Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hypocrisy, Press Bias, Etc.

I could not care less about John Edwards. As long as he stays out of politics, his impact on my life is exactly zero.

So this post isn't about John Edwards, it's about the press and its lack of coverage of his love child--if, and I want to make it clear that nothing is proven yet, if what the National Enquirer is reporting is true. But how will we know it's true if reputable press won't investigate?

Slate, no conservative shill, says it best:

The angle taken by most reporters and commentators wasn't that Craig's restroom conduct was particularly shameful. The press doesn't object to same-sex sex at all, nor should it. Craig's true offense, said the press and the clowns, was hypocrisy, which they consider an inexcusable crime. Craig had supported both federal and Idaho bans on same-sex marriage, had opposed hate crime legislation that would extend protections to gays, and had earned a perfect 0 rating (PDF) from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay lobby. And he had denied and denied any and all gayness while trying to recruit some action in a bathroom!

Although the Craig story and the John Edwards story, currently unfolding thanks to the National Enquirer, aren't directly analogous, they have a bit in common. Edwards, too, may be a sex hypocrite. The tabloid called Edwards a cheater last October and the father of a love child in December, and last night the Enquirer posted a story about Edwards' visit to his alleged mistress and child at the Beverly Hilton on Monday night.

When the original Enquirer story about the affair with Rielle Hunter came out, Edwards categorically denied the relationship, stating: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous." As he rejected the Enquirer's charges, Edwards was making his wife and their marriage a central component of his campaign. If Edwards had had no affair, he wasn't a hypocrite, not then and not now.

But if Edwards had an affair and lied about it, shouldn't he suffer scrutiny akin to that of Craig?

I await reasoning from the mainstream press about why this isn't a story.

Update, 7/25/08: First they came for the bloggers....

LAT Gags Blogs: In a move that has apparently stirred up some internal discontent, the Los Angeles Times has banned its bloggers , including political bloggers, from mentioning the Edwards/Rielle Hunter story. Even bloggers who want to mention the story in order to make a skeptical we-don't-trust-the-Enquirer point are forbidden from doing so. Kausfiles has obtained a copy of the email Times bloggers received from editor Tony Pierce.

Update #2, 7/28/08: Cracks emerging in the wall of silence?


Ronnie said...

Well I have to say if the mainstream media is following the National Enquirer for all of its stories we have greater problems. Craig actively campaigned against what he was while Edwards, sadly like what seems to be a lot of politicians, might have not taken his vows very seriously. I personally think they should have been softer on Craig, but a lot of people feel that being anti-gay is just as bad as being a racist. It depends on your feelings on what being anti-gay means and I think your right in saying that the media is biased as feeling that anti-gay is something that is bad, but I doubt many people would ask for reason for being biased against racists.

Ellen K said...

Do you remember how in Men In Black, the tabloids were supposed to be the real news? Sometimes I wonder if that's not the case. In any case, this knocks Edwards off of the VP list. I wonder who leaked this story-and I doubt they can blame Republican operatives on this because this smacks of a Clinton rumor campaign.

Anonymous said...

If it makes a Republican look bad, it's a story. If it makes a Democrat look bad, it gets spiked.

neko said...

You think that this could stop Edward from trying to be VP? Since when has an extra marital affair stopped a Democrat from trying for the White House? ^_^

Ellen K said...

Excuse me, but if a newspaper banned conservative bloggers from mentioning something, isn't that a free speech issue? Where's the ACLU?

Darren said...

The LA Times has bloggers, and it is they, the employees, who have been forbidden to talk about the topic. I don't see it as a 1st Amendment issue because the 1st Amendment applies to governments, not to private organizations.

That doesn't make it a smart policy, though.