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Aug 17, 2008

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John The Catholic

I can see your point why the mainstream media would be cautious with a story from the National Enquirer. But he New York Times went to press with evidence just as sketchy on the alleged affair that John McCain was having with a female lobbyist.

And nothing Ed Cone wrote defending the mainstream media talked me out of believing that the NY Times, Wash. Post et al would have shown the same restraint if the former presidential candidate in question was named Mitt Romney and not John Edwards.

Spag

"Where was the curiosity about the original report of an affair, which broke last year, and the unusual details of Rielle Hunter's business arrangement with the campaign? "

It wasn't on Ed Cone's blog. Where was the curiosity?

justcorbly

If you're inclined to interpret almost any event to sustain the myth that "the media" both exists as an entity and is consciously and deliberately out to get right-wingers, then the Edwards affair is fine fodder.

The Enquirer pays people to tell stories. People often lie when they're paid to tell a story. Hence, the Enquirer's less-than-perfect record defending against lawsuits and, hence, the hesitancy of the legitimate press to start running the Enquirer stories. In fact, the payment of sources by the Enquirer corrupts the newsgathering process and discourages sources from talking with other reporters. It's been noted that when reporters from legitimate newspapers did track down sources on the Edwards affair, they were likely to be told that they'd need to up the Enquirer' ante.

It's also worth noting two other things: One, the Enquirer was not the source for the NYT's reporting on McCain and the lobbyist. Two, those who take as a matter of faith that "the media" protects "the left" ought to ask why the bastions of right-wing media didn't chase it down, either.

Ed Cone

I looked as deeply into the initial report on Edwards as I did into the "report" that Bush was drinking again.

One hears rumors all the time about prominent politicians having affairs, including politicians from NC.

Dave Ribar

Ed:

Nice column.

Roger Greene

I'm only amazed at the large number of North Carolinians who failed to see through him long before any of this came out about his affair. He always came across as a blatant phony. His attendance in the Senate while representing us was abysmal. His poverty center in Chapel Hill was merely a front to finance his presidential ambitions. He worked at a hedge fund to find out how all that affected poverty. Yeah, right. The only part of his shtick that I bought was his family values, though I often thought he was handsome enough to attract a lot of groupies and wondered if he'd succumbed. I'm only surprised he didn't tell us his affair was research into lost virginity and how it affected poor people.

justcorbly

Roger, the world is populated with far more cheating spouses than we will ever know. If the ability to prove faithfulness to a spouse becomes a sine qua non for public service, we'll reduce the pool of people willing to put up with all the crap candidates take to something even smaller and less representative than it already is.

I wonder, though, if McCain's bout of philandering had been discovered a few weeks ago, what would the right-wing be doing now? Is admitting cheating a few weeks before a convention more damning than admitting cheating several years before a convention?

In any case, I'll happily vote for a cheat who agrees with me before I'll vote for a saint who doesn't.

Spag

"I looked as deeply into the initial report on Edwards as I did into the "report" that Bush was drinking again."

Funny, I don't recall a post from you about the initial report about Edwards, and yet here you are saying the press didn't do their job when that initial report came out. Maybe they only went as far as you did using the same logic you cite in the quote above.

SamH

Ed- You've said twice now that if Edwards should get credit for doing anything, it should be for beating Lauch Faircloth, but you haven't stated what your beef with Faircloth is. I'm just curious.

Ed Cone

Sorry, stated it in another thread.

My biggest problem with Sen. Faircloth, a hog farmer, was his unstinting advocacy for industrial hog-farming, which, you may remember, was a pressing issue at the time.

Faircloth, who married a Greensboro girl (one of Joe Bryan's daughters) and against whom I have no special animosity, didn't seem to be a very effective advocate for North Carolina. The irony, noted in my column, is that Edwards didn't do much for us in the Senate, either.

Little-known and wholly inconsequential fact: one of the precipitating events in my decision to move my column from the Rhino Times to the N&R was John Hammer's decree that I couldn't call our Senator "Lauch 'Pigpen' Faircloth." I was on my way out the door anyway, but given that half the fun of writing for an alt-weekly is the ability to perpetrate that kind of irreverence, leaving became all the easier.

SamH

I must have missed that thread.

Agreed that the spill certainly didn't help Faircloth. The reason why I asked --and maybe I read wrong --- is the assumption that removing Faircloth from office was ---generally speaking----- a good thing, as opposed to just politics.

Beelzebubba

Ed: If we couldn't poke fun at power seekers, power holders and power mongers they might begin to take themselves seriously. Menchen observed that the urge to save humanity is a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power seekers always search for the least protected. If a person aspires to power this is the best indication he cannot be entrusted with it.

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