Sunday, December 23, 2007

John Edwards Scandal, The Press, The Enquirer and the Blogosphere

Bob Schieffer as Shorthand for the Mainstream Press
The Blogosphere: New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
Some Reporters Are Digging
Some Are Sitting on Their Asses
Christmas Wishes In the Midst of Scandal

"I said I need back-up!! NOW!!
I got Bob Schieffer's sense of curiosity here!"

The story so far of John Edwards, his campaign and Rielle Hunter, the uncovering of hard facts by the National Enquirer, the Mainstream Media's non-reaction, and the blogosphere's fondness for the comfort that only sitting on one's ass brings.

Bob Schieffer, The Thrill of Victory

"I just kept doing it and never knew whether I was allowed to under CBS rules about correspondents doing analysis and commentary. If I can't do it, they'll tell me. No one said a word. Then I won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for best commentary on television. Everybody in New York called and said, "Great work, keep it up Bob — we've been loving those commentaries."

Bob Schieffer, The Agony of Defeat

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you know I saw that this morning. I believe that -- 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.
--When asked about the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story On the Don Imus show

A presidential candidate and his campaign's mysterious video: one that was produced with the high hopes of making the candidate better-known, only to have that hope fulfilled when it disappeared from public view.

That doesn't excite Bob Schieffer.

A presidential candidate who isn't asked by the press if he denies being in phone contact with his alleged mistress since she discovered she's pregnant. Indeed, the Mainstream press didn't go postal: they went Emily Post-al, as in, "let's not make any waves, that's not polite; might get us thrown out of the candidate's press tent."

That doesn't excite Bob Schieffer.

A presidential candidate's alleged mistress moving close to campaign headquarters, driving around in a BMW owned by the campaign's former Director of Operations, living in a house owned by the campaign's backer, having her bills and living expenses paid for--well, who is paying them?

Doesn't matter.

That wouldn't likely excite Bob Schieffer, either.

What would excite cynical, seasoned, experienced CBS newsman, Bob Schieffer?

Bob Schieffer: Star Light, Star Bright...

The other question is if it all gets settled, and may well be by mid-February, what are we going to do after that? I would love it if the two parties have a special meeting (instead of conventions) and certify them as candidates. Wouldn't it be great to have them fly around the country on the same airplane and have debates?

Maybe Bob will get to fly on the plane!

Maybe Bob Schieffer will actually get to fly on the plane with John Edwards!


Wouldn't do to have that whole unpleasant business about mistresses and hiding campaign videos produced by her and her living arrangements come up, would it, Bob?

Watergate and WWBD - What Would Bob Do?

If Bob Schieffer had been head of the Washington Post during Watergate and two of his reporters came up to him with incredible news of a president sanctioning a break-in at a rival's campaign, What Would Bob Do?

A cover-up, you say?

Unnamed source, you say?

" appears to me that there's absolutely nothing to it"

Good thing Deep Throat had the good sense not to leak to the Enquirer.

Bob Schieffer would have passed on that one.

But DBKP's doesn't mean to be picking on Bob Schieffer. We like Bob and always enjoyed watching "Face the Nation".

Bob's is shorthand for the attitude of the Mainstream Media.

The John Edwards Campaign, Rielle Hunter and Other Interests

No more than we are picking on John Edwards. We searched our memories and couldn't come up with one single article we'd ever done on John Edwards, pre-Enquirer Love Child Scandal.

John's fighting against poverty, we knew that.

He ran as the vice-presidential candidate in 2004, we knew that.

John Edwards is shorthand for a presidential campaign and its workings on solving a behind-the-scenes problem.

Like all presidential candidates, Edwards is surrounded by people who believe in John and his cause. People who'd seen his ups and downs. People who would do anything for John Edwards, who might even take a proverbial bullet for him. Maybe even do other things for him.

We knew that.

First, we were interested in the story of John Edwards and Rielle Hunter and that mysterious video and why it had vanished.

Then, we were interested in the curious dealings with Rielle Hunter and the sudden clout she'd apparently gained within the Edwards campaign. After all, nice digs and car and no bills, seems she's not just anybody.

NOW, we're interested in the press and its adversarial relationship with presidential candidates--candidates who might be controlling the levers of power, should they be elected.

We're interested in why, outside a couple of unnamed reporters, not one person has asked John Edwards not one question about these interesting dealings between Rielle Hunter and the Edwards campaign.

Since the reporters were unnamed, just as the Enquirer's sources were, we assume that they didn't meet with Bob Schieffer's high standards, either.

The Power of the Blogoshere

DBKP has previously written about Sam Stein, a writer doing a fairly routine piece for Huffington Post about the new ways candidates were trying to reach Internet readers.

One of those new methods was something called a webisode, a short video for letting Internet users see a candidate in a more personal way. John Edwards wanted users to see "the real John Edwards", as he says in his recently-rediscovered video.

Stein recounted his surprising adventures with seeing the Edwards video. That Stein was having a tough time running down something that should have been screaming for publicity interested him.

When he wrote about his adventures, a certain section of the blogosphere pilloried Stein and his musings on the subject. At that point, Rielle Hunter was not as well-known as she is today. Running down information on her required a little digging.

