Democracy Downloaded

The past (and future) lives of political bloggers

Posted by joevoeller on February 7, 2007

Yesterday the AP’s Nedra Pickler filed a story under the headline “Catholics Slam Bloggers Hired by Edwards.”  Pickler reported that the Catholic League for Civil Rights has demanded that presidential candidate John Edwards fire two newly-hired bloggers because of posts they had previously published elsewhere on the Internet.

Apparently the bloggers had criticized the Catholic church for its stance on gays and abortion, prompting Bill Donohue, the Catholic League’s president, to label them “vulgar, trash-talking bigots.”

Donohue is a blow-hard who spits out breathless press releases every day, so I don’t think this will go anywhere. (The Edwards campaign didn’t even bother to comment).

But what’s interesting is this graph that runs toward the end of the piece:

“Edwards put both bloggers on his payroll last week as part of his outreach to liberal voters and activists on the Internet. Their decision to work for Edwards is part of a broader move among prominent bloggers to jobs with political campaigns and progressive organizations.” 

Are these bloggers now writing for the campaigns’ official blogs or are they writing for their own blogs while being paid by the campaigns? What does it say about the progressive blog movement that many star writers are now being co-opted by specific campaigns? Can a blogger retain an authentic, irreverent voice after a year-long hiatus with a political campaign? 

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