Life is funny, and what amuses me lately has been mostly work-related and therefore unbloggable in any detail. What I am able to comment on is my short-term memory lapse when it comes to how – after more than two decades on the job – I forget every single year the demands that January and February are going to place on my shoulders.
As my budgeting, number-crunching, graphic arts and professional writing duty fog of activity began to lift earlier today, I finally had an opportunity to delve a bit more deeply into the Amanda Marcotte*/Melissa McEwan/John Edwards Campaign issue that has been igniting the blogosphere for lo these many days. [If you don’t know the story, I refer you to Amanda’s first-person account in Salon]
Here then, as an aside to probably five regular readers who actually give a damn about my opinion, is what I think of the entire mess.
- The Edwards campaign was at fault on several fronts. First, I find it shocking that John Edwards, an experienced presidential campaigner, would surroundhimself with advisers so lacking in sophistication that they believed Ms. Marcotte’s history of blog postings would not become an issue for Edwards – or that they never bothered to read or assess her blog posts with the scrutiny deserving of a high profile campaign.
- Second, as a condition of hiring Ms. Marcotte, they should have made it clear that personal, non-campaign blogging would have to be curtailed to posting pictures of her cat and/or what she ate for dinner. Ask anyone who’s ever worked on a campaign in any sort of visible position whether they even had a personal life. Campaign work is all about giving up the personal for the benefit of your candidate. And while we’re on the subject of employer/employee relationships and personal blogging, are there any bloggers out there who are naive enough to think that they don’t have to keep their employers in mind every time they sit down to blog a post?
- I feel badly for Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan. They did not deserve the public flogging, the hate mail nor the over-reaction of the right wing nutjobs who made it their sole mission to attack, discredit and vilify them. The Edwards campaign ought to have provided them with more security and protection against these attacks. Of course, had the Edwards camp done their job in the first place, all of this might have been avoided.
- I completely support Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan for their attempts to stand up to the vitriol of Michelle Malkin and her pea-brained minions, and their eventual decision to resign from the Edwards campaign. I’ve been on the receiving end of similar campaigns back in the pre-industrialized age of letter writing, stamps and knowing exactly where your target resides. (oh, and my letter writers were Catholics, too) Perhaps it’s true that their emailers didn’t really intend to rape them, kill them, stalk them or murder their cats or whatever horrid things were in those missives, but please, unless you’ve received mail like this yourself, you really have no business telling anyone else how they should react to it.
- And, finally, one point that makes me sort of laugh. Pretending that one didn’t mean to offend someone or some institution’s followers, while using inflammatory language that in itself is perceived as offensive, is an obvious pose. The thing I love about blogging and reading blogs is that there are no rules out here. When I write an angry post, I mean to offendMichelle Malkin, so-called pro-lifers, sexists, misogynists and all manner of “ists” with my prose. It is the rare beauty of what we bloggers do and one of the few avenues with which to do it. One of the reasons I love reading Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan’s postings is because I generally agree with them. If I thought for a moment that they didn’t intend to cause offense, it would seriously rob me of the joy and recognition I find in their writing.
Now, I’m off to find another fight where I can weigh-in five cents short and three days late. Happy weekend all.
*sorry, can’t link you to Amanda’s usual website, Pandagon, since the site is temporarily down while it is being moved to a new server.