Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Greensboro N&R to Edwards: "Something, anything?"

Excerpts from a Greensboro News & Record editorial today with my comments below the star line.

The N&O begins - - -

Tabloid allegations have trickled into mainstream media outlets concerning an alleged affair involving former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and a former campaign videographer. . . .

Here is what we know: The National Enquirer has reported that Edwards, a Democrat, had the affair and fathered a child as a result. "SEN. JOHN EDWARDS CAUGHT WITH MISTRESS AND LOVE CHILD!" a headline screamed in blazing red letters two weeks ago.

Considering the source, who knows what's true? Is part of it? None of it?

Meanwhile, some bloggers have instantly assumed the reports to be correct and have wondered out loud why others haven't followed suit in excoriating Edwards as a shameless philanderer.

But fairness and common decency call for separating fact from fiction before passing any judgment, if there's any judgment to be passed.

Even though the Enquirer isn't as reckless and far-fetched as it once was, The Washington Post or New York Times it definitely isn't. Getting sued for getting things wrong still is de rigueur there - a cost of doing business.

Edwards has described the report as tabloid trash and "completely untrue," as has the woman, Rielle Hunter, 44. A former campaign fundraiser for Edwards, Andrew Young, the married father of three, stepped forward in December 2007 and said he was the father of the child, whose birth certificate still lists no father.

The Enquirer reported on July 21(It was July 22. - - JinC) that Edwards had been spotted entering Hunter's room in a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel. When reporters confronted him, the Enquirer contends, Edwards sought refuge in a basement rest room and had to be escorted out by hotel security.

Edwards has since been cool to reporters, whose questions he avoided twice last week after a speech in Washington.

This has been a difficult story to pin down because the Enquirer is hardly a paragon of journalistic integrity. The allegations are especially sensitive because Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, is battling an incurable form of cancer.

That said, Edwards isn't helping his cause by not standing up to the charges and by playing hide-and-seek with reporters. . . .

As a man who has waged two campaigns for president and might well have been vice president, Edwards should clear the air and set the record straight.

The entire N&R editorial’s here.


As far as I know, the N&R is the first North Carolina daily to editorially call on Edwards to speak about the contents of the most recent National Enquirer reports which include events the NE said occurred at the Beverly Hilton Hotel the night of July 21/22 and, in the follow-up report, events concerning the child and money allegedly regularly paid to Hunter.

If you know of another NC newspaper that has already done so, please let me know and I’ll update.

I commend the N&R for telling Edwards he “should clear the air and set the record straight.”

The N&R is right when it says “some bloggers have instantly assumed the reports to be correct and have wondered out loud why others haven't followed suit in excoriating Edwards as a shameless philanderer.”

But I wish the N&R had also let its readers know there are many bloggers like myself who from the beginning have pointed out how easily major portions of the NE reports can be confirmed or refuted. ( NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable )

Has any MSM publication or station reported interviewing or attempting to interview Bill McGovern?

The NE's July 22 story reported McGovern's a friend of Hunter’s who drove her from Santa Barbara to the Beverly Hilton where he watched over the baby in one room while Edwards and Hunter had their tryst in another room?

Given the many hundreds of reporters at papers and stations in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, why aren't we reading of at least attempts to interview McGovern?

As for “excoriating Edwards as a shameless philanderer,” so far I’ve not done that, but there may come a day when I will.

Right now I'm doing something I think is much more important.

Since I began covering the story I've been reminding JinC readers that, absent a full exposure by MSM and a full, fact-based explanation by Edwards of what the NE is reporting, Edwards is in a position where he could easily be subjected to blackmail.

I’ve been very critical of MSM for leaving Edwards in such a position and leaving Americans in the dark about it.

I've also said repeatedly I think MSM would have covered the story very differently from the beginning had Edwards been a right-leaning Republican instead of a left-leaning Democrat and favorite of the NY Times and Sen. Obama.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that were this a Republican the coverage would be different. I also believe that there is a reluctance to downplay this because of Elizabeth Edwards health issues. That being said, there is still no excuse for the msm not to try to get to the truth (isn't that what journalists claim to want to do?). Edwards was not only a nominated candidate for the office of vice-president and served as a senator for the state of North Carolina, he also ran a campaign to secure the nomination for the presidency this year and still has committed delegates to the convention. I would assume that he will be a speaker at the convention in which he will expound on those themes that were the basis of his campaign. While his name has suddenly disappeared from the list of possible vp picks (a result of the Rielle love-child rumors?) there is a possibility, given his place in the Democratic party structure, that he will be awarded some governmental position. FOr those reasons alone then, the story should be pursued.
One other note, there is a tendency, when the sexual transgressions happen to be committed by Democrats to conviently dop any reference to the Democrat party - recall in the Spitzer mess that one was not treated to reading accounts of the Democratic governor of New York, Elliot Spitzer, rather he was referred to as just the governor. THis led many (a least out where I live) to assume that Spitzer was another hypocritical Republican. Neither party has a corner on hypocrisy or on virtue. It is the press that seems to want to paint the political world as all white and holiness for Democrats and balck and evil for Republicans. Unfortunately, the color grey is best used for both.

NDLax84 said...

Even though the Enquirer isn't as reckless and far-fetched as it once was, The Washington Post or New York Times it definitely isn't.

Too funny.