 2, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, hey, didn't recognize you. Keep kicking against the pricks.

Posted by: BGinCHI | March 2, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you fell into the twitter corset trap. They constrict your word usage so much, that they take away your ability to communicate in a full and clear manner.

Writers should never use Twitter.

Here is the the headline you posted on Plumline.

Posted at 3:37 PM ET, 02/28/2011
In which I advocate for union thugs to get violent (not really)
By Greg Sargent

..............................

Notice the "not really" snark alert.
I suspect that you were trying to be short and pithy, to accommodate the character limits on Twitter, and therefore omitted the "not really" notification.

Just say no to the Twitter language corset, or we will soon see some start up, which limits messages to only four characters, and the name Twitter will not even fit the communications restrictions.

By the way; a wild dingo ate my Irish Baby Ragu.


Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

shrink

That story is deplorable and points out explicitly why we need to get our butts back home. I can't believe we're still there and the slow creep we're hearing from the Beltway re calling it quits in Afghanistan is too slow by any measure. The only thing we understand about the ME is our need for oil.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 2, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Too bad WI gets all the attention, related partisan battles in other states are at least as important, though not nearly as rude. Imagine, a New York political battle that involves the teacher's union that seems civilized.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/nyregion/02teacher.html?hpw

Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

All this stuff is media parochialism a la Glenn Greenwald. CNN knew what they were getting when they hired a guy like Erickson. They were trying to pull some of the Tea Party demographic away from FOX.
The term "professional journalist" and the name of John King, or Blitzer, or David Gregory should never be used in the same sentence.
Every interview they do with anyone in DC, especially in the GOP, is done with kneepads on. They are paid court stenographers, not journalists.

Posted by: filmnoia | March 2, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Mar 02, 2011 12:07 EST

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A gunman shot dead two U.S. soldiers and injured two people seriously at Frankfurt airport on Wednesday, said Boris Rhein, interior minister for the state of Hesse.

The gunman was apparently a Kosovo national, he said. "Whether the incident was linked to terrorism I cannot say at this stage," he told journalists.

A spokesman for Frankfurt airport operator Fraport said the shooting took place in a U.S. Army bus in front of the airport's Terminal 2.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Ims, yes, I feel embarrassed to speak in terms like love saving the world...when it just doesn't appear to be working. I have two young boys, the idea of them being slaughtered by a some guys (whose lives are also now at high risk) in a helicopter is unimaginable.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Since The Onion did not report it, I must:

Justice Clarence Thomas failed in a tryout to appear as a Jeopardy contestant, because, on principle, he refused to ask a single question.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton says the biggest concern in the US is that Libya could become "a giant Somalia" BBC

In re Libya, now we are talking about the terrible reality...an oil Somalia. What to do to prevent that. Let the debate begin. Russia has already said it opposes the no-fly zone. Obviously China does. I wonder where the Euros stand in this regard? I have heard they want it.

"US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been speaking about what imposing a no-fly zone would really mean. "Let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down."


Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why Sargent's benefit of the doubt is so important to Erikson. The rest of the press gives him that benefit presumptively.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 2, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Per Politicalwire.com

"
Is Chris Christie Ready?
Rich Lowry makes the case that while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may not feel ready to run for president, "he's wrong."

...................

According Rich Lowry, Chris Christy is the right man for to be President because he lacks the judgment to know that he is the right man now.

With that sort of reasoning power, I can understand why Rich Lowry felt that Little Miss Winky Poo Of The Tundra was tossing sparkles out of his TV, and that was what made her qualified to be our next Vice President.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Ethan, hey, didn't recognize you. Keep kicking against the pricks."

Heh heh.

You know me. I love a good prick kicking. :)

Oh and while you and Liam are both here...

Did you guys see the name of the executive that Koch Industries trotted out to defend the Koch Bros? RICH FINK. Google it up. Hilarious.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 2, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think King was "played." He is in cahoots with EE.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | March 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

According Rich Lowry, Chris Christy is the right man for to be President because he lacks the judgment to know that he is the right man now.
---------------------------------------------------
Bwahaha!!!

