Patterico's Pontifications

2/13/2007

Edwards’s Other Blogger Resigns

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:57 pm



The announcement is on her blog:

I regret to say that I have also resigned from the Edwards campaign. In spite of what was widely reported, I was not hired as a blogger, but a part-time technical advisor, which is the role I am vacating.

I would like to make very clear that the campaign did not push me out, nor was my resignation the back-end of some arrangement made last week. This was a decision I made, with the campaign’s reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family’s level of exposure.

This part is interesting and sad:

There will be some who clamor to claim victory for my resignation, but I caution them that in doing so, they are tacitly accepting responsibility for those who have deluged my blog and my inbox with vitriol and veiled threats. It is not right-wing bloggers, nor people like Bill Donohue or Bill O’Reilly, who prompted nor deserve credit for my resignation, no matter how much they want it, but individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation.

I went into this knowing something about Amanda Marcotte, since she had been personally nasty to me, and had twisted my words in more than one online exchange. As for the Shakespeare’s Sister blogger: I have a very vague memory of her piling on me once, but it’s a memory so distant that it means nothing to me now. [UPDATE: Apparently I’m wrong about this, as she notes in the comments.] Other than that, I know nothing about her other than that she once used the term “Christofascists” — which, by itself, is (I think) a completely insufficient reason for anyone to oppose her working for Edwards. Maybe there was more, but I haven’t seen it.

I think it’s a shame that she’s not working for him, and a bigger shame that so many people apparently sent her ugly e-mails and comments. I do in fact denounce anything like that without hesitation, and I am going to send her a friendly e-mail of condolence. I have no idea how it will be received, but hopefully it will help, in some small way, to counterbalance the ugliness she has faced.

UPDATE: Firedoglake has examples of the kind of threats that Marcotte has been facing, and that McEwan probably faced as well. Here’s one disgusting example, which I’m going to censor just because, with all the profanity on this site lately, I’m going to end up getting blocked by some filters if I don’t tone it down:

Problem with women like you, you just need a good f*cking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good f*cking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the f*cking you deserve b/c the sh*t that would come out of you ears.

The real message used no asterisks.

Appalling.

Naturally, Firedoglake tries to portray this as a uniquely right-wing phenomenon, which is ridiculous. Ask Michelle Malkin, who has been the target of plenty of ugly hate herself. But it is just outrageous that anyone should have to put up with this kind of ugliness, and people of conscience on both sides of the aisle should easily be able to agree on this.

38 Responses to “Edwards’s Other Blogger Resigns”

  1. The lesson the campaigns should take from this is not, “There’s nobody on the Internet worth trusting.” It’s, “There are many people on the Internet worth trusting, but you need to look into more than somebody’s Sitemeter stats.”

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  2. But what was so bad about McEwan? She used the term “Christofascists” once? If that’s it, then give me a break. That is hardly a significant issue. It’s nothing like Marcotte’s long history of ugliness and twisting other people’s words.

    Like I say, maybe there’s more to McEwan’s story, but if there is, I haven’t heard it. And at this point, there’s really no point in going into it anyway. It’s a moot point.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  3. Oh, I’m not saying anything about McEwan. I don’t know anything about her work, but I agree that it does sound like she’s going out with the bathwater.

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  4. If she got messages and e-mails like the one quoted above — and I bet she did — I can well imagine her deciding that it’s just not worth it.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  5. Oh, I’m not saying anything about McEwan. I don’t know anything about her work, but I agree that it does sound like she’s going out with the bathwater.

    I think Jim Treacher is correct. She went out with the bath water. I suspect the campaign made it uncomfortable enough for her that she was “forced” out the door. Likely she got caught in the “gale-force” winds caused mainly by Amanda’s reputation. She may actually be “an innocent victim” in all this.

    Too bad. I had never heard of either of these people before all this broke out. From what I saw of Amanda’s various “writings”, I really hadn’t missed all that much. I have no idea what McEwan’s site is like and I haven’t seen any real references to her writing (other than the word “Christofascist”). That’s an indicator, I guess.

