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If You Hire Anti-Catholic Bloggers, Does That Make You An Anti-Catholic Candidate?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, hopes not, so he wants John Edwards to fire the bloggers Edwards hired:

“John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots,” Donohue wrote in a statement. “He has no choice but to fire them immediately.”

If Edwards is serious about the nomination, the bloggers are gone by the end of the day. 

I tell young bloggers that what they write will trail them, and so they should stick to –as Alex Haley put it– finding the good and praising it while they are young and still figuring out what they believe.  Attack blogs are fine for those who don’t ever intend to participate more formally in public life.

Lots of bloggers disregard the advice to make points without resort to vulgarity, and some don’t mind displaying a bigotry that could not survive ten minutes in other than the virtual world, but those are choices, and those choices limit opportunities.

Contributors to John Edwards right now have to be wondering just how careful he is when it comes to staffing, and whether or not he has the ability to correct a misstep quickly or will allow it to keep dogging him.

Dean predicted the dismissal of the Edwards’ blogger on Monday, but I was skeptical, largely because I don’t read Pandagon.  He concluded, in a post about hiring campaign bloggers that ought to be read by all candidates:

So again, what was Edwards thinking? His campaign will spend a few blogospheric news cycles defending or ignoring the chatter about Marcotte’s past scribblings. In case you’re wondering, her observations on the Duke matter fit in nicely with her oeuvre. There will probably be enough chatter about this in the blogosphere that it will cross over to the cable news channels. I bet Marcotte will make Britt Hume’s “Grapevine” tonight and the “evil” CNN tomorrow. By the end of the week, she will be collecting a severance check from Edwards. (I just hope the amount isn’t so great that it slows construction on the energy efficient Chateau Edwards.) Her inevitable termination will trigger great outrage in the Netroots, who ironically her hiring was intended to impress.

This whole sordid episode should provide a valuable object lesson for campaigns as they think about hiring other bloggers: Before bringing them into the fold, read their stuff

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