Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Oh dear God, no. This is the last thing anyone needs right now. But when I saw the hand-wringing, scandal-commentary posted over on Slate, I knew it was tabloid story of the month, courtesy of the National Enquirer:

Presidential candidate John Edwards is caught up in a love child scandal, a blockbuster ENQUIRER investigation has discovered.

The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively that Rielle Hunter, a woman linked to Edwards in a cheating scandal earlier this year, is more than six months pregnant — and she's told a close confidante that Edwards is the father of her baby!

The ENQUIRER's political bombshell comes just weeks after Edwards emphatically denied having an affair with Rielle, who formerly worked on his campaign and told another close pal that she was romantically involved with the married ex-senator.

The ENQUIRER has now confirmed not only that Rielle is expecting, but that she's gone into hiding with the help of a former aide to Edwards. The visibly pregnant blonde has relocated from the New York area to Chapel Hill, N.C., where she is living in an upscale gated community near political operative Andrew Young, who's been extremely close to Edwards for years and was a key official in his presidential campaign.

And in a bizarre twist, Young — a 41-year-old married man with young children — now claims HE is the father of Rielle's baby! But others are skeptical, wondering if Young's paternity claim is a cover-up to protect Edwards.

Meanwhile, Edwards' cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth has joined him on the campaign trail.

In a statement issued to The ENQUIRER through her attorney, Rielle said: "The fact that I am expecting a child is my personal and private business. This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way. Andrew Young is the father of my unborn child."

But a source extremely close to the 43-year-old divorcée says Rielle has told a far different story privately: "Rielle told me she had a secret affair with Edwards. When she found out that she was pregnant, she said he was the father."
Read the whole thing.

Also see: Spotlight turns to Edwards--no mention is made of the breaking scandal, but this gives you an idea of how close the Iowa race is.

Listening to: Death Cab for Cutie - This Temporary Life
via FoxyTunes


Bryce said...

oh no... that is majorly effed up, D.

~going off to shoot self now

Longstreet said...

Daisy: Just wanted to drop in and express my gratitude to you for pointing out the error, in Pat Buchanan's, name on my site. As a fellow "Sandlapper" I appreciate it.

Stop by anytime!


Anonymous said...

National Enquirer is total shit, but I gather you are saying that these rumors will hurt Edwards in family-values-land? As long as the mainstream media refrains from repeating the rumors, I don't think it will hurt Edwards.

shadocat said...

As far as I'm concerned, I really don't care how many "love babies" he's made in his private life. He's the only presidential canidate talking about class issues, which are important to me.

DaisyDeadhead said...


Enquirer Editor Defends Edwards Story
By Jonathan Berr
Dec 20th 2007 1:51PM

Filed Under: John Edwards, Breaking News, 2008 President, Scandal, Media

In an interview with Political Machine, National Enquirer Editor-in-Chief David Perel called the tabloid's story about the John Edwards love child as "one of the Enquirer's greatest political scoops" and denied that the story was leaked by a rival campaign.

"I wish I had been that easy to tell you the truth, but sadly we had to dig it out ourselves." Perel said.

The story about the former North Carolina senator's supposed relationship with Rielle Hunter, who had done video work for the campaign, has gotten a tremendous buzz on the Internet even though the mainstream media has largely ignored or dismissed it. Further complicating the matter is public insistence by Hunter that former Edwards aide Andrew Young, who is married, is the father of her child and not Edwards.

To be sure, the Enquirer wouldn't make such an allegation without it being throughly vetted by its lawyers. Perel described the sources dug up by the seven-person investigative team over the past few months as "extraordinarily good" and "beyond reproach." He declined to discuss whether they had been paid.

"Because of our agreements, I am not liberty to talk about any of my dealings with them," he said. "You can't run a story like this without tremendous sourcing."
Before people dismiss the story as being tabloid trash, remember that this is the Enquirer's core competency. The tabloid was first to report about Jesse Jackson's "love child," Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction, Owen Wilson's suicide attempt and Jennifer Lopez's pregnancy, Perel said.

"We have been in North Carolina ...staking out the general area, watching, collecting information for more than 4 weeks," he said.The Edwards campaign seems to hope that the story will blow over and are just ignoring it as is most of the mainstream press.

In an appearance on Don Imus' radio show, veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer dismissed the whole thing.
"I believe that's a story that we will be avoiding, because it appears to me that there's absolutely nothing to it. I'm told that another -- a man says that the child is his. I'm told that the woman who seems to be pregnant says it's not his. So I guess -- I guess we're going to pass on that. Unless you come up with some new information on this, Don." (transcript from Media Matters for America).

The attitude of Schieffer, from whom I have a great deal of respect, isn't surprising. The mainstream media that turns up its nose at the National Enquirer will happily quote the tabloid or its competitors such as whenever a salacious story happens as if they would prefer someone else to get their hands dirty. This laziness suits the Enquirer just fine.

"I look at this story as a bright dividing line between new media and old media," he said.
"It set the record for unique visitors to our web site."

Of course, the timing of the story so close to the Iowa causes couldn't have come at a worse time for Edwards. But remember that Bill Clinton successfully dealt with these same issues. Making believe that this story isn't there is no longer an option.