    For that matter, I had never heard of Bill Donohue either. I guess I lead a sheltered life!

    Bill M (afe2c3)

  6. It seems that people believe the “anonymity” provided to them by the internet gives them some sort of immunity from the consequences of their words. (Yeech, what a technical and quite dull sentence that was.) I wonder how many of the people on either side would truly use that kind of language when talking directly to someone rather than hiding behind a screen name.

    Sometimes I wonder if the blogosphere has had a direct influence on the level of this appalling behavior, or if it’s just allowed it to come to light more easily. Either way, I agree with you Patterico, it is appalling. It’s also interesting that it tends to paint the side saying it in a worse light than the side being targeted.

    Joral (0c08e1)

  7. I don’t like ugly comments from either side of the aisle. Period. But I was under the impression that campaigns and campaign staff get a fair share of nasty feedback, especially via anonymous internet comments and emails, and many high-traffic bloggers do, too. That doesn’t make it okay – far from it – but it seems like something high-profile bloggers might have already experienced and named campaign staff might expect.

    DRJ (605076)

  8. Problem with women like you, you just need a good f*cking from a real man!

    How could anyone type that with a straight face? Leaving aside its offensiveness, it’s an absurd comment. It’s the reverse of Marcotte’s malady; just exchanging the misandry for misogyny. The person who wrote that is deeply, deeply stupid – and I mean that in the least vituperative and most literal way possible.

    Sure enough, no one I know would want to sift through that kind of garbage 24/7.

    On the other hand, I second DRJ’s thought that someone *that* in the public eye, indeed whose livlihood depends on their being in the public eye would not be so sensitive to that kind of hit and run garbage.

    Don’t get me wrong – anonymous* garbage is even more garbage-y than the normal kind, but still …

    * Yes, I’m well aware of the irony in the fact of my posting pseudonymously as I type that.

    Abraxas (db3144)

  9. I think this fella gave his real name . . .

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  10. Wow. I thought “Andy [Redacted]” was a pseudonym.

    C’mon – it sounds like a pseudonym! Or some kind of weird XXX star …

    Abraxas (db3144)

  11. Andy Driggers?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  12. Huh. I hadn’t heard anyone say anything about THE OTHER ONE. I guess it might have been inevitable, though. It’s silly to act like hate mail is a right wing thing, though. Trust me. I hang out on some geeky message boards and I’ve seen death threats over authors’ treatment of Batgirl and DnD books costing too much.

    David N. Scott (71b49c)

  13. Patterico, have you ever walked down a street wearing a tee shirt you bought from your favorite band?

    If someone who didn’t like the group punched you in the teeth, would you blame it on some media-spawned POS?

    They flew their flags; they gotta stand astride.

    A “blog” (holy hell, I hate that term) is a frickin’ barstool. Flap your gums all you want, but stand fast and ready for the blowback.

    TC@LeatherPenguin (dbe53c)

  14. Oh, and if you want “transparency” from the rest of the media world, use real names.

    (I get bloody crazed by the amount of pontifical bastards who won’t sign the dotted line.)

    TC@LeatherPenguin (dbe53c)

  15. Well, yeah – but I wasn’t going to out him on your blog. Doesn’t it sound a bit like Dirk Diggler?

    Abraxas (db3144)

  16. I don’t know anything about Mrs McEwan; I only visited her site once, when this whole kerfuffle began.

    That Miss Marcotte has used intemperate language in the past is unchallenged; such does not make it right to respond with the kind of stuff she received.

    Dana (556f76)

  17. I am amazed at times like these that people who normally have their guard up just “assume” that hostile e-mails and/or comments have been sent by people who mean it.

    Unless you know who the commenter is, is it not more than a little possible that the “message” is from either a sock-puppet or an came in unsolicited from a sympathizer pretending to be a deranged, hate-filled opponent? Especially when the provider of this message, Firedoglake, hasn’t exactly covered itself in credibility?

