Embattled Bloggers Resign from Edwards Campaign

Edwardsdonohue_1Melissa McEwan and Amanda Marcotte, the progressive bloggers whom John Edwards decided not to fire in the wake of attacks from Catholic wingnuts Bill Donohue and others, have both resigned, citing concern for the Edwards campaign following a hate-filled onslaught and death threats from Donohue and his followers.

SsMcEwan claimes that “sustained ideological attacks” made her a liability to the campaign. She writes on her blog, Shakespeare’s Sister: “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. This is a win for no one.”

MarcotteMarcotte made an announcement on her blog, Pandagon, as well: “In fact, [Bill Donohue has] made no bones about the fact that his intent is to “silence” me, as if he—a perfect stranger—should have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious? All of the above, it seems. Regardless, it was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign. No matter what you think about the campaign, I signed on to be a supporter and a tireless employee for them, and if I can’t do the job I was hired to do because Bill Donohue doesn’t have anything better to do with his time than harass me, then I won’t do it. I resigned my position today and they accepted. “

Here are some of the hate-filled letters that Marcotte received from Donohue followers.

Yes, “Christian” Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (212-371-3191) who called McEwan and Marcotte “two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots” but who, among other things, enjoys a good “gook” joke.

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  1. says

    Death threats from Donohue? That seems a bit unlikely. I mean, I dislike the gasbag as much as anyone, but I don’t think he’s personally called for the two bloggers to be murdered or personally threatened them, has he? Yes, he’s responsible for inciting all these morons, but it doesn’t seem accurate to say that death threats came from Donohue.

    If they did, though, please correct me. That would certainly be worth noting.

  2. Da says

    Mind you I don’t know the background of this story very well, but somehow I don’t buy the Bill O’Reiley or hate mail excuse as a reason for their quitting..

    It’d make more sense if people from inside the John Edwards camp caved to the pressure and made the bloggers feel a ‘liability’ – Cause if they truly believed those bloggers’s voices were an awesome thing for the campaign, there’s no way they would have let them go..at the exact same time.

    Personally I find it a bit alarming when a blogger with a pro-choice stance is essentially silenced within the platform of a liberal candidate. Don’t you agree? I don’t picture a republican letting go a blogger with a stance against homosexuality or abortion..so it goes to show you how much the liberals keep ALLOWING for the conservative ideas to get precedence over theirs.

    Both pitiful and scary.

  3. says

    If you don’t want to call them, you can also email the Catholic League your thoughts at:


    Just don’t stoop their same level of name calling. It’s not pretty.

    I let Mr. Donohue know that I would continue to “pray for you and those you have mislead over the years, because on judgment day, it is your soul, I fear, that will burn in hell for all eternity.

    May God bless you and have mercy on your soul”

    You really have to speak in their language to make the point, I think.

  4. RJL says

    I’m sorry, I’m not quite clear how being the target of bigots and right wing misogynists spewing hate is a liability for a liberal Democratic candidate.

    Perhaps the real issue is two-fold. First, the focus on the two of them detracts from the spotlight being on Edwards himself – never a good thing, when he’s trying to raise his profile against Hilary and Obama. And second, these two bloggers’ true effectiveness has been curtailed (i.e. censored) by them being made official paid lackeys of a politician.

  5. zabadak says

    Naaah, no death threats from Mr. D.
    Only Ann Coulter can call for the murder of judges & sundry politicians. Others must resort to the ‘tween-the-lines method.

    Ok, so who doesn’t think Edwards caved in to the jihidi-Catholics & is now another spineless Democrat?
    Edwards could have spun this as a “I let them go for their own safety” & then assailed this element & their Republican Party enablers. Instead he initially chose to support their bogus claims.

    How can Edwards be a stand-up guy on a national ticket when he caves this early in the campaign?
    Perhaps he’s better suited defending medical malpractice cases, not defending himself, the Democratic Party & America.

  6. Gregg says

    These bloggers are symptomatic of the faults in our ridiculous major parties – when the going gets tough, they capitulate.

    Hate mail makes you quit a major campaign? Well, that was easy! Now they can just send hate mail to everyone they dislike and “force” them to quit as well.

    Sad that these bloggers have as much backbone as the Edwards campaign and the 2 party system as a whole. Precisely, none.

    I’ll vote for a candidate when they actually stand up to crap like this. If they can’t defend 2 bloggers from hate mail, how will they fight for my rights in general? How will they defend me?

    My faith in Edwards was wavering, but these bloggers and their weakness (and the weakness of the Edwards campaign in poorly defending these campaigners) have pushed me into the No column.

  7. Joe T. says

    I’m no Donahue fan, but I wouldn’t trust Marcotte. She was a proven liar and internet sneak even before the Edwards fiasco. How do we know she (or her cronies) didn’t send that “hate mail” to herself?

  8. Da says

    “I’m sorry, I’m not quite clear how being the target of bigots and right wing misogynists spewing hate is a liability for a liberal Democratic candidate.”
    Posted by: RJL | Feb 14, 2007 2:49:29 PM

    What I’m getting at is that the reason presented to us for the bloggers’ departure doesn’t add up. It reeks of spin. and that’s a problem.

    ie There’s no way a blogger with the strong stances Amanda Marcotte have taken in the past would quit over some elusive death threats. It doesn’t happen. It takes a special kind of person to do their job in the first place, and I believe those are indeed two tough women who must have delt with internet punks making deragatory comments to them before. – yet the way they presented their resignation makes them appear weak (which is out of character for people of their creed like I sai), and a giveaway there’s more to the story.

    Namely, the larger problem here imo : which is that liberals no longer believe in the validity of their *ideas* as being defendable AND worth taking the risk of defending when pressured by a few extremists from the other camp. That I think is concerning. Very concerning.

    It tells me that as a citizen I could probably go and bully John Edwards’s camp over their ideas, and he would immediately second guess his choices and heads will start rolling..Not very good.

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