Patterico's Pontifications

7/25/2008

L.A. Times Blogger Denies Feeling Gagged

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:26 pm

As promised, I e-mailed L.A. Times Top of the Ticket blogger Andrew Malcolm to ask his thoughts on the e-mailed gag order sent by his blog boss Tony Pierce, regarding the alleged John Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair. Pierce’s e-mail to his bloggers said he was “asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.”

Mr. Malcolm responded to my e-mail on the record. He claims not to feel gagged:

I can only speak for The Ticket.

Since the new Enq report is a single publication with unnamed sources that doesn’t advance the story much beyond what we already had and since our LATimes.com website already had a lengthy posting this week on this latest Enq version by our sister Opinion blog (see url below), we decided, as salaciously tempting as these new tidbits are to the larger blogosphere, to await the details of our newsroom colleagues’ independent verification process on someone who is no longer a candidate for anything.

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2008/07/john-edwards-af.html

How can the memo be a gag order if we’re posting on it?

As to Malcolm’s contention that the Enquirer story “doesn’t advance the story much beyond what we already had,” I guess he and I will have to agree to disagree.

But I asked him for a response to some obvious retorts to his e-mail. I pointed out that the post in question was published on July 23, while Pierce’s e-mail is dated July 24. As I said in a responsive e-mail to Malcolm:

A post published before the gag order is hardly evidence that the gag order (which certainly reads like a gag order) is not a gag order.

Another obvious point: Edwards is a top candidate for Attorney General, according to several sources.

Malcolm responded:

As I said before, I’m only speaking about The Ticket. But we made our decision for the reasons cited before the LATimes.com Opinion blog and we’re staying with it after the Opinion blog post. It’s a news judgment call based on not much new news there, many years of experience, the anonymous source, the publication’s record, the subject now being on the political sidelines, our own reputation as one of the highest-ranked newspaper political blogs and our perceived responsibilities to Ticket readers. Other political blogs will no doubt make their own calls in good faith, some different, some the same. We may well modify our position once our own people check things out. As always, the readers are the final judges. We’re good with that.

I thank Mr. Malcolm for the response.

71 Responses to “L.A. Times Blogger Denies Feeling Gagged”

  1. After swallowing camels and straining at gnats, I’m not surprised that his gag reflex has been so desensitized…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  2. No need to gag someone who’s so good at self-censorship.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  3. Just like the McCain rumors…..oh wait…..that was published. Also, I seriously doubt they would have sat on the Newt Gingrich story. And he didn’t even get the woman pregnant.

    Capitalist Infidel (c4ec46)

  4. Take out the name John Edwards and insert James Dobson. Anyone think the Times would put a gag order on that one? Or would it be front page news?

    Capitalist Infidel (c4ec46)

  5. We may well modify our position once our own people check things out.

    Are the LA Times’ reporters actively investigating this story and, if so, how many are looking into it? Enquiring minds want to know.

    DRJ (070f3d)

  6. #5 Fox News is reporting that one of the security guards who intervened at the scene said he encountered a “shaken and ashen Senator Edwards.”

    Check out story of “Edwards Hotel Hell” at foxnews.com My attempts at links just vanish in the ether.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  7. Madmax, have you tried “Tinyurl”? Link. It’s really helpful.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  8. You can also hand code the link URL by HTML, or use the link function. Whichever you do, test the link first by right-clicking on it.

    Here’s the link to John Edwards’ Heartbreak Hotel

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  9. I already linked that in a previous post. Follow the link in this post.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  10. nos. 8 and 9- mucho thanks guys. Really great that the silk pony has such empathy for the mother of his ex-campaign aide’s child. Wonder what Andrew Young’s wife and three kids think of their cheating hubby/dad? And why he’d fall on the sword for his ex-boss. Kind of like all the dudes arguing about who actually fathered Anna Nicole’s baby.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  11. OMG!!!! “Unnamed sources” !! The horrors of the unreliability of those!!!