    Tom Blumer (df3157)

  18. I have an intemperate message for McEwan.
    Way to go numbnuts.
    Now you ruined the political blogging job market for everyone.
    Ordinary people’s opinions via the internet is a new territory searching for respectability.
    We were looking for pioneers – instead we got you two a–holes.
    Thanks for nothing.

    papertiger (9725e9)

  19. Of course, we’re supposed to just assume that an actual conservative sent those e-mails, right?

    It’s not at all possible that they just made them up? Or a liberal wrote them just to throw fuel on the fire? Or some punk wrote them for completely non-political reasons, just a dumb prank?

    Come. On.

    What exactly is the basis for assuming ANYTHING these people say is legitimate?

    PP (c65bfa)

  20. It does look like McEwan had the bad luck of being hired by the same campaign as Marcotte. With Marcotte, her idiocy and hatred was clear with about every post she wrote, but I haven’t heard anything bad about McEwan other than just the once where she used the term “Christofascists.”

    Still, it’s a bit of dodge for them to focus on the hate mail and ignore the more intelligent critiques of them. Who hasn’t gotten ugly, stupid hate mail before? It doesn’t excuse your actions.

    Frank J. (3f33e3)

  21. As for the Shakespeare’s Sister blogger: I have a very vague memory of her piling on me once, but it’s a memory so distant that it means nothing to me now.

    This is the only time I’ve mentioned you at Shakes, for the record. And thank you for the email.

    What exactly is the basis for assuming ANYTHING these people say is legitimate?

    I’ve never been shown to be anything less than honest before. In over two years of blogging, that surely counts for something, even in spite of political differences.

    Shakespeare's Sister (c53151)

  22. The risks of being a blogger…

    I was well aware of what I might be getting into when I started this blog back in late-summer 2004. I had been a regular in discussion boards under a pseudonym for a few years before that and learned if……

    Darleen's Place (1650a7)

  23. This is the only time I’ve mentioned you at Shakes, for the record. And thank you for the email.

    I stand corrected. And you’re welcome. I think it’s important for everyone on both sides of the aisle to stand against the hatred you experienced.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  24. One blogger resigns (at least, the official version), and gives a pottymouthed blast of catholic accusation that can only be termed a hissy-fit. Another blogger resigns and gives an explanation that respects the intelligence of her readers, indulges in neither hysteria nor random accusation.

    I know which one I’ll be adding to my blogroll.

    kishnevi (8731ef)

  25. The one thing that was notable throughout this whole tempest was how almost all the negative attention was focused on Marcotte and not McEwan, and I think this is largely due to the fact that Marcotte’s writings are easily recognized as hateful tripe spewed by a small mind. She put her narcissistic prejudices out there for everyone to read, and Edwards was rightly criticized for hiring such a political lightning rod. McEwan’s work, on the other hand, garnered very little criticism from the blogosphere, where these things tend to get magnified.

    It seems based on this that McEwan has managed to maintain an acceptable level of mature discourse in her own writings, and combined with her skills would have made a good employee for the Edwards campaign. That she felt compelled to resign is unfortunate in this regard, so hopefully she will be able to find another outlet that will allow her to contribute to a campaign that will appreciate her skills.

    Chris (c85fcd)

  26. Mrs McEwan wrote:

    What exactly is the basis for assuming ANYTHING these people say is legitimate?

    I’ve never been shown to be anything less than honest before. In over two years of blogging, that surely counts for something, even in spite of political differences.

    Sounds about right to me. Even when it comes to Miss Marcotte, while I am not exactly a fan of her opinions, she seems pretty honest and straightforward about them.

    Dana (556f76)

  27. McEwan seems like a fairly level headed person. Anyway, PP, yeah, I’m sure that a full blooded conservative wrote that. It wouldn’t surprise me. Sad though.

    G (722480)

  28. Two brief points:

    Patterico – Nicely-stated, nicely-handled. It shocks me that folks from opposite sides of the political spectrum often feel the need to resort to poo-flinging. I respect what you’ve said here, even though we don’t agree politically (we tilted lances at The Baseball Crank a year or so back, but it was civil). Kudos.

    And as a regular reader of Shakespeare’s Sister, I’ll second what some are suggesting: she’s an excellent writer, a fair person, and respectful of other’s opinions. It’s very unfortunate she got sucked into this partisan sh*tstorm.

