Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: the Edwards blogger dust-up

The far right smear machine against John Edwards has moved into territory close to home: attacking Edwards by attacking his newly hired bloggers, Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon fame) and Melissa McEwan (from the equally eminent Shakespeare's Sister). The big media (cable news of all stripes, AP and New York Times) are reporting it just as it comes off the far right tickertape, as usual. It's not an accident that Amanda and Melissa are noted and notable progressive feminist bloggers. Not an accident unless you believe in the tooth fairy, anyway. Why is in the Sermonette? Because the thin end of the wedge for this crap is, you guessed it, religion.

For those of you fortunate enough not to have been contaminated by this, here are the bare bones:

Two bloggers hired by John Edwards to reach out to liberals in the online world have landed his presidential campaign in hot water for doing what bloggers do -- expressing their opinions in provocative and often crude language.

The Catholic League, a conservative religious group, is demanding that Mr. Edwards dismiss the two, Amanda Marcotte of the Pandagon blog site and Melissa McEwan, who writes on her blog, Shakespeare's Sister, for expressing anti-Catholic opinions.

[snip]

The two women brought to the Edwards campaign long cyber trails in the incendiary language of the blogosphere. Other campaigns are likely to face similar controversies as they try to court voters using the latest techniques of online communication.

Ms. Marcotte wrote in December that the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to the use of contraception forced women "to bear more tithing Catholics." In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus.

She has also written sarcastically about the news media coverage of the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, saying: "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

Ms. Marcotte joined the Edwards campaign at the end of January in the new post of blogmaster.

[snip]

Ms. McEwan referred in her blog to President Bush's "wingnut Christofascist base" and repeatedly used profanity in demanding that religious conservatives stop meddling with women's reproductive and sexual rights. Multiple postings use explicit and inflammatory language on a variety of issues.

Ms. McEwan signed on with Mr. Edwards at the end of January with the title of Netroots coordinator, for campaign activities on the Web.(New York Times)

I'm not going to do a pro forma apology of anything either of these superb bloggers have said. I agree with them and love the piquant way they express it. We've used vulgar language here, too. Sometimes it's the most appropriate way to express yourself when faced with much more obscene policies. Describing Bush's base (the one that sticks with him no matter what) as having a Christofascist core seems apt to me. When you blog you get to say things in ways appropriate to a blog. I don't express myself on federal advisory committees in the same way I do here, although I say essentially the same things. It's a question of diction (word choice). But that's irrelevant here. When I say the Times description is bare bones, I mean it. Let's hang some meat on the bones.

Here's some context about Billy Donohue, the chief stone thrower who lives in the far right glass house called The Catholic League. He is shocked, shocked Edwards would condone the presence of "religious bigots" in his campaign (forget about the fact that neither Amanda nor Melissa could be called a bigot except in the parallel universe of the religious right). Except when he isn't shocked:

In 2004, Media Matters first detailed anti-Catholic comments made by Jerome Corsi, who, as co-author of Unfit for Command (Regnery, 2004), was one of the ringleaders of the smear campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) -- a Catholic presidential candidate. Among Corsi's bigoted comments:

CORSI: "So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it."

CORSI: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press."

Corsi also called Islam "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion," and a "cancer that destroys the body it infects" and claimed of Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together."

Despite the uproar surrounding Corsi's comments, Donohue apparently remained silent at the time, and subsequently dismissed the comments as "quips." A search of the Nexis database yields no examples of Donohue denouncing -- or even commenting on -- Corsi's anti-Catholic remarks.

