My colleague Massimo Calabresi has this story in the latest issue of the dead-tree magazine regarding the controversy surrounding John Edwards and the bloggers he has hired. Meanwhile, the Edwards campaign a few minutes ago issued this ratherly oddly worded statement, which would suggest that yesterday’s reports of their firing were premature, but also that they are likely to be on a short leash going forward:
EDWARDS STATEMENT ON CAMPAIGN BLOGGERS AMANDA MARCOTTE AND MELISSA McEWEN
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – The statements of Senator John Edwards, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen in reference to their work as independent bloggers before joining the Edwards campaign are below.
Senator John Edwards:
“The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwen’s posts personally offended me. It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word. We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.”
“My writings on my personal blog, Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.”
“Shakespeare’s Sister is my personal blog, and I certainly don’t expect Senator Edwards to agree with everything I’ve posted. We do, however, share many views – including an unwavering support of religious freedom and a deep respect for diverse beliefs. It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way.”