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A Second Look at Marcotte

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I've taken a couple of bland shots at the Amanda Marcotte story over at Edwards 08 since the story couldn't possibly be more related to John Edwards campaign -- she's their latest hire to write for their official blog. The first complaints seemed pretty silly, but I made the mistake of only listening to people speak who have no credibility in the first place. I'm talking about religious conservatives of course, they aren't allowed to accuse other people of writing hate speech since mainstream Catholics and Christians get off on hate speech as a way of life.

The other complaints seem like they may have something behind them after all, but it depends on how far you are willing to take them when it applies to her new job writing for Edwards. I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't matter what your background is just as long as you can write professionally and keep your personal feelings in check. I wouldn't have any problem with Cindy Sheehan or Michael Moore writing for the Edwards campaign as long as they kept their crazy asses in line with the message.

I've never read Amanda before and I don't intent to start reading her now, but a short snippet that I've seen posted elsewhere this morning makes evident that some of the knocks against her are probably true, especially when it comes to the Duke Lacrosse rape case that has sense fallen completely apart.

In the meantime, I've been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will-not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out.

I wrote briefly about the case shortly after it broke when the defense gathered its whits enough to present an alibi for one of the players that showed fairly conclusively that he couldn't have been at the scene physically for the duration of the attack. After that, the accuser changed her story not once, not twice, but in excess of three times. It was later leaked that the accusers friend and the only other 'witness' to the crime had first told police that she hadn't seen anything and that no rape had occurred at the party. She too changed her story, after the police learned she was in violation of her probation for another crime -- fraud.

I haven't written about it since then because I said what I had to say and I am content to let the justice system sort it all out. It may take a while, and it usually does, but it'll get sorted out eventually.

A plain reading of this excerpt makes pretty clear that Amanda's writing style more closely resembles unconstrained ranting than it does reporting news or forming some sort of substantive opinion in the image of an editorial or essay. I suppose that isn't particularly material, though I question the wisdom of the Edwards campaign hiring someone what is so lacking in serious writing skills.

The language doesn't bother me enough to dismiss the messages content, though I tend to be one of those people that believe consistent cursing conveys a general lack of vocabulary and is regularly abused to convey outrage or other emotions when the real problem isn't the lack of words, but the lack of critical thought on the part of the writer.

Those things aside, I see a person that seems emotionally invested in that case with a message that borders on the extreme. If I didn't know better -- and I don't -- I'd guess that this person has a personal investment in sexual assault one way or another and is totally ruled by their emotions on the subject. Regardless of whether or not that guess is correct, there's little of value in this statement.

This is about race and class and gender in every way, and there's basically no way this woman was going to see justice. In her part of the country, both women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men.

As it appears now, this woman won't be seeing justice anytime soon. She has refused to testify against the accused lacrosse players since the whole thing began, disappeared entirely in the first few weeks while making claims that people were out to get her. She wouldn't even tell her parents where she was, moving from place to place like some paranoid crazy.

Maybe getting raped will do that to a person, I can't say since I've never been raped, and perhaps there were people trying to hunt her down. Who knows. I will say this though, North Carolina may be the south, but it's not the deep south from the 50's here. The state capital and Research Triangle Park area resemble silicon valley more than it does the backwater hicktown people assume it is. I ought to know, I live here.

There is no doubt that there still exist a great many racists in this state, but there still exist a greaty many racists in this country as well, and in the world for that matter. I seriously doubt there are more racists in North Carolina than in any other state, and this place certainly is not over run by them. This state isn't exactly dominated by white racist men either, there are a fair number of African Americans in North Carolina and even more Hispanics. This state is changing just like the entire nation is, and I would suggest to people that Amanda doesn't know her ass from her elbow when it comes to this state.

With all due respect to the woman, she's talking right out of her ass on that count.

If there was sufficient evidence for a conviction and as zealous as prosecutor Nifong was, I have little doubt that the woman would have received the justice she so richly deserved. Unfortunately for the alleged victim and for Amanda, the entire case looked like a horse show from the outset, and most people picked up on that.

Amanda dug herself a hole by going to bat over this, and it saddens me that such a mistake is haunting her now. Honestly, why does this even matter? I suppose it doesn't. It serves as another example of why some people think she needs to be fired from the campaign outside the charges of being anti-Catholic (so long as Catholics are anti-gay, I will proudly be anti-Catholic, fyi.) I don't happen to agree with these reasons, however.

It's my opinion that the biggest knock against Marcotte is that she's just plain terrible at writing. Maybe the excerpts from above are an example of one of her off days, but if not, she is nothing special to rally around. All I see are unsubstantiated opinionated rants that you can find on any Dick and Jane's MySpace blog. How do unstructured uninformed rants get you hired by a presidential campaign? That's what I'd like to know.

Welcome to campaigns of the information age, replete with misspellings, uneducated rants, and of YouTube snippets that fatten you up like McDonalds big macs and keep your fat ass in the chair for another couple of minutes so you can see that next ad, and get that next breaking news email alert.

Marcotte may be getting beaten up unfairly, but based on the short bit of her writings that I've personally seen, she is at least partially responsible for some of this. You can't write angry rants on the web and not expect to get bitten in the ass when you go from one-of-a-million liberal blogger to a campaign writer.

You just can't.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.