Rolling Stone is under fire after deciding to keep a writer on staff who failed to verify even basic details about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia last fall. The magazine has retracted the story in the wake of a long report that showed the tale was false, but many in the journalistic world are still outraged.
None, however are as outraged as Red State’s Erick Erickson. He didn’t express anger with Rolling Stone in his latest blog post, though. He’s angry at the “liberal media” for daring to be angry with Rolling Stone.
In his world, our outrage over the false rape story is hypocritical, and if all you see is the right wing’s spin on things, it’s easy to agree. His piece, titled “Spare Us Your Outrage,” takes issue with the media for railing against Rolling Stone, when we allegedly spread lies ourselves. He said:
[Rolling Stone is] doing precisely nothing about it. The journalistic community of America is outraged. Spare us please.
The same circle of jerks outraged by Rolling Stone were perfectly fine pushing a false story that RFRA laws legalize discrimination.
The same circle of jerks outraged by Rolling Stone were perfectly fine pushing a story about a gay-hating pizza restaurant that was as true as the Rolling Stone story.
The same circle of jerks outraged by Rolling Stone would have you believe Republicans want to ban the pill, enslave black people, and put women in chains in kitchens across America.
His cries of lies and hypocrisy are ridiculous on their face. Here’s how:
- Indiana’s anti-gay law did, in fact, legalize discrimination. That’s been explained again and again in various ways. First, the law contained different language from other states’ religious freedom laws, and the federal religious freedom law. That language did legalize discrimination, whatever Erickson wants to think. Second, the bigots behind the law did, in fact, mean for it to protect discrimination against the LGBT community.
- Memories Pizza did say that they would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding. If they ever offered wedding catering services, that’s discrimination. As a for-profit business, you offer your services to everyone, or to no one. You don’t get to discriminate, and then hide behind your religion for it. While “gay-hating” may have been harsh, the very idea that people would discriminate against the LGBT community, and then hide behind their religion, implies, at best, a certain level of disdain for LGBT individuals.
- Republicans do engage in policies that disproportionately hurt minorities, like voter ID laws, working to repeal the Voting Rights Act, and gutting the social safety net. People like Paul Ryan have said that poverty exists because black men are lazy, and have no work ethic.
- The religious right, to which a large part of the GOP belongs, does like to try and make access to contraception harder, and while it’s not true to say they, as a party, want to “ban the pill,” most of them don’t really support making access to it easier, either. They supported the Hobby Lobby decision, blocking Democratic efforts to reverse it.
- Republicans don’t support anything that would help low-income women climb the economic ladder, nor would they vote for the WORK Act, which would have allowed low-income mothers with children under the age of three to stay home while still receiving benefits.
- They don’t support equal pay; they don’t support bodily autonomy, and a number of them have made some really stupid and ignorant comments about rape, up to and including saying it’s beautiful if a woman’s rapist gets her pregnant.
All of that notwithstanding, Erickson ended his rant on Red State with this:
The real reason the journalists of America are upset about the Rolling Stone story is because Rolling Stone got caught making it up. That just adds more cumulative evidence in the minds of Americans that journalists are more about narrative building than reporting facts.
Journalist are outraged because their trade itself has been exposed for the hacktastic lie peddling it has become.
Spare us your outrage.
Erickson himself is being hypocritical here, with his absurd outrage. He doesn’t know the facts, and doesn’t care about them. None of the above is a lie, whereas the Rolling Stone article ended up being one. He needs to spare us his outrage.