The A-List Blogosphere Sells Out AgainOver the course of the last week or two, a couple of leftwing bloggers received jobs with the John Edwards Campaign -- Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Ms. Shakes of Shakespeare's Sister -- and it raised the hackles of William Donahue of The Catholic League who, as far as I'm concerned, would've had a promising carreer in managing professional boxers had it not been for his doppleganger Lou Douva beating him to the punch (in more ways than one, of course -- Lou Douva clearly got the brains out the experiment), but instead he decided to become a crank, illogical, boneheaded asshole and helmed an institution that typically embarrasses the majority of the Catholics he sanctimoniously wraps himself with:
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has criticized Senator John Edwards, a candidate for the US presidency, for hiring staff members with a record of vituperative anti-Catholic rhetoric.
The Edwards campaign recently took on two women to work on its internet operations: Amanda Marcotte as blogmaster, and Melissa McEwan as netroots coordinator. Bill Donahue, the president of the Catholic League, called attention to the viciously anti-Catholic statements the two women have posted on other internet sites.
Amanda Marcotte has written that “the Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics,” Donahue noted. After an obscene reference to the Virgin birth, she commented that if Mary had aborted, Catholics would “have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.”
Melissa McEwan, on a different web site, referred to the “wingnut Christofascist base” for President Bush’s popularity. Referring to religious conservatives with an unprintable term, she asked why they do not “understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds, and our families?”
Senator Edwards, Bill Donahue commented, “is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots. He has no choice but to fire them immediately.”
It took a few days, but the Edwards Campaign did respond to the charges in what I contend is nothing more than a ridiculously schoolmarming and idiotic dressing down of the very bloggers he hired in the first place, but at least he didn't fire them:
Former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) announced today, at his blog, that two bloggers who have gotten the campaign in "hot water" would not be fired, even though he was "personally offended" by some of the things they have written in the past.
Stating that he believes everyone deserves a "fair shake," the 2008 presidential contender said that both bloggers "assured" him "that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith."
"The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me," Edwards writes at his blog. "It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people."
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else," Edwards blogged.
"But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake," Edwards continued. "I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word."
Edwards added, "We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in."
In response to Edwards's refusal to fire Amanda and Melissa (which appears at a rightwing place I will not link to), Donahue of The Catholic League trumps his initial "Termination Fatwah" with another fatwah (and may have even broke the law in doing so):
John Edwards has apparently decided that there is more to be gained by aligning himself with the cultural left than by standing on principle and firing the Catholic bashers on his payroll. Had anyone on his staff used the ‘N-word,’ he or she would have been fired immediately. But his goal is to loot the pockets of the Soros/Hollywood gang, and they—like him—aren’t offended by anti-Catholicism. Indeed, they thrive on it.
Edwards said today that ‘We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked.’ I have news for him—the Catholic League—not Edwards—will decide what the debate will be about, and it won’t be about the nation. It will be about the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry.
Of course, Donahue and The Catholic League wants to shift the debate away from the nation because he and his fellow Rightwing cranks know that they'll lose their sorry, fake Christian, waterboarding, Pro-Bush, torturelitarian, Tali-Born Again asses in such a debate, evidenced by the very midterm elections this past November that swept the very "ownership society" that ruined our country in the first place out of office.
But an interesting thing has transpired amongst the left Blogopshere since this entire Edwards/Donahue debacle that I was unaware of until just moments ago. With a tip of of the TBT tin hat to Fixer at Alternate Brain, many of the pompous, e-lite, Blog-Ad riddled A-List liberal blogs such as DailyKapitalist (AKA "DailyKos"), Atrios, and most likely his twin blog Atrios II (AKA "AmericaBlog") are combing through their respective blogrolls all of a sudden and weeding out some of "the ugly cousins" of the B-List and C-List that were on their blogrolls. Amongst those blogs whacked Sopranos style were The Booman Tribune, The Rude Pundit, and Mary Scott O'Connor's blog My Left Wing, the latter of which doesn't take it lying down:
Yeah, I got me a little shock when I returned to blogging to find myself summarily dismissed from Markos's blogroll (and, not incidentally, instantly devalued on Google and every other search engine out there) -- ostensibly because he's streamlined the blogroll to include only electoral and state democratic blogs and "blogs he likes to read" ...
