National Enquirer -- hats off

Dateline: Sun 24 Jan 2010

Chris Matthews of Hardball acknowledged Thursday that John Edwards was a less-than-credible candidate when he was running for vice president with John Kerry in 2004. Fair enough.

What was astonishing was Matthews' revelation that he personally never once saw the North Carolina Democrat read a newspaper or frankly, anything at all, during the days they flew around the country and traveled together, when Matthews was part of a coterie covering the campaign. Nor was the handsome haircut hunk up to speed on policy positions. Matthews' point? Nobody in the press corps blew Edwards' cover, or perhaps, more accurately, nobody apparently asked very many hard questions of the candidate -- including, presumably, Matthews. Can we say the ladies and gents of the press were co-opted?

Matthews, in his spiel, was playing off the new tell-all political book, "Game Change," by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. In the book, Edwards -- the butt of everyone's jokes now, it seems -- was referred to as a "hick" by his wife Elizabeth, who added that her husband never reads books -- she does, but he did not, she said.

The book, which I have not read, gets down and dirty about several campaigns and politicians. But as Matthews asked the two authors, who were guests on his show, "Why couldn't you write this BEFORE the election?" (The dirt on Edwards, as everyone knows by now, is not only that he was a "hick," but that he had a god-awful marriage, that his wife Elizabeth is more shrew than saint, and that his affair with whats-her-name was both tacky AND destructive, not only to his marriage but to him as a person. Still, the overall point ...nobody at the time was writing about what a rotter Edwards was -- and apparently, a poser at that.)

Aha. Except the National Enquirer.

Yes, this is a defense of the supermarket tabloid, which I usually do not buy because I can't afford it -- $3.69 is the sticker price -- and because it's often nothing more than a dreadful expose of Hollywood garbage, or worse. Sometimes, it's slanderous.

But when it comes to getting the scoop on Edwards, the Enquirer delivered the goods -- by breaking the story first of his affair, then getting photos of him with the baby he had with whats-her-name, etc etc etc.

There's a reason some forward-thinking journalists over at Huff Post and elsewhere are suggesting, perhaps tongue in cheek, perhaps not, that the Enquirer should win a Pulitzer for its Edwards coverage.

I won't go that far. But if the MSM took upon itself a mission to be watchdog and grand inquisitor, employing the same vigor the Enquirer does, we'd have a much more lively newspaper industry. And perhaps, in addition to serving democracy, we'd see more papers thriving rather than barely surviving.

BTW the Enquirer is now reporting that Elizabeth Edwards is filing for divorce, and John Edwards -- a truly sad case -- is reduced to trying to score with girls as young as his daughter. You can thank me later for saving you $3.69, or you can scan it yourself at the checkout counter.








Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

The ones we should pity are his children -- all of 'em (there are probably more out there, given his history).

What a rotten legacy in the age of the internet, to have it known that your father is a liar and a cheat.

2010-01-24 23:28:19

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Damn, Cynical, I hadn't thought about that. There probably are more children out there. Ala Hudnut, Burton, et al...a chilling thought.

I never knew the Enquirer cost, Ruthie, but my gramma bought it faithfully every week for amusement. She was a faithful hometown newspaper subscriber til her death--The Muncie Star. Has it always been proportionately priced over "regular" newspapers? Gramma was notoriously cheap, and I can't imagine her paying the 70s equivalent of $3.69. Well, not so much cheap, as thrifty, being a Depression baby.

Edwards's appeal never made sense to me, beyond the physical. And the level of deceptioninvolved here was phenominal. Perhaps criminal, if the wrong funds were used for the mistress. He even invovled Andrew Young in the lie, and got Andrew to tell folks he may be the father. OK, that was clearly stupid. FOr obvious reasons.

Clearly, JE is a handsome guy. His DC jogging partner on many occasions was our junior senator. Who, I'm told, purposely kept their friendship at arm's length. He had premonitions, I'm told.

That said, don't dump too hard on Kerry-Edwards. I shudder to think how much better we'd have been, candidates' personal battles aside, with just one less Bush term. The depth of deceit to which Bush's neocon cronies went, perhaps without W's knowledge, was astounding. Especiall yin that second term. Emboldened arrogance is ugly. It became institutionalized at Justice--where lawyers frequently asked for the White House's desired legal opinion before they wrote the document. Working backward form the desired answer became SOP. Recent graduates of diploma mills like Liberty U. Law, were given high-ranking positions of influence.

