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Thread: Media hypocrisy reaches new lows in Edwards affair

  1. #1
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    Media hypocrisy reaches new lows in Edwards affair

    Unf-ckingbelievable...take a gander at this absolutely LAUGHABLE piece put out by the AP today:

    [QUOTE][B][SIZE="5"]Reporters found Edwards' affair tough to prove[/SIZE][/B]
    [COLOR="Red"][SIZE="3"]AP's approach: 'Better to get it right even if we couldn't get it first'[/SIZE][/COLOR]

    WASHINGTON - Reporters don't like being beaten on a major political story, especially by a supermarket tabloid. And being beaten up over not reporting one is even less appealing.

    But a sexual affair can have just two people who know the truth. Without witnesses, documents, photographs or some form of irrefutable evidence pointing to the truth, news organizations will not endanger their own integrity.

    That made it difficult to prove — and to print — the rumors that John Edwards had cheated on his seriously ill wife while running for president. Reporters were left to poke around the edges of a potentially career-ending scandal in search of an opening.
    Story continues below ↓advertisement

    "It's not like they didn't know it was there," said Mark Feldstein, a former investigative reporter who teaches journalism at George Washington University.

    "Proof is the biggest issue," Feldstein said. "The National Enquirer is not well-regarded as a news source by the news media."

    Last year the National Enquirer published a story alleging that Edwards had an extramarital affair. It reported last month that the former senator had fathered a "love child." Readers of the popular if trashy weekly — perhaps some who only glance at the headlines at the checkout counter — joined the political enemies of the handsome Democrat in asking why other news media were not carrying the story.

    Confirming the story
    So did many of those who live in the blogosphere, where the Enquirer story was taken as fact in spite of its anonymous sources. Where, they asked, were the reports on CNN, in The New York Times, on the news wire of The Associated Press? The AP had a fair number of inquiries by phone and e-mail as to when it would report the Edwardsaffair.

    The answer for the AP and many other news media was simple: When it could be confirmed. And it never was confirmed to the AP's satisfaction or, apparently, to the satisfaction of others until Edwards himself owned up to the infidelity in an interview with ABC News.

    "We began pursuing the story soon after it first appeared. But the standard for proof in this kind of intimate behavior is and should be very high," said Michael Oreskes, AP's managing editor for U.S. news. "Better to get it right even if we couldn't get it first.

    After Edwards dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination, questions about his marital fidelity lost much of their relevance to the presidential race. Yet the affair still made news, even if he timed his confession for a Friday in August on the opening day of the Summer Olympics to soften the impact of a sex scandal.

    Efforts had failed to find someone who could reveal the facts or to uncover a document linking Edwards to 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. No father is listed on the birth certificate, which the AP and other news organizations had obtained, and other evidence such as Edwards' political action committee paying her $100,000 for videos was only circumstantial.

    That left little for reporters. The AP had been among those reporting in October 2007 that Edwards flatly stated that the Enquirer's initial story was false — a lie, he now admits. Still, the opening allowed news organizations to report what they otherwise stayed away from.

    The process repeated itself a few weeks ago when the Enquirer reported that Edwards had paid a late-night visit to Hunter and her child. He called the allegation "tabloid trash" when a reporter asked about it on July 23 — not exactly a lie but certainly a description designed to deceive. Again, most news organization were loath to pick up the new Enquirer report, beyond the denial, and those who could have revealed the truth remained silent.

    "I think the mainstream news media were responsible for not airing it and not printing it earlier. There really wasn't anything to report," Feldstein said. "If the story were false, it would be a tremendously hurtful thing for his family and professionally lethal to him."

    Reporters looked for indirect ways to get at the story. The Raleigh News & Observer and others reported this week that the rumors and Edwards' silence about them were affecting plans for him to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

    Within days, Edwards broke his silence, an event sure to burst the dam that held back details about the affair, predictions for Edwards' future and criticism over how the news media got scooped by a publication they don't respect.[/QUOTE]


    I have a hard time believing that piece of garbage was written with a straight face. Remember the McCain "affair?" The one Keith Olbermann broke into regularly scheduled programming to "announce?" Here's a good piece on how the AP "responsibly" and "carefully" handled that "story":

    [QUOTE][B][SIZE="4"]Associated Press, Like Others, Retails Malicious Rumor as "Reporting"[/SIZE][/B]

    Don't you just love this headline? [SIZE="3"][B][I]Cindy McCain, Like Others, Stands by Man[/I][/B][/SIZE]

    Hm... now what might this imply via subtext? Oh, let's read a little further:

    [I] She and her husband, likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain, emphatically denied suggestions in published reports that he had an affair with a lobbyist.

