Erick Erickson sends vulgar message about Souter

tfain@macon.comMay 5, 2009 

After news broke that U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter would retire, Macon City Councilman and Internet blogger Erick Erickson let the online world know what he thought of Souter, calling him a child molester who engages in other deviant behavior.

Erickson, editor-in-chief of the nationally popular conservative Web site redstate.com, used profane language in what he later called a flippant comment made in poor judgment. The written comment was sent twice, via Twitter, an online publishing tool that allows people to share their thoughts with subscribers in 140 characters or less.

Erickson’s post said: “The nation loses the only goat ----ing child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.”

He followed up that comment with this one: “Lefties really get offended when you point out what David Souter does in his spare time with goats and kids.”

Erickson has more than 2,500 subscribers, often called “followers,” on Twitter.

The Republican councilman, who represents Ward V in north Macon, was unapologetic Monday, though he acknowledged that he “shouldn’t have” sent the “tweet,” as Twitter messages are called.

Erickson said he doesn’t believe what he wrote about Souter, although “It wouldn’t surprise me ... ’cause he’s creepy.”

“I was just creatively expressing my disdain for a guy that hates America,” Erickson said. “I don’t think anyone took it as fact.”

“In hindsight I shouldn’t have said it,” he said. “I felt good at the time saying it.”

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court declined to comment on the issue. So did Macon City Council President Miriam Paris, who sighed and said “if it’s not regarding city business, I just don’t have a lot of time for it.”

Councilwoman Nancy White, the only other Republican on the council and a fellow Ward V representative, called the remark “regrettable.”

White said “there’s no justifying it,” but she noted that the Internet has a different culture and a more anonymous feel. “It’s easy to be less inhibited when you don’t have a face-to-face (meeting),” White said.

Erickson has drawn attention to his career as a blogger, Internet editor and professional political pundit by saying some rather outlandish things. In August, on national television, he said then-presidential candidate Barack Obama wanted to kill babies. He was discussing Obama’s stance on Illinois abortion policy.

Erickson and redstate.com were the subject of a profile in Newsweek magazine in November, and the magazine said he had “grabbed his party’s power brokers by their elephant-stitched suspenders.” In addition, Erickson was named the 69th most influential conservative in America last year by the Daily Telegraph in London.

To contact writer Travis Fain call 744-4213.

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