Edwards cannot possibly be that devoid of brainwaves. You cannot logically believe that people calling Christians "Christofascists" or blaspheming God himself "didn't intend" to malign someone's faith. Edwards did not fire them. He kept them on, insisting his campaign shouldn't be "hijacked" -- by that outraged 79 percent of Americans. His decision maligned their faith.
Edwards' friends in the media responded in classic fashion. They were slow to notice, and when they did, there were no Holy Spirit sperm jokes to be found. Instead, reporters vaguely referred to "sometimes vulgar and intemperate writings." The average American has no idea how offensive Marcotte's writings were.
As an example, CNN ran an early story carrying an on-screen graphic noting there were accusations these bloggers were (in quotes) "anti-Catholic." This is a bit like suggesting that the KKK is merely "anti-black."
There were refreshing exceptions. Some media liberals were not just bothered, but disgusted by the comments. Kudos to columnist Mark Shields and reporter Nina Totenberg, who decried Marcotte and Edwards on the talk show "Inside Washington." Shields spoke for many Americans when he said, "If she had written similarly about a Jewish person, an Islamic person, a gay or a lesbian, she would be banished to the outer darkness." Amen.
Just imagine Edwards hiring a blogger who wrote repeatedly on the Internet that 9-11 was a Jewish conspiracy or that the Holocaust was a myth. Would Edwards say that blogger didn't intend to "malign" the Jews?
Days after the controversy broke, Marcotte quit the Edwards campaign -- after the revelation of another blog post mocking the Virgin Birth. She hates Jesus Christ more than she loves John Edwards. But the "Christofascist"-trashing McEwan is still drawing a salary as Internet coordinator. Will Edwards keep her? Will the media remain disinterested? The media's own hostility to religion does not leave room for optimism.