What happened to helping each other out? What happened to throwing the ladder back down? Seriously -- what does it COST the bigger bloggers to expand their blogrolls? Inches of space on an infinitely long page? Because it sure as hell costs the smaller bloggers to have been disappeared from those front page blogrolls.
Booman. Dropped. The Rude Pundit -- dropped. WTF? These are legitimate sites with longstanding audiences and membership. So... Wait a minute. Is this a question of being an EMBARRASSMENT with the more Establishment types with whom you now consort, having successfully crashed the gate?" Are we now your embarrassing cousins? Sure, you'll be happy to glad-hand with us at the YKos family reunion, but QUICK, hide the nutty aunts when there's company around?
This Amnesty bullshit and what it represents is much bigger than it looks. Markos and the Big Boys of Blogging are marching toward the Rubicon, if they haven't already reached or crossed it.
As it is, they hopped on the Irony Express to Slippery Slope Valley a looong time ago, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, pick up a copy of Crashing the Gate --
~~~ and by the way... Gate? There's only one way in?~~~
and read just about any passage from "The Gravy Train" or "Civil War," two of the most powerfully accurate and scathing chapters in the Armstrong - Moulitsas tome.
So, what's it gonna be, boys? Values, principles, ethics, morals, ideas, solutions -- or WIN WIN WIN? Because when I RE-read Gate, I get the creepy-crawlies every fucking time you reference the Republicans's methods, strategies and results ADMIRINGLY.
And thus is how the A-List blogosphere has fulfilled the prophecy -- one intially heralded by the sorely departed Billmon -- of the A-List "Blogebrities" within the entrenched A-List elite selling out to the highest bidder, in this case the highest bidder being the entitlement to continue adorning the CNN and MSNBC news sets by throwing the "ugly cousins" under the bus and off their blogrolls.
Let's be brutally honest here: the last thing Moulitsas, Black, and Aravosis and any A-List blogger who gets to appear on TV or Cable regularly wants to do is to be invited onto that state-of-the-art, HDTV compliant, multi-million dollar studio under the pretense of discussing Bush or Election 2008 only to discover that the MSM is going to corner their sorry asses -- in light of the Edwards Campaign/Catholic League debacle -- to explain why some of us dirty, unwashed, uncouth, mouthy bloggers amongst the B and C-lists are adorning their beautiful blogrolls.
They'll suddenly have to pick sides; have to throw somebody under the bus LIVE on TV in order to maintain their entitlement to primp and preen themselves on those glorious CNN and MSNBC HDTV compliant studio sets ... so who do you think they'll toss under the bus -- the MSM that gives them access, or the "ugly cousins" of the Blogopshere that have basically embarrassed them by proxy through the Catholic League/Edwards flap?!?
It's a no-brainer, hence their scrubbing us scraply, homely, ugly and mouthy B and C-listers from their blogrolls. It the flip-floppery of John Kerry meets the hypocracy of Jeff Gannon -- they were all for us ... until that Edwards/Donahue stink turned them against us.
In their A-List "Entitlement Culture" sanctimony, people like MSOC, Booman, Shakes, Amanda, The Rude Pundit, me, or anyone else now has to "take one for the team" in order for the good liberal Democrat guys to win in 2008 as well as make these self-important A-List prima donnas Blogebrity motherfuckers feel better about themselves, and maybe lessen the likelihood of the MSM cornering them. It's shady and shows exactly how the "meritocracy" in the Blogosphere works: in a top-down nature -- exactly like the crony Capitalism the likes of Markos, Atrios, and Aravosis not only champion but have brought to the blogosphere as their sole business model, and are now forced to add another padlock to the gate surrounding their gated communities.
I'm not taking one for the team because, by their actions with their own blogrolls, shows that there is no real team unless they get to be "The Decider-Ictator" of all of Blogtopia (y!sctp!). They can kiss my white ass, and they can't kiss it unless I Crash Their Fuckin' Gate ...
UPDATE: Both Shakes & Amanda have resigned from the Edwards Campaign and posted their reasons at their respective blogs. Also, this diary posts here from MLW should be worth the read considering the context.