February 7, 2007

When a blogger goes to work for a presidential candidate.

Two bloggers -- Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan -- get their dream job with a presidential candidate, causing his opponents to comb over their blogs and pull out their nastiest lines to try to discredit them -- and to hurt the candidate. All you bloggers seeking political jobs should expect the same ... and more. After this new dustup, your prospective employers should check to make sure there are no usefully discrediting quotes, and you may never get the job. Getting hired as a presidential candidate's liaison to the blogophere -- I call it "blogger wrangling" -- will never be the same.

Ironically, Amanda Marcotte has blogged about me, using exactly this technique of picking out quotes of mine and using them in a vigorous effort to discredit me. It's the way of the blogger, and now we see it turned on the blogger when that blogger goes to work wrangling bloggers for a candidate. It's interesting that Marcotte's attack on me was in response to my mocking a blogger who had been wrangled on behalf of a presidential candidate.

So I'm a little conflicted about this. Not because Marcotte attacked me -- that's life in the blogosphere -- but because I like to see bloggers use blogging to snag political jobs, and, on the other hand, I'm wary about this new activity of wrangling bloggers for the benefit of political candidates. For you bloggers seeking jobs: I hope you get them. But for you bloggers staying in this noble enterprise: Preserve your independence and don't let yourself get manipulated, even by some blogger wrangler you loved when she was one of you.

In that post of mine that Marcotte savaged, I really was trying to hurt this emerging profession of blogger wrangler. I want bloggers to keep their distance from candidates and not succumb to flattery and seduction. Oh, the candidate actually cares about me, wants to talk to me. It's fine to take advantage of some access, but don't come back like a sucker and blog about how nice the candidate was to you.

ADDED: Captain Ed -- noting Marcotte's "anti-Catholic screeds" -- says:
As a Catholic, I'm less offended by the likes of Marcotte and McEwan than I am surprised that no one in the Edwards campaign thought it was a problem for their candidate. Catholics have overcome bad weather that had more impact on our faith than either blogger, but Edwards wants to court the Catholic (and Evangelical) impulses for social justice and peace to bolster his populist campaign. Surely someone on his staff had the responsibility to actually read the bloggers' previous work to see if it matched the tone Edwards wanted to set with the on-line community and voters in general. That someone should be fired right along with Marcotte and McEwan.

Unfortunately, we can expect this incident to make it harder for bloggers to make the transition into traditional political roles on campaigns. We already have a Wild West reputation for shooting off our mouths and thinking later, which I believe is mostly undeserved; the media will use this to reinforce that impression of the blogosphere. The truth is that the Edwards campaign didn't work very hard to keep a couple of Catholic-haters out of their payroll, and while the media will also report that, that will get missed for the more sensational story of those bloggers and the liability they represent.
Implication: Bloggers gunning for political jobs have to tone down the anti-Catholicism.

UPDATE: Salon reports that the two bloggers have been fired. (Via Memeorandum.)

MORE: "The Pandagon Papers." (NSFW.)

TWO MORE THINGS:
1. Some people seem to think I'm gloating over Marcotte's misfortune. That is a weird misreading of this post, which is damned sympathetic to her plight, especially considering that she was as nasty to me as she possibly could be. I brush that aside as "the way of the blogger" and "life in the blogosphere," as I worry about the employability of bloggers and the pressure for self-censorship.

2. Some people think I'm just a big Republican, interested only in hurting Democratic candidates. But with a handful of exceptions, I've voted for Democrats for 35 years, and I happen to have voted for John Edwards in the Democratic primary in 2004. The Wisconsin primary took place when Edwards was the only man who could stop John Kerry, who I (correctly) thought would make a bad candidate. On the political spectrum, I'm somewhere around Joe Lieberman and Rudy Giuliani. In short, I'm the kind of person the candidates should be concerned about.

156 comments:

RogerA said...

Free speech is a wonderful thing. The blogosphere is a wonderful thing as well. It has demonstrated conclusively that free speech is great, but free speech has consequences. Ask William Arkin, the Group of 88 at Duke, and now Marcotte and McEwan. Anyone taking bets on when the follow Arkin and the G88 and play the "victim" card?

bill said...

You lost me with noble enterprise. It's nothing more than people writing. For all the usual reasons why people have written for centuries. Immediate audience and feedback is new, but doesn't change the basic enterprise.

AJ Lynch said...

I had never heard of Marcotte until the other day. In reading that one post you linked to, it's easy to pigeonhole her as just a prototypical angry far-left lib. She uses the f-bomb to show what? That she is tough? Has balls? Can express outrage and anger?

I agree with you Ann- this kind of blog record could cost her job opportunities. It also shows Edwards did not vet her sufficiently or he would not have hired her IMHO.

Hey said...

Terry Moran's article on ABC linked at Instapundit has attracted some rather hilarious comments. The best echo the point that Amanda is right and not hate speech, but Rush, Coulter, et al ARE. These folks neglect the category error - an official political blogger is rather different than one who speaks for themselves - and propose truth as a defence to charges of "Hate".

So if you can find one person who exhibits this negative trait of a group that you don't like for some reason, then you are not a hater but a truth-teller. The implications are simply horrifying, and it is depressing to see these arguments made.

Does this show that Jane's Law only applies to occupants of the Whitehouse - thus we will be faced with insane outrage from the Left until at least 08 - or does this invalidate the theory?

On point, I would hope that no presidential candidate would higher Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coulter, nor anyone who has made similarly outrageous statements. It's not just the deplorable past (what got Ann fired from National Review was horrid, though much of what she says doesn't faze me) but what these people's careers indicate about what they'll do in the future. Amanda's blistering hate for Christians is disquieting, but I'd expect that a politician would be more worried that she'd be an uncontrollable force with access to their front page. You never know what she's going to say next, and who knows how long her internal editor will reign in her urge to carpet bomb with propfanity.

Doug said...

If the democrats ever wonder why they have trouble with men, southerners, and religious people, they should read this chick's blog. I thought that Edwards would have a great chance if he won the nomination because he is a southern boy, yet the contempt for white, non-females may be too much for Edwards to overcome

Having read some of her babbling, she seems to worship at the alter of victimhood.

Simon said...

The part that I seem to find peculiar is that there's this pervasive air in the criticism that Edwards hired Marcotte without knowing what her views were. Which I think is profoundly missing the point: Marcotte wasn't hired in spite of her posting history, she was hired because of it. Edwards desperately wants credibility with Pandagon's target audience, the nutsroots, as a play to get the nomination.

Since she was hired because of her record, I think it's somewhat unfair of people to single out Marcotte; her views are nothing special or unusual in the leftiesphere. She calls things as she sees them, unencumbered by even the faintest veneer of diplomacy and civility. How's that different to any of the diarists on Kos and a million other leftie blogs? This is how they all talk. Any prominent leftie blogger Edwards could have hired would have exactly the same kind of record to parade.

Hey said...

Speaking of a lack of internal editing...

I do love the argument that we are impinging on her right to free speech by criticising her writing and her hiring. I sometimes use two or even three syllable words, but sweet leaping jesus! Despite my desires and occasional pretensions, I'm not King of the World and am in no position to violate "Congress shall make no law...".

When people in a position of authority, especially when acting under color of law or thanks to public money, attempt to restrict someone's speech that is a possible violation. When individuals say that you are an unpleasant person unfit for a role in public life, that's free speech itself. Expecting the left to understand the constitution and the actual operational implications of liberty is of course an exercise in futility, but I'd hope that some would have more than 2 brain cells.

Peter Palladas said...

"In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception."

She may well have done, but I bet a dollar to a dime that she thought she was talking about the Virgin Conception and/or the Virgin Birth of Christ and not, as I am sure she mistakenly was, the immaculate but human conception of the BVM.

Mike said...

The argument is often made that the blogosphere will push us to greater and greater incivility. Perhaps, after a time, when it sinks in to people that what they say will be there forever, readily accessible in a way that has never been true before, it might cause people to be more circumspect. At least the people who might have aspirations for a public career.

At the very least, it it keeps people like Marcotte out of positions of responsibilty, that's a plus.

dearieme said...

"Ms. Marcotte wrote .. that the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of contraception forced women “to bear more tithing Catholics.”" We had a Jesuit priest to dinner once. I said that I understood the strength of Catholic feelings about abortion and divorce but was puzzled about contraception. Oh, he said, ever since the Reformation we've been worried about being outnumbered.

jas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

It is true that the blogosphere will be there forever and what you say recorded for all time However, much of what is said should be taken with a grain of salt. As much as I despise some writings by the leftists on this board, I also realize that they are opinionated people writing in an anonymous atmosphere. Thus, I would hope that some of them would be more agreeable in person. Afterall, even though all liberals are misguided and just plain wrong about their view on government, we still have to live together - and liberals, as hypocrtical as they are, even live in houses in my suburban neighborhood. As such, it's better in the long run to be friendly - even in the blogosphere.

Ben Calvin said...

Implication: Bloggers gunning for political jobs have to tone down the anti-Catholicism.

