Salon: John Edwards Fires Bloggers

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 07, 2007 3:22 PM

That's what Salon's reporting (direct link added).

The right-wing blogosphere has gotten its scalps -- John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.

The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, formerly of Pandagon, and Melissa McEwan, of Shakespeare's Sister, had come under fire from right-wing bloggers for statements they had previously made on their respective blogs. A statement by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, which called Marcotte and McEwan "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," and an accompanying article on the controversy in the New York Times this morning, put extra pressure on the campaign.

Speculation from sources that the two bloggers might be rehired was bolstered by Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Edwards campaign, who said in an e-mail that she would "caution [Salon] against reporting that they have been fired. We will have something to say later."

"Right-wing fascists and wingnuts" will take the blame on the left side of the blogosphere, but they shouldn't, says The Anchoress:

Make no mistake, this firing is not the fault of “right wing nutjobs” who demanded it (I, btw, hoped they would not be fired, as I wrote here - despite the Hater’s Creed to the contrary, the Anchoress supports free speech and a blogger’s right to say anything she/he damn well chooses to, as long as it’s not “fire” in a crowded theater, and quotes are accurate. If what they say is stupid, offensive, childish, hateful or nuts…no one has to read them. Turning the page is always an option.)

No, this firing has occured because it was a sloppy hiring to start. John Edwards can only blame himself.

Of course, that won’t stop the left from carrying on about how these bloggers are being crucified and silenced, blah, blah, blah. They’re not, of course. They’re still perfectly free to blog - they can still say any damn thing they want to. And, they’ve just become that much more famous. They’ll go on television to talk about how oppressed they are. Maybe they’ll write books or plays about being silenced, and they’ll never catch the irony that they’re talking, talking, talking about being silenced in George W. Bush’s America.

Frankly, it probably would have played well for us if they had remained on staff. I'm not sure how long Marcotte could have kept up with the diplomatic prose.

Allah noted this morning what we would have to look forward to if this scenario played out:

If you think you’ve seen the worst of Marcotte, wait ’til the axe finally falls and she gets to respond to the uproar at Pandagon, using her idiom of choice instead of the diplospeak the campaign’s momentarily forced on her. The “patriarchy” will be blamed, the F-bomb ostentatiously deployed (conspicuous profanity being shockingly “unladylike” and therefore mandatory for the liberated consciousness), and the anti-Christian insults will come faster and furiouser — and filthier — than ever. Which, ironically, will only confirm the campaign’s good sense in deciding to can her. And of course, virtually to a man/woman, the nutroots will rally behind her. If that means mainstreaming someone who enjoys a little Virgin Mary/semen humor as part of her arguments about birth control, hey. The right wing is criticizing her; that’s all they need to know, just like it was all they needed to know about Jamilgate vis-a-vis the AP.

A couple folks have e-mailed and E.M. has blogged that righties should watch out for the fallout on this. The liberal bloggers are a-comin' for us because we a-came for them. This is true, of course, but they were always gonna hate no matter what. We've always known that we, as conservative bloggers, will get a pass from the media and the political establishment much less often than liberals will. It's one of the reasons the right blogosphere's big bloggers are mostly clean bloggers, and if they're not totally clean, they're thoughtful commentators, not just temper tantrums in type.

We shouldn't give Amanda Marcotte a pass simply because the press won't give right bloggers a pass when they're hired by politicians. That's the way the world works. If we lie down in hopes that the left blogosphere will play nicer, we'll just get rolled without ever getting a shot in (kinda like, you know, the Republican Majority). Marcotte and Edwards both should have known this wasn't going to work, and it's not our fault that we pointed out the obvious.

In fact, it's indicative of the disturbing immersion of the Democratic Party in the Nutroots that the Edwards camp thought this would fly.