As Media Matters for America has noted, The New York Times and the Associated Press have both reported criticism by Catholic League president Bill Donohue of two bloggers hired by John Edwards' presidential campaign; Donohue contends that the bloggers are "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots." Much of the controversy surrounding the hiring of the bloggers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, began on conservative weblogs, including that of Michelle Malkin, who wrote about the hiring starting as early as February 3.
An article on Salon's War Room weblog, which asserted that the Edwards campaign has fired the bloggers, directly connected Malkin to the hyping of the controversy:
Leading the charge against Marcotte -- and to a lesser extent McEwan -- have been bloggers like the National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez and Michelle Malkin. Malkin originally accused Marcotte of trying to scrub Pandagon's archives of material that could be embarrassing to the Edwards campaign. When that proved untrue, Malkin posted a correction, but said that the fact that she had been wrong was "even worse for the Edwards campaign" because "its blogmaster left crackpot posts like that one up and hired her anyway."
Also, a post on The New York Times' political weblog titled "Edwards's Blogger Blooper" provided a link to Malkin's video weblog, Hot Air, stating: "We can't repeat here some of their [Marcotte and McEwan's] writings; they are quite frequently profane. Michelle Malkin has catalogued some posts here."
Malkin, who wrote about the Edwards campaign's hires here, here, here, and here, described Marcotte's writing as "foul-mouthed nutroots diatribes," "lunatic blogging," and the product of the "warped mind of John Edwards' blogmaster." As Media Matters has noted, in a column describing why the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot was dropping Malkin's column in 2004, that paper's editor, Marvin Lake, described Malkin's writings as "seemingly mean-spirited rantings." The column also quoted another Virginian-Pilot columnist as saying that Malkin "habitually mistakes shrill for thought-provoking and substitutes screaming for discussion." That columnist also said that Malkin represents "the worst of what's wrong with punditry today" and "adds absolutely nothing to genuine political discourse."
Media Matters has noted numerous examples of Malkin displaying the qualities that caused the Pilot to cease publication of her column:
- In media appearances on August 9, 2004, promoting her book In Defense of Internment (Regnery, 2004), Malkin advocated racial profiling; defended the internment of Japanese-Americans (and other ethnic minorities) during World War II; and called for the removal of then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, claiming that he couldn't be objective on the issue of racial profiling because of his personal experience as an interned Japanese-American.
- On the August 19, 2004, edition of MSNBC's Hardball, speaking about false allegations against Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth regarding the injuries he suffered while serving in the Vietnam War, Malkin alleged, "They are [sic] legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound." Host Chris Matthews called the allegations "complete nonsense."
- In her March 29, 2006, nationally syndicated column, Malkin referred to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and then-California Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante -- both Democrats -- as "Latino supremacists."
- On the March 30, 2006, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Malkin declared that Latinos protesting a House bill aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration believe in "reconquista," or the theory that "the American Southwest belongs to Mexico" -- which, in the words of one writer, "aren't, for the most part, ideas held by Mexicans: they're ideas held by white supremacists and neo-Nazis."
- On the August 23, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, in a discussion of illegal immigration with O'Reilly, Malkin said that the idea of reconquista is "mainstream" among immigrants.
- During the May 8, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Malkin agreed with host Bill O'Reilly's claim that, under a California state bill that would require textbooks to recognize the accomplishments of historical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] figures, "if you are a teacher ... you're not going to be able to say bad things about [convicted mass murderer] Jeffrey Dahmer," because Dahmer was "a gay cannibal."
- On the June 1, 2006, edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, Malkin blasted the media coverage of alleged killings of Iraqi civilians by U.S. troops in Haditha, claiming that there are "puddles of drool in the offices of the L.A. Times and The New York Times."
Additional instances of extreme rhetoric and insensitive behavior by Malkin have been documented by the weblog Think Progress:
- On the June 12, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Malkin mocked the suicides of three prisoners at a U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying "the reaction to the suicides should be, 'Boo-freakin-hoo.'"
- On December 4, 2006, Think Progress noted that a video was being propagated on Malkin's Hot Air website of an anonymous C-SPAN viewer who called former President Jimmy Carter "a bigot and a racist and an anti-Semite," and accused him of "cozying up with every dictator, thug, Islamic terrorist there is." Like the story on the Edwards campaign bloggers, that story was picked up by the mainstream media, being aired MSNBC.
Additionally, the War Room article that connected Malkin to the hyping of the controversy noted that Malkin "has long maintained ties to VDARE," which publishes her columns on their website. As Colorado Media Matters has noted, a July 15 Rocky Mountain News investigative article described VDARE.com as a "white nationalist Web site." Peter Brimelow, who operates the site through his nonprofit organization, the Center for American Unity, responded in an op-ed in the Rocky Mountain News, saying that "the merest glance [at VDARE.com] would show that we are not 'white nationalist.' " Brimelow added, "We also publish on VDARE.com a few writers -- for example, Jared Taylor -- whom I would regard as 'white nationalist,' in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites." Similarly, as Media Matters has noted, Brimelow asserted in response to a letter to VDARE.com that "VDARE.COM is obviously not a 'White Supremacist' site, if for no other reason than that it publishes non-whites. We do publish writers who could fairly be described as 'white nationalists,' in that they explicitly defend the interests of American whites." According to an article by Brimelow on the website, VDARE is named for Virginia Dare, the first child of English descent born in the New World in the 16th century.