Shorter "What Would Hawthorne Say About L'Affaire Marcotte?":
Conclusion 1: The Latter-Day Puritanism of the right-wing critics of John Edwards's new bloggers (ably led by such fair and balanced sources as Michelle Malkin and Bill Donohue), with their attempts to affix such scarlet letters as AC (anti-Catholic), IH (intolerant hypocrite), and PM (potty mouth) to them, are part of a long-standing yet ever-more-efficient smear machine of "public women" (cf. Anita Hill, Lani Guinier, Patricia Williams....);
Conclusion 2: The Concern Trolling stance taken in the course of the national media's transmission of the right-wing noise machine (in such beacons of journalistic integrity and quality as The New York Times and Time) are a repetition of Hawthorne's narrators' strategies of representing Anne Hutchinson in "Mrs. Hutchinson" and Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter;
Conclusion 3: Lauren Berlant's analysis of the "Another View of Hester" chapter of Hawthorne's novel in The Anatomy of National Fantasy suggests that, as easily mockable as both Greater Wingnuttia and the corporate media are, the traditions they are drawing on run all the way back to the antinomian crisis, if not further, so we need to call attention to this bigger picture as we continue to beat down the manufactured scandal du jour.
Now to see about recovering the original post that new Blogger ate when I tried to save it!