On Marcotte and Edwards

While it isn’t resolved, Josh Marshall makes the point I’d like to see taken away from this:

Given how edgy blog writing is (some more than others), it seems inevitable that bloggers who go to work for campaigns will get their past writings scrutinized and then have their employers dogged to fire them. If there’s anything that surprises me about this dust-up with the Edwards campaign, it’s this. Is it really possible that they hadn’t figured out who they were hiring, figured something like this would happen and planned for how they would react if and when it did?

That said, the ‘incendiary’ quotes I just heard referenced on CNN didn’t really strike me as all that incendiary. And second, Bill Donohue? Chief rabblerouser and bullyboy of the ‘Catholic League’? Please. I think he gave up his ‘incendiary’ language complaint rights when he said that ” “Hollywood likes anal sex” or that “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.” I can’t wait till he comes with the dig that gets Jews, Christians and anal sex all into one long smoldering sentence.

Please. Please. Please. Let’s get someone on the right to complain who’s not a complete nutball and Jew-basher and then we can talk.

If you are a campaign hiring a blogger you have to do your due diligence and that includes ensuring what they have written is something you can live with. This might entail looking at the writings and insisting on something apologizing for some over the top language/idea, it might be simply getting ready for the inevitable right wing smears, or it might be deciding to go a different direction.

The Edwards campaign could have quashed this days ago and earned points doing it by having Amanda make a statement concerning the posts in question and preemptively dealing with it. When the whines started, it’s a dead story and simply don’t comment on it again. They didn’t and now they have let it languish and build up steam to get on cable news. That’s mismanaging the story and it has a lot in the blogosphere on edge largely because they see it as a betrayal to Amanda. Killing the story would have been easy, but now by being wishy-washy, the story continues taking away from the day’s message and getting coverage for loons on CNN and Fox.

Being prepared means preempting the idiots. But once you screw up, don’t back down.

2 thoughts on “On Marcotte and Edwards

  1. It is funny to see the Edwardites going nuts on the blogs. The blogs who pushed Edwards into the second coming image and the followers who became overwrought fans were bound to be in for a let down.
    You never loose site of the fact that your candidate is, when all is said and done, a politician and a human being. The missteps recently of the Edwards campaign have put the supporters through a complete bi-polar experience several times. This would have not been the case if the bloggers who rooted for Edwards and the followers who built him up to an impossible stature, would have remembered who Edwards is.
    I even saw one blogger call him the embodiment of Camelot and sir Arthur. Please. That kind of thinking and writing will set everyone up for a let down when he turns out to not be made of fairydust.
    For all our talking about Obama’s magic, I believe we who support him, know that he is mere mortal. And so when things like him being “oh the shock!’ a smoker, the supporters either said so or laughed. We know he is not some god from on high. We understand him for a human being with flaws and apt to do stupid things.

  2. I don’t know how the Edwards campaign can possibly spin this well at this point, at least in terms of how I look at him.

    If he fires them, he loses big points with me for giving them the heave ho.

    If he comes in and announces he won’t back down, it’ll feel like a cynical ploy to seal the netroots support, once and for all. Come in as the white knight saving his bloggers from the ravenous hordes of the hard right. That’ll cause him to lose points with me, because it’ll look like he did his homework, expected the attacks, and pre-scripted his response.

    I think the best way for him to deal with this, in my opinion, is a brief release saying that the opinions of his bloggers are their own, and not necessarily reflective of his own (kinda like the commentary disclaimer on DVD’s with directors/actors talking about the movie). That he respects their abilities, and that he is proud to have them on his staff.

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