The conservative pundit, who spent three years at CNN, is headed to Roger Ailes's network, where it's both easier and harder to criticize the GOP.
Conservative pundit Erick Erickson started three years ago as an on-air political commentator at CNN. I'll never forget a segment he did with Howard Kurtz at the very beginning of his tenure. An apparent sop to liberals upset at his hiring, he submitted to questions about his history of incendiary rhetoric, apologizing in succession for the time he compared an Obama Administration official to a Nazi; the time he asked if President Obama was shagging hookers behind the media's back, referring to Michelle Obama as a "Marxist Harpy"; the time he called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat-fucking child molester" -- it was as if CNN's newest hire was hazed with a scripted scenario written by Jon Stewart for future Daily Show mockery.
I expected him to be awful. But you know what? People change. His tenure certainly included its share of off-putting moments, and I've taken issue with his analysis on too many occasions to remember them all. As a very occasional viewer of CNN, however, I remember being impressed by his commentary on a few occasions, and I'm not surprised to see him write the following:
Before CNN I was oblivious to the fact that there are ways to say things, without sacrificing or compromising my view or principle, that come off as more respectable and honest without invective than how I might have otherwise said them. There are ways to say things that draw people to you and ways to say things that push people from you. There are also times that facts and 'known facts' get bounced around by both sides of the political spectrum without them ever actually being actual facts. We should all be more mindful of that.
CNN made me mindful of that.
That's a passage from the reflection Erickson posted on the occasion of his move to Fox News. I'm curious to see how he performs there given other remarks in his farewell letter. "For three years I have received unmitigated hate and loathing from the left and, ironically, from a lot of folks on the right," he says of his time at CNN. "For some reason, saying something negative about the GOP was fine here at RedState, but saying the same damn thing on CNN brought in a flurry of emails from conservatives accusing me of selling out. Funny how that works."