John Edwards, meet Jonathan Edwards

For those of us old enough to remember Jonathan Edward’s 1971 song Sunshine, last week’s revelations about politician John Edwards brought back memories. The name similarity is almost spooky. The key line of the song reads:

“He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine.”

It could have been written about the current Edwards. But just think about all the other politicians it might apply to.


Steve Buckstein is Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland-based think tank.

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Posted by at 05:55 | Posted in Measure 37 | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    In the end, does anyone really care about John Edwards? I think he had some who were interested in his campaign, but at the end of the day, I cant say I really have ever met a single person who was all Gung Ho John Edwards. The fact remains however that this story should have been looked into and investigated while it was occurring, a year ago while Edwards was a candidate. That’s the relevance here. MSM didn’t investigate, the National Enquirer did.

    At some point, one has to ask if maybe it’s time to start treating The National Enquirer a little more seriously and The New York Times et al. a little less so on any issue in which there is the slightest hint of partisan reporting by MSM.

    All of this bears strange similarity to the famous stained blue dress in history. Yet again, MSM dismissed it. I remember Cokie Roberts chastising herself for believing there was any truth to the rumor of Bill Clintons legacy soiling Lewinski’s wardrobe. The National Enquirer, along with Matt Drudge followed up and it lead to the first impeachment of an elected president. Then there was the famous forgery of a letter regarding Bush’s National Guard service. Oddly, MSM was quite vigorous in perusing the story when, according to the forged letter, it appeared Bush had dodged military service. Sixty minutes did two segments on it leading up to the election, almost unprecedented coverage for that show. Yet, when a forgery should have been apparent to anyone with any sense, they didn’t follow up. The blogger media was born, forcing the resignation of Dan Rather, one of the most respected news reporters in the industry. Some might argue the same with Obama’s racist minister Rev. Wright. Kept alive and played daily on such shows as Rush Limbaugh, for six months before MSM asked a single question about a clearly bigoted man who not only was Obama’s minister and mentor, but was a paid member of his campaign.

    A pattern emerges that is quite clear to anyone. Freedom of the press is one thing, abuse of that freedom is another. The difference is, when the National Enquirer abuses its press freedom, they get sued, rumors that Madonna is a space alien are put to rest. That’s a lot different than MSM’s abuse of that freedom, which is a deliberate attempt to influence elections. Its getting harder and harder for MSM to argue they have any impartiality. Without that, there is no integrity. What a strange turn of events that the ongoing slow death of the newspapers and network news should herald in a new age of press freedom. The era of these pompous political shills dressed in false press vestments is almost over. I can hardly wait.

    • dean

      What does “abuse of that freedom” (press) mean exactly Rupert? Does a free press have any obligation to pursue any particular story? Where is that rule written down? Is it part of the 1st Amendment? As a part time member of the press, I don’t think so. As a private enterprise, any newspaper or magazine seems to have a few obligations:

      1) publish the truth of any particular story (don’t make stuff up)
      2) seperate news content from editorial content (keep opinions where they belong)
      3) Make enough money to stay in business
      4) Deliver a good, readable, compelling product to readers
      5) Use good judgement as to what is news worthy and what is not

      By those standards, the Enquirer is not a news reporting organization. You can take a paper that regularly publishes stories about Elvis abductions seriously if you choose. I’ll stick with the papers of record.

      Affairs of politicians, or rumors of affairs, can and probably should be ignored, as they were back in the day (Kennedy, Roosevelt). That it was the National Enquirer that chose to pursue this while more responsible news organizations chose not to is about right. What people do with their little captains, as long as it is legal, is between them and their families.

      I have met a few gung ho John Edwards supporters, but he has never been my cup of tea. Always seemed phony, opportunistic, and was awfully late in discovering poor people. But he contributed a lot to the recent democratic campaign by putting very specific, well thought out policy proposals out on the table and forcing Clinton and Obama to react.

      (And what in the world are you doing listening to Cokie Roberts? Isn’t she on NPR, that nest of commies? Just kidding).

      As for blogger journalism, it is long on opinion, short on fact gathering. Every blog out there, including this Catalyst site, still relies on actual reporters, mostly working for mainstream media companies, to take their notebooks, recorders, and cameras out into the real world to find and write about events first. sometimes at great physical risk, with declining budget support, and with severe deadlines. Then the bloggers can have their say. If and when actual reporters disappear, all we will have left is a lot of wind with nothing to blow around. We will miss them when they are gone.

  • Alan

    The issue is not going away.

    Inconsistencies Raise Concerns Edwards May Still Be Lying About Affair.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,401462,00.html

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >What does “abuse of that freedom” (press) mean exactly Rupert?

    Is it that you truly can’t read? Or is it that you are a poor writer? I lay out exactly what I mean by that, its the entire content of my post. What part of that basic fact did you miss?

    >1) publish the truth of any particular story (don’t make stuff up)

    Hmm, you mean like 60 minutes did with reporting as truth a forged letter about Bush National Guard service that even a cursory glance would tell a lay person was highly suspect as a forgery?

    Or wait a second maybe you mean the one Newsweek made up about flushing the Koran down the toilet that got several people killed in riots?

    Could I be wrong? Possibly you mean ABC’s news insistence that there was no blue dress with Clintons legacy stain on it?

    2) seperate news content from editorial content (keep opinions where they belong)

    Obviously you have not watched network news in quite a long time. Editorializing comes in many forms. The network news broadcasts do it overtly, Dan Rather so overtly he had to retire. It is also done by virtue of hang time, which at this point post Obama European Mid East rock tour is fairly unarguable. Please don’t ask me what I mean by hang time if you are going to insist you are a journalist of some sort.

