The mainstream media's reaction to the National Enquirer's reports on John Edwards' "love child" scandal has been reminiscent of the Soviet press. Edwards' name has simply been completely whitewashed out of the news. Say, why isn't anyone talking about John Edwards for vice president anymore? No, seriously -- hey! Why are we going to a commercial break?
I suspect that if I tried to look up coverage of the Democratic primaries in Nexis news archives, Edwards' name will have disappeared from the debates. By next week, Edwards won't have been John Kerry's running mate in 2004.
Do you know what this means? At this precise moment in time, I could call Edwards a name that would send me to rehab, and the media wouldn't be able to report it!
A Washington Post reporter defended the total blackout on the National Enquirer's John Edwards' love child story, telling the Times of London: "Edwards is no longer an elected official and he is not running for office now. Don't expect wall-to-wall coverage." This was the perfect guy to talk to because if there's one thing they're careful about in London, it's tabloid excess.
Isn't there some level of coverage between "wall-to-wall" and "double-secret probation, delta-force level total news blackout" when it comes to a sex scandal involving a current Democratic vice presidential and Cabinet prospect?
Hey, what sort of "elected official" was Ted Haggard again? He was the Christian minister no one outside of his own parish had ever heard of until he was caught in a gay sex scandal last year. Then he suddenly became the Pope of the Protestants. And yet, despite the fact that Haggard was not an "elected official," the Post gave that story wall-to-wall coverage. And what sort of "elected officials" were Mel Gibson, Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennett?
The MSM justify banner coverage of the smallest malfeasance by any Christian or conservative, with or without independent verification, with the lame excuse of "hypocrisy." Hey, why didn't you say so! If all it takes to get the Edwards story into the establishment press is a little hypocrisy, boy, have I got a story for you!
Based on information currently saturating the Internet: (1) The entire schmaltzy Edwards campaign consisted of this self-professed moralist telling us how much he loved the poor and loved his cancer-stricken wife; (2) the following was Edwards' response to CBS News anchor Katie Couric's question about whether voters should care if a presidential candidate is faithful to his spouse:
"Of course. I mean, for a lot of Americans -- including the family that I grew up with, I mean, it's fundamental to how you judge people and human character -- whether you keep your word, whether you keep what is your ultimate word, which is that you love your spouse, and you'll stay with them. ... I think the most important qualities in a president in today's world are trustworthiness -- sincerity, honesty, strength of leadership. And -- and certainly that goes to a part of that."
There you have it, boys: Go to town, MSM!
Moreover, the National Enquirer reports that Edwards is paying Rielle Hunter -- the former "Lisa Druck" -- $15,000 a month in "hush money." Shouldn't the IRS be investigating whether Edwards is deducting those payments as a "business expense"?
Maybe The Washington Post didn't hear about the Enquirer catching Edwards in a hotel with his mistress and love child since it happened way out in the sleepy little burg of Los Angeles near the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards -- you know, the middle of nowhere. But surely the public can count on the Los Angeles Times to report on a tabloid scandal occurring under its very nose.
Kausfiles produced this e-mail from an L.A. Times editor to its bloggers soon after the Enquirer's stakeout of Edwards visiting the alleged mistress and love child at the Beverly Hilton:
From: "Pierce, Tony"
Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT
Subject: john edwards
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.
Hey, I have a story idea I think the L.A. Times might like: How about something on the glorious workers' revolution that will restore the means of production to the people and create a workers' paradise right here on Earth, free of the shackles of capitalism?
I assume it would be jejune to point out that the MSM would be taking the wall-to-wall approach, rather than the total blackout approach, to the love child story if it were a story about Mitt Romney's love child or, indeed, Larry Craig's love child. They'd bring Ted Koppel out of retirement to cover that. Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson would be anchoring the evening news from Romney's front yard. They might even get Dan Rather to produce some forged documents for the occasion.
But with a Democrat sex scandal, the L.A. Times is in a nail-biting competition with The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, NBC and CBS for the Pulitzer for "Best Suppressed Story."