A search of the Catholic League's website for "Corsi" yields only one result -- a 2006 news release in which Donohue defended Corsi (who is referred to in the release as "Jerry Corsi"). The Catholic League release stated, "Corsi once made anti-Catholic jokes on the Internet, and later apologized for doing so," and quoted Donohue describing Corsi as "someone who once made anti-Catholic quips for which he has long apologized." (Media Matters)

OK. So he's got a double standard. Apparently this also includes his own bigoted comments (also from Media Matters):

  • "People don't trust the Muslims when it comes to liberty." [MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 2/9/06]
  • "Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style." [MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]

  • "The gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done." [MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 4/11/05]
  • Addressing former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in a press release, Donohue said: "[W]hy didn't you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn't allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?" [10/4/06]
  • "I'm saying if a Catholic votes for Kerry because they support him on abortion rights, that is to cooperate in evil." [MSNBC's Hardball, 10/21/04]
  • "We've already won. Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost." [MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 12/8/04]
  • "Well, look, there are people in Hollywood, not all of them, but there are some people who are nothing more than harlots. They will do anything for the buck. They wouldn't care. If you asked them to sodomize their own mother in a movie, they would do so, and they would do it with a smile on their face." [MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 2/9/06]

On the far right, "people in Hollywood" is code for Jews. Of course you can put this down to my not being very friendly to religion, no matter what kind. So here's what some of Donohue's co-religionists (the ones that are sane) think of him:

Mark Silk, director of the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College said, "He's a thug. He reverts to bullying because he thinks that's what the job entails."

Rev. Mark Massa, a Jesuit priest and co-director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University, accused Donohue of being unable to differentiate between healthy debate and real religious bigotry. "Not everyone who criticizes the church is anti-Catholic," he said.

The editors at the Catholic weekly magazine America seem to agree. In 2000, they chastised Donohue for denouncing movies he hadn't even watched. "While being first may increase one's chances of attracting media attention, there is a danger that the Catholic League reinforces the stereotype that the Catholic Church is at best unreflective and at worst unfairly biased and paranoid," wrote Rev. James Martin. "In the long run, this may do more harm to the church's reputation than a short-lived movie or play." (from an article in Women's Wear Daily via Media Matters)

Of course Donohue wants Edwards to sever his connection with these bloggers. Just like he hasn't severed connections with a notorious member of his Board of Advisors, Dinesh D'Souza:

As an undergraduate in the early 1980s at Dartmouth College, D'Souza gained national notoriety as co-founder and editor of the conservative newspaper The Dartmouth Review. During D'Souza's tenure as editor of the Review, according to a September 22, 1995, article in The Washington Post, "[T]he off-campus newspaper [The Dartmouth Review] published an interview with a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, using a mock photograph of a black man hanging from a campus tree, and 'outed' at least two gay students." (Media Matters)

Donohue gets himself invited as a "commentator" to Scarborough, CNN and (of course) Fox and quoted in the Times and AP as if he is some objective observer with religious sensibilities instead of the attack dog scumbag he is.

The latest in this Swift Boat exercise is that Edwards has announced he will keep the bloggers on (while disavowing their mode of blog expression). Good move, Senator. Now I don't have to cross you off my list.

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John Edwards writes: 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…

Please - thou protest too much me thinks - I don't know these apparent lunitics Marcotte and McEwan from Adam's housecat. However if what you have posted here is typical of their commentary then they appear little more than propagandists in the most base sense of the word. They are free, of course, to post whatever they wish. That doesn't mean that anyone in their right mind should take them seriously. Edwards is a typical rich liberal and so I am not at all surprised he has those two working for him. Apologies from hate mongers like Marcotte and McEwan (if what you posted is typical of their statements) are irrelevant. Let them post, it says more about their boss than he would admit.

While I agree with much of the criticism of Donohue et al, I'd also comment that I no longer bother with the two "superb bloggers" in question. I found them both to be unattractively snide and snotty. This is a criticism of style/approach, not of the substance.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

carl: Since you don't know them from adam, how do you know they are hate mongers? They are far from it. A recent book, American Fascists, about the Christian right, was written by Chris Hedges, a former seminarian who is anything but anti-Catholic and makes the same points. Amanda and Melissa might be blapshemous but they are not hate mongers. Blasphemy is defined by religion. It isn't hate. For the Christian right, atheism is blasphemy. As for Donohue, he truly is a hate monger and needs to be taken down for that. Instead we let him take down those who are his betters.

