More often than not, the cover-up can be worse than the crime. Such is the case of Amanda Marcotte, the newly minted campaign blogger for Democratic contender John Edwards.
A few weeks ago Edwards hired Marcotte, a well-respected liberal voice and the chief operator of the left-wing blog Pandagon, to manage his campaign blogging operations. The choice was praised in many corners of the netroots, who gave Edwards high marks for picking such an opinionated, straight-talking liberal voice to manage his online campaign operations.
Shortly thereafter, right-wing bloggers (and at least one liberal blogger who is not a fan of Edwards) unearthed some of Marcotte’s more outspoken posts at Pandagon, including one about the now crumbling case against the three Duke lacrosse players under indictment for the alleged sexual assault of an African-American stripper.
Read those comments here. It can be argued that Marcotte’s take on the case might be a bit to far-left for a serious presidential candidate to stand behind, and it can be argued that Marcotte is grasping at straws at this point, since all evidence indicates gross misconduct on the part of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who brought the indictment against the three lacrosse players.
But rather than defend the post, Marcotte took a step that has opened her up to new criticism from all corners of the blogosphere. When bloggers began examining Marcotte’s statements on the case, Marcotte scrubbed the post from Pandagon, replacing it with a much more subdued take on the case. It’s one thing to post an outlandish statement on your blog. But when Marcotte took steps to try to erase history, it opened up the floodgates of criticism and has created a (small) problem Edwards will probably wish he never had.
Whatever Marcotte’s original take on the case might have been, the removal of those opinions have sparked a firestorm across the web. Read more about some of Marcotte’s statements here. Marcotte’s best move here would have probably been too leave the post as it was and ignore the criticism, but the cat’s already out of the bag.
Micah Sifry has an alternate take here, defending Marcotte’s actions.