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John Edwards Affair

Is the John Edwards Love Child Story Newsworthy?

OK, I'm sure you've heard. John Edwards may or may not have a mistress and a love child. I've had my fingers crammed in my ears, doing the la-la-la-can't-hear-you song, all week. But now this weird meta story has developed from the whole affair (ahem): should the media be covering it — and if not, what does that mean?

The story was originally broken by the National Enquirer — Edwards was supposedly caught visiting his mistress and love child at an LA hotel. (The reporters have since filed criminal charges.) In the double whammy of who the source is, and the scandalous topic, some news outlets have run with it, some dropped it like a hot potato, and some have been banned from talking about it.

Fox ran an update yesterday with the hotel guard saying that when Edwards found out about the reporters, "his face just went totally white." Some at Slate are asking why the MSM isn't covering the story, citing a double standard (why Larry Craig and not Edwards). The Daily Kos says it's right not to cover it considering the source, and the LA Times issued a memo banning their bloggers from writing about the story.

Is it a cover-up or a double standard? Does the story need more investigation? Or is it just good judgment to let the story go?


Join The Conversation
WhiteGirl WhiteGirl 9 years
He's a jerk! And I have no sympathy for his wife who stood behind and wanted us to vote for a man she knew was a liar and cheat! He couldn't even stay true to his cancer ridden wife! He couldn't even be depended on to stay loyal to her in a time where she needed him most...and he's supposed to be there for us and try to make out lives better?? Yeah, right. He's in it for himself, just like most politicians. They want a paycheck for doing NOTHING.
juju4 juju4 9 years
Sad but true - people cheat on their spouses. For some reason the media loves to sensationalize when politicians are unfaithful to their spouses. Most of the time, it results in the politician not being re-elected. It doesn't make any sense to me. If they are breaking the law, then that is something totally different, but in most cases the person's ability to do their job hasn't changed....just America's perception of their morality. I found out that the IS director at my old job was cheating on his wife, and has now left his wife and kids. Did this mean that he was not as knowledgable about Information Systems as he was before? No. He made choices in his private life, but they did not impede on his ability to do his job. In John Edwards' case, I just feel awful for his wife and family. The betrayal must sting 100x worse because she is dying.
kelly77 kelly77 9 years
Regarding John Edwards, I have listened to news radio, read articles and watched the news. I belive that all of us should let this be. Mr. Edwards wife has forgiven her husband. This is between them. Most importantly Mrs. Edwards has terminal cancer, and deserves all things positive in her life to help maintain her health. This is none of are business, let them be.
beavis667 beavis667 9 years
Heh, how wrong were you Bluedimon3 and the rest of you liberals about this? He came out and admitted it. He's still lying. Seems marital infidelity is part of the platform of Democrats these days.
Bluedimon3 Bluedimon3 9 years
WOW!!!!! National Enquirer!!! Everyone knows if it's in the Enquirer it just HAS to be true! Sorta like 'if it's on the web it has to be true'. What a lot of hoopla about another nothing story. Why not take a step back and wait, if there is anything to it, it will be disclosed sooner or later. It is, however, a story that FAUX SKEWS couldn't wait to jump on. Oh well, I'm gonna sit back and wait(and not spread any rumors). On the other hand, is MSM biased?? The answer to that is YES, some on the liberal side and some on the conservative side. Have fun debating something that isn't worth debating(yet).
piper23 piper23 9 years
He's icky. With or without a love child.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Anyway, if the story is ever proven, which is unlikely, since things like this are difficult to prove, I have no problem with legitimate news sources reporting on it. Until then, I think it should stay with the tabloids.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think we are all glossing over the real "love child scandal" here. Did anyone see Michael Lohan's alleged daughter? I mean, clearly that is much more important than John Edwards' alleged love child! :P
lula29 lula29 9 years
^^Right with Larry Craig, he solicited sex in public, which is a crime, which goes on public record, which becomes public information, which is then is open to any news source which choose to report on it. Being that it's crime and news sources report crimes, however embarrassing to the family, unfortunately it's considered hard news. As far as John Edwards, people are already making all sorts of assumptions about what they think they know based on gossip and innuendo. No one knows the inner workings of the Edwards' marraige, and since there is no hard evidence and no crime committed it should be left to the gossip rags. Everyone's assuming some sort of cover up on the part of John Edwards, how do you know Elizabeth Edwards isn't the one hushing the mess up? It's their private business. She is ill. It's something best left for the Edwards' family to deal with supposing it's true.
pickle pickle 9 years
I think the illegal aspect of Craig's behavior had a lot to do with solicitation for sex in public -- he wasn't looking to go to a hotel, he was looking to share a bathroom stall. Although how to prove that without finding him "in flagrante" I don't know. Maybe that's why such a big deal was made about the pattern and type of signals he used? But that's why the cops were there to begin with, it was a known cruising spot.
Bettyjane Bettyjane 9 years
Hunter, I still say it isn't any of our business. When the thing with Larry Craig happened I felt so bad for his family. It is just not right for the media to make a buck off of a family's misfortune. So, as far as I am concerned it doesnt matter what party you are from. It is just a sad situation all around :(
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
You are going to say this is not the case, however what if it was Mitt Romney who was rumored to be the father of a child out of wedlock? He is no longer running for president, but is still in the public eye.
GLB67 GLB67 9 years
