.- Following the decision of U.S. Senator and Presidential hopeful John Edwards to stand by two campaign officials who have made vulgar public statements against the Pope and Catholic Church, Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has announced a “public relations blitz” to confront what he calls “the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry.”
“John Edwards has apparently decided that there is more to be gained by aligning himself with the cultural left than by standing on principle and firing the Catholic bashers on his payroll. Had anyone on his staff used the ‘N-word,’ he or she would have been fired immediately.”
Edwards released a statement on Thursday, explaining why he is not firing Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, two well known liberal bloggers, to run his internet campaign. The two, prior to being hired for the Edwards campaign made internet statements including one claiming that the Catholic Church’s stand on life issues is a ploy to gain more money and another wondering if the world would be a better place if Mary had used the Plan-B abortion pill.
The Democratic presidential candidate said that he had spoken to the staff members and received their assurance that they did not mean to denigrate any church or religion with their statements. “I took them at their word," Edwards said.
Donohue noted the recent media outrage over anti-Semitic remarks made by a drunken Mel Gibson, racist remarks made by comedian Michael Richards, and anti-gay remarks made by actor Isaiah Washington. Each of these men “paid a price” for their mistakes, Donohue noted, “but John Edwards thinks the same rules don’t apply to him, which is why he has chosen to embrace foul-mouthed anti-Catholic bigots on his payroll.”
The Catholic League leader claims that Edwards’ goal is to gain support from the wealthy Democratic supporter George Soros, and the “Hollywood gang.” Soros and much of Hollywood “aren’t offended by anti-Catholicism,” Donohue claimed. “Indeed, they thrive on it.”
“We will launch a nationwide public relations blitz that will be conducted on the pages of the New York Times, as well as in Catholic newspapers and periodicals. It will be on-going, breaking like a wave, starting next week and continuing through 2007. It will be an education campaign, informing the public of what [Edwards] did today,” Donohue said.
“We will also reach out to our allies in the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities. They worked with us before on many issues, and are sure to do so again. What Edwards did today will not be forgotten.”