Scott: Fair enough. But they no longer are on their blogs because they work in a different context. I can be very snarky here, too, but I don't talk that way in a faculty meeting. What they did on their blogs has nothing to do with their fitness to work for Edwards any more than it has to do with their ability to fix a car or prepare a meal.

I've read Shakespeare's Sister since forever. I haven't been following the Edwards - blogger flap because in a world full of people trying to smoke the planet and kill each other, it looks like a tempest in a teapot.

McEwan is anything but a bigot and is very good at pointing out political developments that require vigilance or action from anyone who cares about human rights. There's also some original and powerful thinking you can find in her, her friends', and her commenters' writing. There's a series on rape that is very informative, if you need an education on that subject.

That said, yes, her use of language can grate. At least it does on me. "Fuck" as far as I'm concerned, should not be used the same way Mark Twain said the Germans used "zug." (I.e. for everything.) But then, look at the readership of her blog. Wonkette used pretty much the same tactic. Both are now famous, althugh I doubt McEwan is rich (yet).

I can be very snarky here, too, but I don't talk that way in a faculty meeting.

Ah ... so you're willing to talk to me in a very different way? I always find this an interesting attitude - "Well, shit, it's a blog! I don't know you at all, but if I want to call you an asshole just because I disagree with you, what's your fucking problem?"

"Military intelligence"? ... "civil discourse"? :-)

What they did on their blogs has nothing to do with their fitness to work for Edwards any more than it has to do with their ability to fix a car or prepare a meal.

Well, I didn't suggest that it did, but I think your proposition is arguable. I suggest that blogs imbed a higher "persona percentage" than most communication, and hence I'd wonder if (for those who believe their blogs were effective) they can "change their spots" appropriately.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

Men, I get 30 comments by angry Catholics when I write about this - understandably. But you get ...what is this..'theoreticians of discourse' or something?
Just wait until the Mass is over today and you'll get your Catholics, too.

Scott: You are surprised people use different diction (word choice) in different contexts? I talk to my kids differently than I tlak to my students differently than I talk to colleagues in the same field differently than I talk to colleagues in a different field differently than when I testify in front of the legislature differently than when I testify in court, etc., even when I am talking about the same subject. Your caricature of blog talk in the first para. is just a caricature. I would hope it doesn't apply here, although I frequently use less than polite language here. I also try to be respectful of commenters and readers. I don't always succeed, but then I don't always succeed in what I think is proper in other contexts either.

coturnix/bora: LOL. I guess every blog gets what it deserves. Whatever that means in this case.

You are surprised people use different diction (word choice) in different contexts? I talk to my kids differently than I tlak to my students differently than I talk to colleagues in the same field differently than I talk to colleagues in a different field differently than when I testify in front of the legislature differently than when I testify in court, etc., even when I am talking about the same subject. Your caricature of blog talk in the first para. is just a caricature.

Well, I'd prefer to respond to comments on what I actually said. I expressed no surprise and felt none. The word I used was "interesting."

I don't accept that it's just word choice. It's attitude as well. I'd guess that it's the attitude that drives the word choice in most cases.

And I don't accept that what I said was a "caricature." I would agree that it could be called a degree of overstatement to make a point, but it's not caricature. And it wasn't aimed at you.

"Caricature" tends to have connotations such as "a picture, description, etc., ludicrously exaggerating the peculiarities or defects of persons or things:" or "any imitation or copy so distorted or inferior as to be ludicrous." (Both from dictionary.com, by the way.)

Look around. Going by those definitions, what I said ain't no caricature ...

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

Scott: I'm not sure what we are arguing about at this point, but I think you have to admit that when you juxtapose "interesting" in reference to my post and comment with the part that follows it, to suggest it was meant to be applied there wasn't a big inference. But I accept that you were speaking, what, generally? What was the scope of your statement, anyway? Some blogs? A lot of blogs? the majority of blogs? Maybe you could sharpen your point a bit so I both understand what it says and what it applies to or refers to.