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  12. As always, the readers are the final judges. We’re good with that.

    You don’t really have a choice.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  13. I just want to say that the guys at Top of the Ticket do a very fair job. I enjoy their work a lot.
    I can’t speak to whether they are correct about the Edwards thing, but in general I recommend it to anyone here that isn’t reading it.

    MayBee (5cb8b7)

  14. I just want to say that the guys at Top of the Ticket do a very fair job. I enjoy their work a lot.
    I can’t speak to whether they are correct about the Edwards thing, but in general I recommend it to anyone here that isn’t reading it.

    I second that. It’s on my Daily Reads. Of course, when I’m busy, I don’t always make it through all my Daily Reads. But still . . .

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  15. Edwards collected (I believe) 32 delgates from his primaries efforts. He threw his support to Obama when Obama needed help. He, no doubt, has been promised something by Obama in return, likely the AG position.

    The LA Times and others will try to sit on this to make the story go away, but it won’t. It has been confirmed by a hotel security guard and there have been reports of photos being taken. This will be a BIG story in the print version of the Enquirer. Once more the MSM will have egg on their collective faces. But there’s a lot of egg there already.

    And this is a local story LA Times! When will you ever learn?

    Corky Boyd (25d228)

  16. It has been confirmed by a hotel security guard and there have been reports of photos being taken.

    Actually naming him, of course, would cost him his job.

    I’m sorry, but “reports of photos being taken” is useless.

    steve (a57404)

  17. The eurge against the Moron Media is working….watch them continue to CYA…what a pathetic bunch of tools!

    Moultrie (0c2c01)

  18. eurge=surge…oops

    Moultrie (0c2c01)

  19. The “Edwards Love Child” thing definitely is NOT on anyone’s mind as much as the “LeBron James likes Obama” thing.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/07/lebron-james-ob.html

    Thank God for the “many years of experience” used in bringing this to us.

    Viktor Nehring (6c107f)

  20. As always, the readers are the final judges. We’re good with that.

    1. In ye olden days, the readers would not have learned of the self-censorship going on.

    2. Readers are fleeing the L.A. Times like a hazmat spill.

    3. 1 & 2 may be related.

    Karl (3bd709)

  21. The LA Times and others will try to sit on this to make the story go away

    By assigning reporters to look into it? What a curious method!

    BTW, how did that whole LAT-suppresses-the-Huma-lesbian-affair rumor turn out?

    Lord knows, my well of complaints against the LAT will never run dry, but as always the moment critics ascribe a single, pro-active monolithic intelligence onto a (reeling) organization of nearly a thousand human beings (or facsimiles thereof), is the moment inaccuracy is no longer the sole domain of the hated local daily.

    Monopoly-style papers are famously (and wrongly) averse to “gossip,” and (rightly or wrongly) hesitant to pass along reporting by the National Enquirer and Mickey Kaus. But if you think L.A. Times employees (let alone Tony Pierce) wake up in the morning trying to invent ways to protect John freakin’ Edwards out of political sympathy, then you are, in my opinion, barking up the wrong dead tree.

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  22. I don’t think the motivation is conscious, for the most part. But there is a large amount of rationalization going on at the LAT and a reflexive defense of the status quo. And there is some intellectual dishonesty among certain LATers. For example, complaints about bias are sometimes handled by ascribing nefarious motivations to the critic, rather than concentrating on the substance of the complaint. Michael Hiltzik is infamous for employing this disingenuous tactic.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  23. the slimes will not actively pursue this story, simply because the Silky Pony is a demonrat.

    where this story about a Republican, it would have been all over the front page the next day. that’s the way they do things downtown.

    i have a hard time believing that they have assigned reporters to look into it, and, if they actually did, given the paper’s track record, doubt seriously they will do anything more than read the next edition of the NE a their local market. (without paying for it. %-)

    redc1c4 (ae7a64)

  24. I’ll say it again …

    If the LAT’s policy is now to avoid stories absed on “rumors or salacious speculations,” can we expect a retraction of the newspaper’s pre-election Schwarzenegger groping story, which was based completely on rumor and anonymous sources? Can we expect an apology to the governor?

