Edwards should have fired two bigoted bloggers earlier

Imagine, if you will, a presidential candidate hiring David Duke to work the Internet for him or her. Duke, an avowed anti-black, anti-Jewish provocateur spews out hate pretty much everywhere he goes. Recently, he showed up in Iran to deny the Holocaust.

Any American politician who associated with the likes of Duke would be finished immediately, there's no question about that.

Yet former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards apparently felt comfortable hiring two anti-Christian bloggers named Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan to work on his campaign. Both women have a far-left, bomb-throwing history that was vividly illustrated on their respective Internet sites.

But let's give Edwards the benefit of the doubt because he's a busy guy. Let's say he wasn't aware of the vitriol the ladies were spitting out and this led to the hiring mistake.

Fair so far? Now comes the crusher. The Catholic League informed Edwards that Marcotte wrote a description of Mary, the mother of Jesus, having sex with the "Lord" on her Web site. It was a vile piece of business that can't even be printed in this newspaper.

And what did John Edwards do? He said he "disagreed" with Marcotte's words but would not fire her or McEwan, who described Christians on her blog using obscenities.

I couldn't believe it. So I had my TV producers call Edwards and ask his chief of staff what was going on. Neither Edwards nor anybody in his campaign would talk to us about the issue.

So I went on TV and told the country exactly what I have just told you. Within minutes of the broadcast, the Edwards campaign got rid of Marcotte. McEwan left the next day.

So how could Edwards be so stupid? I asked that question to Jane Fleming, the executive director of the Young Democrats Association. Fleming replied that the bloggers didn't really do anything wrong, although she also "disagreed" with them. I then asked her if she would hire a person who said vile things about blacks. She said no. So why is it OK to say vile things about Christians?

Fleming had no answer to that question, but I do. On the far left, Christian bashing is totally acceptable, and rarely are any consequences imposed. The only reason these two women are not working for Edwards right now is that he didn't want to take the heat my program was giving him.

This entire shoddy episode has badly damaged Edwards in my opinion, but it also points out that American culture, especially in the swampy blogosphere, is extremely tolerant of Christian-haters. Again, this could never have happened to any other religious or minority group.

To me, all bigotry is unacceptable in a just society. You can criticize any group on the issues, but using obscenity and sacrilege to demean perceived opponents should be condemned in no uncertain terms.

Even by John Edwards.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.