August 10th, 2008
01:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Edwards affair: Was media part of a 'conspiracy of silence'?

John Edwards admitted Friday that he had an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006.
John Edwards admitted Friday that he had an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006.

(CNN) - Rumors about John Edwards' love affair had been circulating for months, but it wasn't until the former Democratic presidential candidate admitted to the affair that national news organizations jumped on the story.

After the National Enquirer reported catching Edwards making a late-night visit to see his ex-mistress last month, the blogosphere exploded, asking why the mainstream media was not reporting the story.

Was it because of a condescending attitude toward a tabloid's reporting? Bias toward a Democratic candidate? Or sympathy toward Elizabeth Edwards, who is battling an incurable form of cancer?

David Carr, a columnist for The New York Times, said many news organizations "tend to pick up stories from the National Enquirer with tongs."

"They have been very right about some things ... but there's been some misses too, so it's a little scary to follow on those stories," he said Sunday on CNN's Reliable Sources.

"It's also a little scary for big outfits to step up on a story like this. Sex may sell, but it can really hurt your relationship with readers," he added.

Enquirer editor David Perel said his organization feels a "big sense of vindication" now that Edwards has admitted to the affair.

Full story


Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Informed Voter

    Why are you still running this story??? .. put this in your tabloid ticker

    August 10, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. matt

    Its simple..
    CNN, ABC, Msnbc, All report news more on the liberal side,

    Fox news, and Small papers * national enq* report All news or more Conservative news.

    So in order for someone to truely understand whats happening they must listen to fox, and cnn. There is so much information left out sometimes from both sources. and the information is always different. So you have to pick up the pieces yourself.

    Its rather disgusting but its how the world works.

    For instance, When fox news reports something about the presidential campaign its about mccain having a poll where he won. When cnn does it.. Mccain is always behind

    August 10, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Republicans Hate America

    Why doesn't McCains cheating on his wife after she was disfigured not get publicized as he is the one running for president not Edwards?

    August 10, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. rich

    I do have to say that it is very admiral of him to come forward admitting what he did. I have much more respect for him, its not right but he is the right road.

    August 10, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Rickymo

    How silly...if someone on FOX had found out it would not have been kept silent! Just silly...

    August 10, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. ben

    Show me a man whether president of the US or a garbage collector who would not lie about his private sex if he was a married man. At least four hundred of our political leaders would fall into that catagory.

    August 10, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. ben

    If his political carear is over then we are a nation of hypocrits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Tammie from Cleveland,Ohio

    Who cares, it's over let it rest in peace. We've got more things to wory about in this countrythan someone having an affair.

    August 10, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. scott winter haven

    If Edwards were a Republican he would have been rode out of town on a pole long ago. Once again the liberial media shows how it protects it"s own and makes the smallest of Republican stories major news. This story will only have another 36 hours of legs while if it were a Republican it would be tied to the war in iraq and big oil somehow.

    August 10, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Sen. Barack Obama

    John Edwards on the reason for his affair:

    "This is what happened. It's what happened with me and I think happens unfortunately more than sometimes with other people...I got elected to the Senate and here we go again, it's the same old thing again. Adulation, respect, admiration. Then I went from being a senator, a young senator...running for president...and becoming a national public figure. All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences. And nothing, nothing could be further from the truth."

    Thank goodness, that could never happen to me.

    August 10, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. DemsSuck08

    Hmmm....well Mr. Edwards there really IS two America's. One that you live in and one that your say you supposedly stand for but keep repressed so they continue to vote Democrat. Typical double standard, but of course Slick Willy really set the tone for this I guess. Edwards is a lying dirt bag. Nice thing to do to your wife while she is battling cancer.

    August 10, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Jaime in Texas

    CNN protects Obama, so why not protect Obama supporter, John Edwards?

    August 10, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. RL

    This type of "conspiracy of silence" with the MSM is going to have alot of people questioning what else the MSM is keeping quiet about. They had now confirmed to the public that reports in the National Enquirer can be true. So people will now begin to wonder if all the rumors about Obama might be true and the MSM is just not reporting it.

    August 10, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Wendy

    I think the media was being sympathetic to Elizabeth Edwards.

    August 10, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Griff

    So who's is it? Shush! Keep it quiet until after November.. The Democrats have to win... Then the true story comes out... It's Barack Obama's Kid...

    August 10, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Malama Makena

    How about John McCain's affair?

    Is there a media conspiracy to cover up McCain's affair? When he came back from Vietnam he had an adulterous affair with Cindy while he was still married to the wife who waited five years for him. Why doesn't the press ask him his opinion of adultery?

    And isn't this a question of his judgement?

    August 10, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    It's really none of our business.

    A bunch of nothing except hurt for the Edward's family.

    Let's move on and forget about this tawdry affair.

    August 10, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. AnAmericanPerson

    Yes. Not the least of which was CNN.

    August 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. California Gold

    To the majority of voters, Edwards' affair is on NO IMPORTANCE.

    August 10, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Leave them alone!

    He's not running for an office, nor does he hold one. This is the Edwards' personal business. I am sick of seeing headlines about it in the media.

    I liked what his statment said, and I like what his wife said. I hope he is being honest at this point, but WHY did he go see her again if he'd told his wife everything and it was OVER? This puzzles me, but it's not my business.

    Please just leave them alone. There's enough suffering in the world without the media causing more. You are actually making it worse on his wife and may not be helping her medical condition because you are stressing her emotionally.

    Here's a thought...possibly Elizabeth or John could sue you!

    August 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. tom, boston

    trashy corporate media living up to their true colors, all over again.

    August 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Elly

    For the sake of this family enough is enough!!!
    He made a human error in judgement he is guilty of infidelity ...he did NOT kill anyone or steal anything!!!!
    who knows what bad judgements humans will make because of human weakness or even maybe stress
    I am sure John Edwards will punish himself enough without us as mankind judging him.Let he who is without sin cast the first stone as it says in the bible and for those who continue to do so news flash!!! *re-examine your own conscience*!!!

    August 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Griff

    That Guy is an Idiot....

    August 10, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Texas Trail Dog!

    THE MEDIA DOESN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO AIR OUT EVERY ONE'S DIRTY LINEN. THE WORLD HAS NO BUSINESS KNOWING WHAT HAPPENS IN PEOPLES PERSONAL LIVES. THIS IS SO DISGUSTING AND NOT NEWSWORTHY. LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE OR HAVE YOU PEOPLE OF THE MEDIA BECOME GOSSIP COLUMNISTS.

    August 10, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Ethan from Denver

    John Edwards did a great dis-service to the DNC and the Primary Season. He knew about all these skeletons in his closet and yet he carried on a fake and impossible campaign for the presidency.

    He stayed in the race to keep Hillary Clinton from Winning. If you ask me, John Edward is the one single culprit who LOST the nomination for Hillary Clinton

    Bill Clinto is not going to be able to keep quiet about this. The 18 million voters who voted for Hillary is not going to keep quiet about this. This is a shame and i have an eerie feeling that it will all play out on the convention floor.

    GO Hillary – I will be writing in your name this fall.

    August 10, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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