Or you can say bloggers need to stand by their writings. If the writer in question believes what she wrote, well fine. It's a free country.

It is then up to the Edwards Campaign to decide whether they want to be associated with those views.

If I were in their position, I would run as fast as possible away from that association.

But that's my opinion, the campaign can makes its own decision.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey,

I think you've got it quite backwards regarding Coulter. Her really reprehensible stuff (e.g. it shoulda been the NYT building that got hit) didn't figure in her firing, but what she wrote for NR that did was actually fairly tame (and much, much gentler than our opponents plan for us.)

Simon,

Spot on about Marcotte and her record. Regarding your statement, "She calls things as she sees them, unencumbered by even the faintest veneer of diplomacy and civility", my reaction to reading that kind of stuff is, "You guys really want a civil war?" So much of it seems like it would genuinely fall under "fighting words" if it were said in person.

And Ann, here's yet another whine about New Blogger: each of the last few comments has required many, many attempts at getting past Word Verification. I swear I'm being very careful, especially after the first reject, but it's like it's gotten out of sync or something: word after word does not match, even the short, easy-to-read ones like 'lsjhle'. (Yep, that one failed, too.)

Mike said...

Yes, word verification is FUBAR. Has been since the switchover. Since Blooger loves you Ann, can you complain on our behalf?

NSC said...

Implication: Bloggers gunning for political jobs have to tone down the anti-Catholicism.

Well, there are reported to be over 60 million Catholics in the United States - that is an awful lot of potential votes to insult so early in a campaign so it is not bad advice I think.

Edwards is not that strong a candidate to have the extra baggage these bloggers bring and it doesn't say much for his staff in terms of vetting new additions.

Richard Dolan said...

I agree with Simon's suggestion that Marcotte may well have been hired because of her views, in an effort to appeal to the lefty bloggers. That Edwards chose to hire her for her views may well say something important about Edwards, and the strengths/weaknesses of his campaign. But it's such a classic (even extreme) case of "inside baseball" that the folks for whom that message might impact on their vote are unlikely ever to get it. In contrast, those who are aware of the kerfuffle are likely to have some pretty firm views about who/what they will support in an electoral campaign, and this sort of thing would never get them to change their minds.

The same thing came up in the Lieberman/Lamont race, where Lamont hired some lefty bloggers, and was then met with the usual demands that he disavow their views and dissociate them from his campaign. The whole thing basically stayed in the blogosphere and thus was just an exercise in getting the base to pay attention; truly undecided voters didn't notice. When the MSM starts to hound a candidate about the noxious views of some staffer/supporter, it's possible for a story like this to have some traction. What's the likelihood that the MSM will ever turn on a Dem candidate because of something like this, with the same ferocity, say, that the WaPo showed in doing an almost daily hatchet job on Allen in the Virginia Senate race?

I'd be interested to know whether anyone is familiar with a race where a candidate felt compelled to disavow publicly someone like Marcotte because of critical commentary that appeared only in the blogosphere but never broke out into the MSM.

Ann Althouse said...

I'll turn off word verification for now, but if I get too much spam, I'm going to have to turn it back on. I'm willing to delete 10 robot comments a day, but not 20, and certainly not 100.

Henry said...

To pick up on Richard Dolan's comment, I suspect that Edwards' media people considered blog outreach a compartmentalized affair. They would hire a blogger who would do the blog stuff and the grown-ups could go about their jobs.

In other words, they didn't take the blogosphere seriously enough to actually vet the person they hired to influence it.

And maybe they were right. But you have to wonder what powerful spell the Internet casts that makes the professional image-makers forget to protect their candidate's image.

bearbee said...

I had never heard of Marcotte until the other day

Ditto.

The part that I seem to find peculiar is that there's this pervasive air in the criticism that Edwards hired Marcotte without knowing what her views were.

Agree. According to her bio she lives in Durham, NC (isn't that within hollerin' distance of Edwards Chapel Hill home?) and is employed by Duke University Press. It would be peculiar that with all the recent dustup over the Duke rape case, for the Edwards camp not to have checked her credentials and writings before hiring her.

vegetius said...

What we have here is a young Andrea Dworkin (RIP). A perfect match for the Edward's campaign. Now can everybody understand why Edwards could not carry his own homestate for Kerry??

Mike said...

Ann: Maybe Blogger doesn't know that wv is functioning so poorly. Someone should tell them. Someone big. Someone important.

Old Dad said...

My guess is that Marcotte-gate is the result of a staff screw up. The staffer who vetted Marcotte either failed to read her blog (unlikely), or failed to understand the problem. The train of thought might have gone something like this. "Sure she's got a potty mouth, and her thinking is pretty far left, but the nutroots will eat it up." The staffer apparently was unaware that the sphere would make this a big story.

Marcotte, on the other hand, had to know that this would make news. One wonders if she raised the issue during the interview process.

Sydney Carton said...

The surprising thing about this is not that Edwards hired an anti-Catholic bigot with a foul mouth. The surprising thing is that they are actually considering whether to fire her or not.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey said...

Kirk: I may be mistaken on the timing, but I believe that the NYT crack was after NR fired her (she got the bum rush very quickly after 9/11). No matter the order, that was also out of line, as was the Pat Robertson "we deserved it because of the gays" comment and other associated idiocy (Dinesh D'Souza's new book included).

bear: Pandagon has a number of commenters. Amanda is co-head with Pam, who is the one who lives in Durham and works at Duke. Amanda lives/lived in Austin and worked in financia aid at the UT Business School. So she had access to the records and financial information of a large number of conservatives... UT needs to research their staffers much more thoroughly as well!

If one wants to spout off without consulting the internal editor, use a pseudonym attached to an anonymous email address, like myself. I thought EVERYONE, especially everyone under 35, knew that online was FOREVER and that one should be circumspect as to what you attach your name to.

Doyle said...

Alternate title "When a blogger loses any pretense of being anything other than a right wing hack."

I mean really, no one who is not in the filthy ideological trenches with Instaputz and "Captain" Ed is going to spend the time to find and then air the most especially incendiary rhetoric Amanda Marcotte has ever used.

People who are not crapping their pants at the overwhelming probability of a Democratic victory in 2008 just wouldn't make the effort.

But here's Donahue, who is in NO position to make accusations of bigotry, demanding that Edwards fire her immediately. And here are 'putz, Ed, and the Fiercely Independent Ann Althouse doing their little bit to stir the pot.

Oh, and the commenters here have gotten even dumber, especially Doug. Who doesn't want to make the persecuted white male argument so he makes the persecuted white "non-female" argument.

Jokers, the lot of you.

vbspurs said...

Quoting from article about Marcotte:

“Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.”

And about Evans:

"Ms. McEwan referred in her blog to President Bush’s “wingnut Christofascist base” and repeatedly used profanity in demanding that religious conservatives stop meddling with women’s reproductive and sexual rights."

Insightful, ain't they?

I'd hire Mr. Johnson of Durham In Wonderland in a trice, for anything, but oh no, it's Marcotte with her anti-Catholic bile, and dimestore conclusions who gets the nod.

Multiple postings use explicit and inflammatory language on a variety of issues."

This, however, is MSM self-imposed standards of professionalism raising their heads.

Bloggers are not held to the same rules of decorum that you would use in print or on television.

Oh to be sure, some do and are as venerable as the Grey Lady in tone (Instapundit comes to mind), but most are like Ann, in fact.

Never bawdy, but frank and reflecting everyday speech, like asshole.

That is not disqualificatory, or unprofessional.

That's blogging.

P.S.: I avoid swearing and using inflammatory language in real life. And I've noticed many conservative bloggers (even libertarians like Volokh) does too.

But left-of-centre bloggers drop f-bombs like it's going on the Versace catwalk. A lot.

Kos is gross.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

bearbee,
You've got the wrong bio. As you might imagine, a file called PamSpauldingBio.pdf posted at http://www.pamspaulding.com/bio, is the biography of Marcotte's fellow Pandagonian Pam Spaulding. Marcotte is (or at least, until recently was) Financial Aid Officer at the University of Texas in Austin, although her Pandagon bio does suggest that she's moving to Chapel Hill, NC for the Edwards campaign. I have to say, I actually have far more time for Marcotte (who I actually rather like, in a weird sort of way) than I do for Spaulding.

Doyle,
Re why's everyone spending so much time fretting about this, that argument reminds me of something Rahm Emmanuel said the other day, along similar lines - something to the effect of, if the toothless anti-war resolution was really meaningless, nobody would be taking the time to fight it. His argument's full of shit, too. ;)

Doyle said...

"More rubble. Less trouble"

That's your revered Instahack on the Middle East. No naughty words, just advocacy of blowing people up indiscriminately. What an admirable man!

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

Rahm Emanuel is frequently full of it.

Doyle said...

I am sick of anti-Christian and anti-Catholic venom from the Left.

Yeah there's so much of it! Democrats are always attacking the baby Jesus!

Simon said...