    3) Make enough money to stay in business

    Virtually no news organization seems to be doing this today.

    4) Deliver a good, readable, compelling product to readers

    Right. See number 3 above. People are sick of the bias in NYT, Boston Globe, LA Times, you name it. Their readership is dropping like flies. I cant frankly think of any newspaper with up ticking circulation. Hmm, Fox news seems to be doing comparatively good. Gee, I wonder why?

    5) Use good judgement as to what is news worthy and what is not

    Well, given the avoidance of the Rev. Wright story for six months when you can just go on down to Chi Town and pick up a few DVD’s of his rants, hard to argue they are doing that.

    By those standards, the Enquirer is not a news reporting organization.

    Why? By those standards MSM certainly isn’t that either?

    >What people do with their little captains, as long as it is legal, is between them and their families.

    What a load of absolute BS. This is about the coverage, not the event. The fact is MSM buried the Edwards story and wouldn’t have had he been a Republican. Do I need to list them for you?

    Larry Craig – Wow, gee, they sure hopped on that one, funny didn’t feel a need to wait a year on it. Oops, forgot, Larry Craig is a Republican. Wow, now that’s major news if a Republican taps some guys foot in a restroom.

    Newt Gingrich – Jumped on that one right away. Oops also a Republican.

    and the list goes on.

    “its between them and their families” seems to constantly come out whenever a democrat gets caught in this stuff. What absolute rubbish.

    >As for blogger journalism, it is long on opinion, short on fact gathering.

    Where did you pull this one out from?

    Bloggers gathered the facts on Rev. Wright.

    Bloggers gathered the facts on the forged Bush letter the press seemed to so conveniently find during and election year and so conveniently did two 60 minutes pieces on in that year.

    Bloggers – Matt Drudge, are the ones who forced the Blue Dress issue.

    Bottom line, Bloggers and the Internet are the main underpinnings of the first amendment now. The press has relinquished any sort of claim to that title with their shameless partisanship and attempts to influence elections. The problem for the press is they have become ludicrous. When the National Enquirer starts scooping you, you are in big trouble.

    • Chris McMullen

      The Marxist is just protecting the MSM — he knows they’re in the tank for everything left.

    • dean

      Yes…I can’t read. That must be it. Its so obvious what you meant. *Abuse of Freedom* of the Press. Like yelling theatre at a crowded fire. So obvious.

      News organizations often fall short of their ideals. They get facts wrong, sometimes just make things up, put bias in where it should not go, over report (hang time) issues that are trivial, and so forth. They are comprised of humans, and humans screw up, especially when on deadlines. That is not news. The fact that Rather was fired for screwing up should mean something.

      You are right. I have not watched TV network news in a long time. Have I missed anything important?

      NPR (with Cokie Roberts) is “making money.” Readership of the NY Times, W. Post, and other major papers is way up, not down. They are losing dead tree readership and paid advertisers but gaining on line readership. Unfortunately for them they have not figured out how to make the latter pay for the reporting yet. And strictly on line “news” sites like the Huffington Post and Drudge have huge readerships, but no real reporters to pay tor go out and find stories. They leech on the organizations that pay reporters to report.

      Oh yes…Matt Drudge forced the “blue dress issue.” That was very helpful wasn’t it? An entire nation held hostage to a freaking b**w job? Lord knows what we would have done without that fine piece of detective work.

      Avoiding the Reverend Wright hullabaloo would qualify as responsible journalism, in my opinion. He is not running for anything. Nor is Reverend Hagee. Who cares about these people?

      Lairy Craig was “news worthy” for 2 reasons. First, he got busted by the law. Soliciting sex in a public restroom is not equal to a private affair. Second, he was a supposed conservative who ranted against homosexuals. Elliot Spitzer, a prominent democrat was given similar treatment because he may have violated the law, and because he ranted against prostitution. As I recall, he resigned and Craig is still serving. Moral crusaders hoisted on their own petards is news. Edwards was not a moral crusader, though he did make his family a big part of his campaign. Nevertheless, he came in 3rd and is old news. Who cares about his affair? We have more important issues in front of us. Like checking our tire pressure.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Yes…I can’t read. That must be it. Its so obvious what you meant.

        Its quite obvious what I meant. I stated it very clearly twice. You are now simply trying childish sarcasm to excuse your poor debate skills by implying less than lucid writing on my part.

        When someone’s entire post is composed of examples of what they mean and you refuse to address it, it merely means that you have jumped in without thinking.

        It’s your standard tactic, try and change the argument.

        You are fooling no one as clearly your refusal to address the issue means you don’t have much of a point to make.

        Why you feel this need to respond when you are not going to address the issue, and thus lose every time is beyond me.

        >Nevertheless, he came in 3rd and is old news. Who cares about his affair?

        No one.

        If you could read, you would have understood from square one my post was not about the affair, it was about the coverage. Why don’t you try and address it instead of this frustrated silliness you constantly engage in?

        Its the third iteration of you responding. Do you get some joy out of your display of utter inability to address what is a very simple issue that has been stated to you twice?

        Do you think this feigned incompetence and attempt to change arguments when you find you are losing is fooling anyone?

  • Anonymous

    “Do you think this feigned incompetence and attempt to change arguments when you find you are losing is fooling anyone?”

    I was fooled, I thought it was REAL incompetence.

    • dean

      I cede the territory to Rupert and the anonymous yahoo. I am a feigned or actual incompetent who cannot read. But then again, if I could get that much…..?

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