As Melissa herself so correctly wrote "This is a win for no one."
But what struck me yesterday as traveller through cyberspace was that each side of the blogosphere's debate over Marcotte and McEwan was so vehemently accusing the other side of "hate speech," or "bigotry" or "vile behavior" and, of course, the always popular "censorship."
Now I've already weighed in on half of this debate. I have already written that I feel both Marcotte and McEwan have engaged in the worst kinds of religious bigotry and hate speech. Their writings are among the most hate filled I've encounted on the web.
But, what about the other half? The counter attack from the left seems to be almost entirely directed at Bill Donohue, the publicity seeking, ego driven head of The Catholic League.
O.K., you can tell I'm no fan of Donohue. He is, in my never to be humble opinion, paranoid. He can find "anti-Catholic" meaning in a can of tuna. And, it often seems to me, his main goal isn't to protect Catholics, but rather to promote Bill Donohue.
Still, it is an amazing study in style and content to compare the left's attacks on Donohue with the right's attacks on Marcotte and McEwan.
Consistently, the bloggers on the right did two things. They reprinted expansive sections of Marcotte's and McEwan's own writings. And they condemned Edwards for hiring them.
These two ladies were an easy target. They were prolific and were absolutely unrelenting in their attacks on Christians, Catholics and conservatives. To say their language and imagery were colorful would be an understatement.
Often Marcotte's diatribes were very personal and extremely hateful.
The right's reprinting of Marcotte and McEwan was certainly self-serving. Hell, they really didn't need to do much more. The strategy was simple. Expose Marcotte and McEwan for what they were.
But, in all my readings of all the conservative blogs, I never read any demand for anything more than their dismissal from Edward's campaign.
And, usually, you didn't even find that. In fact 90% of the conservative bloggers simply wanted to "illustrate" the type of people on Edward's campaign staff. They wanted Marcotte and McEwan to stay. As long as those two were there, Edwards was more vulnerable to attack.
If you want to really get the flavor of the conservative attacks on Marcotte and McEwan, just read the posts of Michelle Malkin and follow the dozens of links she provides.
Over on the left the reactions are just now reaching a boiling point. In the last 24 hours I've read thirty or forty blogs attacking the conservative blogosphere and, especially, Bill Donohue.
The most interesting thing in reading these new posts is that they are nearly identical in tone, language and proposals to the posts done by the conservative side.
For example, Jeffery Feldman, writing over on Frameshop, says the following:
|Donohue's cynical attack on Edwards was not only baseless, but also strategically deployed. Donohue's goal was not to inform the public, but to incite a fearful chorus of violent threats--the better to turn his lone voice into a political force capable of defeating a political organization.|
But Americans will not be silenced or intimidated by Bill Donohue or his kind.
We will not allow our political system to be overrun by men who use the threat of sodomy, rape and murder to enforce their political views.
America is not some lawless frontier town where the boss with the biggest gun and the meanest wranglers rules the roost.
But in contemporary America, when a man like Bill Donohue has strong ties to major media outlets, a $300,000 per year salary, and the tacit approval of the entire Republican Party--he becomes a powerful person capable of running roughshod on the American electorate.
This has to stop and it has to stop right now.
Feldman goes on to list 5 actions that must be taken to stop Donohue including legal action, investigation by the FBI, and a demand that "All media outlets must cease to invite Bill Donohue on the air."
And I love the comment by C.E. Petro wring over at Thoughts of an Average Woman:
|Hate and vitriol have taken the place of discussion. Yet, the media is silent on this aspect. They were silent on William "Bill" Donohue's own bigotry. Nothing was said about Mitt Romney's decision of where to announce his candidacy.|
How the heck did Mitt Romney get into this discussion?
[If you really want to know, and if you would really like to read just about the most stupid and convoluted attack ever written, go ahead and follow this link to Media Matters.]
But, back on topic. I could go on, probably forever, but let me reprint a bit of Lane Hudson's essay in The Huffington Post The emphasis below was done by Mr. Hudson in his article.
The ramifications of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League's reckless rhetoric has materialized in the form of death threats to bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. This is what happens when the ultra-right wing is given the megaphone of mainstream media.
[Phone number deleted by the Wizard]
The left is rightfully outraged by hate emails and threats received by Marcotte and McEwan. I wonder if they were equally outraged when death threats were received by Michelle Malkin, but I digress.
Still, the blog entries, like Lane's above, all focus on the "hate speech" of Donohue. But, unlike their conservative counterparts, not one blog I've read so far has posted a single quote of "hate speech" from Donohue himself. If there are any quotes at all they are from the deranged emails received by and reposted by McEwan and Marcotte
In fact, although many left leaning bloggers accuse Donohue of inciting his base, no one has posted a single quote showing that incitement. Yet almost all advocate their supporters take action against Donohue.
So I went to Donohue's own writings and read every post and press release on the Edwards, Marcotte and McEwan topic. I then searched technoratti for any other quotes by Donohue.
And guess what? I could not find anything remotely resembling hate speech. The absolutely worse thing Donohue did was to reprint Marcotte's and McEwan's own words and demand they be dismissed from the Edwards campaign.
Donohue may be a jerk, but he never advocated anything other that the absolutely identical demands by writers like Lane Hudson, C.E. Petro and Jeffery Feldman above.
I certainly invite my readers to join the search. Can you locate any hate speech by Donohue in this matter, beyond the demand for Edwards to remove his bloggers from his staff?
If there were a high school debate, the right would win this one on points. They used real quotes, sources, dates and links. The left is only using weird and seemingly baseless accusations.
I cannot close without reprinting one more quote from Jeffrey Feldman: "Bill Donohue, it seems, has achieved his objective: to use the threat of violence to silence political debate in this country."
What a load of bull! Donohue never once advocated silencing debate!
But, much more importantly, the debate on these issues is louder, broader, more vigorous and more engaged than ever! Marcotte and McEwan are writing up a storm! And people are reading them. And folks from Jeffery Feldman to the Wizard are writing and talking and engaging in the debate.
If Donohue had wanted to silence debate, he sure as hell failed!
TECHNORATI TAGS: AMANDA MARCOTTE MELISSA MCEWAN JOHN EDWARDS BILL DONOHUE POLITICS CONSERVATIVE LIBERAL FREE SPEECH
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