In the wake of Amanda Marcotte’s resignation from the John Edwards campaign, Howie Kurtz has responded with one of his patented, snide, attack-without-attacking columns in the WaPo. After a reasonably fair summation in which he quotes liberally from Marcotte’s resignation post at pandagon, he swings into Howie-mode with this little gem of a graf:
The former North Carolina senator was caught between conflicting pressures. On one hand, Marcotte and McEwan, like many writers in the freewheeling blogosphere, had written profane and offensive attacks on their detractors, using language that no presidential candidate would be comfortable defending. On the other, liberal bloggers were embracing their cause, depicting them as victims of an orchestrated conservative campaign to discredit them.
There are two outright lies in that short graf and one opinion stated as fact. Let’s begin with the First Lie:
1. “…had written profane and offensive attacks on their detractors”.
The posts which so offended Donohoe and from which Howie quotes later on – out of context, naturally – were NOT attacks on her “detractors”. They were attacks on the Catholic Church’s anti-female attitudes, biases, and policies, in particular its rigid insistence on mixing into the abortion debate with what an objective observer could only call a “heavy hand”. It would be impossible in any legitimate sense to consider the quotes for which Marcotte was pilloried a personal attack on any “person” when they were so obviously aimed at an organizational entity. Here’s the quote:
The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.
“The Catholic church” is not a person and, so far as I know, has never attacked Amanda Marcotte. Benedict would probably be a “detractor” if he knew or cared what she said but he doesn’t. I feel safe in saying that you could search his recent speeches exhaustively without once hearing the name “Amanda Marcotte” pass his lips, so she certainly wasn’t responding to anything he said about her.
As a recovering Catholic and a minor student of Church history, I can also tell you, categorically, that there’s only one mistake in that sentence: Catholics don’t “tithe” (give one-tenth of their pre-tax income to The Church). Continue reading