Friday, February 16, 2007

Shakespeare's Sister's Article in Her Brother's Country

Melissa McEwan, the "controversial" blogger who mentioned something once negative about Catholicism, maybe, wrote an article today in "The Guardian." If her speaking ill of Catholics once makes her a target of Republican attacks, it looks like I'll never get a job working for Barack Obama. Darn. I think I called Neil Cavuto a rabies infested flea, and I know that will insult all the other rabies infested neoconservative fleas. So my career working as a blogger for the Democratic presidential candidates was over before it started.

Melissa McEwan's article:

Not long ago, I was contacted by the John Edwards campaign, asking me if I would be interested in working for them. I was, and after the details all shook out, I came on as a part-time adviser, tasked primarily with creating an outreach program between the campaign and the progressive blogosphere. My most important credential was, quite plainly, being a blogger (although my background in marketing and branding didn't hurt, either), and specifically a blogger plugged into several blogging communities. The progressive blogosphere is not monolithic, but a mosaic of overlapping subspheres largely built around issues and/or identities - and successfully navigating that wide and wondrous map of the netroots was my job. I was beyond excited about it.

About the same time, Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon was hired as the campaign's blogmaster - a position perfectly suited to her strong abilities as a writer and audience-builder. The progressive blogosphere generally agreed, and we were congratulated while the Edwards campaign was celebrated for hiring two fierce feminists to be a part of their team. Good vibes all around.

And then, at 4:34pm on February 6, seven days after I'd announced I had joined the campaign, I got an email from Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press, asking to me comment on a press release she'd received from the Catholic League. The headline of the press release was "John Edwards Hires Two Anti-Catholics." By 5:49pm, I'd gotten a second email that the story had appeared. When it went to press, I was still out to dinner with a friend who was visiting from out of town, having never seen any of the emails and knowing nothing of the press release. I had no inkling of the chaos to come.

The story began like this: "Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, demanded that Edwards fire Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. 'John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots,' Donohue wrote in a statement. 'He has no choice but to fire them immediately'."

Donohue's history of controversial, including multiple anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim, statements was not mentioned. An article by John Broder in the New York Times the following day similarly failed to mention Donohue's history, as did reports on CNN and MSNBC. Donohue was smearing Marcotte and me - two women who had supported John Kerry, a Catholic, and had both attended Catholic universities - across the American media with impunity, for things we had said on private blogs before we were employed by the campaign...

Read the Full Article here.

It's too bad. But luckily, it doesn't stop bloggers from blogging. It only stops them from getting paid for it. If controversial statements prevented bloggers from sharing their beliefs, Michelle Malkin would have been shot long ago.

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