Edwards Admits Affair, Denies Love Child His

After months of speculation — and, let’s face it, lies — John Edwards has admitted to having an affair with Rielle Hunter but denies that he fathered her child.

In this July 21, 2008 file photo, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards gestures during a news conference Los Angeles. Edwards is admitting to an extramarital affair but denies fathering the woman\'s daughter. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday admitted to an extramarital affair while his wife was battling cancer. He denied fathering the woman’s daughter.

Edwards told ABC News that he lied repeatedly about the affair with a 42-year-old woman but said that he didn’t love her. He said he has not taken a paternity test but knows he isn’t the father because of the timing of the affair and the birth.

ABC said a former Edwards campaign staffer claims he is the father, not Edwards.

Edwards was a top contender for the Democratic nomination for president, pursuing his party’s nod even after announcing that his wife, Elizabeth, had a deadly form of cancer.

Well, at least he doesn’t love her.

Ugh. What a sad mess.

We have further confirmation, though: that the National Enquirer is more believable than the New York Times.

Blogger Reax:

  • John Hawkins is a strong contender for Least Tasteful Headline: “Silky Pony Admits To Lesbian Affair With Rielle Hunter: Mainstream Media & Kos Hardest Hit.”
  • Tom Maguire wins the Best (If Obvious) Pun Award: “Oh, get Rielle.He Did Not Have Paternal Relations With That Woman.
  • Steve Benen has the same reaction as most of us, I suspect: “I will never, ever understand what someone in John Edwards’ position was thinking.”
  • Sister Toldjah: “The mainstream mediots dropped the ball on this one, an we all know why (hint: The “D” in “D-NC”).”
  • Joe Sudbay: “I’m not condemning Edwards. I don’t care. But, if the GOPers or the traditional media decide to make a big issue out of this one, I have one question: Where’s Vicki Iseman?” [The woman who denies having had an affair with John McCain and whom McCain denies having an affair with despite sleezy front page charges in the NYT?  The one that was nonetheless talked about for several days during this campaign despite the alleged affair happening in 2000? That Vicki Iseman? – ed.]
  • Alex Pareene: “[H]e didn’t love her. So it’s not cheating!”
  • Kevin Drum:  “Mainstream media, you may now begin covering this story.”
  • Michelle Malkin wonders, “Does this mean he’ll get to speak at the DNC now? The other big Democrat liar/cheater’s already secured his spot, you know. “

Many more at MemeorandumTalkLeft, The Swamp, Little Green Footballs Jonathan Martin’s BlogsThe Jawa Report, Top of the Ticket, New York Post, Ben Smith’s Blogs, TMZ.com, Gawker, TVNewser, Political Machine, Washington PostDon Surber, TIME.com, QandO, Wake up America PSoTD, PoliticalBase.com Blog, Macsmind, JammieWearingFoolStop The ACLU, Gateway Pundit, Ed Driscoll.com, Readers’ Representative … and National Review

I believe it’s shower time.

UPDATE: David Bonior lets Edwards have it with both barrels.

David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said Friday he was disappointed and angry after hearing about Edwards’ confession.  “Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he’s let them down,” said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. “They’ve been betrayed by his action.”

Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards’ future aspirations in public service, Bonior replied: “You can’t lie in politics and expect to have people’s confidence.”

Although, as Malkin notes, Bill Clinton managed to do it.  Even after being impeached and confessing to his lies, he enjoyed tremendous popularity.  Then again, Edwards isn’t Clinton.  And Clinton’s wife wasn’t battling cancer, either.

_________________

Related at OTB:

FILED UNDER: General, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. The real story is the MSM cover-up.

  2. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Uh, not exactly. The Enquirer ran with the “love child” angle and that part isn’t true. Someone else (also in Edwards’ campaign) already came forward as the child’s father. Was she sleeping with the whole staff? Yuck!

  3. Hal says:

    The real story is the MSM cover-up.

    How so? Do you have *any* scrap of evidence to show your case or is this just a reflex with you?

  4. markm says:

    “ABC said a former Edwards campaign staffer claims he is the father, not Edwards.”

    Nice to see another “elite” with good tastes in women….and it’s nice to know it wasn’t Pat Sajack in those grainy photo’s. Speaking of that…anybody got pics of the former staffer?. Just wondering if he looks like Sajack..errr…Edwards.

  5. Hal,

    Edwards repeatedly claimed that he never, ever had an affair with the woman.

