Where’s the Edwards love-child story?
National Enquirer scoop or not, there appears to be way too much smoke here for the major mainstream media to continue ignoring the story about the out-of-wedlock child that John Edwards may have fathered.
With everyone from Drudge to Leno to Wonkette riffing on a tale that began trickling out at Christmas, the MSM look foolishly out of touch by continuing to remain silent about the allegation that Edwards fathered the girl recently born to a former campaign aide.
This is a messy and unseemly matter that I wish never had seen the light of day. Now that it is festering on the web, on talk radio and around the watercooler, mainstream journalists owe their readers and viewers their best professional efforts to sort fact from innuendo.
While only Edwards, the woman and their DNA lab know the truth at this point, the media at a minimum must assemble an accounting of what to date has been reported and what, if anything, has been corroborated, debunked or remains in question.
Even though his presidential campaign is over, John Edwards has sought to be a major public figure for a decade. As such, he long since has forfeited any claim to privacy for his family or himself.
In both of his campaigns for the White House, Edwards made his wife and family major centerpieces of his political narrative, often alluding to the tragic death of his teenage son and frequently using his two youngest children as campaign props.
When it became known early in the 2008 primary that the talented and appealing Elizabeth Edwards was suffering from a potentially fatal recurrence of cancer, both the former vice presidential candidate and his courageous wife decided to press forward with his pursuit of the Democratic nomination.
To their credit, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News and Observer are two of the few mainstream media outlets to have openly discussed the story. The papers, which share coverage, not only sought to quiz the former senator about the allegation but also turned up the birth certificate for the child in question, revealing in the process that no father was named.
The rest of the mainstream media need to start writing and talking about the story, too. If not, their silence will be viewed as complicity in a suspected cover-up and their already fragile credibility will slip still further.
If Edwards was fooling around on the side while putting his ailing wife and little kids through the rigors of a national campaign, his duplicity deserves to be exposed. If Edwards has been accused unfairly, then he needs to stop running from the media and clear things up.
His recalcitrance has been fueling the story. Now, only his forthrightness can stop it.