Oh gosh, that last post came out wrong. LMAO. I should clarify - by "a weird way," I don't mean in that way. I just mean that compared to most lefty bloggers, she seems intelligent enough and frequently has interesting (or at least, unintentionally revealing) things to say. As I suggested above, the Edwards campaign would be hard-pressed to find any other prominent blogger with a record any less laced with inanity, profanity hatred and outright hysterics, so they might as well pick one who's fairly smart and can actually write for shit. Lookit, all I'm saying is that Marcotte is to Glenn Greenwald what Alfred Lord Tennyson is to William Topaz McGonagall, so the Edwards campaign could have done a lot worse.

Simon said...

Doyle - perhaps if he said "fuck" a bit more often, he'd have more credibility with you. ;)

Naked Lunch said...

Kos is gross.

Well to be fair, none of his members sent out hoax anthrax letters to conservative Congressman or pundits like our charming friends over at Freereublic. The perp (who is going away for a while) had in his bio as his 2 heroes: Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. Whoulda thunk? The same Michelle Malkin that is so outraged now. Getting lectured by Bill Donohue and righty bloggers for lack of civility is precious. But mock a Parkinson's patient publicly to millions of people and you get rewarded a few days later with a visit from the President and the VP.

NSC said...

Yeah there's so much of it! Democrats are always attacking the baby Jesus!

Straw man, Doyle - the left doesn't attack the baby Jesus, they attack those who believe in him. Marcotte is just one example.

vbspurs said...

Lookit, all I'm saying is that Marcotte is to Glenn Greenwald what Alfred Lord Tennyson is to William Topaz McGonagall, so the Edwards campaign could have done a lot worse.

LOVE it.

Cheers,
Victoria

ShadyCharacter said...

Naked Lunch/Doyle's day is not complete until his bile has driven one more centrist/moderate Dem into the arms of the Republicans...

Just another day in KKKarl Rove's Amerikkka.

Mike said...

Lunch is Doyle?

RogerA said...

It may have escaped Doyle's notice, but the NYT has picked the story up--it's show time folks. All of the papers that slavishly regurgitate the NYT stuff will spread the story..Ya think Mr. Edwards is working on his statements for the Sunday talk shows even as we speak here? Ya think Ms M is toast? Ya think she will submit her resignation and it will be accepted "with sadness?" Ya think this will be made public in a press release by the Edwards campaign on Friday nite after the evening news closes? Nahhhh

Biden Down, Edwards now down--boy the field is narrowing fast! Its even been disclosed that Obama is a cigarette smoker but trying to quit). Is it possible there won't even be a democratic nominee at the rate they are going?

Daryl Herbert said...

Yeah there's so much of it [anti-Catholic venom]! Democrats are always attacking the baby Jesus!

Everybody knows Baby Jesus isn't Catholic.

Err, what I mean is, everybody knows it's possible to attack Catholics without insulting Baby Jesus. Such as, for instance, calling them mindless "godbags." Or suggesting that their real motivations for their policy positions are hatred of women, hatred of minorities, hatred of people having fun, etc. (and not deeply-held religious convictions that should be respected)

In fact, Doyle is expressing the same dismissive, insulting attitude shared by the Catholic-bashers. What a tool.

Mike said...

Well, looks like they're both gone.

Doyle said...

Naked Lunch/Doyle's day is not complete until his bile has driven one more centrist/moderate Dem into the arms of the Republicans...

Ann voted for Bush in 2004, and has been in the arms of the Republicans since before I started subjecting myself to her blog.

Daryl Herbert said...

Doyle's other attack is on Glenn Reynolds:

That's your revered Instahack on the Middle East. No naughty words, just advocacy of blowing people up indiscriminately. What an admirable man!

Reynolds never says he's in favor of "indiscriminate" killing. If we're threatened by a country in the Middle East, and democratization is unworkable, and diplomacy won't work, we should bomb them, and the harder we hit, the louder and more effective our message will be.

If you view the post in context, you'll see that's all he's saying, in a long, thoughtful post with a roundup of other bloggers' opinions. Maybe there's a reason Doyle didn't bother to link.

It's also pathetic that Doyle wants to jump back and forth between debating substance and debating demeanor. Whether or not Glenn's or Amanda's opinions are substantively bad is completely separate from whether all the F-bombs are really fucking necessary. It's a legitimate question to ask, aside from what Amanda's message is, is whether it's proper for a campaign blogger to be slinging the F-word left and right.

It's also pathetic how Doyle claims Ann is trying to stir the pot on this issue. After the NYT reports on the controversy, Ann comes out somewhere in the middle on this. This is not the kind of post that will get linked to by very many blogs. It's not the kind of post that will stir up debate on other blogs! It's just Ann's idiosyncratic opinion.

no one who is not in the filthy ideological trenches with Instaputz and "Captain" Ed is going to spend the time to find and then air the most especially incendiary rhetoric Amanda Marcotte has ever used.

That suggests a double standard (it's okay for left-wingers to dig up old posts on bloggers they hate, but wrong for right-wingers, because right-wing ideas are "filthy"). It's almost guaranteed that Doyle would join a lynch mob against Charles Johnson if Mitt Romney hired him to be his blogmaster (and Johnson doesn't express hateful ideas on his blog, only facts that certain people are deeply uncomfortable with)

Second, this blog s---storm started after right-wing bloggers dug up "the most incindiary rhetoric she's ever used" this week (in which she called a bunch of innocent men rapists). After they smelled blood in the water, they dug up everything they could on her (which turns out to be quite a lot)

This is what the blogosphere is best at: individuals do research on their own, share results, get links/attention/emotional payoff, and then repeat the process (do more research on the same subject, based on what was previously shared). It's a massively parallel process. If there is something out there to find, we will find it. Doyle's just whining about it because everybody hates the blogosphere when it's being done to them.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Ann ... has been in the arms of the Republicans since before I started subjecting myself to her blog."

Alas, 'tis not true.

Mike said...

Doyle's just sour that his gig as blogmeister for Dennis Kucinich is down the tubes.

RogerA said...

"subjecting myself to her blog?"
Doyle: are you the president of the Masochists for Althouse Chapter? There is an interesting concept for you to mull over: free will--you could be free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last of the curse of Althouse.

Doyle said...

Uh, Mike, I'm not the one freaking out about Amanda Marcotte getting a job with the Edwards campaign. I'm happy about it, angry liberal that I am. The histrionics are coming from Malkin*, Morrissey et al. I'm just pointing out how ridiculous it is that the "et al" includes a supposedly moderate Democrat.

*If you haven't seen her HotAir video, and are a fan of hers, I'd recommend not watching it, btw.

Doyle said...

I could save myself the trouble, but there are souls to save from her dishonest wiles.

RogerA said...

Doyle: I gotta hand it to you guy--you do hang in there playing Wiley Coyote to the roadrunners here. :)

Mike said...

Ex-job, Doyle, ex-job.

bearbee said...

Simon said...
bearbee,
You've got the wrong bio


Arrrrgggggggguuuuuhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Simon said...

RogerA - he must be caught in Ann's powerful spell. ;)

vbspurs said...

you could be free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last of the curse of Althouse.

I've always wondered what kind of person would do this on a blog, day in, and day out.

Think about it.

Their sole purpose is to make everyone else's life miserable, or at least try to, by constantly and without an iota of lampooning irony, making fun, deriding, and degrading not only a given subject, but the author of the blog, and its readership.

Oh, one understands the potshot drive-bys of commenters who go to blogs to vent. We've all done that.

In fact, that's what blogs are for -- a frank, unfettered exchange of opinions by people who might probably never meet, but for the ethernet.

But we're talking of people who lodge themselves in a blog, by dancing bitter attendance daily on it.

Just think of the energy they have.

Just think of the vitriol they swish inside their souls.

Just think of the amounts of animus they wish to stir up, as their sole contribution.

They come here not as honourable and loyal opposition, but just to crap-stir.

What kind of a person slings this corrosive persona unto him or herself for any length of time, and why?

I think the answer begins with "poor excuse for a human being" and ends with "no life losers", but I could be wrong.

Maybe they're just lonely.

Cheers,
Victoria

Doug said...

Oh, and the commenters here have gotten even dumber, especially Doug. Who doesn't want to make the persecuted white male argument so he makes the persecuted white "non-female" argument.

Doyle, you dumbass, I wasn't making a persecuted white male arguement at all, I was pointing out that if the views of Democrats are that white males are evil, predatory, potential rapists, don't expected them to vote for Democrats. Unlike Marcotte, I don't feel a pathological insecurity about my gender.

I don't feel persecuted as a white male, but then again, I have never been arrested on rape charges, had a prosecutor withhold evidence, and had a bitter feminist like Marcotte declare me guilty as fuck after all available evidence has exonerated me.

The "non-female" thing was something I saw in a Beavis and Butthead episode where they were the only males to show up at a Womyn's meeting. It was a brilliant caricature of people you probably think are quite reasonable.

I hope Edwards keeps this woman around. I fear him more than any democratic candidate because of his likelyhood of winning. I want Amanda to keep on saying it loud and saying it proud. The more she speaks truth to power about these vile Papists, the few Catholics will vote for Edwards. The more she slashes and burns the patriarchy, the fewer men will vote for Edwards, even if he speaks with a southern drawl and shows up at the NASCAR track.

