Democracy Downloaded

This story had legs

Posted by joevoeller on February 13, 2007

It turns out I was wrong- wrong – wrong last week when I predicted that the Edwards campaign blogger story would die a quick death. Not only has it continued, but one of the bloggers in question – Amanda Marcotte – has quit, according to this story from ABC News. 

Edwards had been caught in a bind by the Marcotte affair, not wanting to fire her for fear of alienating progressives and the netroots, and not wanting to keep her for fear of alienating (certain) Catholics.

Assuming my prediction skills haven’t been totally discounted since last week, I dare say that the other campaigns are now thinking long and hard about what this means for them. Does the Marcotte affair present a new litmus test for would-be campaign bloggers? Will campaigns now shy away from hiring anyone with a blog trail that contains even a shred of “offensive” or provocative language? The answer would seem to be yes. Why would campaigns willingly subject themselves to Edwards’ recent headaches? 

I think this is a blessing in disguise. The blogosphere needs fearless, independent political bloggers. I would hate to think that the best and brightest of these are holding back for fear of jeopardizing a future gig with a campaign.

I think Marcotte handled herself quite admirably here, continuing to post to her blog even as the Edwards campaign released its careful statement explaining why she would remain on staff.

At the end of the day, it seems like Marcotte was just not willing to sit back and play nice. That’s good news for her. And its good news for those of us who have come to rely on blogs for the kind of authentic voices that can’t come from the mainstream press – or from a political campaign.    

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