To say nothing of the foreign policy shrapnel.

So, in retrospect, a Vice President's philandering, or a President's rich wife, might have been preferable.

Although this Edwards thing does seem pretty ugly.

Another Gramma OOL ("Observation of Life"): whenever a handsome man has a, uh....let's just say less-handsome wife--there is usually philandering.

God I hate those kinds of generalities, but it usually seems spot-on. Damn it.

Poor Emma Claire and Jack. It looks like they may be without mamma at some time in the near future. And a dad who is a clod.

PK (political kids) always get the leftover crap.

2010-01-25 07:47:17

hendy [Member] said:

Men are wired differently than women. That said, a vow is a vow. Broken vows are all too common.

But JE was a different kind of Democrat, and loathed by the Birchers, which makes him likeable in an 'enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of way. Backhanded faint praise at best. Philip K Dick, the madman Californian SciFi writer once wrote an alternate history series regarding what might be if the Germans had one in WWII. I wonder what would have happened if Kerry or Gore might have won. Would Bin Laden be alive? Would we be in an endless war with a faceless enemy?

Otherwise, the Enquirer's a pithy rag at best. Some newsprint will always have a few good investigators and journalists. Then the EIC will put what we were all really interested in anyway onto the front page, which is whether Bradgelina will break up or not.

2010-01-25 11:02:22

DwightSchrute [Member] said:

Don't demean the status of the Pulitzer Prize by giving it to the Enquirer! That would be a grave injustice. So they broke one story. Big deal.

2010-01-25 11:28:55

whosear [Member] said:


The Enquier has been right on many scandalous stories, the two most recent being Edwards and Woods. They exist because a hunger for their words exist.

To Tell the Truth: While I'm an idependent who never repeats his mistakes, voted for him the first time, then Kerry. a( never said I replace a mistake with a correction), we do face the threat of the Union (funny how Indiana history and a family icon leads me to be what I am), your characterization of the deceit of the neocons (I think that they were gravely misguided, and GW's second term instituted more effective policies such as cultural antropologists in Afgahnistan and Iraq (too bad they weren't part of the intitial analysis of the ill-fated invasion of Iraq) that at least allowed for less killing of our troops.

I am curious, how do you imagine the Kerry-Edwards administration? Keep in mind that I consider Kerry is captive to the, "Lost War Syndrome" as much as Senator McCain.

2010-01-25 15:43:41

VladTheImpaler [unverified] said:

Contrast the media's uniquisitiveness about Edwards during the campaign with the rectal exam given VP candidate Dan Quayle.

Or Dan Blather's Capt. Ahab-like obsessiveness about incumbent W. Bush's National Guard service during the 1960s.

Some of it we can blame perhaps on the Lite News phenomenon brought on by the f@#$#@! Web, the rest to media coziness to Dems.

A fascist government taking control of a USA spriraling into a British Empire-esque decline could make a compelling case that constitutional protection of the press is no longer warranted.

2010-01-25 17:05:10

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Well, Whosear, to answer your question:

I think a Kerry administration would have been better than a second W term. Perhaps more contemplative and perhaps vulnerable on many points.

"Allowed for less killing of our troops?" Are you SERIOUS with that drivel?

That's akin to the old line: "I stopped beating my head with a hammer because it felt good when I stopped."

Plainly stated: Iraq was a testosterone-driven misadventure which should never have happened. Bush-Cheney not only started a fight, they executed it poorly at best.

It's a mixed blessing economy-wise: this war has been costly, and war profiteers have done their usual thing (Blackwater, Halliburton, et al). Without a bloated Pentagon budget, our economy would be even worse. Imagine that.

If the initial reason for entering Iraq was as stated (a a despot murdering dictator), then I can name eight global nations who need our immediate intervention.

Yeah, I'd take Kerry and the cheating Edwards. Ain't that a hell of a choice? And if not for some highly irregular vote counts in Ohio, we would've had it.

2010-01-26 05:11:23

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Journos like the boys who wrote Game Change, who know a candidate is a complete wanker, have a responsibility to report on this BEFORE the goddamn election. As it is, they save up their jucies until they can cop a book deal after the election, no matter the outcome.

2010-01-31 08:17:22

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