Doyle said...

The "non-female" thing was something I saw in a Beavis and Butthead episode

Well that explains a lot.

Pogo said...

Marcotte is merely Edward's court jester, speaking aloud what he cannot, and in a style marked by more expletives than a drunk rapper with Tourettes.

That, or it's the choice of a truly naive executive, providing one's opponents with damning proof of incompetence.

But his hair is still pretty, so he's got that going for him.

Doug said...

Doyle, the social commentary on Beavis and Butthead isn't quite as sophisticated as the high brow rantings of Pandagon.com or what you would expect from Jane "Blackface" Hamsher.

You would never get this bit of insight from the mouth of Beavis:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology."


And while the teacher on the show was a hippie, he would never been smart enough to deliver something hard hitting like this:

"I had to listen to how the poor, dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f***** her against her will--not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

sydney said...

I don't understand why these bloggers use so many obscenities in their posts. Do they think it's cute? Or do they really think it gives added weight to their arguments?

Any serious thinker would have stopped reading her after the first expletive. Which speaks volumes about the quality of thinking that goes on in John Edwards' head.

Dewave said...

This says more about the Edwards campaign than Marcotte.

Marcotte is free to be as vile and bigoted an anti-catholic as she wants to be. That's free speech and the world is full of angry kooks.

An intelligent campaign would not hire someone who has such a long and *consistent* history of hating and despising a certain religion, and would not hire this person based simply on their lack of judgement and inability to control ones tongue, let alone out of fear of offending a catholic voting bloc.

Speech is free, it is not without consequences. Her verbal temper tantrums will (and should) cost her job offers with groups that need to exercise self control and restraint.

It probably will not bar her from getting hired by other violently anti-catholic groups, so it's not like she's doomed herself forever - just shut a few doors.

Peter Palladas said...

I am pleased to announce that the Parish Council has authorised me to say that our 'blog' will be available for hire to any right minded candidate for the forthcoming Presidential election.

We can offer the rural vote on a plate, though we would be shy of pandering to the metro-sexuals among the electorate.

Terms and conditions will be reasonable and all payments are to be discreetly made via our roof restoration fund - a charity so tax deductible. (A 'no win, no fee' option is not available - we are not that much mugs.)

We undertake not to use any but the most obscure Woldean profanities that won't even be comprehended by a trans-Atlantic audience.

Our comments will be balanced and, though clearly influenced by the fee received, we will not knowingly provide mis-information about rival candidates.

Ladies and gentlemen, please form an orderly queue.

Simon said...

Re the update/firing: lame.

MadisonMan said...

I don't understand why these bloggers use so many obscenities in their posts. Do they think it's cute? Or do they really think it gives added weight to their arguments?

Cue Mr. Porter: Good authors, too, who once knew better words now only use four letter words writing prose. Anything Goes!

Maybe it makes them sound more wordly and less middle-class from suburban DC.

Doyle said...

Hey I never said I agreed with everything Marcotte ever wrote. I don't even read Pandagon, and was only vaguely aware of her.

But the right is such a cesspool, and it is given so much higher visibility than Marcotte, (I'm thinking especially of Coulter, Malkin and Limbaugh)that I resent our woman getting put under the microscope like this.

Also, the hypocrisy of the Catholic League crying bigotry is glaring.

Edwards better not cave over this nonsense.

Mike said...

"Edwards better not cave over this nonsense."

Or what, Doyle?

SteveR said...

The idea is laughable. Hire some blogger. I can't believe anyone would read anything put out by a blogger working for a candidate.

Maybe if HHH had only hired some folks from the SDS to connect with the underground.

Well for sure it gets everything you ever wrote before read

Doyle said...

Simon on stubbornfacts.us "if you've written a post basically attempting to savage Ann Althouse for no good reason, I probably think you're pond scum

A new phenomenon: hardcore Althouse defenders!

She makes so much of us haters, but not enough of the loyal minions. Minions who, in this case, will deny that there was any reason to find fault with Ann's unprovoked, near-pathological attack on Jessica from Feministing. Objecting to that does not make one pond scum.

Also, I can't help but laugh at your selection of Mark Twain as blog mascot, given that he was vehemently opposed to U.S. imperialism and you, as a Bush supporter, are clearly 'bout it 'bout it.

AJ Lynch said...

Roger said:

"Doyle: I gotta hand it to you guy--you do hang in there playing Wiley Coyote to the roadrunners here."

Hey Doyle:

....meep meep! meep meep!

Doyle said...

Or what, Doyle?

What do you mean, "Or what?" You think I'm trying to threaten him, here in the comments section of Althouse?

I'll be disappointed, that's all. I'll think less of him for having hired a known firebrand blogger and then firing her when the Catholic League and their fellow wingnuts object. And I'll be lest likely to trust him to stand up to them in the general, even though I currently prefer him to Obama. Of course I live in New York where Hillary is quite strong so my threat may be totally empty after all.

But really, what she wrote wasn't half as crazy as what gets written by the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Mike said...

"But really, what she wrote wasn't half as crazy as what gets written by the Wall Street Journal editorial board."

a) that's ridiculous
b) at least the WSJ editorials are repectful. You see, if you want to be President, a certain basic level of decorum is required

Simon said...

Doyle,
I'm just the monkey at SF, Pat's the organ-grinder. ;) He picked the Twain quote, and it's a good one. You might also stop to consider that since I've repeatedly expressed institutional loyalty towards Congress over the executive, I likely don't agree with Mark Twain on everything. ;)

I think you and I actually agree in our assesment about Edwards and Marcotte's firing, although I'm not sure that you realize it's already happened.

As regards the quote, you've taken that out of context, but I'll stand by it in that form anyway. An "unprovoked, near-pathological attack[s]" would be basically my description of the attacks leveled at Ann after her comments about Valenti, although I'd add "irrational" to that list of adjectives, along with "misguided," since throughout that entire brouhaha, it seemed to me that not a single one of Ann's detractors understood for as much as an instant the point that she'd actually made. That seems to be a recurrent theme: there was a similar bunch of hysterics about her Anna Diggs Taylor op/ed that stemmed from an inability to comperehend the point being made. And I'll defend anyone for that.

Doyle said...

it seemed to me that not a single one of Ann's detractors understood for as much as an instant the point that she'd actually made.

Simon the "point" she originally made was a caption: "Let's just arrange these bloggers randomly." It was simply a reference to Jessica having breasts in front of Bill Clinton. Whatever points she later made about feminism and Jessica's betrayal of it were only made once people objected.

And as for the op-ed, you're entitled to believe that Ann is a misunderstood genius, but a lot of people (myself included) thought it was terrible. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out, Ann was scolding Diggs for not addressing "serious defenses" of the TSP which the government never made in the case. Plus, if the government thought those defenses were so strong, and the violation of FISA so necessary, then why did they recently agree to bring the program back under the law?

Naked Lunch said...

Why Edwards didn't say "No, I'm not firing anybody, I don't take moral judgements from people that defend concentration camps, and crackpot Jew hating homophobes - wanna talk about that 8 billion in loot missing in Iraq jackass?"

Revenant said...

I've got no problem with Marcotte badmouthing the Catholic Church. The Church does plenty of badmouthing of its own, and if it can dish it out it should be prepared to take it.

What bothers me is that Marcotte is still slandering the falsely accused Duke athletes in the Nifong non-rape scandal. She's also attempted to cover this up by deleting her posts on the subject (Salon's denials of this notwithstanding -- she posted an admission of having deleted the post in question). What possessed Edwards to hire this lying little bitch? Couldn't a lawyer find a liar closer to home that was willing to work for him?

Doyle said...

The Duke Rape Case changed everything!

Kirk Parker said...

Hey,

Good point, I'm not at all clear about the timing of those remarks and her firing, either.

But why not address the awfulness of her NR "firing" column on their merits. Let's see:

* Invade their countries.

CHECK.

* Kill their leaders.

Umm, lemme see, I don't see Sadaam or the boys around any more. And quite a number of the Abu Sayaaf leaders in the Phillipines have bitten the dust, too, and then there's all those folks that have gotten whacked in Pakistan, and Yemen, and Somalia, and what's-his-name in Iraq.... Zarqawi, I think. So we've gotten this item fairly well underway, too:

CHECK.

* Convert them to Christianity.

OK, the jury's still way, way out on this one. But don't write it off too soon--there's a lot of discussion going on around the blogosphere about How Likely is a Muslim Reformation. Part of what's driving the discussion is the realization that the way things are going--with the upsurge in Islamism--leads to an untenable conflict, and that if a more moderate, tolerant Islam doesn't starting gaining the upper hand, it will eventually mean The Big One.

So my take on it, anyway, is that this third item on Ann's agenda may not be achievable (especially not by the West in its current state of disbelief-in-itself), but it couldn't possibly be as bad for human rights, overall, than if the Jihadists continue their ascendency.

LoafingOaf said...

