There's no question Erickson is staunchly on the right. He's fired up controversy by tweeting, among other things, that retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter was a "goat f*cking child molestor". But he has also broken with conservatives on a number of occasions, disowned some of his fiery Tweets and excommunicated the birther movement from RedState.
Erickson's nods to the left have not thwarted a tidal wave of vitriol from incensed liberal pundits, who rip into Erickson while condemning CNN for hiring someone clearly on the right.
- Erickson's the Wrong Conservative "The point here isn't that it's disappointing to see CNN hire yet another conservative voice," argues the Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "The problem here is with Erickson himself." After listing several of Erickson's lowlights, Benen can't hide his disgust.
There are thoughtful, intelligent conservative bloggers in the country, who occasionally have insightful things to say. The problem here is that Erick Erickson isn't one of them.
This is a genuinely sad day for American journalism. CNN ought to be ashamed of itself.
- Why Erickson, CNN? The Impolitic's Libby Spencer sneers at CNN's explanation for hiring Erickson. "CNN is touting the hire as a way to reach the small town 'real 'Murkins' that Erick rubs elbows with every day," she spits. "Except Erick lives in a city of 100,000, doesn't really hang out with 'the little people' and has a long history of idiotic posts at his RedState site."
- CNN's New 'Disingenuous Hack' At Gawker, Alex Pareene gets to the heart of liberal rage. "What is particularly galling is Erickson will never, ever say anything vaguely unexpected or interesting on TV," he fumes. "Ever. He will mislead and lie and dissemble and repeat talking points. He is a cog in the organized Republican message machine."
- What Was CNN Thinking? A more nuanced take on the situation comes from Salon's Alex Koppelman, who strains to find an upside to Erickson's hiring but can't find a single benefit for CNN. Koppelman argues the network won't get any insightful commentary from Erickson because he is "an activist, an operative." Financially, the move looks even worse.
It just doesn't make good business sense. With Fox News on the right and MSNBC on the left, CNN has been trying to position itself as the real news outlet -- and it's been working fairly well. These kinds of hires only serve to undermine that.