    A coterie of wives has confronted the public pain of such an accusation. Smaller still is the band who, like Cindy McCain, have spoken out.[/I]

    Now, bear in mind that this AP article arises in response to a sleazy New York Times article from earlier today -- which implied but did not openly claim that John McCain had some sort of affair with a 40-something lobbyist... eight years ago. There is a reason that the Times was so circumspect: Not a single person has stepped forward to say such an affair occurred. Nobody.

    Here is how the Times put it:

    [I]A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself -- instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign saidon the condition of anonymity.

    When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

    Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.[/I]

    Understand? Not only has nobody come to the Times and said "they were having an affair." Even the people who did talk to them don't claim to have known that; they were simply worried that others -- read "the elite media" -- might leap to that conclusion.

    Yet somehow, this non-allegation allegation has metastasized into "suggestions in published reports that he had an affair with a lobbyist," as AP put it. (Like those "suggestions in published reports" that John McCain fathered a "black child.")

    And now we see the insidious nature and tactics of rumor-mongering... because AP goes explicit, just in case you missed the connection (they know their core audience, and they know they have to be spoonfed the slimy inuendo):

    [I] Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady who is battling Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, memorably insisted to CBS's "60 Minutes" during the 1992 campaign, "I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette." She sat beside husband Bill.

    And there was her cool demeanor, six years later, at the news conference where her husband declared of Monica Lewinsky: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

    Mrs. Clinton made this barbed observation to the journalists who were present, "I'm pleased to see so many people in attendance who care about child care," a reference to the reason the news conference had been arranged.[/I]

    You see? So Cindy McCain is standing by her man and insisting that he didn't have the affair, just as Hillary Clinton did with Bill Clinton. But of course, when Hillary did so, she was either lying herself -- or she let her husband make a fool of her.

    Can anybody guess what the subtextual implication of this is, anent the McCains?

    Think it was just a coincidence? How about this paragraph:

    [I] On Thursday, Cindy McCain struck a balance between strident and shocked as she calmly helped her husband confront the allegations. She was no Hillary Clinton, but neither was she silent, like the wives of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig. The first announced he was gay, the second said he was not.[/I]

    Hillary Clinton's husband really was having multiple affairs in the White House. Dina Matos McGreevey's husband really was having an affair with a male aide. Suzanne Craig's husband really did pled guilty to making homosexual advances to an undercover police officer in a public toilet. Cindy McCain's husband...

    Just in case the connection hadn't been hammered home enough... the AP story goes on to compare Cindy McCain to the wives of Louisiana Rep. David Vitter, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Sen. Gary Hart... all of whom have admitted -- or been caught red-handed in -- their extramarital sexual affairs.

    This inuendo is simply loathsome. Here is the chain of "reasoning" so far in this "news" story:

    1. Some former McCain staffers -- anonymous, of course (doesn't any source give his name anymore?) -- were worried that McCain's friendship with Vicki Iseman might possibly be improper, though they had no evidence that it was;

    2. Others were worried that gutter-minded journalists might leap to the conclusion that it was improper, especially if McCain were nominated;

    3. Therefore, they discouraged her from hanging around McCain;

    4. The Times decided it was urgent to bring this before the American people, so that McCain would have to answer for his transgressions -- real or confabulated;

    5. This gave AP cover to openly compare McCain's wife to the wives of numerous politicians who were openly accused of sexual impropriety by the other women/men involved... and who subsequently admitted their sins;

    6. Therefore, we are to conclude, John McCain must be equally guilty.

    Well! Who could argue with that?

    Then, like any successful used-car salesman, the writer (Libby Quaid, whoever he or she is) "closes the deal" in the final paragraph:

    "The allegation of infidelity is still a powerful allegation, and it remains powerful because it's about trust and responsibility, the idea that if you're cheatingon your spouse, what can we expect of you in the presidency," he said. [" He" = Stanley Renshon, "political psychologist" -- huh? -- at CUNY.]

