N&O public editor Ted Vaden tells readers he’s their “advocate“ and “watchdog at the paper.”
With that in mind, consider the following:
On Dec. 16, 2007 Vaden defended the N&O's frequent stories puffing John Edwards:
The paper gives disproportionate attention to John Edwards because he is a hometown candidate who still has a decent shot at being president of These United States.Just two months before Vaden defended the N&O’s “disproportionate attention” to its hometown candidate [with] a decent shot at being president of These United States,” Edwards was forced to publicly deny reports of his affair with Rielle Hunter.
And right at the time Vaden’s Dec. 16 column was published, a pregnant Hunter denied Edwards was the father. A close Edwards aide and friend, Andrew Young, announced he was.
You can read more about Edwards' affair in this National Enquirer story.
But neither Edwards’ October denial or Hunter’s December denial and Young’s “I’m the father” claim made it into the N&O.
It seems there are certain limits to the “disproportionate attention” the N&O gives its “hometown” presidential candidate.
In fact, the N&O editors blacked-out any mention of Edwards' affair until July 31, when the liberal/leftist paper finally published a story with few details (it didn’t even mention Hunter by name) and buried the story in the “B” section.
On Aug. 3, 2008 Vaden devoted his column to defending the N&O’s almost year-long news blackout.
He ended his column with this:
Yes, Edwards has been mentioned as a vice presidential candidate, although this controversy makes that less likely. But he is now, after all, a private figure, and there's a point where examining his sex life doesn't serve a public interest and risks turning a respectable newspaper into "The News and Enquirer."Is it any wonder political insiders refer to the N&O
as Edwards' "back pocket newspaper?"
The N&O's news blackout of the Edwards affair was certainly a great service to Edwards, an N&O reader.
But I can't see how it served the rest of us N&O readers.
I just reported and commented.
Now you decide: Does public editor Ted Vaden serve readers?