I can hardly wait until Hillary starts in on him, Obama is already feeling the heat. All are going to have to suck up some votes from the right to win. It could be one of those lackluster years that they spend all of their political capital and money too beating the shit out of themselves.

The Catholics havent got a thing coming... You know why? Even as an Episcopal I took issue with what the nice ladies said. Doesnt make them wrong, doesnt make them right either. This is an issue though a smaller one now than it was during Bill and George 1. Soccer moms wanted the right to have an abortion if they wanted it. Me I am against it. But I am not the one that has to spend the next 18 years of my life raising an unwanted child if I make a bad decision. As an Episcopalian I also dont want to have to pay for that bad decision as a taxpayer either. So the reference to tithing Catholics is bullshit. I dont want to be a tithing taxpayer paying for that abortion. They should have to pay for their mistakes and if that means 18 or the table then so be it. I want them to have the right to do it.

Catholics are still locked in the 16th century just as the Muslims are. If we had listened to Catholics and the Church we would never have found America and you would be sure to fall offf the ends of the earth. Copernicus would have been garotted, disemboweled, racked and then after he confessed burned at the stake as a heretic. Talk about repression of women by Muslims? Sheyit. They dont have to walk behind their men as Catholics, but a bunch of MEN are calling the shots in the name of Christianity. I draw attention to the special relationship of Christ to Mary Magdalene. Mother of his children? Maybe. But he sure didnt give her anything but the respect that she deserved.

Blog on ladies... Use whatever language you want. I dont think your guy will be elected but this is repression by the Church plain and simple. Not the far right... No we have Pat Robertson for that. This is the Church pulling this punch and all in the name of something that no longer fits in todays society. Where is Foley and that Catholic Boys Choir bus? They should have been here hours ago...

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

It's not an accident that Amanda and Melissa are noted and notable progressive feminist bloggers. Not an accident unless you believe in the tooth fairy, anyway. Why is in the Sermonette? Because the thin end of the wedge for this crap is, you guessed it, religion.

Sure, Amanda is a notable blogger (I never read the other blog). And Howard Stern is a notable disc jockey. Howard has a huge audience, and he's making money hands over fist.

Pandagon is like a monkey house full of monkeys in various stages of misbehavior. Some are shrieking, some are swinging from the bars hooting, some are flinging their own dung at people outside the cage looking in.

If Amanda is indicative of the attitude and temprament of the average "progressive", the American public has something serious to be concerned about. But happily this doesn't look to be the case. There have been outrage at Amanda's words even from Democrats.

I poke my head into the monkey house occasionally for curiosity sake and when I heard that Edwards had hired Amanda, my first reaction was: "What is he thinking?"

People can say what they want on their blogs, but whatever it is, it's generally public, so may come to attention of people who don't appreciate screaming, dung flinging monkeys.

Amanda is hideous. As one blogger put it: "A vicious parody of a vicious parody of a lunatic feminist comes closest". And another reference was "the 'cat lady' on the Simpsons".

And something else, Donahue's status as a bigot has nothing to do with Amanda's bad behavior. It will become an issue to a candidate if the candidate aligns with Donahue.

But it won't become an issue even then, because Donahue would issue a heartfelt apology for offending folks, not like the fake apology that Amanda issued.

I'm not sure what we are arguing about at this point, but I think you have to admit that when you juxtapose "interesting" in reference to my post and comment with the part that follows it, to suggest it was meant to be applied there wasn't a big inference.

"Surprised" is not the same as "interesting."

I might equally suggest that your reading of what I write could use sharpening, but let that pass. :-)

Here's a broader and more general statement of my point. To date, my impression is that blogs are often contributing to a coarsening of discourse and a polarizing of views, and I don't believe that this is a Good Thing. I think I see many people on blogs characterizing those with whom they disagree in ways that they would (probably) not do if they were talking to them face-to-face.

