Friday, February 09, 2007

John Edwards Plays The Donald

...and gives bloggers a second chance. Did the un-fired gal bloggers cry their mascara off for the media too? Get to keep their bloggerati crowns? Have to go to re-hab? Maybe they should to help further any lingering campaign issues.

My my my. The boy Edwards' and his people have a spine! And they aren't afraid to flex it. I'm loving this. Chalk one up for those "liberal feminist blogger" types. (And Sara/James: you'd have sold us down the river pretty quick-like, eh? I'll remember that.) From today's NYT:
Mr. Edwards announced on Thursday, after 36 hours of deliberation, that he would keep on his campaign staff two liberal feminist bloggers with long cybertrails of incendiary comments on sex, religion and politics. Mr. Edwards could keep the women on his staff and have to answer for the sometimes vulgar and intemperate writings posted on their personal blogs before he hired them late last month. He could dismiss them and face a revolt in the liberal blogosphere, which is playing an increasingly influential role in Democratic politics and could be especially important to his populist campaign. Some bloggers saw the controversy as manufactured by conservative groups.

Most importantly:

He (Edwards) also said he would not allow his campaign to be “hijacked” by religious conservatives who had pointed out the bloggers’ most provocative comments and demanded their dismissal.

Well... back to the cauldron for me! Gotta go stir-up lots more "incendiary" comments on sex, religion and politics. There's a lucrative future in it now.

True Confession: I'm totally sucked into Anna Nicole Autopsy Watch. Yeah, so who's the media 'ho now?!


Sara said...

Who sold who down what river?!

I just don't understand why campaigns be hirin' already well known bloggers--and nobody has, as of yet, given me a good reason. But I still faithfully read Shakespeare's Sister (have her on the blogroll in fact) even if I raised an eyebrow at her hire by the Edwards Campaign.

Grayson said...

Gee... I don't know. Maybe they want to hire them because they are engaged in the political process and have compelling and unique ways of presenting their thoughts and opinions?

griftdrift said...

I just want to say I'm watching CNN and as they showed the microphones outside the Broward County coroners office there was soft somber keyboards playing in the background. I can't get the image from Deep Impact out of my haid where upon learning about the impending doom, some producer points at a guy at a keyboard and says something like we need something somber but not sad. A guy with a keyboard. Right there in the newsroom! Now that's the job I want!

Sara said...

OK but if they were traditional MSM reporters instead of bloggers, we would raise a strong eyebrow if they continued to report on political events while being paid a salary by a particular campaign, yes? Is there a reason to treat well-known and widely-read bloggers differently than well-known and widely read newspaper op-ed writers, for example?

Amber said...

Is there a reason to treat well-known and widely-read bloggers differently than well-known and widely read newspaper op-ed writers, for example?

Pardon me for sounding snarky, I really don't mean to, but, I think the reason is simple: widely-read bloggers *are* different than widely-known op-ed writers. At least, Amanda and Shakes Sis certainly are.

Sara said...

I guess I just don't see the distinction. Shakes' Sis is a freelance reporter/writer in several more mainstream media outlets in addition to being a blogger, so the lines are a little more blurred in her case than I think we're acknowledging. (I'm admittedly not familiar enough w/ Pandagon to know if she fits this bill as well.)

Maybe my confusion about the distinction between such widely-read bloggers and traditional MSM opinion writers because I actually bought into the notion that the "new media" is still part of the media, and therefore should be treated much the same as other media members. I think most new media members voluntarily hold themselves to the same ethical standards as most (but of course not all) MSM journalists aspire to, and I think they should do so both for legal reasons and just because it's the right thing to do. And I would be somewhat uncomfortable with any media member--new, old, MSM or otherwise--continuing to cover/report/blog about a political campaign season even as they were a paid member of a particular candidate's staff. Obviously a lot of bloggers are supporting a particular candidate unabashedly, but it goes a step further when they are being paid to push that candidate within the blogosphere. And as Joe Gandelman pointed out today, there is little evidence that those bloggers will actually successfully influence other like-minded bloggers better than non-blogging media consultant staffers would have.

I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse, and in truth I didn't agree that the 2 should be fired for past blog posts that others found offensive or outrageous. I just also didn't think hiring still-active political bloggers was the smartest method for a campaign to integrate blogs into their media strategy.