    Mike (727716)

  29. […] Once again a few people have an opinion: Beltway Blogroll, My Left Wing, Lawyers, Guns and Money, The Caucus, MyDD, Patterico’s Pontifications, Althouse, Riehl World View, The Navel of the Internet, The American Street, Alternate Brain, Wizbang, All Spin Zone, Vox Popoli, Majikthise, The Democratic Daily, The Jawa Report, Pinko Feminist Hellcat, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES, Liberal Values, Done With Mirrors, QandO, The Fix and State of the Day […]

    The Heretik : Gandhi H. Christ (694660)

  30. Mrs McEwan deserves respect for at the least being a decent person, able to converse without spewing vulgar words. Anyone who sent a death threat or threatening e-mail to her should be drug out into the light of day and exposed as a vile, contemptable pile of crud.

    While I won’t be adding her to my blogroll (one of these days I’ll figure out the complexities of RSS Feeds, honest I will), she at least has my respect.

    However, I can’t help but wonder where the outrage has been for people like Michelle Malkin, who has gotting comments on other sites along the lines of ‘I hope she gets gang-raped and killed while she’s in Iraq’. Fury over any attacks against McEwan are good and propper. We should be outraged, EVERYONE should be outraged. However, I wish the left would hold the same standards, you know?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  31. Now that Amanda Marcotte may be looking for a job, Iowahawk has apparently posted her resume online. (Caution: strong language and brutal satire.)

    JR (0064f3)

  32. All righty then … pop quiz time!

    If Mad Marcotte’s kid sister here is so “respectful of others’ opinions” (even us – gasp – Christofascists, my favorite term of respect!) …

    … why exactly did she “resign?”

    Someone explain. If she’s done nothing wrong, if there is no Marcottian record of lunacy under her byline to smear Edwards (I mean, OTHER than that “respectful” Christofascist stuff!) … why’d she (ahem) “resign?”

    This should be good.

    Maybe I’m missing something. But it would seem logically that there are only two possibilities.

    She was fired.

    Or she had to quit because she’s got the same disease Mad Marcotte has, with the symptoms just not showing yet.

    So why’d you quit?

    I can’t even imagine what it could be.

    PP (c65bfa)

  33. Nevermind.

    Of course I know the answer: all those mean e-mails she allegedly received. She couldn’t handle it.

    The worst of which, by the way, pales in comparison to the sort of ping-pong-ball-vagina-death-to-gooks stuff that Malkin gets every day of her life. From the “tolerant” and “respectful” non-Christofascists.

    The truth, of course, is simply that they were both fired. Period.

    Duh.

    Edwards isn’t stupid.

    PP (c65bfa)

  34. When it came time to clean house and Edwards engaged in a quite literal “blogger witch hunt”, then Ms. McEwen happened to suffer collateral damage. That’s too bad, because she apparently can and does maintain civil discourse on a number of issues. Ms. Marcotte of course will remember the line attributed to one of the leaders of the campaign against the Albigensian Heresy—“kill them all, let God decide”. Well Edwards killed them all. Ms. Marcotte had it coming; maybe Ms. McEwen didn’t.

    Mike Myers (4d9a65)

  35. On reading the hostile email, I immediately thought the author must be Marcotte. Sure sounds like her.

    Chris Stanley (1c7aee)

  36. “Problem with women like you, you just need a good f*cking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good f*cking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the f*cking you deserve b/c the sh*t that would come out of you ears.”

    I am sorry, but I just don’t see the THREAT in this. Commentatry, yes, but an example of a THREAT? Nope. I wonder just how many of the THREATS she received were actually people just wenting with profanity. Profanity is not a THREAT. Is she (and you) trying to make a matyr out of her?

    MO (ef88bf)

  37. While I’m not sure I agree with his tone, MO does make a valid – if slightly vapid – point…

    The “threatening e-mail” doesn’t seem to contain a threat…

    Telling someone to go get “f*cked” isn’t a threat… Just poor manners…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)


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