Monday, July 28, 2008

U.K. Papers Help Break Media Blockade in John Edwards, Rielle Hunter Love Child Affair

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The New York Times cite the "public's right to know" every time they reveal national security documents that aid and abet terrorists. However, when it comes to the Times' readers and the John Edwards Love Child Scandal, the "public's right to know" be damned.
--R.E. Bierce

The state of the media coverage--or rather, non-coverage--six days after the National Enquirer's reporters catch John Edwards at the Beverly Hilton visiting his mistress and their love child.

Two daily newspapers from the U.K. cover the news the American mainstream media won't. More specifically, the John Edwards Love Child news.

The Independent Sunday edition contained "Love child and mistress claims hit Edwards", while the Times also offered major coverage.

Guy Adams of the Independent has an entertaining account of the affair.

Amid scenes more suited to a Benny Hill sketch than the corridors of a luxury hotel, two journalists and a photographer chased Mr Edwards – whose wife Elizabeth is battling incurable cancer – around the building for several minutes. He eventually went to ground in the men's lavatory for a quarter of an hour, before being escorted from the premises by security staff.

The incident was reported in lurid detail by The Enquirer, and followed up in dozens of America's influential political blogs and news websites, which claimed that Mr Edwards and Ms Hunter were filmed entering the hotel room at 9.30pm.

The country's upmarket newspapers and major broadcasters refused to investigate The National Enquirer's claims. Tony Pierce, the editor of The Los Angeles Times, went so far as to order staff "not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations". Its unofficial blackout appeared to be holding firm until Friday night, when the presenters of Fox's 9pm talk show, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, ran a report that confirmed several major details of the Beverly Hilton incident, and asked: "Why were the reporters chasing Edwards, and why is this story nowhere in the mainstream media?"

As mentioned, The Times also carried big coverage of the scandal in yesterday's Sunday edition. We're not nearly as enthusiastic about that story however. The Times' reporter, Sarah Baxter, lifted quotes from DBKP's John Edwards Affair: Interview with David Perel, Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer without giving credit to DBKP.

[Nearly 3 days after we alerted the Times to the problem, they still have not acknowledged it. Someone at the Times is aware of the problem, however. Two comments left on the story voicing plagiarism concerns went unpublished, while other comments--submitted later--were. MSM Stealing Blog Content: Times Online Joining Growing MSM Trend?. What we once thought was surely an oversight is now apparently Times' policy.]

Doug Ross, who discovered the problem, has the story: "Sunday Times runs John Edwards-Mistress-Love Child story, rips off blogosphere"

But, as the Soviet government found out, it's hard to control the flow of information in the Digital Age. The lesson remains lost on MSM editors, but it's a lesson that will be taught nonetheless. Media watchers scurry to find a pulse on a MSM that insists on selling a dying product of warmed-over liberal socialism and "all the news we decide you can handle" to the dwindling few who rely on them for "news".

There's no pulse on a corpse.

However, the American media blockade of the story is slowly being penetrated. The Hartford Courant's Kevin Rennie raises a point that MSM editors might consider:

Edwards serpentined around the hotel, before reaching the rooms where both his alleged paramour and baby were staying, according to the Enquirer, which appears to have had a platoon of reporters in strategic spots. Edwards probably thought he would not be noticed when he left at 2:30 in the morning, so he alighted upon the lobby from an elevator. Reporters greeted him when he stepped out.

The former presidential aspirant and vice presidential nominee took refuge in a men's room until hotel security could escort him out and block the five reporters who wanted a few words with him. Edwards later issued a brief statement criticizing the tabloids. He didn't address the love child story, though it was the right time to deny it if it isn't true. Whether it's true or not, his behavior was bizarre for a potential attorney general.
--Kevin Rennie, Hartford Courant: A Star Turn For Elizabeth Edwards

Did Wikipedia join the MSM news blackout of the Edwards affair?

[See: John Edwards Scandal, The Press: Edwards Campaign’s Curious Connections with Rielle Hunter Excite No Mainstream Curiosity and John Edwards Scandal, The Press, The Enquirer and the Blogosphere, among others.]

Apparently so. Newsbusters carries an account: Wikipedia Disallows Any Mention of Alleged John Edwards Scandal.

Wikipedia, which allowed verb tenses for their Tim Russert entry to be changed from present to past tense about a half hour before the official announcement of his death, is suddenly going ultra legal in its refusal to allow their John Edwards entry to be updated with mention of the alleged scandal which was reported in the National Enquirer with many of the details confirmed by Fox News. Suddenly Wikipedia has become a stickler for confirmation detail before the Edwards entry can be updated. To get an idea of how much Wikipedia is twisting itself into a pretzel to justify their refusal to update their John Edwards entry, one needs only to look at their pained, but comedically entertaining, discussions of this matter in their "Tabloid scandal accusations" section:

Gawker also notices, as it continues its yeoman work this time around on the story with "John Edwards' Wikipedia Page Strangely Love Child-Free".

Gawker stepped in with enlightened coverage to supply an Internet searching for news of the affair, the site's Pareene noting that there will always be ways for the creative to disseminate information.

"(Kudos, of course, to the enterprising editor who buried mention of this scandal in this unread entry on a book by Rielle Hunter's ex-boyfriend Jay McInerney.)"

In a curious bit of irony, Newsweek mentioned more about Rielle Hunter's involvement with Edwards in 2006 than after the Enquirer broke the story in October 2007. In an article titled, "John Edwards, Untucked", Johnathan Darman wrote more about Hunter and Edwards than Newsweek's readers have seen since.

In the midst of a short theme sequence that begins each Webisode, the camera lingers over the former senator's behind as he tucks a starched white shirt into his pants. Still, [Rielle] Hunter, now under contract with Edwards's organization, says she sees the untucked John Edwards coming more and more to the fore.
--Jonathan Darman | NEWSWEEK: Politics 2008: John Edwards, Untucked

Newsweek's readers are left to own devices to supply any updates of the "untucked John Edwards" after that Christmas Day 2006 article.

The New York Times continues its formidable non-coverage.

Occasional DBKP contributor, R.E. Bierce writes: "The New York Times cites the "public's right to know" every time they reveal national security documents that aid and abet terrorists. However, when it comes to the John Edwards affair, the "public's right to know" be damned. That information is too sensitive for its readers to handle.

The public's right to know is Times' puffery, to be trotted out whenever its editors feel like giving aid and comfort to an enemy that has already killed over 3000 American on September 11."

Six days on after it's been verified Edwards was at the Beverly Hilton with Rielle Hunter--in the same room--and the MSM is monolithic in its refusal to inform its readership.

Maybe the expected appearance of pictures in this week's edition of the National Enquirer will change their attitudes.

It will be then that their rapidly-disappearing customer base will finally get information that's been available all this time--elsewhere.

by Mondoreb
images: National Enquirer; dbkp file

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