    The LAT is sitting on this because Edwards is a Democrat. Period. End of story.

    And hopefully in a few years, end of paper.

    The Hound (18f246)

  25. Matt makes a great point but I don’t think its an accident that the LAT has the appearance of being more adverse to gossip about Democrats.

    (BTW, I still owe Matt thanks for pointing me to a great bar in Prague a couple of years ago )

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. But if you think L.A. Times employees (let alone Tony Pierce) wake up in the morning trying to invent ways to protect John freakin’ Edwards out of political sympathy, then you are, in my opinion, barking up the wrong dead tree.

    No, he doesn’t wake up in the morning with it. But if an opportunity presents itself during the day… why not? It’s not like Edwards is a Republican.

    Just kidding, sort of. But can you see how it looks? “Don’t talk about this story because it’s not really a story. We had no problem taking our lead from the Enquirer when it came to, say, Rush Limbaugh, but this one is obviously made up despite all the specific details in the story. P.S. But you are cleared to keep rockin’!”

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  27. Treach — Yeah, I know, it’s awful when an employee of the MSM tries to use actually human language when writing internal memoranda! Next time, I’m sure he will say “Keep on making the L.A. Times the very best news source in Southern California,” just like all the other bores there, so that he can do the important work of avoiding mockery on the Internet.

    As for “Don’t talk about this story because it’s not really a story,” from what I gather in Meredith Artley’s e-mail (and she is one of my very favorite humans in that building) it’s more like “Don’t talk about the Enquirer’s version of this story, because our own newsroom is working on it.” Now, that wasn’t the original wording, but then, she’s apologized for the fact that it wasn’t. Do I believe her? I have never known her to lie. Take that for what it is.

    I’m just surprised that anyone thinks anyone else gives a sh*t about John Edwards one way or the other. The dude’s a bore, a fake, a pretty boy, and (most importantly!) a stone-cold loser. If he was revealed tomorrow to have fathered Brad Pitt’s children, I would be hard-pressed to give a flying F. If it were Barack Obama or John McCain or Arnold McTransfatty, I *may* begin to rise extremely slowly from my slumber as a reader of prurient material … though even then probably not. Granted, I’m just one person and not a news organization.

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  28. If the LAT’s policy is now to avoid stories absed on “rumors or salacious speculations,” can we expect a retraction of the newspaper’s pre-election Schwarzenegger groping story, which was based completely on rumor and anonymous sources?

    I think there’s a qualitative difference between “rumors” printed in the National Enquirer, and “rumors” based on your own original interviews with a dozen (or whatever) women. And wait — Arnold’s a Republican? (Har-har, etc.) And if you truly think that the Rielle whatsherface story is more newsworthy than the Gropenwhatever story … then you should go back and read what Mickey Kaus wrote about the pieces at the time.

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  29. Mr. Welch,

    I agree with your #28 except I would be very surprised if it was revealed tomorrow that John Edwards fathered Brad Pitt’s children. Now had you said Angelina Jolie’s children, I would not be as surprised.

    DRJ (070f3d)

  30. Yeah, I know, it’s awful when an employee of the MSM tries to use actually human language when writing internal memoranda!

    I don’t mean to overstep my bounds, but I can’t help but detect a subtle note of sarcasm here.

    It’s just funny to me, that’s all. “Keep rockin’, as long as the aforementioned rockin’ does not include discussin’ this topic. Signed, Your Boss”

    As for “Don’t talk about this story because it’s not really a story,” from what I gather in Meredith Artley’s e-mail (and she is one of my very favorite humans in that building) it’s more like “Don’t talk about the Enquirer’s version of this story, because our own newsroom is working on it.”

