[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/10/art.edwards.gi.jpg caption="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.