Reminds me of a job offer I turned down. The interviewer told me I was wrong to turn it down (implying I might be stupid), but then fearing I might not be delighted to be told how wrong I was, he complimented me on my humility. What a jerk!

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 2, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

news of the nice

Mercy Corpse worker Cassandra Nelson, who just arrived in Libya, tweets: "Libyan driver who took us from border refused our payment: "No money. You come to help my country; that is enough."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The folks at CNN (and Fox and CBS and NBC and ABC and MSNBC, etc) are not professional journalists. They are professional BROADCASTERS. Big, big difference.
The whole TV infotainment matrix is so debased that the only difference among their various bots is in degrees of separation from the truth.
Lots of your alleged reporters are trending in the same direction as well.

Posted by: kstack | March 2, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

TPM and Think Progress are reporting that Faux New's Bill O'LieEasily, ran a video clip of demonstrators in Sacramento, with Palm trees and no snow on the ground, while claiming it was evidence of Protesters in Madison, Wi. behaving badly.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"MERCY *CORPSE* ?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 2, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

The Faux video of those palm trees in Madison, WI is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOqBpsh94xQ&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 2, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Sue,

Thank for posting the link to the clip.

How do you like my new name for the host: Bill O'LieEasily?

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a problem the left brought on itself by getting so outraged over every conservative politician who used the word targeted or bullseye after the Gifford's shooting. By using every event as a political opportunity, the other side will eventually look for a chance to flip the tables.

Posted by: Natstural | March 2, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The right wing desperately wants to see violence in Wisc. That much is obvious. It isn't happening. So they make stuff up.

Typical.

Posted by: Alex3 | March 2, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Unholy Emissions; Batman!!

Take a look at the video clip that Fox News showed of Madison, Wisconsin in the depth of winter.

No snow on the ground, and Palm Trees flourishing.

How much more proof do we need that global warming is real, than that just provided by the Cable News Channel most trusted by Global Warming Skeptics.

Fox News TV does not lie. The video is clear proof of how much warmer Madison Wisconsin has become.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

About that potential government shutdown:

"More Americans Would Blame Congress, Not Obama, For Gov't Shutdown"

Without a completed budget bill, the government would effectively shut down until one is passed, as happened in 1994. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to that prospect; about 60% of respondents to surveys conducted by Gallup and PPP said they didn't want to see the government temporarily shuttered.

But if a shutdown does occur, polls have shown more Americans would pin the blame Congressional Republicans than on Obama. However, when surveys pit Obama and Congressional Democrats against Republicans in Congress, the blame gets spread more evenly.

In a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, 47% of registered votes said they would blame Republicans for a shutdown, while 38% said they'd blame Obama. That's a similar finding to one contained in a PPP poll from mid-February, in which 41% of voters said they would blame Congressional Republicans, while 35% said they'd hold Obama accountable.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 2, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

All, Adam Serwer responds to Ben Smith on Huckabee and the "Kenya" flap:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/obamas_actual_background_is_fa.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 2, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I could not make the Link that Sue posted, work, so I am posting the link that worked for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClJ6vK9x_4


I want to thank Fox Cable News for being honest enough to show a video clip of Madison Wisconsin in the middle of Winter, with no snow, and Palm Trees flourishing.

Clear evidence of how far Global Warming has progressed.

Thank You Rupert. You are a great environmentalist.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1 and Liam-still,

I just sent the follwing email to Mr. O'Reilly.

"Sir,

Knowing of your love for accuracy and accountability, can you explain why this footage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOqBpsh94xQ&feature=player_embedded) was played on your show? Palm trees in Wisconsin? I think you are too smart to be duped, and too honest to lie, so who did this to you? Perhaps it was an error by your producer? I hope you have the time to reply with your explanation.

Thank you."

Think I'll get a reply? :-)

Posted by: wiccan | March 2, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

But if a shutdown does occur, polls have shown more Americans would pin the blame Congressional Republicans than on Obama. However, when surveys pit Obama and Congressional Democrats against Republicans in Congress, the blame gets spread more evenly.
----------------------------------------
Explains why passing the continuing resolution is a bipartisan effort.

