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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Slanted attack against Edwards bloggers

Those horrible liberal bloggers must never be allowed to infect our dainty, rational public discourse. From Media Matters:
The New York Times and Associated Press have both reported criticism by Catholic League president Bill Donohue of two bloggers hired by John Edwards' presidential campaign; Donohue contends that the bloggers are "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots."

But neither the Times article, by reporter John M. Broder, nor the AP article, by writer Nedra Pickler, included any mention of Donohue's own history of vulgar, trash-talking bigotry -- or of Donohue's decision to dismiss anti-Catholic bigotry on the part of a key anti-Kerry operative in 2004.
You'd think by now it would be widely understood that the liberal/progressive blogosphere did not create itself one day in a vacuum. It took thirty years of right wing lies and character assassination, combined with the maturing of a certain kind of internet technology, for it to happen.

It would have been much more civilized if we had the resources to own cable television propaganda outlets and Swift Boat groups, but since all we had were the internet tubes we made do. Like it or not, the AP and The New York Times are going to have to come to grips with a few swear words. Plus they can bite me.

UPDATE TEN SECONDS LATER--I see I have ruined any chance I had of being paid handsomely by a presidential campaign with my intemperate use of the term "bite me." Woe is me.

UPDATE 1:25 PM PST According to MyDD, reports that the two Edwards bloggers have been let go by the campaign are premature. But Chris Bowers is issuing a pretty direct challenge to the Edwards camp:
The Edwards camp faces a series simple choices right now:

Are you with the people who work their (behinds) for you, or are you with right-wing extremists who hate you?

Are you willing to point out the double standards and hypocrisy behind this story, or will you cave to even the mildest pressure from the Republican Noise Machine?

Do you have any loyalty to the netroots, or was it all just sweet talk, where loyalty actually only flows uphill and (poop) actually only flows downhill?
And people wonder why left-wing bloggers swear a lot. The national press picked up a deliberate hatchet job from a known right wing smear-meister and ran with it, no questions asked. Nice.

At least it's clear that nothing much has changed with the Kewl Kidz. We're going to have to fight hard all the way through November of 2008. Every small gain will be earned despite the national press corpse.

UPDATE 6:25 PM PST Kagro X at Daily Kos sees this attack as a sign of things to come:
But to the extent that the netroots seek to demand a show of loyalty by Edwards, that same demand must be made of every Democratic campaign. Today, the target is Edwards. Tomorrow, should this vendetta prove successful, the target could be anyone.

Keep in mind that those targeting Edwards simply don't abide by the same standards when it comes to defining what's reasonable discourse and what's not. Perhaps more to the point, they are perfectly willing to say that whatever they're pointing to is beyond the pale whether most Americans would agree or not, if they think it could possibly result in the firing of a Democratic campaign staffer, and by extension, damage to that campaign. So it's just as likely that tomorrow's target will be Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, or Tom Vilsack, or Chris Dodd, or any of the other candidates. That the attack may have to hinge on something that most people would see as perfectly reasonable won't much matter, so long as the professional outrage machine is turned up loud enough.
As the netroots has emerged as a force, it's not surprising that conservatives will try to discredit it. Folks who don't understand it will be particularly susceptible to bogus charges. So it's doubly important that Democratic candidates, elected officials and activists don't make the mistake of accidentally abetting right wing smears. In the midst of war and the continuation of infamous falsehoods and propaganda, the idea that progressive bloggers who are mostly unkown to the wider public are somehow to blame for anything is patently ridiculous, a few nasty comments here and there notwithstanding.

UPDATE YET ANOTHER TEN SECONDS LATER-- Eschaton has this quote from Donohue:
Catholic League president Bill Donohue said lesbians were "something I'd expect to see in an asylum, frankly" when he spoke to Justice Sunday, a gathering of far-right evangelical Christian activists.
Lovely. Do we think maybe the guy who claims to speak for Catholics could at least be subjected to the same media scrutiny as a couple of bloggers? Or would that be uncivil?

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