I've never read any of the blogs in question, but I have to assume Shakespeare's Sister takes its name from The Smiths' song of that title, which makes me soften to them. (Shockingly enough, the former lead singer of The Smiths - Morrissey - from whom this blog apparently took its title, has returned to Catholicism, judging by the lyrics of his last two albums!)

And I have to admit that this:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology."

Made me laugh. *shrug*

But then people have accused me of being both an anti-Islamic and an anti-Catholic bigot.

I don't think I'm a bigot. The same way that Christians say they hate the sin but love the sinner, I hate the religion but not the people who are brainwashed by it. Or something like that, And, frankly, I've never felt that Catholics have held back on saying mean things about atheists.

But, yeah, that sort of thing doesn't look good for mainstream politicians trying to win Catholic voters. Lord only knows why a thousand bloggers all turned out to be desperate to hook up with politicians. "Ambitious Outsiders" - that's another song title from Morrissey.

If you're an ambitious blogger, I guess you gotta watch what you say. Tough beans, but that's the consequence of the choice you made.

Beth said...

I guess it was inevitable that they'd be canned. But it irks me to see the likes of Michelle Malkin and K-Lo have a hand in it. What a coupla maroons.

Peter Palladas said...

And, frankly, I've never felt that Catholics have held back on saying mean things about atheists.

...and your point being?

We Catlicks are taught 'Extra ecclesia nulla salva.'

No great wonder then if we seek to mention to non-believers that they risk an eternity of raging hell-fire with the Devil's truncheon up their jacksie.

Seems pretty charitable to me.

Ben Masel said...

I'm not hiring any house bloggers for my 2012 Senate campaign, as I prefer to be lambasted for my own scurillous posts.

Old Dad said...

The Edwards Campaign did the right thing. They made a bad hire, and fixed the problem. It's way early in the program. I'd guess the candidate is asking some pretty good post mortem questions:

1. Who hired these idiots?
2. We need bloggers why? A blog, sure, but a blogger with baggage? You morons are killing me (long tirade dressing down staff).
3. Is my shrine finished ready for John's Room yet.

Steve Donohue said...

I think one of the candidates should hire Eggagog as their "head blogmaster" or whatever the title could be. He couldn't do any harm! And imagine the hilarity of the main webpage. SAM BROWNBACK IS EATING THE MONKEYS! THE MONKEYS ARE DISSAPOINTED IN THE EGG SALAD! THE DENTISTS WERE EATING THE EGG SALAD!

Revenant said...

No great wonder then if we seek to mention to non-believers that they risk an eternity of raging hell-fire with the Devil's truncheon up their jacksie.

Let's simplify, here. Catholics think they're obviously right, so harsh criticism of them is nothing more than ignorance and bigotry; other people are wrong, so harsh criticism of *them* is simply for their own good.

That's a big reason why so many people hate the Catholic Church. As an institution, it tends to exhibit the stereotypical qualities of an Internet troll -- limitless self-regard, unending invective for those whose opinions differ significantly, and an almost complete inability to admit to having been wrong.

Alan said...

I feel sorry Marcotte and the other women got fired. It wasn't but a week ago Marcotte moved to North Carolina to begin her new job. I don't care which side of the political spectrum you're on, it's hard to uproot yourself and start anew. I wish both of them good luck on getting their feet back on solid ground.

Peter Palladas said...

...limitless self-regard, unending invective for those whose opinions differ significantly, and an almost complete inability to admit to having been wrong.

...yup, sounds like a good working definition of infallibility to me - though I might baulk at the 'significantly.' Any deviation is enough cause to dial up for the Inquisition.

As for admitting to having been wrong - just so long as you don't mention child-abusing priests, for which like any good Catholic I hang my head and weep for the very shame of it:

"It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."

I can still just about go to Mass at Christmas and Easter, but it's a struggle.

LoafingOaf said...

I feel sorry Marcotte and the other women got fired. It wasn't but a week ago Marcotte moved to North Carolina to begin her new job. I don't care which side of the political spectrum you're on, it's hard to uproot yourself and start anew. I wish both of them good luck on getting their feet back on solid ground.

And it's hard for a college student to endure a lynch mob with a reckless disregard for truth over false rape accusations.

Revenant said...

And it's hard for a college student to endure a lynch mob with a reckless disregard for truth over false rape accusations.

Yep. Its got nothing to do with being left-wing or right-wing (last I checked, neither wing likes false accusations of rape). Dozens of innocent men had their lives "uprooted" and possibly ruined, and Marcotte's still happy it happened.

Asking people to express sympathy that the bitch lost a job over bad behavior she was actually *guilty* of is a bit much.

johnstodder said...

People who are not crapping their pants at the overwhelming probability of a Democratic victory in 2008 just wouldn't make the effort.

This is something Doyle said. It's confusing. I can't tell if, per Doyle, I'm crapping my pants or not. There are two possible reasons why I might not be crapping in my pants:

1) I'm happy about, or at least unconcerned about, a Democratic victory; or

2) My pants are clean because I disagree there is an "overwhelming probability of a Democratic victory in 2008."

What if I am hopeful of a Democratic victory--depending on the candidate and platform--but don't believe victory is better than a 50-50 shot, dropping every day? Where am I, pants-filled-with-crap-wise?

(For the record, I hope the two bloggers aren't fired -- the last time I looked at Salon the matter was left in some doubt. They were hired for their views; it would be unfair for them to be fired for the precise same views. I don't like the precedent it sets. Marcotte swings a sharp elbow. I find her writings unpleasant. But her views aren't outside the mainstream, and while she's obviously angry about Catholic positions on certain political issues, I think it's a stretch to call her "anti-Catholic," unless you want to say anyone who's pro-choice is "anti-Catholic.")

Peter Palladas said...

I think it's a stretch to call her "anti-Catholic," unless you want to say anyone who's pro-choice is "anti-Catholic."

That would have to be a logical non sequitor - choice as in free-will is central to Catlick teaching. 'Pro-choice' as a thing in itself is pro-Catholic through and through.

Dammit I seem to have strayed into a theological blog. Time to dust down Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa Theologiae and prepare for the onslaught.

MadisonMan said...

Can I just say that this is the liveliest most entertaining discussion in a while?

johnstodder said...

That would have to be a logical non sequitor - choice as in free-will is central to Catlick teaching. 'Pro-choice' as a thing in itself is pro-Catholic through and through.

Er, ah, okay. Did you really not know what I meant?

As Joan Allen said to Kevin Kline in The Ice Storm, "don't be dim."

Alan said...

A North Carolina prosecutor paved the road Marcotte took with the Duke case. I don't blame a radical feminist for doing what a radical feminists does. The blame falls directly on the prosecutor...whom, I believe, should spend a few years in prison for his criminal misuse of power.

Simon said...

"I think it's a stretch to call her 'anti-Catholic,' unless you want to say anyone who's pro-choice is 'anti-Catholic.'"

Well, someone who is pro-choice need not be "anti-Catholic", but ipso facto, they certainly aren't themselves a Catholic...

R2K said...

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R2K

Mortimer Brezny said...

Here is my ode to Amanda Marcotte.

http://roxik.com/pictaps/?pid=a381358

Steve Donohue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johnstodder said...

I'd be hard pressed to muster sympathy for her if I heard she'd been raped, let alone fired.

Okeedokee. Cross "Revenant" off the list of future candidate-bloggers.

See, this is why the right's outrage over these bloggers rings hollow for me. As is illustrated here, there is just as much immoderately expressed outrage on that side as on the other. For some people, blogging = Tourette's.

I happen to agree with "Revenant" on the substance of the issue he's passionate about -- the wrong that has been done to the Duke students, and all the political reasons for it. That's a mainstream view. But his manner of expression is absurd, childish, vicious...you name it.

Ditto Marcotte and McEwan. It ain't what they said, it's how they said it. Edwards is a leftish candidate. Marcotte is a leftisher blogger. She could be a perfect fit for the Edwards campaign. She's not going to drop a lot of F-bombs in her campaign discourse. She'll find a more decorous way to say what she feels, just like all politicians do. The fact that she used extreme language in an environment where extreme language is considered okay shouldn't disqualify her for future service to a more sober exponent of her causes.

A Kos diarist is saying all the other Democratic candidates should rally around Marcotte and McEwan, and refrain from taking advantage of this controversy to gain advantage over Edwards. Well, fat chance. But we might want to consider an overall blogger-amnesty for those on the right and the left who got drunk on the freedom of the blogosphere.

Kirk Parker said...

Renevant,

What Steve said. Marcotte may well be a scumabag, even--much worse, yet--the other side's scumbag, but wishing rape on someone is still beyone the pale.

Seven Machos said...

I would sympathize with anyone who was raped. People who criticize others for using ugly rhetoric lose 100 percent of their credibility when they themselves resort to ugly rhetoric.

This should be obvious but, apparently, it's not.

YAMB said...

Actually, Revanent, if you read her archives at Pandagon, Amanda makes several references to a time she was raped.

Simon said...

I hate to join a dogpile in progress, but I agree with Kirk, Revenant - that's just beyond the pale.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Revenant said...

Revanent, if you read her archives at Pandagon, Amanda makes several references to a time she was raped.

