Friday, August 08, 2008

Edwards Admits Affair With Hunter But Not Paternity

Well, I guess the Los Angeles Times will have to run a story on the subject now. ABC News sat down with John Edwards and Edwards finally admitted that he indeed had an affair with Rielle Hunter, but that he didn't love her. Elizabeth found out about this in 2006.
In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, 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.

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.
Oh, like it makes a difference that John didn't love Rielle? He broke his marriage vows to Elizabeth, and it makes him look like a shameless huckster to try and carry off as though he was the family man even as his family knew he strayed.

Edwards touted himself as the family values candidate, but it now looks like he had twice the family values of anyone else - his official family plus Rielle. Edwards also admitted that the National Enquirer was correct in its reporting that he was at the Beverly Hilton to meet with Rielle, though he claims that he isn't the father of Rielle's child. A paternity test is not in the cards, and one of Edwards' advisers, Andrew Young, claims to be the father.

I wonder about the timing of the announcement though. I'm going to call this a Friday night news dump given that he happened to drop this news on a day when most folks are focusing on the Olympic opening ceremony or the start of war between Russia and Georgia.

Parts of Edwards' story don't fit - namely why would he be slinking around to avoid being seen with Rielle at the Beverly Hilton this past month. If Elizabeth already knew about the affair in 2006, then why hide it? Why stretch things out and not simply admit the affair to the Enquirer then and there? Hot Air has much more.

That Edwards would claim that he didn't love Rielle is clearly designed to protect Elizabeth from further pain, but that too falls flat given that he was running around and trying to keep from being seen meeting up with at the Beverly Hilton.

And what of the $15,000 per month. Hush money? If Edwards is paying it out and he's not the father, then what exactly is he paying for? Covering for his buddy Andrew Young? That's being beyond a good friend.

As Instapundit notes, the real question is why the media covered for him for so long. Only the Enquirer pursued this story, and it appears now that ABC News' Brian Ross got on the case and that's what broke things open. The Los Angeles Times sat on its hands and refused to report on it, despite the fact that the story really broke in its backyard. Patterico skewers the LAT.

Others blogging: Jammie, Michelle Malkin, Don Surber, Macranger, Ace, Sister Toldjah, Gawker, QandO, Wizbang (who also notes that National Enquirer 1 - LAT 0), and Stephen Spruiell, who questions Edwards' timeline.

A big shout out should go to Mickey Kaus who has been on this story from the get-go and has gamed various aspects of the response and how Edwards and the media have handled things. The one scenario he didn't plan for is the one that is now evolving - the media is going to attack Edwards for lying to them about his affair. Let's just ignore the fact that the media ignored this story even as the Enquirer was busy nailing things down.

The New York Times! posts a story about how the reticence of the mainstream media is now a story.

Really. I know. Blow me over.

The Paper of Record had no trouble running stories about McCain that were poorly sourced, were never fact checked, and were little more than innuendo and rumor, but the paper refused to act on the Edwards' story until it broke wide open after he admitted to the affair.

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