"Blogger Authenticity" vs. Presidential Campaigning

Amanda Marcotte left Pandagon to be the head blogger for the John Edwards presidential campaign. But now she's being attacked by right-wing bloggers for snarky comments she'd made earlier on the Catholic church; here is her carefully-worded (and laudable) response to the current blog-tempest in a blog-teapot. (I actually thought she was in the wrong on the whole "Burqa" blogspat issue, but that was a whole 'nother can of worms.)

The paragraph that caught my eye in the Time Magazine article on the pheneomenon was this one:

But bottling the lightning of blogger authenticity is not easy. Many blogosphere activists suspect anyone signing on with a campaign of selling out. And in the era of drum-tight message control, campaigns are not inclined to tolerate the independence bloggers need to maintain their credibility. (link)

Wait, do bloggers still have authenticity?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I just posted a similar comment on Street Prophets, where the thread on this topic is really interesting. A blogger over there said, "I don't like the rhetoric employed by the bloggers the Edwards campaign hired. We need more civil discourse than that."

Setting authenticity aside for a moment, I heartily agree that the rhetoric was in bad taste. Bloggers can certainly say whatever they want, but Amanda and her colleague were not "independent" in this case, they're employed by a candidate, so what they say should reflect on the candidate. Otherwise, why officially affiliate herself with one?

I'm not saying they should be fired, because certainly free speech is protected and encouraged. But there is a basic level of respect and civility that should frame sensitive issues of faith and politics and Edwards should have known better in hiring them. There are many of us who are religious on the left, and the antics of bloggers like these two only make the democrats look as anti-faith as the republicans have been saying for years.

Edwards has already disappointed me on a lot of bigger levels (like voting for the Iraq war!), so this isn't going to harm him much in my mind in the end...