A few days ago the John Edwards campaign announced the hiring of two of my favorite sister bloggers, Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister. And of course I was insanely jealous, because I want to be a campaign blogger, too. (Wes Clark? Are you reading this?)
Of course, as soon as anyone on the leftie blogosphere gets a little mainstream media attention, the hate squads of the right form a line and start shooting. This is to be expected. They’re pretty well conditioned to shoot anything on our side that moves. Here is a typically thoughtful criticism of Amanda from the Right.
So far, blogging as usual. But today I see the mainstream media is picking up the “controversy.” The Washington Post is running a Nedra Pickler/AP story headlined “Catholics Slam Bloggers Hired by Edwards.” Wow, that sounds bad. But as the article progressed, “Catholics” was quickly downgraded to “a Catholic group,” which turned out to be Bill Donohue.
How is this news? Donohue hates everybody who isn’t the Pope.
Nedra Pickler writes,
Donohue cited posts that the women made on blogs in the past several months in which they criticized the pope and the church for its opposition to homosexuality, abortion and contraception, sometimes using profanity.
Re the profanity: Apparently rightie bloggers are quivering with outrage because the two ladies occasionally use the “F” word, which rightie bloggers never do.
“The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics,” Marcotte wrote on the blog Pandagon on Dec. 26, in an excerpt cited by Donohue.
I agree that Amanda is not being fair to single out the Catholic Church for its policy on reproduction rights. It’s not just the Catholic Church, but the entire Christian Right, that considers women to be brood animals.
Among the McEwan posts that Donohue listed was one she posted on Feb. 21, 2006, on her site, Shakespeare’s Sister. She questioned what religious conservatives don’t understand about “keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?”
Hey, Bill, if the truth hurts …
Amanda is also getting slammed for allegedly deleting some posts about last year’s Duke University rape allegations. Via email, Amanda says the “deletions” occurred accidentally last year when Pandagon archives were imported to WordPress from Moveable Type. Lots of posts about other issues were “deleted” as well.
James Joyner points out that campaigns on both sides are hiring bloggers —
As more campaigns (and corporations and PR firms) get aboard the “blogger relations” bandwagon, the natural impulse is to hire established bloggers. Hillary Clinton has hired Peter Daou, John McCain has Patrick Hynes, Rudy Giuliani has Patrick Ruffini, and the Senate Republicans have hired Jon Henke, who was also brought on too late to do George Allen much good.
I figured out yesterday that Ruffini was working for Giuliani, because the two Giuliani posts I wrote yesterday were getting hits from Ruffini’s news aggregate site. Apparently the site had picked up the posts without paying much attention to what I actually wrote. Sharp lad, that Patrick Ruffini.
But this made me stop and think. It’s clear that as soon as the Edwards campaign announced the hiring of Amanda and Melissa, elements of the Right began combing through their old posts for anything they could turn into a scandal. Nobody on the Left appears to have done the same to Hynes, Ruffini, or Henke. Anyone who has been blogging very long at all is bound to have written a few things that come across badly or turned out to be wrong. Yet we don’t bother to do to them what they do to us. Why is that?
(Note to Wes Clark campaign: I assure you that I don’t ever use the “F” word on Mahablog. I rarely use any profanity stronger than “whackjob” or “Michelle Malkin.”)
Speaking of Michelle — I’m trying to import a couple of YouTube classics of Michelle for your enjoyment to include in this post, but they are slow to come up. They’ll probably pop up on the blog later today when I’m not looking. Well, fudge. Until then, you can see one of them here.
Anyway, I called this post “Intimidation” because I see in the New York Times that the Edwards campaign is “weighing the fate” of the two bloggers. Which, of course, is the point of the rightie slime campaign — to intimidate lefties into backing down. I urge the Edwards campaign not to back down.