Having heard that, and taken a moment for introspection, I've confirmed my earlier prediction -- I've no more sympathy for her than I did before.

somefeller said...

"Actually, Revanent, if you read her archives at Pandagon, Amanda makes several references to a time she was raped."

Actually, I doubt Revenant much cares about that fact. His comments make it clear what kind of person he is.

With regard to this whole dustup, while I don't like the fact that loathsome people like Bill Donohue or Michelle Malkin got a couple of scalps here, Edwards was right to fire them, if that's what he did. Staffers should never be the story in a campaign, and while that isn't fair, that's life in politics. The second the attention was drawn away from Edwards and towards his bloggers (in a most unfavorable manner), they became liabilities. They probably shouldn't have been hired by Edwards to begin with, but once mainstream media sources like the NY Times jumped on this story, it became an issue the campaign didn't need to have dogging them.

somefeller said...

Gee, and in the short time it took for me to type my comment, Revenant proves my point. Hey Ann, you might want to fumigate in here, your comments page seems to be attracting vermin.

Revenant said...

wishing rape on someone is still beyond the pale.

I did not wish rape on her. I said I wouldn't have sympathy for her if she got raped. The two statements are not equivalent, just as not caring if someone dies isn't the same thing as wanting them dead.

I was responding to the earlier poster who had encouraged us to feel sympathy for poor, oppressed Marcotte because she (sniff) lost her job so soon after moving.

downtownlad said...

Typical Catholics - acting like victims while they wish violence on others and propagate hatred towards those who don't conform to their standards of "normality".

I say screw em. And Bill Donahue is just a big fat pile of crap anyway, the sooner he drops dead from a heart attack because of the glutton he is the better.

Revenant said...

Actually, I doubt Revenant much cares about that fact

Why should I? She's a malicious person actively trying to help ruin innocent people's lives. Who cares if she got raped? How does that excuse her lies and slander?

Am I supposed to sympathize with the fact that most child molesters were themselves victims of molestation? That most criminals come from broken homes? Lets all get out the hankies and have a nice cry for the death of personal effing responsibility, shall we?

Anyway, I obviously touched off a lot of sensitive nerves in what should, in hindsight, have been a predictable manner. My apologies to those who took offense, as I had not intended offense to anyone beyond Marcotte and her ilk.

vbspurs said...

I did not wish rape on her. I said I wouldn't have sympathy for her if she got raped. The two statements are not equivalent, just as not caring if someone dies isn't the same thing as wanting them dead.

Still pretty smarmy either way...

...even hearing it the third time around.

Cheers,
Victoria

Seven Machos said...

At its fundamental essence, downtown lad, this seemingly trifling debate over this fired blogger is actually about gay marriage and gayness. Right? And aren't Catholics really out to imprison gays? Isn't that why so many of them voted for President Bush?

downtownlad said...

Wow Seven - you really are continuing your obsessness with gayness.

I'm sure Sigmund Freud must be wondering from his grave what so obsesses you about gay people.

But yeah - Donahue was an anti-gay bigot. I say Donahue is a big fat slob, and we all know that being fat is a sin. Shame on him.

http://www.glaad.org/action/alerts_detail.php?id=3835

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Let's not refer to bad things happening to people. I can see that no one is not saying he wishes it. But it is still ugly, and I'm going to delete some comments. Let's try to focus on the subject, which is a really good one, and not express hostility toward the women who went overboard blogging and lost their jobs because of it. This is an extremely important event in the history of blogging, so let's not let the thread degenerate.

downtownlad said...

Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. Bill Donahue

Typical bigoted rant from Bill Donahue. Seven machos agrees with Donahue 100% of the time.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6685898/

downtownlad said...

My point is that Bill Donahue has said things that are 100 times worse about Jews and gays than these bloggers said about Catholics.

Why the hell are we giving this bigot any credence in this matter. It's absolutely disgusting. If Donahue wants to malign these bloggers, then I say its time to malign Donahue.

Ann Althouse said...

I wrote: "I can see that no one is not saying he wishes it...."

You know what I meant. I know Revenant didn't say he wished it, but it was not a good thing to write about a real individual. It's hard to delete all the posts that refer to this, because some are chiding Revenant and going on to say other things. I just want it to be clear that I'm not condoning any expressions of satisfaction at harm coming to another person, and I don't want the comments thread to be used that way.

Patm said...

Bill Donoghue throws his share of stinkbombs and a lot of Catholics roll their eyes at him. But he's not working for a presidential campaign. These women are free to say what they want. The rest of the world is free to call them on it.

Steve Donohue said...

My apologies for including the quote.

TMink said...

Downtownlad wrote: "Typical Catholics - acting like victims while they wish violence on others and propagate hatred towards those who don't conform to their standards of "normality".

I say screw em. And Bill Donahue is just a big fat pile of crap anyway, the sooner he drops dead from a heart attack because of the glutton he is the better."

Dude, read your first sentence, think about what you are accusing Catholics of doing, then read your second sentence.

Mirror, mirror.

Trey

johnstodder said...

If you haven't been up to the main post lately, Ann's now got a link to hilarious epistolary fantasy/parody on Iowahawk. Sheer genius.

I still wish she wasn't fired. But, jeez, John Edwards, aren't you plaintiff bar lawyers supposed to be big fans of due diligence?

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"I was responding to the earlier poster who had encouraged us to feel sympathy for poor, oppressed Marcotte because she (sniff) lost her job so soon after moving."

Whether we should sympathize with Marcotte's dismissal seems to turn on something we don't know: whether the Edwards campaign knew of her views, hired her, and then threw her to the wolves, or whether they were just incompetant and failed to screen her record. If it's the former, I do have some sympathy, even if she's a loathsome liitle person, because it means that she's been fired for doing the job she was hired to do. Worse yet, she has been enticed to quit her job and uproot herself, and then been fired for being exactly what she was hired to be. If that's the case, Amanda Marcotte may be reprehensible, but John Edwards is a total scumbag who isn't fit to manage a Burger King, let alone a nation of 300,000,000 people.


And on the rape point, I find your callousness simply astonishing. Anyone who has been raped deserves sympathy. Period. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions. For the life of me I can't imagine how anyone doesn't understand that, unless they are adopting the cynical view that some women "ask" to be raped. To be sure, that doesn't excuse any subsequent conduct on their part, and it doesn't give them a free pass to be obnoxious, any more than Cindy Sheehan's understandable grief over the death of her son empowers her to abuse his memory for her political cause. But to be unsympathetic to the most traumatic event one can imagine being inflicted asks too much.

Revenant said...

I know Revenant didn't say he wished it, but it was not a good thing to write about a real individual. It's hard to delete all the posts that refer to this, because some are chiding Revenant and going on to say other things

I apologize for abusing your comments thread in this manner, although I did not mean my remarks to sounds as offensive as they obviously did.

Seven Machos said...

I have no idea who Bill Donahue is.

Daryl Herbert said...

All Rev was saying is, if Amanda has drunken sex on Saturday and regrets it on Sunday, he doesn't feel a thing.

Or maybe, he was saying if Amanda takes her clothes of for a man who disrespects her, and then that man visits an ATM, Rev wouldn't get all broken up about it.

===

I'd be hard pressed not to have sympathy for any rape victim who wasn't a rapist himself. I don't have to guess at whether I would have sympathy when I heard she had been raped; I did.

===

But it's important to address Amanda Marcotte's poisonous contribution to our culture. Actual innocence is important. Willingness to convict innocent people--whom the jurors actually believe to be innocent--is extremely dangerous to our society. And she's encouraging that. Just read her supporters' posts.

Which is worse: being raped once, or spending three (rape-free) years in prison? I suspect you'd get different answers from different people (including those, men and women, who have experienced both). I don't think there's a "right" answer to that.

Prison is pretty fucking miserable. It's dirty, it smells, there's no privacy, some of the guards will want to humiliate you, some of the inmates will want to fight you, etc. It's bad for a lot of the same reasons that rape is bad.

I don't have any confidence in a justice system that would allow Amanda and her fellow travelers to sit in judgment of me for jaywalking, let alone a serious felony. Just imagine how the Nifong trial would have gone if the jurors were all from Pandagon, Feministe, and Femifisting.

Innocence matters. If Amanda can't wrap her head around that concept, then maybe I'm wrong to have sympathy for her as a fellow human being. If someone wants to destroy me because of who I am, why should it matter whether she's a university feminist or a Muslim terrorist or a skinhead thug?

I say screw em. And Bill Donahue is just a big fat pile of crap anyway, the sooner he drops dead from a heart attack because of the glutton he is the better.

I'm thinking DTL feels some of the same emotions towards people who would destroy him because of who he is. I don't think these emotions are bad or wrong.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem with hiring anti-Catholic bloggers is that a good part of the swing vote that Edwards would have to get to win the election is that traditionally Democratic but now often voting Republican demographic. In the general election, the netroots wackos on the left are mostly a given, unless a Nader or someone like that runs. But the Catholic swing vote is not.

