Friday, August 8, 2008

Edwards Admits to Affair, ABC Reports

ABC News is reporting that former Sen. John Edwards, whose wife is suffering with cancer, is admitting to an affair.

The story reports that:

Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 42-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

All of this comes after reports in the National Enquirer, which were for the better part of a year ignored by the mainstream media.

So much for becoming the attorney general.

Fox News Channel analyst Bernard Goldberg, while on "The O'Reilly Factor" this Monday, pointed out the hypocrisy of the mainstream media in its coverage of this story. In a response to a question from O'Reilly, he said:

Right. Okay, I did a little research when I learned you wanted to talk about this. In January of 2001, a newspaper broke a story that Jesse Jackson had a baby with a woman he worked with out of wedlock. Jesse Jackson is an important figure. He's a minister. It's obviously a legitimate story. Did the New York Times break that story? No. Washington Post? No. Either of the Chicago newspapers where Jesse Jackson lives and works? No. The National Enquirer broke that story. And when the New York Times finally decided to run it, they put it on page 21 under a one-column headline.

Compare that to a story with two unnamed sources that think that maybe that I'm not sure, but I think that John McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist. That winds up on page one of the New York Times.

Now let me give you one more hypothetical. That really happened. I know the New York Times would say it wasn't a sex story, it was a lobbyist story. Right. Here's a hypothetical. What if Newt Gingrich or our friend Karl Rove, who was just on, were involved with a woman on the West Coast and had a baby with her out of wedlock. Do you think the New York Times would be as squeamish as it is with the John Edwards story? I don't think so.

Goldberg is right, had this involved a conservative Republican, the New York Times would have been much more aggressive in its coverage. And that's the problem with the mainstream media these days. It does not play on an even field.

There are a number of reasons for this. It's not a matter of a vast conspiracy. In all my days in a major newsroom, I never once heard of an editor forcing his or hers political view into a story or coverage. But most reporters and editors look at news from the same prism. We all went to the same schools, we got into journalism to fight "the establishment." Journalism is not a highly trusted profession any more. We rank with used-car salesmen. In order to change that, we have to start leveling our coverage.

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