    Sounds good to me. I look forward to reading the story. At this point it’s too late to time it with a stopwatch, so I’ll just keep track on my calendar.

    I’m just surprised that anyone thinks anyone else gives a sh*t about John Edwards one way or the other. The dude’s a bore, a fake, a pretty boy, and (most importantly!) a stone-cold loser.

    …who is alleged to have fathered an illegitimate child on the campaign trail (behind the back of his dying, highly popular wife who passionately campaigned for him), setting up the mother in grand style, and making clandestine meetings in the dead of night to visit his second family. When he’s not making public appearances and trying to keep himself in the running for Obama’s VP.

    Yawn!

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  31. Anyone who reads my input knows I’m supercilious, snooty, moody and occasionally rude. Flame away, but considering Elizabeth Edwards’ health right now I’d be happy if everyone just buried this story.

    I’m aware of its implications should Edwards become Veep or AG. I just know that this woman staying out of the public eye at such a critical time means she is really not well. I guess I don’t need the media to beat up her errant politically motivated spouse. Not right now.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  32. Well, right now is when he was sloppy enough to get caught. So right now it is.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  33. Oh, and as for the “who cares?” factor: Had you ever heard of Larry Craig before he did his little tapdance routine? I hadn’t, but maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention. Not that it wasn’t a story or he’s not a public figure, but Edwards has had a much higher profile. This is news.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  34. I was shocked to learn that MLK was a womanizer. For many years I couldn’t take him seriously, as that was the ultimate betrayal.

    Fast forward. You get older, you read what other people consider acceptable. It’s not my experience or upbringing, so he is not a hero in my book.

    Fast-fast forward and add many of the world’s great leaders to the ‘screw around on the side’ list. MLK, JFK, FDR, RFK, Ike… et cetera.

    So checking in with reality means applying perspective. MLK still screwed around on his wife. Ugh.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  35. #34

    Larry Craig was charged with an offense. John Edwards had an affair… I highly doubt EE was in the dark about it… but ultimately, it won’t mean anything to Obama supporters. They only use tales of ethical misconduct to grab ink, or to stock up on political weapons for their arch rivals. It’s actually as predictable as Obama changing is mind. Yet the Obots could care less about facts. Truth is a real inconvenience, especially with dictatorship at hand.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  36. Treach — Not saying it ain’t news, just saying my personal appetite (which is different than what I think a newspaper should do) for this particular story is nowhere near as strong as it would be for, say, a sitting Congressman, or a candidate for president.

    And speaking of the latter, just so you know where I’m coming from on tales of wayward cockswainism that don’t (to my knowledge) involve underlings or public officials, I have been approached by multiple people about the alleged extra-curricular activities of a certain presidential candidate of whom I have written critical stuff about, and I have indeed greeted such entreaties with a giant yawn. Mostly because I don’t care. I guess that makes me … something.

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  37. Matt Welch, let me respond to your response.

    First, I never said that the Edwards story was more important to Californians than the 2003 recall election. But as for your assertion that the groping story was more accurate …

    You mentioned that the LAT went out and interviewed all of these women. But that carries no weight with me – only one of them was a named source. All the others were anonymous.

    So I treated those anonymous sources the way I treat 90 percent of all anonymous sources in news stories. I conclude that the writer just plain made them up.

    Rumors spread by unnamed sources have zero weight and zero credibility.

    And if you’re recommending that I read up on Kaus, I suggest you read Jill Stewart’s old columns in which she revealed that the LAT knew that former Gov. Gray Davis was an office batterer, and never covered it.