    Get the point, you Bible-thumping, woman-hating, judgmental Evangelical Christians who have been threatening to sit out the election? John McCain is just like womanizer Bill Clinton, party-boy Gary Hart, and gay Gov. Jim McGreevy! So go ahead and sit home in a snit on November 4th... you don't want to put some atheist sex maniac like him in the White House, do you?

    Great leaping horny toads. At least the Weekly World News has faux photographs of the space aliens who are taking over the world. AP doesn't even bother with that level of substantiation! What next... will they hint that Cindy McCain had thespian encounters at USC, and that McCain himself has been caught masticating in public?

    As Mark Twain put it (with a slight lizardian edit) in Life on the Mississippi...
    There is something fascinating about [yellow journalism]. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by shakin318; 08-09-2008 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    They're making up for it by covering the affair more than the olympics and the **** thats going on in Georgia. Oh and sad news, just heard Bernie Mac died. :(

  3. #3
    Apparently, this generation's Woodward's and Bernstein's work for the National Enquirer. The McCain "affair" only devalued the brand of the "newspaper" that broke the story.

    Really bummed about Bernie Mac as well.

  4. #4
    You cannot tell me there isn't a liberal bias in the mass media. Talk about sheeple, that's the definition of it.

    They'll print a vicious, unsubstantiated rumor about the Republican nominee for President, but refuse to acknowledge overwhelming evidence that that snakeoil salesman with the boyish good looks and bull**** hypocritical cliched slogans was banging some ugly broad while his cancer ridden wife lay striken at home.

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    Seriously, I had to double-check to make sure that first article wasn't written in The Onion.

    And by the way, the MSM is NOT "covering it more than the Olympics and that stuff going on in Georgia." It's the 4th story on cnn.com, after the Olympics, "that stuff going on in Georgia," and Bernie Mac dying. What about msnbc.com you might ask? IT'S NOT EVEN ON THE HOME PAGE (8/8/08 @ 4:00 PM).

    F-cking shills.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=shakin318;2680027]Seriously, I had to double-check to make sure that first article wasn't written in The Onion.

    And by the way, the MSM is NOT "covering it more than the Olympics and that stuff going on in Georgia." It's the 4th story on cnn.com, after the Olympics, "that stuff going on in Georgia," and Bernie Mac dying. What about msnbc.com you might ask? IT'S NOT EVEN ON THE HOME PAGE (8/8/08 @ 4:00 PM).

    F-cking shills.[/QUOTE]

    The worst. Then you have morons like Press Coverage (oh, the irony of that name) calling him a "victim."

    Sickening.
    Last edited by JetsFan2012; 08-09-2008 at 04:19 PM.

  7. #7
    First of all, the AP and the NYT are two different organizations, so the fact that they made two different decisions does not make either a hypocrite.

    Secind, I don't think its a good comparison, even though I thought the original McCain piece was crap. McCain, when the "news" broke, was an active senator running for president. Edwards was out of the race and out of office. Clearly, if Edwards were the presumed nominee of his party, no one would have sat on the story in the same way after the Enquirer broke it. But obviously the possibility of an affair by a sitting senator and presidential candidate is a bigger deal than someone who is essentially now a private citizen.

    The other factor here, of course, is that McCain is an adulterer. His sleeping around led to the end of his first marriage. So there's a track record there that didn't exist with Edwards.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680050]

    Secind, I don't think its a good comparison, even though I thought the original McCain piece was crap. McCain, when the "news" broke, was an active senator running for president. [B]Edwards was out of the race and out of office. Clearly, if Edwards were the presumed nominee of his party, no one would have sat on the story in the same way after the Enquirer broke it.[/B] But obviously the possibility of an affair by a sitting senator and presidential candidate is a bigger deal than someone who is essentially now a private citizen.