I have seen a close variant of this frequently in business e-mail; when you finally talk to the person with whom you've been exchanging angry e-mails, it almost always turns out that neither of you intended to come across in the way you did. And blogs are a step more "remote" even than e-mail.

I also believe that crisp and unambiguous communication is one of the most difficult everyday tasks that most of us have. And responding to someone's opinion by calling them an idiot is simply pointless if you are actually interested in communicating as opposed to grandstanding.

To come back to a specific instance of where this started - read the Pandagon or Shakespeare's Sister appends about Catholicism. The writers are doing nothing more than (you should pardon the expression) preaching to the converted. If they have any interest at all in communicating with any Catholics other than the most disgruntled, I can't detect it.

I think it's interesting that Edwards is involved in this initiative, but I'm not convinced it's going to help him very much. The blogosphere is certainly vocal and opinionated, but I don't see that it's anywhere near as significant and influential as its more fanatic adherents would have me believe.

Too early to tell, I suggest. I may be wrong and it will be the best thing since **insert cliche here** ... or it may be the next version of the "dot com bubble."

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

Scott: Chaque a son gout, as they say. My view is that the blogosphere has refined the dialog, not coarsened it. Instead of a handful of voices (saying the same thing) from the three networks and a few national newspapers and chains we have many voices now. They are not trying to reach everybody. It is narrowcasting. They serve a purpose within their own community that is extremely important (this is true for all sides of the debate, not just the progressive side). They were not trying to communicate with Catholics (actually I think they are both Catholic by background but i'm not certain of this; hell hath no fury like a fallen Catholic confronting the hypocrisy of the Church, which is as it should be). What we are discussing openly here would have been impossible ten years go. You forget what it was like. The conversation wasn't coarse. It was bland and homogeneous. We're better off with the Pandagon's, and yes, the Instapundits, as odious as the right wing noise machine is in my book. They are not creating the polarization. They are giving voice to it and setting the conditions under which something more can result (pace Hegel).

Scott: Chaque a son gout, as they say.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

It is narrowcasting. They serve a purpose within their own community that is extremely important (this is true for all sides of the debate, not just the progressive side).

Sure. And if what you want to do is preach to the converted, go for it! Not much of a challenge though, I'd suggest. Ranting is easy.

What we are discussing openly here would have been impossible ten years go. You forget what it was like.

Now this I don't buy at all. There've been serious disagreements with and criticisms of the Catholic church (and Christianity) for a lot longer than that.

.. setting the conditions under which something more can result (pace Hegel).

Well, we'll see. I find it tough to believe that increasing shrillness on both sides is going to contribute to very much that's constructive.

Interesting points on both sides, I'd say ... but too early to really conclude very much.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

To date, my impression is that blogs are often contributing to a coarsening of discourse and a polarizing of views, and I don't believe that this is a Good Thing.

I wonder, then, if the characterization of Hollywood as being run by Jews who hate Christianity and love anal sex and would sodomize their own mothers on film for a buck qualifies as "refined debate"? After all, that was a on prestigious news network programs and not on some nasty anonymous blog.

By justawriter (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

I wonder, then, if the characterization of Hollywood as being run by Jews who hate Christianity and love anal sex and would sodomize their own mothers on film for a buck qualifies as "refined debate"?

A silly question, as I'm sure you're well aware.

What's your point?

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

Regarding the narrowcasting, coarsening, honing the debate, etc.: A medium and a channel is just that. The channel is how the thing, be it shit, info, 1s and 0s travels from one place to another.

The medium allows for a variety of characteristisc. Some synchronous, other asynchronous. Some noisy, some clean, some high fidelity, some low, etc. Humans use the medium and channel as they see fit.

Words like narrowcasting, coarsening, honing are just meta-descriptors that could be used for my garbage disposal, telephone, cable TV, etc. The gratuitous use of the word etcetra is to point out that the distribution of humanity is the only limit to what occurs on any given medium and channel.