    The Hound (18f246)

  38. Fair enough, Matt. But at this point it’s no longer just a story about a politician’s extramarital exploits. It’s become a media story. Or more accurately, a lack-of-media story. I know I wouldn’t be nearly as interested in this if 99% of the mainstream media weren’t dragging their feet on it. Maybe it’s for good reasons, maybe not, I don’t know. But it sure looks suspicious.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  39. But as for your assertion that the groping story was more accurate …

    It was an assertion I never made. I was talking about the difference in “rumor,” from a news organization’s point of view, between reading the National Enquirer and conducting your own interviews with a dozen sources. You see that there’s a difference, right? Also, can I assume with your rectitude, that you agree with the L.A. Times not (so far, anyway) covering the Rielle/Edwards story?

    As for Jill Stewart’s old story — I love me some Jill Stewart more than I love just about anybody at the Times (Tony Pierce excepted) — but her version of how the Times handled Gropengate, and Gropengate’s equivalence to Gray-bashinggaate, was not, to my mind, her most convincing work.

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  40. I know I wouldn’t be nearly as interested in this if 99% of the mainstream media weren’t dragging their feet on it.

    99% of the mainstream media are dragging their feet on John McCain’s various extramarital affairs, too. Is that a media story, too?

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  41. Care to substantiate that assertion about McCains various extramarital affairs, Matt?

    JD (5f0e11)

  42. Matt:
    Even if McCain did have affairs years ago — which wouldn’t surprise me considering how he dumped his first wife after her injuries ruined her looks — that’s a bit different than the contemporary issue of Edwards allegedly being caught in flagrante delicto, with flame and alleged love child.

    If Edwards were not at that hotel, it should be easy to prove. If nothing else, he probably had a cell phone, and that tracks one’s location. He could ask to make the location records for that day public. Also, what do his campaign aides and wife say about his whereabouts?

    And as you’ve seen, now that you’ve made the same allegation against McCain, you’re going to have to back it up or admit you don’t have the evidence.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  43. It’s not a story without Rielle Hunter and the baby and they are not public figures. The media are right to tread very carefully around this. Even more right to tread carefully around a “story” from a supermarket tabloid which has headlines such as “Statue of Elvis Found On Mars”.

    nk (c1e92f)

  44. 99% of the mainstream media are dragging their feet on John McCain’s various extramarital affairs, too.

    How so? What is there that they haven’t reported? In this case, there’s a love child created by a guy running for POTUS while his cancer stricken wife was busy trying to stay alive and get his slimy ass elected. Said slimeball is denying that child while apparently having been caught visiting it and his mistress. He’s also denying that, and law enforcement has become involved because of the confrontation. And, it’s current, not 3 decades old.

    In McCain’s case, we have the New York Times putting an affair that wasn’t, with no evidence of it having ever been, on the front page above the fold. See Vicky Iseman. What on earth are you talking about? It does not seem to involve reality.

    Is that a media story, too?

    Matt, you write for a living. You’re supposed to be a news/opinion guy. You’re part of the media. Do you really need this spelled out any further for you, or are you just playing dumb? The McCain stories are not news and yet we’re getting them anyway. The Edwards story is current events, and it involves a guy who’s reportedly on the VP short list, and that somehow is not newsworthy. It boggles the mind, right up until you notice that the Times is in the tank for the Donks.

    Pablo (99243e)

  45. It was an assertion I never made. I was talking about the difference in “rumor,” from a news organization’s point of view, between reading the National Enquirer and conducting your own interviews with a dozen sources.

    Did you notice how Fox went to the hotel and started questioning people? And do you know that the Beverly Hilton is 15 miles away from the LAT building?

    I can see ignoring the first Enquirer report, but this later one was full of specifics that are awfully easy to verify or discredit.

    Pablo (99243e)

  46. There were two major flaws with the NYT non-story on McCain’s non-affair with Iseman. One is the heavy reliance on anonymous sources. Two, the story didn’t actually say there was an affair, but heavily implied there might have been one.

    The literal text of the article is that McCain showed poor judgment in associating with Iseman because, in the opinion of unnamed McCain operatives, people might think there was an affair. It’s awfully hard to counter that kind of innuendo, since there is no actual charge to rebut. I get the feeling the NYT tried its darndest to prove an affair, and embarrassed at its failure, puffed up this wretched excuse for an investigation so it wouldn’t have to admit it had no evidence.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  47. It’s not a story without Rielle Hunter and the baby and they are not public figures.