    .[/QUOTE]

    How do you know that? Edwards is (was?) admired by thousands, was the VP nominee in 2004, ran for President this year, and everyone was so sympathetic about his poor wife struggling with cancer and their good looking young family. If they were truly unbiased, there's [B]no[/B] reason this shouldn't have been investigated by the bloodthirsty media.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=pauliec;2680069]How do you know that? Edwards is (was?) admired by thousands, was the VP nominee in 2004, ran for President this year, and everyone was so sympathetic about his poor wife struggling with cancer and their good looking young family. If they were truly unbiased, there's [B]no[/B] reason this shouldn't have been investigated by the bloodthirsty media.[/QUOTE]

    I know that because it's common sense. The media does not lay off these kinds of claims about presidential candidates. And it has nothing to do with what party the person is, as I am fairly certain both Bill Clinton and Gary Hart are Democrats.

    Edwards was out of office and out of the race. An affair by him --while newsworthy because of his fame-- does not approach the level of similar antics from someone either actively holding or seeking high office. It's more interesting than important.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680050]First of all, the AP and the NYT are two different organizations, so the fact that they made two different decisions does not make either a hypocrite.

    Secind, I don't think its a good comparison, even though I thought the original McCain piece was crap. McCain, when the "news" broke, was an active senator running for president. Edwards was out of the race and out of office. Clearly, if Edwards were the presumed nominee of his party, no one would have sat on the story in the same way after the Enquirer broke it. But obviously the possibility of an affair by a sitting senator and presidential candidate is a bigger deal than someone who is essentially now a private citizen.

    The other factor here, of course, is that McCain is an adulterer. His sleeping around led to the end of his first marriage. So there's a track record there that didn't exist with Edwards.[/QUOTE]

    What a total, steaming crock of sh:t. Your stance is pathetically laughable, but knock yourself out.

    And of course the NYT and the AP are 2 different organizations. The point is that the NYT prints an absolutely BASELESS smear job, which the AP then eagerly sources for its own amazingly biased "coverage." Frankly, the National Enquirer merits far more respect than the New York Times at this point.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=shakin318;2680198]What a total, steaming crock of sh:t. Your stance is pathetically laughable, but knock yourself out.

    And of course the NYT and the AP are 2 different organizations. The point is that the NYT prints an absolutely BASELESS smear job, which the AP then eagerly sources for its own amazingly biased "coverage." Frankly, the National Enquirer merits far more respect than the New York Times at this point.[/QUOTE]

    Care to cite a sentence in it you disagree with?

    You think an affair of a former presidential candidate who holds no public office is as big a story as the affair of an active candidate and current senator?

    Apples and oranges.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680203]Care to cite a sentence in it you disagree with?

    You think an affair of a former presidential candidate who holds no public office is as big a story as the affair of an active candidate and current senator?

    Apples and oranges.[/QUOTE]

    You honestly think because he was a "former candidate" is the only reason they sat on this story?
    This is probably what those rumblings were about last fall/winter about a sex scandal involving a prominent politician. Remember those whispers for which no one in the media wanted to go on record about? That was when his campaign was still active.

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    Nuu, you're defending one of the guys on your team here, that's it. Apples and oranges?? Put that lame sh*t on toast. Edwards was on Obama's list of VP nominees and a candidate for cabinet posts, like AG. He was relevant, period and you know this. Your spin here is embarassing. If Mitt Romney cheated on his wife, the NYT would have had above-the-fold headlines about it for two weeks straight and you know this. Get real.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680203]Care to cite a sentence in it you disagree with?

    You think an affair of a former presidential candidate who holds no public office is as big a story as the affair of an active candidate and current senator?

    Apples and oranges.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, sure, ok, Edwards was Mr. Irrelevant. Even last year when the story first cropped up. "Responsible" AP reporters were "left to poke around the edges of a potentially career-ending scandal in search of an opening" -- an opening that miraculously could only be found by intrepid National Enquirer reporters. Who, by the way, have proven to be absolutely on-the-money here, beating the "professional" and "respectable" and "objective" (bwahahaaaa) journalists by a [B][U]FULL YEAR[/U][/B] on a MAJOR STORY.

    Seriously, take a second and go back to read the AP article I posted. This absolutely comically-angled story is the story they choose to run FIRST, the DAY after Edwards admits the affair -- their "HERE'S WHY WE DIDN'T REPORT THIS OR EVEN MENTION IT FOR THE LAST YEAR" story, when allegedly they finally have the holy verification they've needed and have been fruitlessly seeking (haarumph!!) for this story for so long. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE JOKE!!