    ABC News October 2007

    Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says a tabloid story that he had an extramarital affair is untrue.

    Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards speaks to reporters on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007 outside of Darlington High School in Darlington, S.C. after giving a speech to students.

    “The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous,” Edwards told reporters Thursday after he was asked about the National Enquirer report.

    He wouldn’t answer questions about why he was in the Hotel.

    It was only three weeks ago that John Edwards was fielding media questions on his chances of filling the Democratic Party’s vice presidential slot on Barack Obama’s ticket or a potential Cabinet position in an Obama administration. On Wednesday, however, the former U.S. senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee was eager to duck the press when the questions took a tabloid turn.
    About a dozen reporters and photojournalists attended a speech Edwards gave to an AARP Foundation symposium on poverty and aging in Washington. Afterward, he avoided most of the waiting reporters, at least some of whom wanted to question him about recent reports in the National Enquirer that alleged an inappropriate relationship with a former campaign videographer.

    Count the number of stories from the MSM prior to his confession and after he confesses. Notice the thundering silence from Washington post and NYT? A prime example is the LA Times banning its reporters from mentioning the story.

    So the story was true but the MSM couldn’t be bothered to report it. Now Hal, what part of cover-up are you having trouble with?

    Jeffery,
    Is the question of the fatherhood of the child the real essence of the story to you? His stupping the woman while his wife has breast cancer has no bearing to you at all?
    And how do we know that he isn’t the father? The only evidence is from the man who has been repeatedly lying about having any sort of affair at all. So the whole story being false rest on the self interested word of a man who has repeatedly lied about the affair.
    This reminds me of the democrats who claimed that Bill Clinton wasn’t lying because a BJ wasn’t sex. Just for the record, Bill Clinton denied having sexual relations, not just sex.

  6. Hal says:

    You’ve shown absolutely *nothing* that supports your claim that the MSM was covering this up. Absolutely nothing.

  7. hcantrall says:

    I’m just shocked that the affair wasn’t with another man.

  8. Hal,

    The fact that the MSM would publish on the front page anonymous allegations about an affair between McCain and a lobbyist, but wouldn’t mention the latest Edwards getting caught with his willy wet is ‘absolutely nothing that supports the claim that the MSM was covering up’?

    The fact that the LA Times specifically told their reporters not to report the story shows ‘absolutely nothing that supports the claim that the MSM was covering up’?

    It is one thing to be ignorant of the facts. It is another to ignore the truth when presented to you.

  9. Hal, so tomorrow when you open up the NY Times, or the Washington Post, or watch CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN, etc, they’ll be a front page or lead TV story about John Edwards admitting he had an affair and all across America people who rely upon these august providers of all the news that’s fit to print, etc, will be confused wondering where this came from and why is he saying this now.

    Oh, and perhaps you missed Tony Pierce’s memo to the LA Times staff telling them not to write about this last week. Come on, Google it Hal! The truth is out there.

    Take off the big shoes and put away the makeup before you beclown yourself further. You are flat out wrong on this one and John Edwards is not worth defending. Be careful who you make your poster boys. You only make yourself look foolish trying to defend him or the media cover up that has prevented this from coming out before. Just imagine if he had won the nomination. Wouldn’t Denver be fun?

    But hey, I hear Elizabeth is still standing by him this evening. If you want to express any outrage, do it on her behalf. She’s the injured party here. Well, and all of the rest of us that John Edwards lied to and deceived.

  10. Sorry for the typos in the last post. I was just laughing too hard at the funny clown.

  11. Bithead says:

    You’ve shown absolutely *nothing* that supports your claim that the MSM was covering this up. Absolutely nothing.

    LOL…. We also have absolutely *nothing* that they ever made a serious attempt to investigate the story. What we DO have is The LA Times staffers were flat out told not to touch the story. How are we to read that information?

    I suppose, Hal, it depends on what you mean by ‘cover up” THe National Enquirer actually chased the story. The MSM, clearly didn’t, and given their history it’s apparent WHY… they knew what they’d find. When the National Enquirer takes the lead on investigative journalism I’d say it’s a safe bet that the press is covering for a Democrat.

    David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said Friday he was disappointed and angry after hearing about Edwards’ confession. “Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he’s let them down,” said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. “They’ve been betrayed by his action.”

    What, that he confessed? Apparently copping to soemthing is the worst offense possible for the Democrat party these days.