    Neither was the McCain staffer, but you’ll notice that that fact didn’t stop them from running the story.

    Two Americas, indeed…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  48. I agree with Bradley’s comment #48 about the McCain story.

    nk (c1e92f)

  49. Am I wrong? I think that Edwards is still a candidate for President. His merely “suspended” his campaign. He will have delegates in Denver.

    Viktor Nehring (6c107f)

  50. It misrepresents Edwards’ prominence to suggest that he was still in the top ranks of V.P. candidates prior to the Rielle story.

    Rather, his name has been a favorite for the position of Attorney General.

    For a prospective Senate-confirmed Cabinet appointee of this low level (GS-9? GS-10?), I just don’t see why people think what Edwards did (or didn’t) do to selfishly mess up the lives of his friends and family is newsworthy.

    After all, it’s not as if this affair is going to affect his chances of being nominated by President Obama.

    AMac (19ee6a)

  51. 99% of the mainstream media are dragging their feet on John McCain’s various extramarital affairs, too. Is that a media story, too?

    “Hey, look over there!”

    Matt, you write for a living. You’re supposed to be a news/opinion guy. You’re part of the media. Do you really need this spelled out any further for you, or are you just playing dumb?

    I’d planned to be more polite about it, but this is basically my question as well.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  52. Bradley, #48,

    As always you seek to be evenhanded as a professional journalist and its appreciated by those of us who approach LAT/NYT with a healthy dose of cynicism and/or skepticism.

    Funny how anonymous sources were acceptable for the McCain piece but Fox isn’t for the Edwards situation.

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  53. Say, did anybody see this story from December 2007?

    U.S. presidential hopeful John Edwards has been forced to deny allegations that he fathered a love child after cheating on his dying wife.

    The Democratic nominee, a former North Carolina senator, reportedly had an affair with aide Rielle Hunter who is now six months pregnant.

    Edwards, 54, denies cheating on his breast cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, 58, with the 43-year-old divorcee.

    BTW, there’s a picture at the link of Hunter.

    Paul (2ae585)

  54. Say, did anybody see this story from December 2007?

    Yes. An Edwards friend and former employee named Andrew Young then stepped forward and said he was the father. Which was weird, considering she was living just a few streets away from him in his wealthy gated community (a few miles from Edwards HQ), the BMW she was driving was registered to him, and he’d had her over for dinner with his wife and kids. Seems like pretty ballsy behavior for a married man and his visibly pregnant mistress. But hey, that don’t prove nothin’!

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  55. Like Dana, I appreciate and learn from Bradley’s comments.

    DRJ (de3993)

  56. On reflection, I think the MSM’s handling of the Edwards story represents a major breach of journalistic ethics.

    (1) Edwards isn’t just a private citizen, he’s the leader of a major coalition within the Democratic party. Granted, he isn’t one of Obama’s VP finalists, but why not? Why would Obama risk gratuitous alienation of Edwards’ netroots-plus-intellectual-hard-leftist partisans? (For netroots, check “Pandagon”. For intellectual, e.g. blogger “Tenured Radical”. Links don’t seem to pass moderation today.)

    Well, now we can deduce what the insiders and players have presumably known for months: the Rielle story that the Nat Enq broke last year had legs all along. It made Edwards radioactive, even if it never made the pages of Pravda.

    (2) Notwithstanding the above, until the Beverly Hills followup broke this week, leftist and intellectual activists within the party have still seen Edwards as their favorite for Obama’s Attorney General. Why won’t he be sent to the Senate next year? See #1.

