Liberals may gripe about Erick Erickson, but he’s as tough on his friends as he is on his foes. Maybe tougher. As managing editor of the influential conservative blog RedState, Erickson regularly skewers Democrats but saves another level of outrage for Republicans who sell out, give in, or otherwise fail to live up to their conservative principles.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) may be a “dolt,” President Obama may have made a speech including “outright lies” about the Bush administration, but the Republican establishment “has become bloated, corrupt, greedy, inept, licentious, devoid of ideas, and weak,” according to Erickson.
Erickson’s refusal to pull punches earned him the 2009 Paul Weyrich Award in the category of New Media Person of the Year. The award was presented at the first annual Paul Weyrich Awards dinner Dec. 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.
John Gizzi, political editor of HUMAN EVENTS, was a finalist in the category of Media Person of the Year.
In all, over a dozen conservative leaders were recognized for their contributions in the fields of government, journalism, religion, business and community organizing. The awards were intended to honor “leaders in the conservative movement who have made significant contributions in the cause of liberty.”
A conservative colossus, Paul Weyrich passed away Dec. 18, 2008, at the age of 66. His accomplishments include helping found the Heritage Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation and the Moral Majority, all of which played a role in forming the conservative political coalition that elected President Ronald Reagan and ushered in the modern conservative movement.
Colin A. Hanna, who co-hosted the event with Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell, said a 15-member committee selected three finalists in each category, then held an online secret-ballot election to choose the winners. All three finalists received awards, which included medallions engraved with Weyrich’s likeness.
“I’m really honored by the recognition, but the award is really for the hard work of so many who have turned RedState into the premier conservative community online,” Erickson said.
Erickson shared his award with Andrew Breitbart, whose blogging empire includes breitbart.com and Big Government. The third finalist was commentator and columnist Michelle Malkin, who operates an eponymous website.
The RedState website, part of the Eagle Publishing group that includes HUMAN EVENTS, has quickly emerged as required reading for political insiders and a counterweight to liberal political blogs.
“It’s fresh, current, and has in a very short period of time become a daily must-read for a lot of leaders in the conservative movement,” said Mr. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a public-policy organization that champions constitutional government, economic freedom and traditional values.
Winners of the 2009 Paul Weyrich Awards were:
*Media Person of the Year: Glenn Beck
*New Media Person of the Year: Andrew Breitbart and Erick Erickson
* Courageous Citizen of the Year: ACORN investigators Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe
* National Legislator of the Year: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)
* Local Elected Official of the Year: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
*Business Person of the Year: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Solantic Chairman Rick Scott
* Faith Community Leader of the Year: Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church
*Conservative Hall of Fame—Lifetime Contribution: Phyllis Schlafly
* Youth Leader of the Year: Students for Life executive director Kristan Hawkins
*Benefactor of the Year: mutual fund executive Foster Friess