Saturday, August 2, 2008

John Edwards Affair: Mainstream Press Still Acting as Gatekeepers

Lee Stranahan Gets it Right
"Something to hide"
Most Americans Kept in the Dark by MSM Gatekeepers

Lee Stranahan, at DailyKOS [Irrefutable Proof Of The John Edwards Scandal] does a good job of breaking the news to the left that the John Edwards scandal is real.

On Wednesday, after his speech to the AARP, John Edwards ducked out a side entrance in order to avoid reporter's questions.

That's a fact. It's well sourced -- a dozen reporters were there. Nobody is disputing it. And to anyone covering the story, it's hugely significant for two reasons; it's damning on it's own and it shows a pattern of behavior that gives credence to the National Enquirers reporting.

First point - Edwards is acting how people act when they are hiding something.

Think like a journalist, not a John Edwards supporter. Why do politicians avoid reporters, not issue statements, and duck an issue that multiple news outlets are running down? The answer is - always, in every case - because they have something to hide.

Sadly--for those who wish that politicians, both left and right, would act in the better interests of the country, instead of themselves--the scandal is not about a "right wing conspiracy" or even an evil plot of the Clintons. It's not even about a politician who cheated on his cancer-stricken wife while he dragged her onto the campaign trail in search of the brass ring of the presidency.

To DBKP, it's about the utter and abject failure of the traditional press.

It's not a failure to investigate, although that occurred (and is occurring as I write this).

It's a failure by MSM editors and gatekeepers to report knowledge to their "subjects". Readers of Stranahans' KOS diary know about the affair. They may discuss it, vehemently object to the recording of it by Stranahan at KOS or heartily agree that Edwards is a slimy specimen of humanity.

BUT, at least the readers of KOS can debate these points.

For those that are condemned to get their information through the NY Times, CNN or the 3 network newscasts, they don't even get the opportunity to decide for themselves: that decision was taken away by a mainstream press that made their decision for them.

Even though there was plenty of "curious coincidences" back in December, when the National Enquirer released their second story on the Edwards affair [JOHN EDWARDS LOVE CHILD SCANDAL!], not one reporter had the balls to ask Edwards about it.

Now, seven months later, there are some who supported John Edwards who feel blind-sided by the news that a now-grudging MSM is forced to report. That wouldn't have happened if just one MSM reporter had asked Edwards back in December--as DBKP kept imploring at the time--"Do you deny that you've been in telephone contact with Rielle Hunter since she found out that she was pregnant?"

We'll assume for a moment that the MSM has no liberal bias. The fact that most people who consume MSM news are just now finding this out should be alarming. Readers of the NY Times and viewers of CNN--as well as millions others--are still clueless about John Edwards, Rielle Hunter and their love child.

They remain in the dark to the elaborate cover-up by the Edwards campaign as well.

The cover-up by the traditional press will be the real story here. MSM apologists are already scrambling for excuses. We looked at how the KC Star let their readers in on the new yesterday [John Edwards Scandal: KC Writer Cites “Veiled Threats”, Denials as Likely

KC Star writer, Aaron Barnhart, explained it all away as deference to "EE"; as in, "Elizabeth Edwards is the real reason this story hasn't gained traction until now." Barnhart also attributes non-coverage to "vigorous denials" and "veiled threats" to toss the curious off the Edwards press bus.

The Enquirer reported in their latest print edition that:

Elizabeth Edwards was in Chicago raising cancer awareness with Lance Armstrong on the night the ENQUIRER caught her husband visiting Rielle Hunter visiting their love child [at the Beverly Hilton].

Remember the phrase "gained traction": you'll likely hear it a lot. It's MSMspeak for "failure to inform our readers/viewers".

Note to John McCain and Barack Obama: If a reporter asks about--or is thinking about asking--unpleasantness, tell them they may have their access cut off. Or, have your staff issue a "vigorous denial". That ought to fix the problem--with the major networks and the NY Times, Newsweek and Time magazine, anyway.

Back in December, DBKP looked at Bob Schieffer, of CBS's Face the Nation, and his "two-denial rule". [The Edwards Scandal, The Press, The Enquirer and the Blogosphere]

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.
–- Schieffer, when asked about the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story On the Don Imus show

What DBKP said then still applies:

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.

“I said I need back-up!! NOW!!
I got Bob Schieffer’s sense of curiosity here!”

We concluded in December, "Good thing Deep Throat had the good sense not to leak to the Enquirer. Bob Schieffer would have passed on that one."

MSM apologists are pointing out that "Edwards has denied the story".

NO, he hasn't--at least, since the December allegations from the Enquirer were published.

When the allegations in the October National Enquirer story were published [PRESIDENTIAL CHEATING SCANDAL! ALLEGED AFFAIR COULD WRECK JOHN EDWARDS' CAMPAIGN BID], Edwards denied them.

But, then, he could--at that point.

The Enquirer's allegations were of the general nature at that point: no mistress was named, just some unnamed sources. Which were what the New York Times depended on in its John McCain-Vicki Iseman pseudo-scandal just a few months later.

Even in October, Edwards' denial was one part denial, three parts deflection. Trial lawyer that he is, he deflected, dissembled and attacked. As the LA Times blogs reported (after a row over reporting it at all) [BREAKING NEWS: John Edwards denies affair with campaign worker] :

"The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous." He [Edwards] said the story was "made-up."

"I've been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years," Edwards added, about his wife Elizabeth, who is suffering from incurable cancer, "and as anybody who's been around us knows, she's an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known. So the story's just false."

That was the last denial that John Edwards was forced to make: not one MSM reporter questioned him about the affair and cover-up until July--even after the Enquirer dug up quite a treasure trove of information about the curious arrangements of a very-pregnant Rielle Hunter in December.

So, to all those wielding the excuse, "We didn't cover it because he had already denied it": he never had to deny it after October, after a mound of compelling facts uncovered by the Enquirer changed from a shadowy gossip item about a "former campaign worker" into news about Rielle Hunter and a man who was running for president of the United States.

DailyKOS readers are free to now debate the facts of the case since Stranahan started posting on the scandal. They've been given that right by a writer who reported on a story that the Mainstream Media not only refused to investigate, but refused to report on others who had.

DBKP, Lee Stranahan and all who've commented on this story from the beginning, presented the facts and let their readers connect their own dots; or, if any there were any dots that needed connecting.

Prediction: when the story is fully reported in the traditional media, there will be some who do their own searching for more information. These people will be astonished that this story underwent a healthy debate on the Internet months before they were let in on it.

Many of these people will choose to no longer trust their big-city daily newspapers, CNN, CBS News, ABC, MSNBC, Time, Newsweek or NBC News as a news source.

They will join a growing exodus: they will become "former customers", so to speak, of the major news organizations.

Which will contribute further to falling stock prices, declining viewership/circulation and ad revenues of the dinosaur press: those who still believe they can act as information gatekeepers for the rest of us.

by Mondoreb

image: awcommunity

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