  12. Bithead says:

    While I’m thinking of it, Does anyone in here not understand that Bonior must have known about this long before ‘the confession’? It’s been out there for MONTHS/YEARS. How could his campaign manager NOT have known? His shock and outrage act comes off a bit stale….

  13. Hal says:

    Ring me when the MSM chases the story of McCain’s adultery, or calling his wife a c*nt, or offering her up at the Buffalo Chip topless contest – which includes bonus simulated fellatio on a banana.

    Good to see that the strings are still attached and y’all can be pulled at a moments notice to dance for our entertainment.

  14. Hal, we’re not laughing with you.

  15. Hal says:

    Hmmm. Where on earth did I even suggest that you were.

    Delusional.

  16. Bithead says:

    Hal…

    AH, yes, a classic….The “They do it too” defense. how very Clintonesque of you.

    Hal, I have to tell you you have shown a good deal of yourself in this thread… more than is good for you. You have revealed yourself as holding an attitude that were I to show it from the opposite side of the street, you’d be having a field day right now. Your leap to Edwards defense is nothing if not a knee-jerk reaction. You demand equal press, and yet you forget seveal intsnaces of actual investyigative journalism.

    Newt Gingrich as an example. I tell you, Hal, the press couldn’t get their backsides out on the street fast enough to gather information about that situation with his late wife… who, at like Elizabeth Edwards was suffering from cancer… and dying of it, if I recall correctly.

    So why the different treatment this time, I wonder? Actually, I don’t really wonder. I already know, and so do you.

    The real story here is what else besides John Edwards and his infidelity gets revealed here. Clearly, press bias has already been re-revealed. Not that that’s anything new. But what also got revealed here, as YAJ points out, is what is becoming increasingly clearly a quite incestuous relationship between the press and the Democrats.

    Save for some guesswork or some inside information all that we knew of John Edwards was that he was to be a minor player. I was among the few who was actually guessing that he might actually be a VP pick because of his union ties. So if he was generally perceived as a minor player in a forthcoming Democrat administration, why would the press go to such great lengths to cover his buns in this story? If they were covering his buns on this story because they knew he was going to be something large and going into this election and after why was that information not reported?

    You see there’s an awful lot of questions swirling around this, and I don’t think any of the answers are going to be particularly well received by the general electorate.

  17. brainy435 says:

    I think a lot of people are looking at this thing wrong. I don’t care that Edwards cheated on his wife, or that his wife has cancer. Sad, but it doesn’t affect me. That a contender for the Presidency feels so free to lie outright and expects the press to bail him out of it does affect me. A personal failing may be excused if we know the details and can make a hudgement about them, but intentional lying to the people you supposedly want to serve in an official capacity can not.

    Also, if Mrs. Edwards really did know about the affair since 2006, I hold her just as responsible for staying quiet during the primaries. She put herself and her husband above the American people.

    Oh yeah. Hal? THe NYT thought the Iseman story deserved to be printed based on second-hand rumors from disgruntled ex-employees, yet didn’t treat actual photos of Edwards caught with the woman as a good enough basis for a story. Thats all the proof a rational person needs. So it probably won’t be good enough for you…

  18. bains says:

    Uh, not exactly. The Enquirer ran with the “love child” angle and that part isn’t true.

    Just like Edwards told us the affair part of the story was untrue?

  19. AllenS says:

    You can’t compare the extramarital affairs of Clinton and Edwards to be the same. Edwards’ wife is a sympathetic person, Hillary, not so much.

  20. markm says:

    “Ring me when the MSM chases the story of McCain’s adultery”

    I thought the NYT was all over it back in 2000…front pageish no?

  21. Anderson says:

    (1) AllenS has absolutely no idea how “sympathetic” Mrs. Edwards is when it’s her & John alone. People outside marriages should hesitate to act as if they know what’s going on in the marriage.

    (2) I confess to schadenfreude re: the many bloggers left of me (Amanda Marcotte comes to mind) who supported Edwards over Clinton or Obama b/c Edwards was the “true progressive” candidate. Haven’t been to see what they’re saying now, but I’m sure it’s not pretty whatever stance they’re taking.

  22. Bithead says:

    Uh, not exactly. The Enquirer ran with the “love child” angle and that part isn’t true.

    Yes, well, we are not exactly flush with evidence on that point, are we? All we have is the word of an admitted liar, that the kid isn’t his. on the other hand, we do have the age of the child. now, what we can either accept the idea that the kid is his, or we are forced to conclude that the woman was carrying on affairs of her own with someone else, while she was involved with Edwards.

