From Mike Williams letter today - - -
So I open the N&O with my morning cup of coffee and am assured by Executive Editor John Drescher that the “Edwards coverage [was] aggressive but fair”:
…we quickly sent a reporter to New York, where Hunter then lived, to report on the allegations…but were unable to interview Hunter or to confirm the affair. So we did not publish a story…
The Enquirer reported that Hunter was pregnant and had moved to a gated community in Chapel Hill. It also reported that Andrew Young, an Edwards aide, and Hunter said Young was the father…But we still were unable to establish that Edwards had an affair with Hunter, and we did not publish a story….
We sent an N&O reporter to California to confirm the [Beverly Hills] confrontation and to interview Young and Hunter, who were living separately in Santa Barbara. We were unable to confirm the confrontation or to interview Hunter or Young. At one point, our Lorenzo Perez was chased out of Young's neighborhood by sheriff's deputies. [So Drescher's N&O decided not publish a story.]
We wanted to give Edwards a chance to respond to the allegations, but we could not reach him. That wasn't unusual. We've had a poor relationship with Edwards and his top staffers for years. [Now that’s news to me.] ….
Thanks, Mike. Were you able to avoid dropping your coffee cup as you read Deascher's column?
Folks, N&O executive editor for news John Drescher can huff and puff all he wants about the N&O “aggressive but fair” Edwards Scandal coverage.
The fact is the N&O never mentioned Edwards' affair with Hunter until July 31; and then only in a small item buried in the “B” section that reported Edwards refusal to answer a reporter’s questions the previous day in Washington.
The reporter who chased Edwards down works for the Charlotte Observer which reported the story the N&O based its item on.
The following day, Aug. 1, the N&O published, again in the “B” section, a story reporting Hunter’s baby’s birth certificate had been located and listed no father.
The Charlotte Observer located the birth certificate and reported the story which the N&O, like many other papers, picked up and published.
It was Charlotte Observer reporter Mark Johnson’s Aug. 7 story, picked up by MSM news orgs nationwide, which quoted by name top Dem operatives urging Edwards to speak publicly about the Enquirer’s story or risk losing a speaker’s spot at the Dem’s convention that forced Edwards to finally make at least a partial disclosure the next day on ABC’s Nightline.
The Charlotte Observer, more than any other mainstream newspaper, is responsible for moving the Edwards Scandal story beyond a “new media” audience and bringing it to a broader public’s attention.
At every turn the Observer beat the pants of the N&O.
Editor Drescher would better serve his readers and his profession by admitting that.
But instead he writes a self-justifying column that should have been titled, “Excuses, excuses.”