    Seriously, you should just take a sideline seat on this thread, because it's better to have people think you're a rube, rather than post what you're posting and remove all doubt.
    Last edited by shakin318; 08-09-2008 at 07:45 PM.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2680285]Nuu, you're defending one of the guys on your team here, that's it. Apples and oranges?? Put that lame sh*t on toast. Edwards was on Obama's list of VP nominees and a candidate for cabinet posts, like AG. He was relevant, period and you know this. Your spin here is embarassing. If Mitt Romney cheated on his wife, the NYT would have had above-the-fold headlines about it for two weeks straight and you know this. Get real.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not defending Edwrads here --nor have I for one second, as I think he's a scumbag and am glad not to have supported him-- and I have not defended the NYT story.

    All I am saying is that I don't think this particular story has anything to do with the McCain story. It's a different situation entirely, because it is not hitting at a moment where major media outlets have assigned hundreds of people to cover the guy. He's out of the picture, so what's the hurry to break a story about him? If Mike Huckabee had an affair right now, that would be analogous.

    (Also, Edwards is not a serious veep candidate, at least not according to anything I've read (and I read a lot). The short list is out there (Kaine, Bayh, Biden, Sibelius, perhaps Nunn, Clinton, Daschle) and he aint on it.)

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=shakin318;2680306]Yeah, sure, ok, Edwards was Mr. Irrelevant. Even last year when the story first cropped up. "Responsible" AP reporters were "left to poke around the edges of a potentially career-ending scandal in search of an opening" -- an opening that miraculously could only be found by intrepid National Enquirer reporters. Who, by the way, have proven to be absolutely on-the-money here, beating the "professional" and "respectable" and "objective" (bwahahaaaa) journalists by a [B][U]FULL YEAR[/U][/B] on a MAJOR STORY.

    Seriously, take a second and go back to read the AP article I posted. This absolutely comically-angled story is the story they choose to run FIRST, the DAY after Edwards admits the affair -- their "HERE'S WHY WE DIDN'T REPORT THIS OR EVEN MENTION IT FOR THE LAST YEAR" story, when allegedly they finally have the holy verification they've needed and have been fruitlessly seeking (haarumph!!) for this story for so long. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE JOKE!!

    Seriously, you should just take a sideline seat on this thread, because it's better to have people think you're a rube, rather than post what you're posting and remove all doubt.[/QUOTE]

    They didn't mention it because they didn't have it, precisely what the NYT should have done with McCain.

    It should not be news to you that a publication that routinely reports alien landings has a lower burden of proof than a mainstream news organization.

    AP did it right (in this case). The NYT screwed up.

    What you are branding as "hypocrisy" is two independent decisions by two independent organizations, one right, one wrong. It's not a big conspiracy.
    Last edited by nuu faaola; 08-09-2008 at 08:13 PM.

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2680285]Nuu, you're defending one of the guys on your team here, that's it. Apples and oranges?? Put that lame sh*t on toast. Edwards was on Obama's list of VP nominees and a candidate for cabinet posts, like AG. He was relevant, period and you know this. Your spin here is embarassing. If Mitt Romney cheated on his wife, the NYT would have had above-the-fold headlines about it for two weeks straight and you know this. Get real.[/QUOTE]

    This.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680050]Edwards was out of the race and out of office.
    ...
    The other factor here, of course, is that McCain is an adulterer. His sleeping around led to the end of his first marriage. So there's a track record there that didn't exist with Edwards.[/QUOTE]

    Therefore:

    * a bogus story on McCain - [I]fit to print.[/I]

    * non-coverage of Edwards (former and potential VP candidate/US Atty Gen/Supreme Court nominee) 'love child' replete with salacious photos and suspicious activity and financial shenanigans - [I]hey, let's move on to something else.[/I]
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Awful, nuu. You don't get it.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2680360](Also, Edwards is not a serious veep candidate...[/QUOTE]
    Oh, you think?

  20. #20
    His magic underwear would not let him.

    [IMG]http://www.salamandersociety.com/romney/070219mitt_ann_romney_underwear.gif[/IMG]



    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2680285] If Mitt Romney cheated on his wife, the NYT would have had above-the-fold headlines about it for two weeks straight and you know this. Get real.[/QUOTE]

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