Ed Driscoll

CNN Contributor Victim of 'SWATting' Incident

After last week, I don’t think I need to explain to regular readers of the Blogosphere what “SWATting” means, but just in case, here’s Erick Erickson of Red State.org on Friday:

Ever hear of swatting? It’s a tactic used by left-wing activists and others these days to spoof phone calls in order to get SWAT Teams to show up at houses. It has happened to several conservative activists.

Consider this your must read of the day. It is LA County Prosecutor John Patrick Frey, who blogs as Patterico, describing just what harassment he and his family were subjected to by the online left.

The mainstream media, which has greater sympathies with the left than the right, would prefer not to cover stories like this. But it is getting to the point where they ignore the ongoing, sustained harassment of conservatives because they are conservatives.

And here’s Erickson early this morning — after he got SWAT-ted himself on Sunday evening:

Sunday night as my family and sister’s family were around the dinner table and playing outside, sheriff’s deputies pulled into my driveway responding to an accidental shooting at my home.

One deputy was in the driveway. Another blocked the end of the driveway with his car. A neighbor tells me another was up the hill from the house.

There was no shooting at my home. Someone called 911, claimed to be at my home, and claimed to witness a shooting at my home.

As the one deputy and I spoke, the other deputy walked up the driveway, positioned himself behind the car in the driveway, and kept his eyes on me and his hand on his gun. My three year old ran between us all thinking it was so cool to have a police car in the driveway with its blue lights flashing.

Luckily, after I had starting writing about Kimberlin, I advised the Sheriff’s Department to be aware this could happen.

It was a prank, but not just any prank. This is a prank left-wing activists are increasingly deploying against those who dissent from their political views. When Barack Obama told his supporters in 2008 to bring guns to knife fights, some of his supporters took him more literally than I assume he intended.

The stories of what is happening are not getting much traction outside of right-of-center blogs and the occasional opinion column at the Wall Street Journal, D.C. Examiner, and Washington Times.

Will it get any attention at CNN, where Erickson is paid to contribute, both on the air and to their Website? For half a century, the media narrative is that all violence and threats of violence happen on the right, while the left are all United Colors of Benetton wearing happy shiny flower children with peaceful easy feelings. That narrative is why over the last three years, CNN first melted down over the Tea Party, and then blamed Sarah Palin for Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting. In contrast last fall, first CNN, and then Time magazine, which is owned by the same conglomerate that owns CNN, would quickly go all-in praising Occupy Wall Street (where the recurring theme is the “mostly peaceful” OWS) — violence and the threat of violence are tools of the right in their minds, as Jesse Walker of Reason thoroughly explored in 2009.

So how does CNN begin to cover a story that doesn’t fit anywhere within the narrative they’ve worked so hard to construct? As blogger Ace of Spades wrote yesterday:

Even though Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor, I think there’s a good chance they won’t cover the story. If they do, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be a “balanced” piece including lots of supposed harassments of liberals.

They’ll reach back ten years for “balance.”

There are only two media storylines: Conservatives are doing bad things, and “a broken system permits both sides to do bad things.”

There is never the third type of story: Leftists are doing bad things.

That is, if CNN covers the story at all. So far it seems to be nothing but crickets; if you hear otherwise, let me know in the comments below.

Related: Jim Geraghty explores “What Fuels Irrationality in Our Public Life?”

Update (5/30/12): Welcome Instapundit readers — if you want to know why CNN is getting clobbered in the ratings, here’s one very good example — they’re being scooped by Fox over news involving a paid CNN contributor.

More: Clearly, there is only one veteran newsman who’s both Old and New Media savvy who can turn CNN around — and who just might be full tilt double-live gonzo enough to take on the job — if he can still be found…