Of course, to get to the nomination is the key here, with the hope that all this bruhaha would quiet down and be forgotten before the general election, should Edwards be nominated - which he obviously won't be.

The NYT piling on was a dead giveaway about what is going on here. They have picked another candidate (can you guess who?) and are on their way to destroying all other Democratic candidates.

Edwards is a bit ticklish for the Democratic Party powers since so much of their money comes from his colleages in the contingency tort field. So, the obvious attack, on how he made his millions by using junk science to run ob/gyns out of business, is out. But this is a nice way to nail him w/o alienating this huge donor base.

Oh, and you can be sure that the NYT didn't just figure this out on their own. Rather, I think it highly likely that they were fed this by that one candidate whose name shall remain unsaid, but who has a reputation for this sort of thing nevertheless (and is very likely their preferred candidate).

Revenant said...

Anyone who has been raped deserves sympathy. Period. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions. For the life of me I can't imagine how anyone doesn't understand that

I would point to the abundance of prison rape jokes in our culture as suggestive that a majority of the population really "just doesn't understand that". Most people empathize with victims to the extent that they perceive the victim to not be a bad person -- which is why (to name an extreme example) I doubt many Kurds would have cared if Hussein had gotten raped in prison. Marcotte's obviously no Hussein (not even close), but she's still on the list of people whose face I'd spit in, should we ever meet.

The players and their families have paid enormous costs in money, reputation, time, and freedom and are continuing to pay. Those indicted will be marked as rapists by much of society no matter what happens. I would rather be raped myself than have something like that happen to me -- at least then the shame and trauma would be personal, and there'd be no risk of living the rest of my life on a sex-offender registry. Asking for ANY form of sympathy for the monsters who put those players through this, and are *continuing* to put them through this, is asking far too much.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Seven Machos, I don't know who Bill Donahue is, and at this point, don't really have any interest in finding out - esp. if he is anywhere nearly as anti-Jewish as is suggested here.

I do know who Malkin is, esp. given how often she is on TV, and do go to her site when some scandal is breaking, like the Duke rape case fiasco, since she is good at pulling this sort of thing together. But she is a bit over the top at times, and I quickly tire of her.

But her biggest crime according to many was her defense of the internment of the Japanese-Americans during WWII. But to some extent, we are back to the rape victim/rapist or black/KKK comparison - her people were badly brutalized by the Japanese during WWII, and, as with other east-Asians, that won't be forgotten for a long time. So, to some extent you have to give Malkin the same pass for this that you give Marcotte with the Duke LAX team because she was once raped.

vbspurs said...

Now that Ann has rightly deleted the posts, and Revenant has rapologised, we can move back to the topic at hand, yes?

Have you guys checked the Pentadragon (Pentadon? Penthadone? Pentagramme? Ah, I don't know) site.

It says:

I’ve deliberately refrained from writing about the wingnut witch hunt of Amanda and Shakes here for many reasons, not least of which being that I’d be preaching to the choir. Plus, I’m not going to be able to top Pam’s summary anyway.

To recap:

Conservatives and their blogger-poodles are behind this evilry, yet again. Amanda Marcotte's words are in no way shape or form, are to be blamed.


When MSM and the left-sphere do it, it's got the public interest at heart, but when it's NRO, it's a witch-hunt, gotcha.

They continue, quoting The "Unrepetentant Mexican" blogger on the topic of blogger hires by political candidates:

But that Nezua guy, he sucked me back in by highlighting one of the things I think is most important about this:

Bloggers are not a new species. They (WE) are nothing special, nothing strange, nothing unknown. BLOGGERS ARE PEOPLE. It’s just been so long since real people’s voices were actually represented in media or politics that when you begin hearing them, they sound so—ew—so…human! I mean, they take STRONG stands n shit! They actually let themselves get eMOTIONal about war and human suffering and stuff. Surely not glossy enough, not powdered, puffed, sanitized, fumigated, or fluffed enough!


Actually, I agree with that, and started off this contentious thread by stating it.

I don't like anything that I have read about Marcotte's opinions on just about anything, and her verbal foulness is as disgusting as Kos or Atrios, but what on earth, Mr. Edwards?

You expect me to trust you with CABINET APPOINTMENTS, when you can't even vouchsafe your blogger hires?

And then his camp goes into damage control by inflicting more damage on themselves, by intimating that the duo were fired, but wait, maybe not!

WTF, man.

This guy stinks of loser more than Gore. What a lightweight.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"I would point to the abundance of prison rape jokes in our culture as suggestive that a majority of the population really just 'doesn't understand that'".

And I would point to my standing view that "I don't believe that we should turn our heads the other way from punishments[prisoners] receive that are not imposed by the courts. That includes both guard brutality and prisoner brutality ... [E]ndorsing, even tacitly, such extralegal activities cedes the moral authority of society to define and punish crimes to the discretion of criminals and mob violence ... [P]risoners should be punished according to the rules: in accordance with the law, as imposed by a judge and jury. Not by lawlessness and mob rule." "Prisoner brutality" obviously includes prison rape.

Simon said...

Victoria -
Penetrode? Initrode? What? ;)

vbspurs said...

Penetrode?

Careful, careful. ;)

Anyway, I'm one to talk about weird words.

I inadvertently coined rapologised*, and used vouchsafe when I was thinking of verify. Good one, Vic.

* Example of a rapology:

"Yo, you check this out

My name is Revenant and I let it all hang out

I don't love de bitches like Marcotte

But Althouse rules are not there to flout!

Word to your mother!"


I know. I totally rock.

Cheers,
Victoria

johnstodder said...

So, to sum up the last few (non-rape) posts, does everyone think that the left netroots are erroneously pointing the finger at leading right-wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin, when in fact this was a Hilary hit job, via her confederates at the New York Times?

Triangulation has come to the blogosphere!

Whether it happened in this case or not, it does seem ridiculously easy to start a war between the left and right netroots, and then appear to rise above it while others are dragged into the muck.

Daryl Herbert said...

I would rather be raped myself than have something like that happen to me -- at least then the shame and trauma would be personal, and there'd be no risk of living the rest of my life on a sex-offender registry.

And wondering if you'd be recognized when you're out on the street. Wondering if a gang of uneducated, violent, arrogant, stupid thugs would beat you within an inch of your life because of the false accusations.

peter hoh said...

I still don't understand why a candidate would need to hire bloggers to do their bloggy things on his/her behalf, but that seems beside the point.

Would anyone have cared if these two women had been hired as ordinary campaign staffers? What if they had merely signed on as volunteers?

Should candidates screen the blog writing (or comment postings) for everyone they hire to work on their campaigns?

At what point do the blog archives of a campaign staffer reflect on the candidate? Only if the staffer was hired to blog? Only if the staffer is/was a prominent blogger?

On the internet, many are obscure, but that obscurity offers no protection when the op-researchers start mining for quotes.

I suspect that in a few years, we're going to hear that a volunteer who stuffed envelopes for Candidate Smith had once posted something racist/sexist/stupid or had argued in favor of taxation, and now Candidate Smith is going to have to use up a few news cycles in the effort to distance him or herself from that volunteer.

When that happens, will we be a better informed electorate?

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Without defending Marcotte specifically (her Duke comments were stupid, and out of touch with reality), I'm still not happy with the developments. I'd love to see our political process become less sterile, less consumed with unrealistic notions of purity and perfection. That doesn't mean there aren't some things beyond the pale and that people should never be held accountable for their words, but I really don't care if some bloggers use foul language or have a bunch of strongly partisan posts in their portfolio. Blogging differs from traditional media in that the editorial process isn't as big a factor; blog posts update, errors are made and corrected as discourse continues and more facts unfold. To take a snapshot of a blog and use that to typecast and judge the blogger isn't fair, nor is it useful. I'd like us to loosen up a bit and see what might unfold in the matrix of media, politics and blogging, without reacting and overreacting every little step of the way.

Bruce Hayden said...

Beth,

You shouldn't be surprised that candidates are judged on the people they have working for them. This is no different from their press secretary or any other paid staffer. When the staffer says something in public, it reflects on the candidate. Staffers are fired all the time in order for a candidate to distance himself from what the staffer has said or done.

That said, this case does differ some since what was at issue was what the women said before being hired, and not while actually representing Edwards, and from that point of view, it may have been unfair to Edwards and the two bloggers.

Nevertheless, it did show bad judgement on the part of Edwards, and in such a case, the best approach is usually to cut your losses, and fire the offending staffer.

However, what also needs to be remembered is that it wasn't the right that took them down, but the left. Sure, the right gets all upset about this sort of stuff, but do so on a regular basis. Most on the left don't care. They don't watch Fox News, listen to Rush, or follow Malkin's blog.

After all, how much have you heard about Harry Reid's land deals? Or all the corruption in the current House leadership that dwarfs anything the Republicans even dreamed of? You don't if you are following the MSM or left of center blogs. But the right side has been fixated on this since the election and the Democrats taking control of Congress.

Here though, the difference is that the MSM, esp. the NYT, have jumped in, and made it an issue. And they did this because we are talking hardball Democratic party politics. They don't want Edwards as the nominee, and this is how they make that happen.