Sam Stein did that digging and was rewarded for his efforts with a mound of vitriol.

A reporter who had done actual work on a story was ridiculed by writers who had sat on their asses.

"Sam Stein and the Enquirer are nothing but lazy, no-good trashy gossips"

Two weeks later, the National Enquirer released its first story on John Edwards and his alleged affair.

The Enquirer's story had required much more digging than Stein's had. They hadn't named the "other woman" in the Edwards affair, but the reaction to their story in a certain portion of the blogosphere was the same as it had been for Stein: profanity-laced reviews were common on the Internet.

Again, writers who had done actual work were ridiculed by writers who still sat on their asses.

Nine weeks after the first John Edwards scandal story, The Enquirer released a second one. This story named Rielle Hunter as the "other woman". In addition, the Enquirer had uncovered a trove of information sure to fire up the juices of any reporter.

Hunter, as Stein had related, wasn't easy to find. And now she had moved from New Jersey. Where was she? The Enquirer found her living in the Governor's Club in a house owned by an Edwards campaign backer. How difficult was she to find?

Her car wasn't in her name. Her bills weren't in her name. She initially denied she was Rielle Hunter. How hard had she been to find? Could any of the bloggers hurling invective found Rielle Hunter?

What about the fact that when Hunter had denounced the Enquirer's first story as "lies", on the same day that John Edwards was doing much the same, she hadn't been named as the "other woman" by the Enquirer?

Ms. Hunter's reaction to that story included "When working for the Edwards camp, my conduct... was completely professional." That she was pregnant at that time with, what the Enquirer says is Edwards' child and she herself, through her lawyer, says is Andrew Young's (former Director of Operations for the Edwards campaign) child: is that not interesting to anyone else?

Or is it, as many in the brave, fearless world of the blogosphere have joined Rielle Hunter in claiming, "innuendo"?

The closest thing to asking questions in the blogosphere was the brief speculation (DBKP included) if this Edwards scandal was somehow related to the Clinton campaign and a former Clintonite lawyer who owned part of the National Enquirer's parent company. A little checking revealed the answer was: no.

Since the silence of the blogosphere in the past several days on this has been deafening, we have to guess they are still sitting on their asses.

We hope not.

That would mean they are like the mainstream press they hope to surpass.

What about bloggers in North Carolina? Are there no bloggers living in the area that aren't interested in these happenings? What about the neighbors, the community? What do they think about this? Where's the "reporter living among the people" mentality that is supposedly one of the hopes and promises of the blogsphere?

We realize it's close to Christmas and people are busy with other things. It's close to Christmas in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, too.

Christmas Wishes to All

We didn't intend to make this post so long; it's near Christmas and there are gifts to buy and wrap and people to whom we want to extend holiday wishes.

Those include the following:

To Bob Schieffer: continued sucess in a long and illustrious career.

To the John Edwards campaign: More followers who will do anything for the cause.

To the Mainstream press: the hope for a comfortable future. Also, the hope that comfort won't be a factor in what they report.

To Sam Stein and (we never thought we would EVER say this) Huffington Post: Continued curiosity when researching routine stories and standing behind such well-researched stories and the questions they prompt.

To the National Enquirer: Bigger headlines to announce more scoops like Pardongate, Gary Hart's Monkey Business, and Monica's blue dress. Also, ear plugs for the always-predictable Mainstream Media reaction to their intrepid digging.

To the Blogosphere, in general: More readers, an end to endless lectures from the Mainstream Press about citizen journalism and freedom from regulation and laws.

To a certain Portion of the Blogosphere: A Stair-stepper.

Merry Christmas from Mondoreb, Little Baby Ginn, RidesAPaleHorse and everyone at DBKP.

Rielle Hunter Housed by Former NBA Player

by Mondoreb
* Bob Schieffer: Is the End Near?
* DBKP Library

DBKP Library

Over 25 DBKP Stories on the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter Love Child Scandal


at 10:00 EST

* Rielle Hunter Housed by Former NBA Player

* The Edwards Scandal, The Press, The Enquirer and the Blogosphere

* Country Club Concubine

* Curious Circumstances Excite No Curiosity in the Mainstream Media

* Why Did Rielle Hunter Denounce the National Enquirer NINE WEEKS Before the Paper Would Name Her as the "Other Woman?

* 30 Love Child Scandal Quotes

* The "Interview" That Never Happened

* Source Too 'Tainted For MSM?

* Rielle Hunter: 'Kept Woman'

* UPDATE: Hunter Living in Edwards Backer's House

* Enquirer Update and New Questions!

* CBS Interested Now? Mysterious Videos

* 10 Things We Now Know About the John Edwards Love Child Scandal

* ENQUIRER Fires Second Salvo at Edwards

* John Edwards Love Child Scandal Has Hit the Stands

* QUIZ: Name that Scandal!

* Edwards Scandal? Surf's Up!

* Is This Thing Still On or What?

* Hunter Still Living the "Life of Rielle"

* Edwards Alleged Love Child: Clintons Orchestrated Rumor?

* DBKP World Exclusive! Photos of the Pair??

* Who Is Rielle Hunter?

* John Edwards Shared More Than Shampoo With Rielle Hunter?


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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