No, wait, sbj says the GOP won this round! The GOP would **never** be influenced by the polls, would they.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 2, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Mark, that is a PL usage, something to do with Obama, like Bush's Internets, or Bugs Bunny's maroon.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 2, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

MY goodness, but it certainly seems that Mr Sargent is objecting to the use of the same techniques that the left has perfected all these years.

He claims to be taken out of context. Really? That's a pity. It really is.

As we saw just recently the left operates a huge and efficient big lie machine. Paul Krugman hurled an accusation and within a matter of hours the symbols used by Sarah Palin on her website were the reason for the Tucson murders.

Was she taken out of context Mr Sargent? Did you read the comments of your camp followers here? Of particular note were the insights of JennofArk, who basically blamed Palin as if she had pulled the trigger.

Does it really suck Greg? Does it really bother you that every word you use is held up to scrutiny and ridicule? Do now wonder what it must be like to on the recieving end of the left's propaganda machine?

Or are you just upset because the right is using the left's favorite tools and techniques effectively?

There a lot of problems with this situation:
(1) In war, truth is the first casualty. We are at war within our own society now and truth is looking for a body bag. Both sides of this conflict are engaged in Alinskyite tactics. And the truth may not always fit in.
(2) The credibility of a pivotal American institution is at stake. Freedom of the press is important to us. But that freedom apparently also means freedom to misuse the franchise we have granted. Perhaps the denizens of the press should consider something of greater value to the public than their own incomes, agenda or accolades.
(3) A press that is easily manipulated, as ours currently is, gives rise to charlatans as almost anyone can now claim to be a valid source of information. Read Dana Milbank's column today and ask yourself why anyone would believe him over oh say, Baghdad Bob.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 2, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Just wait till something violent happens Greg. Like I said, they will come after you regardless of your explanation.

CNN for a bit there seemed to regain just a lick of legitimacy but then they fall off the deep end.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 2, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClJ6vK9x_4


I want to thank Fox Cable News for being honest enough to show a video clip of Madison Wisconsin in the middle of Winter, with no snow, and Palm Trees flourishing.

Clear evidence of how far Global Warming has progressed.

Thank You Rupert. You are a great environmentalist.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Greg. What you fail to understand is that in Conservative Land, "violence" is a fungible thing. When a Rand Paul supporter stomps on the head of a member of MoveOn, it's not violence! But when Mike Tobin gets tapped on the shoulder by a Wisconsin union thug, it's a PUNCH! In other words: "violence" is not just in the eye of the beholder, it's wholly dependent upon the political persuasion of the victim.

Posted by: southernbeale | March 2, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

And they wondered why people were shouting "Fox News Lies!" at them.

Indeed:

http://sobeale.blogspot.com/2011/03/fox-news-lies.html

Posted by: southernbeale | March 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the rest of you keep getting the impression that Skippy has been cloned from some Church Lady Stem Cells?

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Did Mr Sargent get hoisted by his own petard?

it certainly seems that way. The big lie process so beloved by the liberals has been turned against them. I'm not fond of that but we are in a civil (and thus far uncivil) war.

Folks like Lame-still will try denial but it just won't work. The great Sarah Palin calumniation proved to Americans everywhere the following:
(1) The left will stop at nothing to achieve its goals (whatever they are). "By any means necessary" including falsely accusing others and using their influence on the media to spread the lies.
(2) Liberals are not much different from other true believers. They followed along like sheep.

Will conservatives also buy the calumniation of Mr Sargent? I'd like to think so, in this case. But we'll see.

In the meantime I take some cold comfort in the fact that Mr Sargent is getting a glimpse of what it is like to be lied about repeatedly by members of the media who he thinks should know better.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 2, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the rest of you keep getting the impression that Skippy has been cloned from some Church Lady Stem Cells?

Posted by: Liam-still | March 2, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Liam

I think you are insulting the Church lady!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 2, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"...King and the professional journalists at CNN..."

Assumes facts not in evidence...

Posted by: msmollyg | March 2, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

If you only watch CNN you'd never know there was anything happening in Wisconsin. They've been focused on Libya (worthwhile) and Charlie Sheen (not so much). Barely a peep about Wisconsin.

Posted by: bosson | March 3, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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