Edwards blogger resigns
Amanda Marcotte, the controversial blogger hired by John Edwards, has resigned just days after Edwards agreed to keep her on.
If you haven't been following this, I won't go into too much detail, but after the Edwards campaign hired her she was targeted by Catholic League president William Donohue. Follow that link to see what a whacko he is.
She got in some hot water for past inflammatory writings about Catholics on her personal blog. The tamest of them: She almost always refers to Jesus as "Jeebus" - you know, from the Simpsons? Yeah. The best, ickiest, and most incendiary language may be her description of the conception of Jesus. Something about the Lord "filling [Mary] with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit." Wooo-eee! That's good material for Sarah Silverman, but just a tad racey for the button-down tone of national politics.
Still, it's sad that we can't criticize a religion like Catholicism as being anti-sex and anti-woman within the context of a political campaign. Mainstream America apparently can't handle a serious debate on that topic, and somehow blowhards like Bill Donahue get legitimacy from the mainstream media. Maybe that's why the debate is best conducted on the uninhibited blog frontier.
Andrew Sullivan has the best take:
Her coarse mockery of others' faith, while perfectly within her right to free speech, is nonetheless a liability for a political campaign. I can see why she quit, and I don't think she has any reason to complain. To be honest, I find the whole idea of bloggers as an integral part of political campaigns a little creepy. When I started blogging, many saw it primarily as a way to challenge those in power - whether in the media or politics or the church or wherever. It was a way to expand the individual's ability to speak and be heard, as a means to deepen scrutiny of the powerful.
That reminds me of a great comment on my video, Citizen Journalists and the Edwards Campaign. At the end of the video, we hop on a private jet with Edwards and I joked that this movie is called Bloggers on a Plane. Bicycle Mark commented, "Get them bloggers OFF the plane and back to critical reporting."
This may be a valuable lesson for political campaigns. Let the passionate and sometimes shrill bloggers remain in the wild, where they can run free and do more good than harm.
(ps - Al Franken, please hire me)
"Let the passionate and sometimes shrill bloggers remain in the wild, where they can run free and do more good than harm."
Hear hear! (Though how is it that right wing bloggers can be "in the wild" -- shrill and passionate -- yet serenely strolling through the corridors of power? Or is it just me?)
Still, nothing's more gauche (and irritating) than those self-promoting bloggers muzzled and blinkered by careerism.
Posted by: Mark Desrosiers at Feb 14, 2007 12:41:24 AM
Some very good points. But sometimes real change comes from within a system not just from outside.
I think traditional power brokers who manipulate MSM are mad that they can't stop loud feminist with a blog. This whole situation is one battle in a serious war for the control of US politics.
BTW, I think Amanda Marcotte has LOTS of reasons to complain. I for one will work to amplify outsider voices as loud as I can!
(Dude your PS is funny!)
Posted by: BrianR at Feb 14, 2007 2:03:07 PM
I think, practically speaking, it would have been suicide for Edwards to keep her on. This might be the other definition of "resigned". (I suspect it was mutual.)
But if Edwards had balls he would have said, "Yes, the Catholic Church is completely fucked up on a lot of issues."
But it is too soon to expect that kind of refreshing rhetoric.
Posted by: Michael at Feb 16, 2007 9:55:24 PM
Edwards is fairly conservative in a lot of ways so I don't think he'd ever say that about an entire religion.
She sure lets it rip though!
Posted by: chuck olsen at Feb 17, 2007 12:46:49 AM
I understand why things played out as they did, but I think my biggest concern is the degree to which the criticism of Amanda and Shakespeare's Sis seemed based on thier gender. The hate email that Amanda received is pretty upsetting (and, yes, some left blog commenters have said awful things about Michelle Malkin).
I don't know if Andrew Sullivan's characterization of campaign bloggers as "creepy" is quite right, but the unaffilated nature of most blogs makes for an uneasy blend with party politics.
BTW, just watched the Blogumentary on Google video and liked it quite a bit. You'll probably see it, but I'm in the process of writing a review for my blog. Should be up by early Saturday evening.
Posted by: Chuck at Feb 17, 2007 2:11:26 PM