    (3) Edwards came to L.A. to attend “a press event Monday afternoon with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the topic of how to combat homelessness.” So, far from a somber “mea culpa” and withdrawal into private life to mitigate the anguish he has inflicted on friends and family, Edwards is still chasing the limelight. Still seeking to lead this country to solutions to pressing social problems. OK, fine–but one of the fought-over questions for homelessness and myriad other issues is this:

    To what extent are social ills the inevitable result of structural factors? (Favorite examples on the left are racism, greedy business CEOs, callous Republicans, outsourcing, sexist oppression, and police violence. The right has others.) And how much are problems due to the weakening of factors that emphasize the individual’s personal responsbility to follow a moral code and do the right thing?

    The LA Times hasn’t posted an official position, but I’d guess most of its establishment look with favor on the “100% Structural Factors, Stupid!” Op-Ed it published on June 22 of this year (“L.A.’s homeless: A progress report”, http://tinyurl.com/5ozetg )

    On the other hand, we see the discomfort that Bill Cosby has provoked with his call to the black community to look more critically at individual behavior, and to insist on higher standards for self and family (good interview/essay in the May Atlantic Monthly, http://tinyurl.com/4a8as4 ).

    Do the self-indulgent, short-time-horizon, impulse-driven, pleasure-seeking activities of prominent millionare celebrity white men have any impact on the behavoirs of the mostly-poor, mostly-minority, mostly-women heads-of-household who find themselves and their children lining up outside homeless shelters?

    I have my suspicions, which are that these things do have some long-term influence, but that closer-to-home factors have a larger and more immediate role. But I don’t know.

    I doubt that LAT editor Tony Pierce has the wisdom to put this question to bed, either. But by treating the Rielle story as he has, he’s supplying his answer.

    That’s not “living up to the high standards of journalistic ethics” or something similar. It’s taking glib “Two Americas” sloganeering for truthful insight. Signing up with Team Edwards, not Team Cosby. I wouldn’t expect much different from an organization like the LAT. But it isn’t very admirable.

    AMac (7a6c31)

  57. Jim, the story I linked says exactly that…with some interesting additions:

    And sources have reportedly claimed [Young] had recently been charged with looking after Hunter and keeping her out of the way.

    Young left his job as Edwards’ North Carolina finance director a month ago, almost the same time as Miss Hunter relocated from New Jersey to the southern state.

    Miss Hunter’s lawyers have issued a statement in which she insists Young IS the father.

    But according to the National Enquirer newspaper, she has told a far different story privately.

    A source reportedly said: “Rielle told me she had a secret affair with Edwards. When she found out that she was pregnant she said he was the father.

    “Rielle told me while Andrew Young is a friend, she’s not romantically involved with him.”

    Miss Hunter loves Edwards and will do anything to protect him, the source added.

    Paul (2ae585)

  58. And as you’ve seen, now that you’ve made the same allegation against McCain, you’re going to have to back it up or admit you don’t have the evidence.

    Uh, McCain’s admitted it himself, people, in regards to his first marriage. You can find it in many of the sympathetic books written about John McCain, for example. Including the allegation (which he hotly denied, and few if any reporters have ever followed up on) that he dated a subordinate on the base he commanded in Florida!

    And no, I’m not talking about Vicki Iseman, which was just a brutal piece of pseudo-journalism by the New York Times, one that makes the gropengovernor story look Pulitzer-worthy by comparison.

    Again, I don’t care about John McCain’s sex life, and have never (to my knowledge/memory) written about it anywhere except here. I’m just taking the temperature of what you all consider media stories worth covering. I am probably most persuaded by the “love child” argument; which is to say, any story involving a politician and the phrase “love child” should be investigated with extreme prejudice and glee. Preferably, by someone not named me.

    But yeah, I’m a big effin’ retard who doesn’t understand media bias or the Internet or how the L.A. Times killed Chandra Levy because Tony Pierce cares about using structural issues to solve the Three Americas. Hi five!

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  59. I’m just taking the temperature of what you all consider media stories worth covering. I am probably most persuaded by the “love child” argument; which is to say, any story involving a politician and the phrase “love child” should be investigated with extreme prejudice and glee.

