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Edwards Does The Right Thing, as Expected

John Edwards: Statement about Campaign Bloggers:

The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwan’s posts personally offended me. It’s
not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word. We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

Amanda Marcotte: About My Personal Blog

My writings on my personal blog Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.

Melissa McEwen: My Words:

Shakespeare’s Sister is my personal blog, and I certainly don’t expect Senator Edwards to agree with everything I’ve posted. We do, however, share many views – including an unwavering support of religious freedom and a deep respect for diverse beliefs. It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way.


  1. #1 Matt
    February 8, 2007

    Exceptionally wonderful response.. Nice job to all involved.

  2. #2 John McKay
    February 8, 2007

    I’ll give it a good, but not a wonderful. I think Melissa’s response is closest in tone to what I had hoped Edwards’ would be. I’m a little disappointed that he chose to emphasize his personal disapproval and not even mention their right tho their own opinions and free speech. I’m also just a bit surprised that they weren’t better prepared for this sort of swiftboating.

    Still, all things considered, I’m satisfied with his response and he remains in my top three.

  3. #3 John
    February 8, 2007

    I’m glad that Edwards stood behind his staff, but I am surprised that the campaign seemed unprepared for the controversy. Given how much negative attention Amanda receives from conservative bloggers, an attack was inevitable. Hopefully this announcement will put a stop to the controversy, at least in the mainstream media.

  4. #4 Deep Thought
    February 8, 2007

    Mark my words, this will haunt Edwards. Amanda is his (effectively) new-media press secretary and Melissa is his online grassroots coordinator – and he had to admit he had no idea what they wrote on their blogs until the controversy, and that he thinks it is offensive and he wouldn’t permit them to write it for his campaign – so he’s out of touch with his own staff! He agrees with Donohue that they are offensive! AND he stands behind them! You may cheer, but it is a serious blow to his campaign, IMHO. I am a Conservative Catholic, soI am big on social justice – a lot of what Edwards would have brought up on social justice is going to go away because of what I just mentioned and that he dithered so long before doing anything, and that stinks.

    Slowly but surely people are going to realize that Amanda just disowned a large portion of her writings at Pandagon, too, hurting her in the future.

  5. #5 Alon Levy
    February 8, 2007

    Shorter Edwards: “Donahue is right about Amanda, but I’m still not firing her.” The “That’s not how I talk to people” part is especially rich; maybe I should start publicly scolding everyone I know who ever argues for politics by appealing to people’s sense of duty or patriotism or community or love because that’s not how I talk to people.

    I still hate Obama less, though now that Edwards took the only mildly slimy route, I fully expect to switch to Edwards once Obama clarifies that his position on Iran is as bad as the other candidates’.

  6. #6 Larry Moran
    February 8, 2007

    They’re all wimps and I’ve lost a lot of respect for Edwards over this issue. Of course they meant to “offend” certain Catholics for their silly beliefs. How can you not offend them when you criticize their beliefs?

  7. #7 PZ Myers
    February 8, 2007

    Nope, not good enough. I won’t be voting for Edwards; he couldn’t just stand up for his employees, he had to stick a knife in and twist it a little bit before allowing them to stay on.

    I also think he was using pressure as an employer to compel Amanda and Melissa to disavow opinions expressed as private citizens, and that is contemptible.

  8. #8 Bill
    February 8, 2007

    Bora: when Edwards chastises his staff for offending people by taking swipes at their faith, he’s “doing the right thing”. But when someone like PZM or Dawkins causes similar offense, you are quick with approving comments and defenses.

    Either Edwards weaseled in order to curry favor with religious voters, or he is honestly religious enough to have been offended by the posts in question — in which case he is one of the people whose worldview you are quick to disparage.

    I’d have thought this episode would have put a pretty large dent in your approval of Edwards, if not (for pragmatic reasons) your support of his campaign.

    I really wish you would take another look at Kucinich. I know the received wisdom is that he can’t win, but I thought the netroots was all about overturning received wisdom and upsetting the establishment.

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