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CNN contributor: Michelle Obama, Lilly Ledbetter speeches like ‘Vagina Monologues’

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CNN political analyst Erick Erickson, a Republican pundit and right-wing blogger for RedState.com, exclaimed Tuesday night on Twitter that the first night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which featured equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter and First Lady Michelle Obama, was much like watching “The Vagina Monologues.”

“First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected,” Erickson wrote. He later apologized by explaining that he didn’t mean to offend anyone, but did not retract his remarks.

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“‘Sorry that I need to believe half the human race has nothing of value to add in order to feel good about myself,’ is another, more appropriate apology,” Raw Story blogger Amanda Marcotte retorted, writing Wednesday for Slate.

She wasn’t alone in her anger, either. A group of feminist activists called UltraViolet joined in by circulating a petition calling upon CNN to end its relationship with the Republican blogger. Their petition was also shared by the Women’s Media Center, which asked why CNN would pay someone who “derides” speeches from women in such a manner. “Fire him!” they demanded.

“He hears powerful, eloquent women talking about crucial issues and that’s his reaction?” UltraViolet’s petition explains. “Perhaps it shouldn’t be that surprising, given his history of insulting women. Earlier this year, he defended Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke, saying ‘her testimony before congress that American taxpayers should subsidize the sexual habits of Georgetown Law School students because, God forbid, they should stop having sex if they cannot afford the pills themselves.'”

It’s not the first time Erickson has danced with controversy, either. He once said President Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize due to “affirmative action quotas,” called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter “the only goat-fucking child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court,” and even jeered that “ugly feminists” should “return to their kitchens.”

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Those comments and a litany of others raised alarms at media watchdog group FAIR when CNN announced in 2010 that they were hiring Erickson, prompting them to warn that the network was “scraping the bottom of the barrel” and urge readers to contact CNN and ask that they reconsider. Despite those prior comments and FAIR’s best efforts, the network has kept Erickson on as a regular political analyst.

CNN had not issued a statement about Erickson’s comparison of the DNC’s speeches to “The Vagina Monologues” at the time of this story’s publication, and Erickson did not respond to a request for comment.

The Vagina Monologues,” a landmark piece of feminist literature and performance art, features women discussing their genitals in a frank, sometimes erotic and sometimes unflattering manner. The DNC’s first night of speeches did not exclusively feature women, and while many spoke about defending women’s health care, the word “vagina” never came up.
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Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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