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Erick Erickson: death threats and near death led to new book

Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on the subscriber-only version of the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Eric Erickson's life has been crazy, both professionally and more importantly, personally.

Professionally, the talk-show host's stance against Donald Trump has not been embraced by many of his listeners. . He had genuine death threats against his family and his employer, Cox Media Group, hired armed guards to watch over his home for three months. (Erickson's daily radio program on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB is heard from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.)

Last year, he also suffered serious blood clots in his lungs and almost died. At almost the same time, his wife Christy found out she had a tumor in her right lung, then another one in her left.

Facing mortality led to his current book "Before You Wake: Life Lessons From a Father To His Children." (You can purchase it here.)

"I didn't want to write another book after the last two," he said, referencing 2016's "You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family and Your Freedom to Believe" and "The Wrong Type of Values." "I didn't find it fun. It was grueling. Last year, I wrote a column about what Christy and I went through, then [New York Times columnist] David Brooks wrote about it. It took a life of its own. A publisher asked me if I could please write a book. I said okay. One thing led to another."

He said he wrote most of it in a span of a week. "It flowed," he said.

His travails gave him real perspective, that politics does not matter nearly as much when you're knocking on death's door.

"I don't really want my kids to know about politics," he said, referencing 12-year-old Evelyn and eight-year-old Gunnar. "There's so much more to life than politics. There's getting to know your neighbors and finding something in common with people you may disagree with politically."

Erickson - who lives in Macon but does his show at WSB's studios in Atlanta once or twice a week - has not shied away from promoting his book in venues where the readers or viewers may disagree with him politically. He wrote a column not just for Fox News, but also one for the New York Times. He even appeared on HBO's Bill Maher .

He said although we are only nine months into the Trump administration, "it feels like a decade. People are tired of all the fighting." At the same time, he knows many of his listeners live in a certain bubble and he has to spend a lot of time explaining why he isn't covering certain stories everyone else in the conservative world is covering because often, "they're just not true."

And he said despite worries his ratings would tank as a result of his views about Trump, they have actually gone up.

"People are appreciative I was willing to talk publicly about my family and my health struggles so openly," he said.

Besides essays for his kids, a third of the new book includes family recipes.

Many conservative friends requested copies, including Peggy Noonan, Dick Cheney and George Will.

President Trump? "I did not send him a copy," Erickson said. "And it wasn't requested."

WSB Radio and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.