26 July 2008

More on the Edwards Rumor

Apparently, Fox News has just confirmed the National Enquirer's report of catching Edwards at a Beverly Hills with Rielle Hunter. Damn.

In my last post, I stated that last year's rumors that political a sex scandal was about to burst into the open were not about Larry Sinclair. Here is why:

Last summer, this blind item from the New York Post’s Page Six appeared all over the Internets:

August 27, 2007 -- WHICH political candidate enjoys visiting New York because he has a girlfriend who lives downtown? The pol tells her he'll marry her when his current wife is out of the picture.

Pretty cold, no? The gossip sites guessed the pol to be Edwards, Thomspon, or Guiliani, by the way.

In October, the Enquirer reported on the same rumors. The tabloid named Edwards, but they withheld explicit information on Hunter. Shortly thereafter, New York Magazine published a fairly detailed examination of how the little blind item grew into the full-on rumor that the Enquirer published. Granted, the story's goal was to dismiss the rumors, and it succeeded, but it also included updates linking to the Los Angeles Times, which had reported, albeit briefly, on the Edwards story. The LA Times article quickly vanished:

Update: The LA Times saw fit to mention the rumors last night on their website when Edwards again denied any affair. Meanwhile, Kausfiles picks up on a denial from Rielle Hunter herself, and questions why the Drudge Report has steered clear of this particular storyline.

Update 2: The Los Angeles Times link has mysteriously disappeared, but John Edwards tells the AP the Enquirer story is "completely untrue, ridiculous...I've been in love with the same women for 30-plus years 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,'' he said. ''So the story's just false."

These updates appear to have been added on the 17th or 18th of October. On October 31st, this item popped up at The Moderate Voice:

Is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a sex scandal story about a certain presidential candidate that could blow the campaign wide open?

Rumors about the story- “ which apparently does not involve a certain guy who gets $300 haircuts — have been circulating in Washington for some time. The story apparently is ready, which means that it has been checked, double-checked and lawyered, but the Times apparently doesn't know when or whether to let it rip.

Although the story suggests Edwards isn't the pol in question, this seems a case of the Times playing it safe. And it might have worked--except that in December 2007 the Enquirer reported that Hunter was preparing to give birth to Edwards's child. All involved denied the story. Most people forgot about it--that is, until a day or two ago.

And why am I making a point of discussing the Sinclair thing? Because his supporters have been using the bit from The Moderate Voice as "evidence" that Washington knew all about Larry Sinclair and people (read: the GOP) were just holding onto it until just before the 2008 elections.

The question of whether the Hunter and Sinclair rumors are equivalent--well, not exactly. Again, there seems to be some true evidence in support of the Enquirer's claims. Sinclair's "evidence," on the other hand, has yet to see the light of day.

Aside: Jonah Goldberg, a man with whom I tend to disagree, put something out that I find worth citing here:

Whatever the merits of the whole Edwards love child story, are we really supposed to believe that one of America's most famous trial lawyers wouldn't sue a publication that printed defamatory and slanderous lies about him?

Although common sense dictates that someone accused of deplorable activities should ignore those accusations rather than give them air time, which effectively legitimizes the claims, it may well be time for Edwards to address the allegations of his relationship with Hunter.

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