Monday, October 13, 2014

Erick Erickson's 'fat lesbians' remark demonstrates lack of accountability in journalism & Christianity

Erick Erickson
Thanks to comments from obnoxiously vile news personality Erick Erickson, we were treated to what's wrong with both American journalism and Christianity.

From Salon:

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson knows just who’s to blame for the dearth of research funds devoted to combating Ebola: “fat lesbians.”
In a post for his RedState.com blog this morning, Erickson assails a new ad highlighting the GOP’s support for budget cuts that crippled the agencies charged with leading the response to Ebola. Over the weekend, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins told the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that 10 years of stagnant spending on the agency has “slowed down” critical research. As Stein reports, the NIH’s budget in fiscal year 2004 was $28.03 billion. In 2013, it was just $29.31 billion — “barely a change, even before adjusting for inflation,” Stein notes. A Democratic bill to boost the NIH’s budget to $46 billion by 2021 isn’t likely to advance anytime soon.
But Erickson pooh-poohs the budget cuts to agencies like the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control. All the evidence you need that the agencies have plenty of cash, he argues, is in some of the research items they’ve funded.

 Erickson’s post, titled “Fat Lesbians Got All the Ebola Dollars, But Blame the GOP,” cites an NIH-funded study examining why lesbians confront higher rates of obesity; the research is in line with other demographic studies examining public health challenges, but Erickson seized on the study to wage a demagogic attack on the agency for frivolously “studying the propensity of lesbians to be fat.” He also attacked CDC research on gun violence and smoking cessation.

No doubt some folks will be attempting to pick "sense" out of nonsense and accuse me of not focusing on the content of Erickson's argument instead of the words he uses.  I'm not going to argue the content of an argument fueled by nasty words and neither should anyone else. An intelligent debate doesn't begin with slurs.

But more to the point, where is the accountability here? I don't mean Erickson's employer, Fox News. If that den of propaganda began showing any accountability, Erickson would have to get in line when it comes to employees who should be reprimanded for ugly slurs.

I'm talking about from other journalists. Where is the outrage from folks who do care about this business and what image it presents?  There is none. Erickson will probably continue to be cited, quoted, and respected in some quarters as a legitimate journalist.

And even more than that, Erickson has on more than on occasion attacked the lgbt community on the belief that we are sinning against God.  He even spoke at the 2014 Values Voter Summit, the annual event put on by the Family Research Council, a group which claims to stand for Christian values. Naturally FRC, as well as other so-called morality Christian groups, are conveniently silent about Erickson's anti-lesbian slur.

In case the irony escapes you, that means Erickson believes homosexuality to be a sin, but slurring lgbts is cool with God.

All in all, any journalist or Christian who cares about integrity and credibility would be embarrassed to be associated with someone with no taste, no class, no dignity, and absolutely no sense of how hypocritical he is. One would think that they would bend over backwards to disassociate themselves from a  sexist, homophobic shithead who should thank God that he has more chances in the journalism business than the proverbial cat has lives.

But sadly, such aspirations of virtue are only a dream in many quarters of American journalism and Christianity.


2 comments :

Michael G said...

One of the best recent posts that I've read here.
Thank you Alvin for stressing the importance of 'accountability'' for these incindiary non-journalists and their repugnant unacceptable statements. Because I read daily your blog, along with Joe Jervis's and Jeremy Hooper's, I'm aware that being a secular liberal I still know more about what the reprehensible figures in the far-right media are saying on a daily basis than a large percentage of actual religious conservatives.

JCF said...

Hear, hear.

Though gotta say, Alvin, as a Christian* it's a step up for me if I'm ONLY thought of as poorly as are journalists! ;-/

* A Queer one.