Instapundit.com Instapundit.com

February 07, 2007

TERRY MORAN: "If a Republican candidate teamed up with a right-wing blogger who spewed this kind of venom, how would people react?"

UPDATE: Rand Simberg defends the blogosphere.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A lot of the lefty bloggers are up in arms that this has become a scandal. (The desperation is apparent in posts like this one, especially when you follow the links back and compare the actual posts with Marcotte's blogging). I suspect that this is because a lot of them would like to join the establishment, and now fear that their prior anti-establishment rantings will get in the way. It'll be interesting to see if there's more Pandagon-like airbrushing of blog archives over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, other Presidential candidates would be well advised to spend a bit more time poking through the archives of any bloggers they think about hiring. There's nothing really wrong with cursing or overwrought blogging in itself, but the standards for political operatives are different. And, as the Pat Buchanan / Larry Pratt business years ago demonstrated, candidates are held responsible for what these people do and say. Traditionally, people who want to rise in the ranks of political operatives have had to be careful about their behavior; this applies to bloggers who want to do that, too.

As Jay Reding says, "Predictably, the left-wing blogosphere has gone nuts over the piece. Like it or not, Ms. Marcotte may have the right to free speech, and no one is arguing that she should be censored. However, what she says is incendiary, derogatory, and bigoted. Had she treated Islam the way she treats Catholicism, she’d be widely ostracized."

Ann Althouse observes: "All you bloggers seeking political jobs should expect the same ... and more. After this new dustup, your prospective employers should check to make sure there are no usefully discrediting quotes, and you may never get the job." She's not so sure that keeping the blogosphere, and professional campaign posts, separate is such a bad thing.

A.C. Kleinheider: "I would caution John Edward's against bowing to the advice that those around him are no doubt giving him: that these bloggers are liabilities and political dynamite that needs defusing. Yes, the conventional wisdom among the political elite will be that these bloggers are liabilities. It won't always be however. If new media and blogging is something you want to embrace, you must go whole hog or not at all." I don't think that Edwards should fire them either; presumably he hired them because of their blogging, after all, and it's unfair to fire them for the same reason. It's a campaign -- he's taking criticism for their views, but if he believes in the views he should keep them on. You always get criticism in campaigns. This will be an interesting test of Edwards' backbone.

Further thoughts on the lefty blogosphere's conniptions here.

MORE: I agree with Conn Carroll: "If Edwards understood what he was doing when he hired Marcotte, he must follow the advice of Bowers and Wilbur. When Edwards hired Marcotte he signed up to a hard hitting unapologetic movement, a movement whose rhetoric is, shall we say, not always appreciated in the mainstream. If he backs off the ethos now, he can kiss their support away forever."

And if he didn't understand what he was doing, then this raises some questions about his future personnel decisions.

More thoughts here. And IowaHawk has got the papers.