Regarding "Chaque a son gout": I'm taking it that Revere was referring to the more literal "Each has their own tastes". There is a more flippant translation "There is no accounting for taste."

Regarding Edwards decision: While in general, I would agree (I think with revere) that what you do on your own blog is your own business. But, in politics, you aren't afforded the liberty to start new. It's a bullshit view, but it's what is perpetrated by American politics. So, I must disagree with Revere that "What they did on their blogs has nothing to do with their fitness to work for Edwards any more than it has to do with their ability to fix a car or prepare a meal."

Revere, how do you reconcile your own example of the committee and Effect Measure and ,what is my mind, the same political atmosphere that these bloggers have entered?

darin: LOL. I have no idea how to answer you because I have no idea what you said.

All I'm saying is that, in your own words:
If (Donahue) ha(s) any interest at all in communicating with any (non) Catholics other than the most disgruntled, I can't detect it.

Actually, he doesn't want to communicate with most Catholics either.

By justawriter (not verified) on 11 Feb 2007 #permalink

As a 501 (c)(3) organization, the Catholic League may be in violation of interfering in a political campaign by allowing Donahue to call for the firing of the Edwards campaign bloggers. Donahue has interfered using the League's website and other means. The Edwards campaign should file a complaint with the IRS immediately, and seek to have tax-free status removed from Donahue's hate organ, and set an example for all religious, tax exempt organizations to remain out of politics.

By fuzzbollah (not verified) on 12 Feb 2007 #permalink

I've been reading Shakespeare's Sister for years. You'd be hard-pressed to find a less bigoted person than its author, Melissa McEwan--who, for the record, graduated from Loyola University. (Not proof, per se, that she's not anti-Catholic, but a definite indication.) She's articulate, extremely intelligent, very well-informed and an excellent writer. All qualities that incite the Right to see red (pun intended), especially when the person possessing them is female. Yes, Melissa uses profanity on her blog. So what?! If it offends you, don't go there. She does not--and will not--use profanity on Edwards' campaign. Like Revere says: it's called diction.

The mainstream media in the US distorted the whole controversy, portraying the hatemongering likes of Bill Donohue and Michelle Malkin as legitimate authorities and giving them ample air-time and column inches, while pointedly ignoring Melissa, Amanda and their supporters. Do people in America realise how thoroughly their media have become a collective mouthpiece for the Right?

As for bloggers "preaching to the choir," I think how you feel about that issue reflects where you fall on the political spectrum, I, for one, am extremely grateful for the advent of blogs. Before then, I was confined to a limited number of publications (The Nation, The New Yorker, Harpers) that reflected anything close to my left-leaning world-view. Magazines offer a pretty much one-way dialog, while blogs are interactive, offering an immediate channel to comment, argue and interact with other like-minded--or opposed--readers.

I'm glad Edwards re-hired Melissa and Amanda but the incident does not bode well for the upcoming election, nor the survival of America's beleaguered republic. That Edwards was even considering firing two outstanding employees for what amounts to a freedom of expression issue is a deeply disturbing and frightening wake-up call.

The American invasion of Iraq, which is costing hundreds of lives per week and hundreds of billions of dollars, rages on despite the opposition of more than three out of five American citizens. Bush/Cheney assemble the fleet off Iran's coasts. And what paralyses the campaign of one of the three front-running Democratic presidential candidates for 24 hours? Profanity?!

Get real!

I'm with you, Brynn. But then, this blow-up wasn't about diction; it was about politics. This was about trying to make certain speakers taboo and, by association, their topics likewise. Just another round in The War On Values.

Revere: I reread what you wrote and I made an assumption. So, rather than me assume again, when you say, "What they did on their blogs has nothing to do with their fitness to work for Edwards any more than it has to do with their ability to fix a car or prepare a meal."

Do you mean, in other words, that their previous posts on their blogs has nothing to do with whether they can accomplish the job Edwards hired them for?

