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 report goes on to note that the uber-right spokes-puppets who have been baying for blood are hardly without sin.
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."
Malkin, it should be noted, is hardly innocent of being involved with what ABC News' Terry Moran termed "hate speech" when applied to Marcotte. Malkin has long maintained ties to VDARE, a Web site tagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center that has published works by people like Jared Taylor, one of America's leading white supremacists, and Sam Francis, who was fired by the conservative Washington Times for his own white supremacist remarks, given at a conference held by Taylor's organization. The liberal press watchdog Media Matters has also noted Donohue's long list of controversial statements.Although Melissa hasn't made a comment on the report of her dismissal, comments on her blog are hardly complimentary of what appears to be the spineless capitulation of the John Edwards campaign to rightwing pressure.
I'll repeat what I said this morning. That the Edwards campaign is even considering bowing to the pressure of a man who defines the word "bigot" by looking in a mirror tells me a lot about the Edwards campaign, to be honest. Nothing good, but a lot.
Even Ezra, who has been pretty much on Edwards' side, says:
I don't envy them the controversy. But they made their own hiring decisions. And it's an ugly precedent to let a little ripple of controversy divert them from an interesting course. If they need to respond, a counterattack digging up everything Patrick Ruffini has ever written, or Bill Donahue has ever said, or Rush Limbaugh has ever snorted, would be fine. But in the end, this will be a choice for the campaign. Who's respect do they care more about retaining? The netroots'? Or Bill Donahue's?It seems the latter.
From now on, there will be no blogging prisoners. That's the way the Right wants it? Fine. Every single blogger they appoint to any position whatsoever can take the same scrutiny and the same level of flame war.