RedState.com editor and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson opened his radio show Wednesday with the disclaimer that he would be “lighting the ships on fire on the seashore and burning the bridge down behind me.” He proceeded to compare the firing of Atlanta’s anti-gay fire chief to the violent shooting that took place this week at French magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 journalists.
“A publisher published something that offended,” Erickson wrote in an accompanying blog post, “So the terrorists decided they needed to publicly destroy and ruin the publisher in a way that would not only make that destruction a public spectacle, but do it so spectacularly that others would think twice before publishing or saying anything similar.”He went on to clarify, “It is not because the ideas are bad, but because the ideas offend a group that can destroy and tear down.” Finally revealing that he was talking about Atlanta and not France, Erickson concluded, “The terrorists did what had to be done to publicly destroy and ruin the offender… And the terrorists won in Atlanta.”
Listen to his full segment (via Jeremy Hooper):
When Mayor Kasim Reed announced the firing of Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran on Tuesday, he made it clear that it was not because of his religious beliefs, but for his poor judgment in distributing his self-published book that condemned homosexuality. Atlanta has sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections and Cochran was fostering an unwelcoming working environment that did not represent the city’s values. Moreover, while Cochran was suspended for a month to investigate complaints about how he distributed his book, he openly promised to continue engaging in such actions, which Reed felt seriously undermined his “judgment.”
But Erickson and other conservatives have made a martyr of Cochran. “He has been fired for being a Christian,” Erickson concluded, dismissing Reed’s statements to the contrary. “The fire chief wasn’t passing the book around, except to people who asked for it,” Erickson claimed to know via “inside sources” in Atlanta’s City Hall.
Last week, Erickson criticized the notion that a transgender teenager’s suicide after her family rejected her identity epitomized a form of social genocide against LGBT people, suggesting that such a claim was offensive to Holocaust survivors, though no such comparison was made.
But Erickson defended the comparison he was openly making between Cochran’s firing and the death of 12 journalists:
“We gotta talk about what happened in France, but I just think it is worth pointing out that one group destroys the livelihood of those who dare to mock or dissent, and the other took their lives, but both are doing it to drive debate from the public square… to shut them up and shut them down, segment them away from society.”