Janneth said it best!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Thanks javsmav that's pretty much what I thought but since the officer answered in kind and showed interest my question would be how could it be considered "offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others." As for the looking through the crack of the stall door there in lie the shades of grey. If he stopped and peered into the stall with his eye against the crack then yeah, but if it was just a glance as he says just to see if the stall was occupied then no big deal. Getting back to John Edwards if the allegations are true how foolish of him to arrange to meet this lady in the most high profile paparazzi magnet hotel like The Beverly Hilton. Those fools camp out there and he should have known better.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
hypnoticmix--one of Larry Craig's charges was basically invading the officer's privacy by trying to look at him while he was in the bathroom stall. Apparently, before he entered his own stall, LC was trying to get a glimpse of the officer, so that seems reasonable. The other charge is a little more tenuous. It was for disorderly conduct--which says: ". . . (3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others." Maybe the foot tap/touch thing is offensive? Sliding your hand under the stall? I'm not sure how they concluded his conduct was disorderly. Asking another person in public if they want to go have sex in private is certainly not illegal. if it were, we'd have to arrest pretty much everyone in bars/clubs across the country. This picture of JE now looks creepy under the title. This really isn't news. We should all know by now that politicians are sleazy. They cheat on their spouses, take money from corporations, get involved in wars for personal reasons. It's already established that McCain is sketchy, it's only a matter of time before Obama's sordid past comes to light. I guess JE's lovechild should be reported when there are facts. But so should that women in the trailer park who gave birth to the alien twins.
stephley stephley 9 years
This is said to be the email message LA Times bloggers got from the editor: From: "Pierce, Tony" Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT To: [XXX] Subject: john edwards Hey bloggers, There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified. If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don't hesitate to ask --------------- Slate says audiences should be allowed to make up their minds about these things. I don't believe the public right to know is so sweeping that any rumor about a politician can fairly be aired.
Bettyjane Bettyjane 9 years
Undave, the whole thing is very strange. When trying to do more research on it I found that like everyone else has said there is NOTHING on mainstream media about this story. There are however opinion blogs from the LA times website that supposedly banned all blogs about the subject. And some of the blogs are recent. One of the blogs even has an "update" saying something like the blogs were taken down but upon internal discussion put back up. The whole thing is weird. I don't know if Edwards did anything or not but as far as material that is out there to support it there isn't much. There are a lot of blogs about it, opinions etc. but nothing about the evidence. The National Enquirer says they have pictures and video but have not posted them anywhere. If anyone has anymore links or info please link it.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
You know what I never understood the (law) surrounding Sen. Craig's circumstances. Why is it illegal to ask some one in a public restroom if they want to have sex? Now don't get me wrong I certainly understand why it is illegal to commit the act of sex in a public restroom, or to offer $ for sex which would be prostitution. But for instance if Sen. Craig sees a hot guy in a restroom and there's obvious mutual interest I just don't see what is so wrong with saying hey you wanna go....???? As long as they take it some where like, get a room, I dont' see what the problem is.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm intersted in finding out why people were banned from talking about it.
Bettyjane Bettyjane 9 years
"Ask me this AFTER someone besides Fox News and National Enquirer reports on it." Exactly!
JennaV JennaV 9 years
Ask me this AFTER someone besides Fox News and National Enquirer reports on it.
lula29 lula29 9 years
Newsworthy no, gossip worthy, yes, hence the fact a gossip rag, The National Enquirer, reported on it. If The National Enquirer wants to devote resources to further investigate the story, they should go for it. This type of gossip is right up their alley. Do I want any further investigation from a news source? No, because new sources report facts, and gossip rags report gossip and innuendo. It's sad to me that people consider gossip mags like The National Enquirer legitimate sources of news. No wonder the rest of the media has dumb itself down.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"get the facts then report the story" "In this respect this case is different from Larry Craig. The source in the Larry Craig story was credible, the police." I agree with both of these statements!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
For me, I just put no faith what so ever in the National Enquirer. Since they are the leading source on this topic, an no other outlet has found anything else to confirm this story...I am taking a pass on it. Overall, I really don't care about politician's love lives. Seriously. If the story is true, his wife is going to be hurting. I don't really see that it would make that much difference to anyone but his wife and kids.
stephley stephley 9 years
I agree Laine, dealing with this head-on is the only smart thing Edwards can do. He did deny the claim last year - and Amanda's right, someone else has said they are the child's father. If they're telling the truth, just say it again now. "what do they teach in journalism schools nowadays???" Obviously I'm not in school now but I know that as I was ending my career, 'what people want to know' and 'what are they talking about around the water cooler/over the back fence' were becoming more important to the executive producers - hearings were boring, financial investigations cost too much. It was becoming less about leading the discussions and more about being able to join in and appear relevant. The reality is money - if the guy airing the dirty linen is getting the viewers, what do you do?
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