My guess is that if this had been Hillary's or maybe even Obama's campaign that did this, it would not have been an issue. It was an issue becaue it wasn't one of those two's campaign.

vbspurs said...

OT quirky observation:

You know, it's funny that, due to the vagaries of New Blooger, poor Elizabeth has morphed into "Beth", which I presume is her everyday nickname.

My near and dear call me Vicky, Vic or just "Vee", but I invariably sign myself by the full version, Victoria.

Let's be honest.

Vicky (especially the dread Vicki version, mostly used by whores and participants in Elimi-a-Date) and Beth are two very soft-sounding names.

Pretty. Feminine. Perhaps even a little dismissively so.

I wonder if Elizabeth chose Elizabeth to be taken more seriously, in SOME way, as I perhaps did with Victoria, unconsciously?

Anyway, one of my biggest pet peeves is about seeing names with nicknames on voting ballots. You know the kind.

Gustavo "Gus" Machado
Jacqueline "Jackee" Owens

God, how lame.

Cheers,
V.

vbspurs said...

...can you imagine if Ann called herself Annie Althouse?

Who'd read her then?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Here is an ongoing parody of Marcotte and feministing in general:

http://feministing.org/

Peter Palladas said...

Well, someone who is pro-choice need not be "anti-Catholic", but ipso facto, they certainly aren't themselves a Catholic...

Depends entirely if you allow - as clearly your country has allowed - the simple, generic phrase 'pro-choice' to mean only that a woman is legally entitled to have a termination of pregnancy and/or an abortion [they are not necessarily the same] if she chooses so to do.

I decline to be bound by this hijacking of my language. 'Pro-choice' is - as a thing in itself and not defined by any narrowed interpretation of meaning - an act of the will, founded on the power of free-will. Forget the statutes, permissive or restrictive. They are but a different manifestation of the same power.

Simon said...

Peter - I have no beef with terms of art, and I can't imagine why anyone would.

Elizabeth - while I lean towards your general point, surely you're not suggesting ("[t]o take a snapshot of a blog and use that to typecast and judge the blogger isn't fair, nor is it useful") that what has been said about Marcotte's record is unrepresentative of her obsessions and the vernacular in which she writes about it. I don't have any objection to swearing, and sometimes it can help serve as a kind of verbal punctuation, but leftie blogs almost seem to have tourette's, their posts and comments are drowning in profanity. And it becomes unreadable, because it suggests that the author is consumed with an inchoate rage that they lack the skill in written language to express.

johnstodder said...
"So, to sum up the last few (non-rape) posts, does everyone think that the left netroots are erroneously pointing the finger at leading right-wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin, when in fact this was a Hilary hit job, via her confederates at the New York Times?"

I think that they're erroneously pointing the finger at the right when they should be pointing the finger at Edwards. The right did exactly what a political opposition is supposed to do: the Edwards campaign hired a prominent blogger with a paper trail, the right threw that blogger's record back at her in the full glare of public scrutiny (exactly as the left hurled every scrap of writing in John Roberts' lifetime at him a year and a half ago) and asked if the candidate stands by that record. If the leftosphere wants to be mad at someone, Edwards is the one who chose to kowtow to the vast right wing conspiracy, so go get mad at him.

Naked Lunch said...

Simon, somehow I think you'll be singing a different tune when the right savages Rudy in the primaries- perhaps from MCains goons he hired. [who are much worse than these 2 bloggers]. But apparently it was too much to ask CNN and NYT to spend a half hour on google to find people that hid being on McCains payroll while blogging at anklebitingpundits, and having a campaign mgr involved with Tom Delay's money laundering scheme, phone jamming in NH, and the "call me" Harold Ford ads.

Simon said...

NL - I'm not sure that you recognize the tune I'm whistling.

Pogo said...

Edwards and Marcotte failed to remember one of the first lessons of the modern feminist era, now updated for the blogging era:

The personal is political.

That said, I do feel bad for someone who gets thrown under the bus like that when she knew Edward's staff had to have read her blogging when they were hiring her as a blogger. I agree, it says quite alot about Edwards, not much about Marcotte.

Beth said...

Victoria and Elizabeth do have a ring to them, don't they? We are amused.

Nicknames are fun; I particularly enjoy them in the obits page. There's something sweet about that last affectionate tip of the hat. Today I found we'd lost "Auntie," "Moose," and "Big Ray."

I signed onto blogger putting together a blog for a class I was teaching, and I reflexively use Elizabeth for anything to do with my job. But I'm Beth, day to day. Sometimes Liz, if people take it on themselves to call me that. I notice it tends to be older women, women with a kind of "gal," "dame," or "broad" personality, which I love. And occasionally Betty comes up, from longtime friends who tease me with my mother's name.

Beth said...

Simon, I have a nephew with Tourette's and he rarely curses at all. But no, I'm not bothered by the bloggers who do. Not a bit. I think it's a bogus issue, and the more people flail on about it, the more those bloggers curse, just for the fun of it.

Simon said...

Elizabeth,
I have no problem with people swearing, but when your blog is a relentless torrent of foul language, when practically every other sentence of every other post is laced with profanity, it marks you as someone who is not to be taken seriously; it suggests that the person has not been properly socialized, posseses little self control and a has poor command of the English language. That may cut it for Axl Rose's lyrics, but it just isn't the way that civilized people communicate with one another, it is a spectacularly poor manner in which to carry out political discourse, and in any event, why would one gravitate towards poor communicators in a written medium? I basically agree with Bryan Preston's observation that the constant and "gratuitous use of profanity is not, to most people, the sign of a healthy mind."

Mike said...

Peter Hoh asked: "Would anyone have cared if these two women had been hired as ordinary campaign staffers? What if they had merely signed on as volunteers?"

Much less so. The point is they were hired as communications staff.

Hey said...

I would never hire someone whom I agreed with who had a blogging record like that, especially for the COMMUNICATION staff. The very definition of LOOSE CANNON.

On the profanity: I tend to swear a fair bit in conversation. Throwing geo-political and financial analysis into regular conversation can be assisted by getting a little sailor - I at least hope that it makes me sound less pretentious - but it gets turned on and off. Swearing in business environments is common to try and establish comradery, just as it is on sports teams, and is especially useful when bridging large gaps of class, intellect, or hierarchy (aka boss to subordinates, especially several layers down).

Profanity in the written word is a much different animal. You have more time to devote to your word choice and don't have the cues of tone and body langugae to convey intent. So it becomes less an equalizer and an aid to levity and more of an interruption. Semi verbal communication like instant messaging makes swearing somewhat appropriate, but still suffers from the lack of cues.

It's a double standard, but I also dislike how she used her profanity. An "ahh fudge" or "I'm so farked" is much less aggressive and disrupting than "politics of farking" and other angry uses of the words. The way she spoke mostly devolved into repeating "Fark you you farkers!!!!!!" again and again at people with whome she disagreed. Besides indicating rather severe anger issues, it's also pretty damn boring, but taste is inexplicable.

Joe Baby said...

Foul mouthed + nasty = not ready for prime time.

And when a candidate hires such people, it's questionable whether they are ready for the big show.

Dewave said...

Why the hell are we giving this bigot any credence in this matter. It's absolutely disgusting. If Donahue wants to malign these bloggers, then I say its time to malign Donahue.


How is this so hard to understand?

Donahue's innocence or guilt has absolutely zero bearing on the question at hand. The identity of the people who pointed out Marcotte's poisonous comments about the framed Duke boys or her violent anti-catholic tirades is irrelevent. The presence of equally vicious unhinged loonies in the blog world is also irrelevent.

The point is, a presidential campaign should not be hiring people with such a marked lack of self control and reason.

The fact that Donahue says bad things about jews doesn't change the fact that Marcotte is a very bad choice: it just means that Donahue would also be a spectacularly bad choice for 'campaign blogger'.

Daryl Herbert said...

I don't know if this is a substantive or procedural critique of Marcotte, but her argumentation almost always revolves around asserting that her opponents have extremely bad motives (anti-woman, anti-black, anti-sex, etc.)

I can't tell if that's a procedural criticism (because she's chosen to go about making her arguments in that fashion) or if it's substantive (because her worldview is substantively defined by the idea that everyone who disagrees with her is acting on terrible motives). I'm guessing its the latter.

Which brings me to: why should we give Amanda the benefit of the doubt on anything? Why shouldn't we just assume the worst about her for the positions she's chosen?

Craig Ranapia said...

Implication: Bloggers gunning for political jobs have to tone down the anti-Catholicism.

Well, up to a point. I'm sure there are plenty of campaigns where being a drooling bigot is the fast-track to fame and fortune. :) But I'm still trying to get my head around the utter naivety on display here. You're playing in the big leagues, what makes you think you're not going to get Googled with extreme prejudice by a small army of campaign operatives and bloggers?

.

Kirk Parker said...

(Eliza)Beth,

"Today I found we'd lost 'Auntie,' 'Moose,' and 'Big Ray.' "

OK, I see you weren't pulling our legs when you said you were in Louisiana! :-)