Friday, July 25, 2008

John Edwards Affair News Roundup: LA Times Censors Blogs

* Editor Muzzles Reporters From Discussing
Edwards-Hunter Love Child on LA Times Blogs

* Rielle Hunter Speaks!
* MSM Congregated Just Doors Away from Edwards-Hunter Tryst

John Edwards-Rielle Hunter Love Child: Day #3

It's not enough for the MSM to ignore and protect John Edwards--a much different role for the press than the one envisioned by the Founding Fathers--now comes news that one member of the Mainstream Gatekeepers is instructing its writers NOT to address the John Edwards issue on the paper's blogs.

The on-line blogs of the MSM are one of the only places their shrinking readerships could go to obtain news that MSM editors routinely deny their customers.

Slate's Mickey Kaus: LAT Gags Blogs...Editors ban discussion of Edwards love-child charges.

In a move that has apparently stirred up some internal discontent, the Los Angeles Times has banned its bloggers , including political bloggers, from mentioning the Edwards/Rielle Hunter story. Even bloggers who want to mention the story in order to make a skeptical we-don't-trust-the-Enquirer point are forbidden from doing so. Kausfiles has obtained a copy of the email. [I've excised the recipient list to protect my source or sources, and omitted Pierce's email address]:

From: "Pierce, Tony"

Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT

To: [XXX]

Subject: john edwards

Hey bloggers,

There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.

If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don't hesitate to ask

Keep rockin,


Proof positive--though one wonders how much more was needed--that consumers of MSM news are too stupid to decide the "validity" of a story when presented with facts.

The Enquirer's reporters weren't the only media represented at the Beverly Hilton Monday when the meeting between Edwards and Hunter occurred--just the only ones whose paper exhibited any curiosity about the Edwards-Hunter affair.

Philadelphia Daily News' Howard Gensler notes that the place was "crawling with reporters".

Yes, he'd still be an ass, but in a post-Clinton, post-Spitzer age, could he be such a stupid ass as to carry on with a political confidante who produced movies for his campaign? And could he be so monumentally moronic as to meet said mistress at a hotel as public as the Beverly Hilton?

As Daily News TV critic Ellen Gray informed us from the Television Critics Association summer press tour, what makes the Beverly Hilton choice even more bizarre is that the place was crawling with reporters Monday night for the TCA, including newspaper people from the New York Times, USA Today the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, and us.

But no one but the National Enquirer seemed to spot John Edwards.
--Tattle: 'Enquirer' links John Edwards, Rielle Hunter

Yet, the Enquirer got the story while the rest were presumably comparing notes on which candidate's press luncheon served the best appetizers.

Rielle Hunter has issued her standard denial, via ExtraTV:

"Completely unfounded and ridiculous" is how Hunter describes a National Enquirer story claiming she has a love child with Edwards -- and that she was recently visited by the married Edwards at a Los Angeles hotel.

In early 2007, Hunter opened up about her relationship with the former presidential candidate...

"Meeting John Edwards was interesting," she told us. "He was very real and authentic. He was inspirational to me." She added, "I was around him a lot. It was great. We went to Africa. The whole experience was life altering for me."
-- John Edwards' Alleged Mistress Speaks!

Even a few left-wing blogs are realistic enough to realize that 1) a preponderance of the facts nails Edwards and 2) running away and locking yourself in a men's room when confronted by the Enquirer's reporters/photographer isn't exactly the actions of someone wishing to be considered "presidential". They discuss other issues as well that the story raises.

the shame of John Edwards

There's a definite pattern here: Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, and now John Edwards. Is there something inherently misogynistic about a white male lawyer who enters politics? Since all three have (to varying degrees of success) been considered presidential material, I speculate that they were seduced by a kind of celebrity syndrome. After all, this sort of behavior is usually reserved for the Hollywood scene (where it is practically the norm).

Let's note that the pattern extends backwards as well - Gary Hart, JFK. And it extends across the aisle - Newt Gingrich, and of course John McCain, who much like Edwards, ditched an ailing wife for a fresher model.

Still, the Republican dalliances are less of a concern to me than these Democratic icons, who are supposed to be progressive when it comes to women's issues and also who invoke moral values as one basis for their leadership acumen. Is there a deep flaw here, in progressive ideology, that makes it blind to morality and family values? Or are we just being played for fools?
--Daily KOS, azizhp's diary: The Shame of John Edwards

azizhp then had the thankless task of defending the view that having an affair is misogynistic to the KOShoards of "progressive" readers, "blinded by hero worship".

Of course, after having to defend DBKP's Debunking Larry Sinclair articles [Debunking Larry Sinclair: Obama Accuser Allegations Based on Time Travel & Debunking Larry Sinclair: Part II - The Limo Driver; Part 3 to be published later today] from the unthinking few on the right blinded by "hero hatred", we can sympathize.

When the reporters ambushed Edwards upon leaving the room, he ran into a basement bathroom and remained holed up there for 15 minutes until hotel security was summoned to escort out the reporters. Click here to read the details. In any instance, Edwards will now be eliminated from any serious VP consideration.

The Mainstream Media's attempts to decide what's "right" for their readers to see may be on it's last legs. Ryan Tate of Gawker smacks the nail on the head and buries it.

...parse these three revealing sentences from Washington Post "gossip" columnist Roxanne Roberts, in response to one of many persistent questions about the scandal in an online chat yesterday:

The Enquirer is not going to sell papers with nuance or sensitivity. I need more reporting from a credible source before I'm prepared to pass judgment. I'm not sure Edwards is a real candidate for the VP job, but if so will have to address this one way or another.

It's important to keep in mind, when reading this odd answer, that traditional news media used to have something of a lock on the dissemination of information, and allowed themselves to be convinced that they had a bizarre duty to filter even accurate information of interest to their audiences, and to do so in the service of reinforcing various social institutions and norms, even though their jobs, their Constitutionally-protected jobs, were to do just the opposite, to disseminate information and challenge long-cherished moral codes.

But to the extent the silence is due to publishers, like [Washington Post "gossip" columnist Roxanne] Roberts, intent on dictating news interest to their readers, so much so that they will ignore certain hot topics, these news organizations are mortgaging their future, and in many cases ceding valuable ground to competitors already eating deep into their profit margins.

On the bright side, for the rest of us, this process does have a way of weeding out news outlets that are all-too-eager to suppress news stories rather than publish them.
--Ryan Tate, Gawker: What John Edwards Scandal?

The story may become too big for the gatekeepers to keep from their readers/viewers.

If the Mainstream Media ignores a story, their customers will look elsewhere. Many are the hand-wringing sessions of "why the major news organizations are doing badly" that could be answered by a timeline of the coverage in the Edwards-Hunter affair.

Since the advent of the Alternate "New" Media, people have a choice. Cable, tabloids and, especially the Internet--the favorite whipping boy of the MSM--give readers/viewers somewhere else to go. For years, the supply of news has been artificially limited by the Gatekeepers. The Mainstream Media is exempt no longer from the laws of supply and demand.

If they won't supply news, consumers will find someone who will.

by Mondoreb
images: National Enquirer; ExtraTV

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