As of this week, CNN owns whatever ugliness comes out of Dana Loesch's mouth. (Gage Skidmore)
There’s no doubt that CNN commentator Roland Martin, was way out of line with his homophobic tweets recently. He deserved whatever CNN dished out to him.
Yet, the question lingers, why is Dana Loesch and Erik Erikson still on CNN given the political vitriol that both have continue to spew for months now?
It took CNN from Sunday evening or Monday morning until Wednesday to decide tosuspend Roland Martin for his homophobic tweets during the Super Bowl. The network’s decision to act sets a standard that they have some basic values that apply to their contributors’ public statements not only on CNN but elsewhere. But does this standard apply only to Roland Martin?
Earlier this month:
“Here is a story to make you laugh for the day…An Occupy DC protester was shot by stun gun yesterday afternoon,” [Erik] Erickson said on his radio show on Tuesday. “Watching a hippie protester get tased just makes my day.”
CNN’s official position was that “CNN contributors’ views are their own.” In fact, we have to figure that’s the sort of thing CNN hired Erickson to say, since by the time they hired him he had a long record of statements like, “The nation loses the only goat f*&king child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.”
It’s not just Erickson. Just a month ago, Dana Loesch used her radio show to say, “Can someone explain to me if there’s supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who, as part of an organization, murdered over 3,000 Americans? I’d drop trou and do it too.”
Then, too, CNN’s position was that “CNN contributors are commentators who express a wide range of viewpoints—on and off of CNN—that often provoke strong agreement or disagreement. Their viewpoints are their own.”
But by suspending Martin, the network has accepted ownership of Erickson and Loesch’s public statements on their radio shows, Twitter accounts and in other venues. Even if they don’t want to retroactively apply a new standard to months-old statements, just this week—days after Martin’s offensive tweets—Loesch suggested that the NAACP’s Ben Jealous must have been “inebriated” to have said that voter ID laws suppress the black vote.
Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that:
CNN would not directly address the decision to suspend Martin while not suspending Loesch and Erickson, though a CNN executive did tell me over email that the network was looking to “raise the bar” on professionalism.
How low does CNN’s bar have to be set right now to keep allowing Erik Erickson and Dana Loesch over it? Or does the network have some justification for why Erickson and Loesch are exempt from notions of professionalism?