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. MM

    One reason the story on Edward's affair wasn't followed up by the news is because the media had plenty on their plate to write about - i.e., Hillary and Obama. With those two, Edwards didn't have chance to win the nomination, so why sling mud and get into his sex life?

    August 10, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Joe

    To Larry in PA:
    Normally I would agree with you but his sessions of "bumping uglies" was occurring as he was seeking election to rule the free world. WHich means he is fair game to be poked, prodded, scratched, beaten, doubted and exposed by not only his mistress but the media, and anyone else with the goods. Power is the suductress and tends to expose the high and mighty for what they are(hopefully before they take office). Had the Lewinski scandel occurred 2 months prior to re-election(Slick WIllie's second term)...history would be different.

    August 10, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Psbro

    Of course the media kept it quiet. If it had been Clinton, it would be blasted on every network, newspaper & magazine. You guy's mask is really off this season.
    There is so much out there about Obama, nobody is talking about it. Again I say if it were Clinton, you would have done a 244/7 on it.

    August 10, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Chuck

    I do not understand how any press could not report on the deal about McCain. He left his wife after she supported him as a POW. He came home, she was badly injured in a car accident. So he goes after a young woman. What a jerk!! The Edwards thing is mute! He is history. They should start reporting the McCain thing!!!!!!!!!!!! McCain is the biggest sleaze in the history books of sex scandals and it is not being reported!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. John from LA

    Absolutely a cover-up-Why? Inquiring minds want to know????-Start doing your job CNN and other media outlets-start reporting the news instead of interpreting it-Maybe you'd find something interesting about other politicians...say BO?????

    August 10, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Bruce

    Everyone was ok with Hillary being crucified for her husband's infidelity YET everyone's ok with John Edwards (whom stated he was the new morality in the democratic party – LOL). It's amazing – people are ludicrous – that's why their chosen one – Saint Obama – WILL LOOSE in November!

    August 10, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Bruce

    OF COURSE THE MEDIA HID IT!!!

    August 10, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. randy

    Well john macain need to understand that this election is about change he can talk about obama is on on celebrity all he want as long he tells us to bellive then we shall

    Obama 08!

    August 10, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Independent from PA

    Disappointed the Edwards did not come clean at beginning of presidential bid if he had indeed disclosed this to his wife. Would have been a traversty if he had ended up the nominee to had this to the McShames. I doubt that Obama would have had the same media 'blind eye". There is a double standard with reporting in the media. If all of McCain's blunders were replayed on and on; he wouldnt be going around as arrogant as he is about being more competent!

    August 10, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. John Sylvia

    John Edwards is a perfect representative of the Democratic party. His behavior mimics that of the average Democratic politician.

    If you want the party of immoral philanderers (Kennedy, Clinton, Edwards, etc) to run this country, by all means, vote for Obama.

    August 10, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. The Truth Be Told

    Thank goodness the National Enquirer is pursuing the Larry Sinclair story.

    August 10, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Scott, West Chester OH

    It was bias toward the Democrats that kept the media away from the story. If this had been Romney, Huckabee, or Guiliani, the story would have been everywhere months ago.

    August 10, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Jeff Fallon

    Reminds me of the affair(s) of our "beloved" ex-prez. If Bill Clinton can keep coming back after multiple lies and disgracing his "wife"–Edwards should have no problem in regaining political traction.

    August 10, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. randy

    Well the need to understand that obama got this locked up.

    August 10, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. bill for barack

    This entire nation has been screwed for the past 8 years by Dubya, McIdiot wants another 4 years of the same, and this is the most important thing you can find towriteabout ?
    The man has made his peacewith God and his family.
    LEAVE HIM ALONE.

    August 10, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Laurie

    What Edwards did was wrong, but he is out of the race now. So why not ignore him – who cares. He did the exact same thing as Clinton did and so many others. It is between him and his wife now – not the public. There are more important issues in the world and country.

    August 10, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Really??

    Interesting how the MSM had no qualms running a story about a former VP candidate's infidelity. Meanwhile, a current candidate for president had a well-documented affair with a "Paris Hilton-look-alike" after his wife was maimed in an auto accident, after which John McCain chose to divorce his injured spouse for his new "Trophy Wife".

    Meanwhile, various McCain backers have been rationalizing his behavior and kept quiet while the Edwards story in in the news. What ever happened to those right wing "family values" folks?

    August 10, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. semp

    FDR,Nothin on Harry,JFK, skip LBJ, Carter(lusted in his heart),Clinton Oh Yeah and still ... ol Johnny Edwards is just followin his heroes on dat Booty Trail :-D

    August 10, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Thomas if you don't like The New York Times, don't read it. Just to clear things up for you, McSame did the same thing to his first wife and children, but ran off and left them. McSame is trash and so his his wife/mistress Cindy the lizard women! Stay over at FoxNoise where your little mind won't have to think!

    August 10, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. wilfred

    If it was a republican it would be front page news on any undocumented source. However for tyhe demodratic liberals they have
    to have at least 2 dozen documented sources to put it on page 15 ans give it 3 sentences.
    What a bunch of BS.
    We are all lucky we have the internet and yes even the Enquirer that
    will report news.

    August 10, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. It's still going on!

    Hmm...there's the middle of the night visits to see the ugly mistress and their child (which I think she claims is another married man's child). There's also the HU$H HU$H money and mansion being given to her through a third party. Now he offers to take a paternity test and she DECLINES his offer. How cavalier AND convenient.

    August 10, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Veritas

    Of course the media was part of the problem. Though all share the blame, the papers and tv stations firmly under left wing control (The NY times, The W Post, CNN, The Boston Globe, etc) are the ones that no doubt made an actual decision to kill the story as part of heir efforts to "control" the news. When wing nuts like Keith Olbermann are called journalists and command a big audience of stooges, you know something is very very wrong.

    August 10, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Edwards looks like a choir boy compared to John McCain. Atleast Edwards didn't leave his wife in the midst of her illness as John McCain did to his former wife while carrying on his affair with Cindy.

    August 10, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Larry Sinclair

    It's lucky for Barack Obama that he hasn't been accused of such misconduct.

    August 10, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Bill Charlotte, NC

    No, but how about the silence on McSame's marriage breakup and the scandal there?

    August 10, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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