Damn It

John Edwards has confirmed that he cheated on Elizabeth Edwards, his cancer-struggling wife.

Barry and I were just musing on this topic this afternoon, before the press conference was held. We remained skeptical. Only the right wing press took the National Enquirer story seriously, because they hate his populist $400 haircut, or whatever, and they will believe anything about liberal politicians, so long as it’s negative. The mainstream press had only noted the National Enquirer story, but had not taken it seriously and didn’t investigate it.

A number of news organizations with resources far greater than The Enquirer’s, like The New York Times, say they looked into the Edwards matter and found nothing solid enough to report, while others did not look at all.

Some of their comments point to a lack of interest in a story about the private conduct of an also-ran presidential candidate, and a distaste for following the lead of a publication they hold in low esteem. Only in Mr. Edwards’s home state, North Carolina, did newspapers aggressively chase the story in the last few weeks.


The New York Times looked into the Enquirer reports last fall, though none too aggressively, editors said.

Bill Keller, the executive editor, said in an e-mail message that Mr. Edwards’s dark-horse status and the “added hold-your-nose quality about The Enquirer” contributed to the lack of interest by The Times and the mainstream media generally.

Well, fuck the press. I’m more interested in Elizabeth Edwards.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Elizabeth Edwards confirmed that her husband had confessed the extramarital affair to her in 2006 but that after a “long and painful process” she was now standing by him.


In her statement Friday, Elizabeth Edwards said it wasn’t easy to find out about the extramarital affair in 2006. She called the affair a “terrible mistake” but said the healing process was “oddly made somewhat easier” after her diagnosis of breast cancer in March 2007.

“This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well,” she said. “Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.”

Mrs. Edwards said her family has been through a lot and pleaded for privacy.

“I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame,” she said. “I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.”

She has her reasons for sticking by him, perhaps because she feels the cause of the poor that he has championed over the past few years is more important than his personal failings. And, really, who the hell wants reporters camped on the lawn, going through the garbage and asking painful questions?

Oh, and: Lee Stranahan needs to grow up.

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