    How about the “elaborate coverup of a pregnant mistress in the middle of a presidential campaign, and the seeming unwillingness of the press to even glance at it” argument? High-five!

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  60. Oh, nobody told me it was elaborate….

    Actually, that’s a great story, and I think news organizations should have been investigating it! Now what?

    Matt Welch (038d51)

  61. Hiding her away in her own mansion, paying all her bills, pushing that Andrew Young guy forward as the father, arranging secret meetings in hotel rooms in the middle of the night, etc. I’d say that’s fairly elaborate, yeah. But I’ve never had that problem, so maybe it’s just par for the course for Edwards.

    Actually, that’s a great story, and I think news organizations should have been investigating it! Now what?

    Tell Tony and his boss.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  62. Jim #64 – I agree that the story was hot when Edwards was running, but if I was a D-Party faithful running a newsroom now, I would go full bore with it, instead of ignoring it.

    Why?

    Because Edwards is effectively dead, politically, and the scandal would redirect heat away from Obama, and actually improve BO’s image, as I don’t recall any infidelity rumors being associated with BO.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  63. Yeah, I don’t claim to understand all the political calculus of it. And I’m trying really hard not to ascribe it to “that dadgum librul media!” But if it walks like a duck…

    The story might not be as hot as when Edwards was running, but it’s still a story. It’s not going away, and the longer the silence, real or perceived, the more curious a lot of people are going to get.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  64. A Mac,

    It misrepresents Edwards’ prominence to suggest that he was still in the top ranks of V.P. candidates prior to the Rielle story.

    Not according to Time.

    Edwards, Nunn on Obama’s Veep List

    Pablo (99243e)

  65. I am probably most persuaded by the “love child” argument; which is to say, any story involving a politician and the phrase “love child” should be investigated with extreme prejudice and glee.

    Matt, I’m interested in seeing a standard applied, and that seems to meet it in the landscape as we know it, especially when the subject is transparently lying his ass off about it.

    So, has the LA Times mentioned it yet? It’s two days old at Fox.

    Pablo (99243e)

  66. What if this were Mitt Romney with a love child? How much of it would we be seeing? A lot more, I suspect.

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. Pablo @ 9:00pm –

    I missed the 7/19/08 Time story you linked, thanks. You’re right, as late as a week or two ago, somebody in the Obama campaign was serious about Edwards, or at least wanting it to look that way.

    To the extent the vetters took the Rielle story seriously, I find it hard to believe that they saw Edwards as an actual contender. “Love child” and “V.P.”, not a good match.

    Matt Welch @ 7:41pm —

    But yeah, I’m a big effin’ retard who doesn’t understand media bias or the Internet or how the L.A. Times killed Chandra Levy because Tony Pierce cares about using structural issues to solve the Three Americas. Hi five!

    Gee, most of that’s too complicated for me, but I can lend a hand with structural issues and Edwards’ concept of ThreeTwo Americas.

    “One America does the work while another America reaps the reward,” Edwards intoned. “One America pays the taxes while another America gets the tax breaks.”

    Homeless people are part of Good America, which is why Edwards came to L.A. to help them. Even though he’s rich (Bad America), as a Leftist Celebrity Who Cares, he’s actually good! The plight of Good-America homeless people is due to structures in society that profit Bad America (other rich people). So Edwards’ reckless, self-indulgent, destructive private behavior has nothing to do with his fitness to lead our country to the correct social policy on this and other matters. Edwards would be cheating us if he were to apologize for his conduct and withdraw from the limelight to focus on healing his family. Good America needs his leadership, now more than ever. Bill Cosby’s anxieties about the importance of personal responsibility be damned.

    Hope that helped. High Five!

    AMac (7a6c31)

  68. What if this were Mitt Romney with a love child?

    Well, at least in that case he’d be married to both women.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)


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