Do you mean, in other words, that their prior history as free speakers has no relation to their ability to do their job?

Do you mean something different?

Darin: I think I mean what you said. They are not bigots (which I think would disqualify them) and they will be doing a different job for Edwards.

Revere, I just finished reading all of Donohue's various statements about Muslims and Jews. What bothers me are all of his references to anal sex (he doth protest too much) and his obsession with this. Why does he criticize others for what the Catholic Church is best known for, sodomizing innocents, anal sex, tithing from the poor so the Pope can wear Prada, you get my drift. I had the misfortune to be propagandized by the Church as I was growing up which had the effect of shaping me into an atheist at the age of 18. Forty years later, Donohue is still spouting the same shit that convinced me that all religion is the root of all evil.

I must be missing something. Edwards can hire whoever he want for what ever he wants. If some irritated person or group calls for him to dismiss one of his campaign employees for their personal views, that's interesting but f**k them. Edwards should ignore them and move on. I certainly would.

On the other hand, it seems like bloggers are are protected species here. Nothing says you are free to say/write whatever you want AND not suffer the consequences, including being canned from your job if your blogging activities impact your employer in some way. That's the way the laws work, good or bad.

stu: The legal issues raised by a commenter relate to violations of The Catholic League's tax exempt status and have nothing to do with the bloggers. I agree with your first paragraph, although it ignores the consequences of the smear campaign which is what Edwards is up against. Bloggers are not a protected species. They are part of the political mix, as is my response in their defense on this blog.

> Lrod : What bothers me are all of his references to anal sex (he doth protest too much) and his obsession with this

Hmmm, how MUCH does it bother you? Thou dost protesteth the protestor? Are you queer?

> Lrod : Why does (Donohue) criticize others for what the Catholic Church is best known for, sodomizing innocents, anal sex, tithing from the poor so the Pope can wear Prada...

Do you REALLY want to know why? Doesn't seem so.
Seriously now, the Church is best known for many things more than this.
(No, I'm not Catholic, though once I was as were you apparently - in name only)
By your logic, Bill Clinton is "best known" for having cigar sex with 'that woman', and for his other sexual escapades, voluntary & forced, with his cadre of women? No, I don't think so, although maybe some anti-Clintonites may feel that way. Apparently your anti-Catholic bigotry obsession is exposed for what it is. Can you accept the label of bigot?

Can anyone really claim to be un-biased?
Nope, not one.

> Lrod: ... convinced me that all religion is the root of all evil...

You are One Angry, Sick Puppy, Lrod. My condolescences. :-(
Open up your heart man(woman?). Let some sun-shine in, Dude(-ette). It's nice and warm out here, and you'll feel better. Honest. :-)

Bias is no excuse to lie.

Moot point. One of the ladies has resigned citing the vilification of the Catholic League of her commentary. Edwards said that they wouldnt fire her but I am sure that the suggestion was made...strongly.

I guess there is a difference blogging for a political candidate when you are a political ideologue. This was inevitable and I am sure that the H. Clinton campaign is laughing their collective asses off. One down, several more to go.

Mind that Edwards rarely showed up for Senate votes or committee meetings, and is a closet Republican living on a 22,000 square foot house on like 16 or 18 acres, but you know he has to be a man of the people with that kind of dough. H. Clinton likely the source on a bunch of this so watch fro her next target. Obama will be left to his own devices and the lack of money but will garner a lot of support. There's going to be all sorts of innuendo thrown out there and Hillary is going to get a lot of her's too. I look for the Republicans to start tamping her down just any day now.

As for the two bloggers, it was a poor idea to hire them Johnny especially in light of their political beliefs. Did you really think they wouldnt speak their minds?

D U M B !

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 13 Feb 2007 #permalink

Randy: Yes, everyone is learning the new rules. As for Edwards being a Republican because he's rich, I don't think so. Anymore than one can't be a Republican if you are poor. he's a Dem for sure. He was wrong on the war but otherwise I like him.