This will get less attention than Amanda Marcotte, though, since most people, upon hearing about Chris Dodd's campaign blogger, will respond by saying "Chris Dodd is running for President?"So Chris Dodd is interesting enough to bother to say that he's uninteresting. Glenn doesn't link for the purpose of noting that something isn't worth paying any attention to. And the incantation "Amanda Marcotte" conveys a lot of meaning. It says this is a story about how a blog that got someone a political job contains some nasty writing that could be used to drive him out of that job.
Now, I'm a weirdly interested party here, because the #1 nasty thing Schwartz tells us about is something the blogger -- Matt Browner-Hamlin -- wrote about me. He called me a "f*ckwit" and a "f*cking assh*le" in the midst of that absurd, frenzied blogswarm around me for the way I made fun of that photograph of a bunch of bloggers posing with Bill Clinton. Well, look. Amanda Marcotte got into trouble not just for writing bad words and attacking people. She said vicious things about religion. Anyone could look at her quotes and see the problem: John Edwards had hired someone to speak for him who had openly expressed contempt for religion. There's no back story that needs explaining. We already know what religion is and what it means to millions of American voters. No serious candidate is ever going to say religion is bad, even in polite language.
So not only is Edwards a more important candidate than Dodd, but what Marcotte wrote hit America's hottest hot button. What Matt Browner-Hamlin wrote, on the other hand, is blogosphere arcana. Not only will people say -- as Glenn put it -- "Chris Dodd is running for President?," they'll have to say "Who the f*ck is Ann Althouse?" I can't believe any normal person trying to understand the 2008 campaign would sit still for an explanation of why Browner-Hamlin felt motivated to write those things about me. I suppose you could try to avoid the back story and just slam him for screaming obscenities at a woman. And I suppose there are a fair number of Americans who are sensitive about language and manners -- and even attitudes about women. Browner-Hamlin did present himself as defending women by attacking a woman, though, and who is going to want to delve into what really happened there? It lacks the pizzazz of the Marcotte matter.
Anyway, apart from my self-interest in this, I'm not keen on using old, nasty blog posts to try to get bloggers fired. Let me remind you of the position I took in the Marcotte controversy:
... I'm a little conflicted about this. Not because Marcotte attacked me [link] -- 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. [ADDED: Marcotte was hired by the Edwards campaign to act as a liaison to bloggers. I call that "blogger wrangling." "Edwards" is a correction.] 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.So, Browner-Hamlin is a young guy who did the blogger thing and got a job. Please don't try to get him fired on my account. But a little advice to the new bloggers who are starting out and hoping to leverage themselves into political jobs: Don't fall into the lazy blogger approach of calling your opponents f*ckwits and assh*les. It was never good writing. It's a cheap way to seem spicy, and it may seem cool to some readers, but it doesn't show off your skills even now, when you're just getting started writing. The fact that later it may screw up the career you're trying to promote is a huge other reason not to do it, but it was never good. Think of better, more original ways to express yourself. You should want to distinguish yourself through writing. Calling people assh*les... it's been done.
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.
ONE MORE THING: There is something about the Clinton-and-the-bloggers controversy that I would like to draw more attention to and that is that way the attack on me relates to the Hillary Clinton campaign. My main point about the photograph was that the blogger who stood directly in front of Clinton would remind people of Monica Lewinsky and thus undercut what Bill Clinton was trying to do by lunching with bloggers -- to help Hillary.
Put yourself in Hillary's place, seeing that picture. I think it would piss her off! I think people working on her campaign are trying to figure out how to use Bill well and know they don't want events that yield pictures like that. As I suggested here, it would work as a dirty trick against Hillary to ruin appearances by Bill by having Monica-like women pose near him like this. And I'm not saying the woman in the photograph I mocked was doing that or was behaving in a particularly suggestive way. It really doesn't take much to make people start thinking of Bill as a lecher.
Obviously, a lot of bloggers attacked me over what I wrote, and I haven't checked through to see which candidate each one supports, but I don't think they support Hillary. That is, I think they were happy with the subliminal effect the photograph had and didn't want the subject made into a subject for conscious, critical thinking. Both Amanda Marcotte and Matt Browner-Hamlin went to work for Hillary Clinton opponents. Not long before he got his new job, Matt wrote a piece on Huffington Post that was very hostile to Hillary. These are not friends of Hillary Clinton.