Print Editions of Time, Newsweek Covered Edwards Without Vulgar Anti-Christian Specifics

I'm just getting to the February 19 editions of the news magazines today. The objective? Did they report on the vulgar anti-Christian and anti-Catholic blogs of the now-retired feminist John Edwards bloggers? Not with any specifics. Each papered over the controversy.Time's Massimo Calabresi devoted his story to the trouble with campaign bloggers and how their "bravado can backfire." In reporting on bloggers for McCain and Hillary as well for Edwards, Calabresi quoted Amanda Marcotte's snarky comments about how guilty the Duke lacrosse players were, but not her giggling over the idea of aborting Jesus after she was filled with the "hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit" so Christians would have to find another "ancient mythology" to excuse their hatred for women:

"Within hours of her announcement, right-wing bloggers were giddily digging up her Duke posts. A few days after that, a prominent Catholic group demanded that Marcotte be fired, citing several Pandagon posts that savaged conservative Catholic stances."

Is saying Christianity is a massive ancient fraud merely a "conservative Catholic stance"? Calabresi tried to take these outrageous blogs ("Pope Ratz" is a "dictator") and say they're positively mainstream, and then praised Marcotte's policy acuity:

"Marcotte's pre-Edwards blogging oeuvre may have been provocative and profanity laced, but it was still not far from the mainstream of the blood sport that is political blogging. And there is a welcome wonkishness to Marcotte, who, unlike some star bloggers, is not afraid to parse policy with her readers. Those qualities helped earn Pandagon, which will continue in the care of other bloggers while she's gone, a dedicated and sizable fan base. Marcotte has made it clear to her fans that working for a campaign requires a change in tone. ' know how the game works,' she wrote in a recent post. 'I'm more interested in helping my candidate win than anything--luckily we see eye to eye on most issues.'"

As in: Christianity's for crazy people? John Edwards can endorse that? Up in the front of Time magazine under the "Verbatim" heading, the magazine published this courageous tax-pledge quote from Edwards:

"I, like all of you, have evolved. It is not enough to do small things." -- JOHN EDWARDS, Democratic candidate for President in the 2008 election and former vice-presidential nominee, on why he would raise taxes to provide health-care coverage for all low-income families

Newsweek's John Edwards story features the bloggers as a tiny afterthought. The headline was "I'm Real. Really." The subhead: "Is it an accident that Genuine John Edwards has chosen this moment to emerge?" The pull quote under an inspirational picture of Edwards glancing skyward at a rally: "Edwards found in '04 that too much caution can be fatal." Reporter Jonathan Darman wrote of the boldness of Edwards in renouncing his vote for the Iraq War. The bloggers emerged briefly in the fourth paragraph: "Then, last week, he refused to fire two campaign employees who'd criticized Roman Catholics and religious conservatives on their personal blogs, despite pressure from conservative leaders." It doesn't get any more specific than that. The next sentence: "It's perhaps no accident that Genuine John Edwards has chosen this particular moment to emerge." So standing by the feminist denunciations of "Christofascists" and mythology-pushing "misogynists" is an admirable example of authenticity. Unbelievable. Six paragraphs later, Darman touts Edwards as the Web Wizard of the Democratic field:

Edwards has also recast himself as the Internet candidate. In 2004, his campaign largely ceded the Web money chase to Howard Dean. But Elizabeth, who was an early habitué of online communities, has long urged her husband to take more-aggressive steps on the Internet. He has wooed bloggers during private dinners and invested in a Web site that many consider to be the most sophisticated of any candidate in either party. Last week he declined calls to dismiss campaign bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, amid allegations they were antireligion. "The first response normally would have been to listen to these Beltway actors who were saying, 'Clearly, you have to fire these people'," says Jonathan Singer, a blogger for the liberal site MyDD. "He has some spine."

"Allegations" of anti-religious feeling? Again, Darman never seemed to read the Marcotte identified herself as anti-religious and hoped the faith-floggers would flood the media with their POV:

Because the fundies have gotten more aggressive, in other words, they’ve created an opportunity for anti-religious thinkers to flood the media with our point of view and also to get more aggressively anti-religious, not just arguing that fundies are wrong but that faith itself is fundamentally flawed and damaging.

U.S. News & World Report carried no article on the Edwards bloggers. Reporter Ken Walsh puffed Obama instead.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis