Friday, August 8, 2008

John Edwards Affair: Edwards Statement Admits Little

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"Breathtakingly Brazen"
--DBKP's description of Edwards' Nightline appearance

"[Edwards] used the interview to play the Supermarket Tabloid Credibility Card to trash his nemesis, The National Equirer."

John Edwards Scandal

John Edwards Statement:
* The Words "Affair" and "Lied" never appear in Statement
* No Mention of "Rielle Hunter" to be Found
* Taking "Full Responsibility" Doesn't Include Admission of Guilt
* "99% Honest"--Even While I Lied

Mainstream Media: "Admits", "Lied" and "Affair" in Most Headlines--But Those Words Not Found in Edwards' Statement
No Mention of "Lied", "Affair" or "Rielle Hunter" during Nightline Interview Either

"I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006."

--John Edwards, August 8, 2008 Statement

"One question which immediately comes to mind: What was Edwards doing leaving the Beverly Hilton at 2:40 in the morning, visiting a woman he says he did not love and her baby, which he says he did not father?"
--DBKP: John Edwards Scandal: Edwards Admits Affair, Lies, to ABC News

If admission is the first of the twelve steps toward recovery, John Edwards has yet to take that first step.

At least, that's one conclusion after reading Edwards' press statement or watching his performance on ABC's Nightline.

One hardly knows where to begin.

That was the thought that occurred while reading John Edwards' breathtakingly brazen statement on his "error in judgment" with Rielle Hunter. "Brazen" might also be an appropriate word for Edwards' Nightline appearance.

Edwards' announcement may prove to raise more questions than it answered.

Edwards' statement alleges that he has "given a complete interview on this matter" and "will have nothing more to say". Was this part of the statement an attempt to enable Edwards to appear at the Democrat National Convention without being dogged by pesky reporters' questions?


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Are "have already given a complete interview on this matter" and "have nothing more to say" today's substitute for yesterday's failed answers of "tabloid trash" and "lies"?

One guess: The National Enquirer--who wields a far better record of veracity on this subject than Edwards--might have something to say about whether Edwards revisits the topic in the future.

Edwards claims he was 99% honest. Yet, he leaves the specifics of that 99% to the reader's imagination--as well as the remaining 1%. There's a lot that has to be shoe-horned into that 1%.

As LBG points out [John Edwards Scandal: Edwards Defends Affair with Supermarket Tabloid Credibility Card ]:

The MSM claimed Edwards “fessed” up to “lying” about the affair.

“Edwards: Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public.”

“I did not tell the public” is an omission, not an admission of lying. Remember, Edwards knew exactly the impact each and every word he chose to use when arguing his case before the public on Nightline.

LBG goes on to explain.

Edwards never said he lied, he said he “denied”, but mitigated the denial by trashing the National Enquirer, saying it “contained many falsities”. Edwards never expounded on any of the “falsities”. Edwards also chose to defend himself by claiming he was “99% honest”. In fact, the only claim about “lying” was from Edwards in his interview, who charged it was the Enquirer who was lying.


In his statement, Edwards mentioned a "mistake", "an error in judgment" and "my actions in 2006". He also referred to his "misconduct".

But nowhere in his statement or on TV, does he state what that "mistake", "error" or "misconduct" actually was. So, image the surprise it must have been to the millions hearing of all this for the first time, when Edwards starts talking about a baby.

Could it be possible that these words referred to Frances Quinn Hunter?

Edwards was careful to use the phrase "my actions in 2006--so careful, in fact, that he repeated the claim, both in his statement and in his TV interview. Edwards--who disappeared completely from public view after reporters attempted to question him about the affair in Washington, D.C. on July 30--had at least a week to craft his statement. This was no slap-dash effort: every word was painstakingly weighed with the precision of a trial attorney; every sentence parsed, before it made its way into Edwards' press release.

Again, if we take Edwards' word on this, could this not be an attempt to settle the matter of Frances Quinn Hunter, so as not to be questioned in Denver? Is "my actions in 2006" a hypnotic device to lull a once-sonambulant, Big Media back to sleep?

Edwards' precisely-worded, "I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established," is interesting.

The Enquirer previously reported, in its August 11 print edition, that Edwards had refused to take a DNA test.

National Enquirer Editor-in-Chief, David Perel, appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and was direct.

That's true. We know that Rielle believes that he is the father. And Mr. Edwards today, in his own statement, said he did not take a paternity test. He's now saying that he will take one. We've asked him for months if he would take one and he's ignored that request.

Perel also touched on various claims Edwards made in his statement.

Blitzer: What happens, David, if he does take the paternity test and it doesn't match and it shows he is not the father?

Perel: We'll publish that. I've made the offer to him repeatedly: take a paternity test, whatever the results are, we'll publish it. He has refused to do that, as he's been calling this story lies and tabloid trash and lying to the American public. Unfortunately, I think the only reason he came forward and admitted the affair is because we did catch him at the hotel meeting on July 21 and we did publish a photograph this week in the National Enquirer showing him holding the baby.

We can also reveal that in addition to that meeting, he met at the same hotel a month before with Rielle Hunter and the baby, so his actions are what counts. His words have proven not to be credible.

Blitzer: I guess a lot of people question the reporting of the "National Enquirer," in part, David, because you pay sources for information, is that right?

Perel: Wolf, we do pay sources for information after it checks out as credible and accurate. I think, in retrospect, nobody can deny the accuracy of these stories. We've been reporting on the affair for about 10 months now. He says his statements were 99 percent truthful and yet he told the American public while running for the highest office in the land that he did not have an affair, that these were lies, lies? This is a character issue, and he still insists he's 99 percent truthful?

I think the truest thing that he said today in his statement was when he admitted that he's narcissistic.

Edwards' peculiar wording only leads to more questions.

"[T]ruly hopeful that a test will be done"?

"[A]m and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby"?

After a week's seclusion, why these two phrases, particularly the ambiguous second one? Why not the more simple and direct, "I will submit DNA for a paternity test"?


DBKP is not the only ones who harbor doubts about the Edwards' statements. The National Enquirer also expressed skepticism at the claims made by Edwards.

Shortly after ABC announced Edwards' Nightline appearance, the Enquirer, at its website published "JOHN EDWARDS ADMITS AFFAIR!".

The article was short, direct and, as stated, skeptical.

Perhaps the Enquirer was referring to Edwards' claim that "Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family," when it revealed that "His wife had not known about the [Beverly Hilton] meeting."

What did the Enquirer have to say about Edwards' claims that he had "not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby"?

Edwards denied paying Hunter to keep her silent but said it may be possible friends or supporters of his made the payments.

Edwards says he will now investigate any possible hush money payoffs.

Obviously, the Enquirer was thinking of another famous self-investigation: O.J. Simpson's famous "I will find the real killers".

Following clues left in this week's Enquirer, DBKP [John Edwards Scandal: Is Fred Baron the Enquirer ‘Hush Money Man’?] and Doug Ross [Rumors Run Wild: Is Fred Baron the Wallet for John Edwards Scandal] both speculated Thursday about the identity of the man the Enquirer says "funneled hush money" to Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young.

Today, Fred Baron, came forward, talking to the Dallas Morning News: [Dallas lawyer Fred Baron paid for Edwards' mistress to relocate]

Dallas lawyer Fred Baron, who helped bankroll the former North Carolina senator's presidential run, told The Dallas Morning News that he paid for the woman, Rielle Hunter, to leave Chapel Hill, N.C., because she was being hounded by tabloids.

Mr. Baron, who was chairman of the Democrat's campaign finance committee in 2004 and 2008, said Mr. Edwards didn't know about his aid to Ms. Hunter.

Two comments to a Radar story also speculated that the Enquirer's money man could be Baron or ex-Dallas Mavericks coach, Don Nelson.

Forced to endure John Edwards' "tabloid trash" attacks--Edwards repeatedly played the "tabloid card" during his interview in lieu of answering Brian Woodruff's questions--the Enquirer, at last, answered back.

As far as being the father of Hunter's love child, you might as well go all the way now, Johnny Boy.

Submit to a DNA test.

By the way what was it you said about The ENQUIRER's journalistic chops when the main stream media was silent until we gave them more than a smoking gun by dropping a bomb on August 6?

Oh yeah - "Tabloid Trash."

Leaving readers to conclude that John Edwards and The National Enquirer are engaged in a high-stakes game of "chicken".

Sounds like the Enquirer isn't going to blink first. Does the Enquirer believe Edwards "came clean", as some reports claim? Their closing sentence holds a hint.


The country may very well prove to be the Two Americas that John Edwards' referred to in his aborted presidential campaign--but in a very different way than he meant.

One America that believes the "tabloid trash" of The National Enquirer and another that believes John Edwards, The "99% Honest" Man.

A man who, it may be argued, has yet to take that first step to any hope of a political recovery.

by Mondoreb
images: National Enquirer

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