    Neither possibility makes either one of them look very good.

    But here again I say that this is the smaller of the two issues. The larger issue is the press as a reaction to all of this. If we make the assumption that the press has been covering for John Edwards, as opposed to covering John Edwards, and then logically we are forced to ask the question what else has the press been selectively telling us, about whom, and to what purpose?

  23. Bithead says:

    Anderson:

    I confess to schadenfreude re: the many bloggers left of me (Amanda Marcotte comes to mind) who supported Edwards over Clinton or Obama b/c Edwards was the “true progressive” candidate.

    He’s certainly demonstrated THAT well enough. He is. We have some of the results, apparently, in front of us, now.

    But perhaps we should recall, that she had to quit the Edwards campaign, did Marcotte, for reasons still in dispute, or at least never fully answered? Even in her column describing how her demise was all the fault of the right wing knuckle draggers… (a memorable laugh, that one) she never did get to the heart of the situation.

    Come to think on it now, one of the issues at hand back then, her vile, sexist, and anti-Catholic bigotry aside, was her scrubbing stuff at Pendragon. Apparently, she decided the truth wouldn’t do if she wanted Edwards to both keep her on staff and Edwards to win the election. She was correct. It didn’t. Not all that dissimilar a situation from the press not covering, shall we say, certain aspects of a particular progressive’s life, eh?

    Edwards, and his campaigns’ handling of that situation back then, showed an ineptness that is not unlike what we see going on with this most recent thing.

    As an aside, and to my memory…should anyone want a fuller understanding of why the progressives hate Bill Donahue so, an investigation into this situation with Marcotte should answer the question. They’ve never really gotten over Donahue pointing out the obvious about Marcotte…. and by extension, her former boss.

  24. Hal says:

    Bit, like I care what you divine from the ASCII I write? I’m pretty sure that, like the Da Vinci code, you see patterns in random numbers, ascribing motive to Brownian motion.

    In any event, mine is not a Clintonesque defense. The MSM are simply incompetent. You and your fellow jackals see conspiracy where I see incompetence. You weave intricate and preposterous motive where I see simply buffoonery.

    You’re an entertaining loon. Kind of like Seinfeld’s uncle on the show – everything is ascribed to and explained by antisemitism. In your case, it’s actually funnier because your paranoid fantasies have that depth of texture because you’ve been letting them fester like sypholis on your hard drive, carefully and meticulously chronicling your conspiracies with the digital equivalent of crayons.

    Fascinating, entertaining and plain mystifying as to how your kind actually manages to function in society.

  25. Hal says:

    Wow. I just realized that the MSM and the Liberals colluded to start a war between Russia and Georgia to distract us all from the Edwards affair.

    And it isn’t a coincidence that the country is named Georgia. They know very well that’s a state that Obama is targeting in the ’08 elections and by making it the same name (clever, aren’t they), they have revealed the true depths they’re willing to sound in the blind ambition that is Obama’s and is the MSM’s purpose for being

    Antichrist Obama! You can see it in the writings of Marcotte! She’s the whore of Babylon presaging the Obamite!

  26. Bithead says:

    In any event, mine is not a Clintonesque defense. The MSM are simply incompetent. You and your fellow jackals see conspiracy where I see incompetence. You weave intricate and preposterous motive where I see simply buffoonery.

    In other words, you have no defense against the obvious.

    Noted.

  27. Bithead says:

    Oh, and Hal?
    If you look really close and put your entire braincell to work on the project, you may even notice that I’m not alone in rubbing your nose in the carpet you’ve soiled, here. Yet, you concentrate on me, as if I’m the source of your problem. I mean, kicking you around is fun and all, but it seems to me you have larger problems to contend with. Problems, it appears, of your own making.

    May I suggest you address some of the others who have responded to your jerking knee?

  28. bains says:

    uummm, it is fairly clear who is, and who is not being intellectually honest here. I’ll admit that the media can be incompetent. Heck, many times the media is ignorant. But the media, by and really large, is sympathetic with the left. And when a major player, the LATimes, tells its reporters not to report (read investigate) on l’affaire Edwards, there can be only one logical conclusion. The LATimes sought to protect the former Senator and Vice President candidate.

    Spin it however you want Hal, but just like the LATimes and many other media outlets, your words don’t mean much anymore.

  29. Hal says:

    . Yet, you concentrate on me, as if I’m the source of your problem.

    You’re just the most entertaining of the bunch. The others have at least enough sense to stop digging when they find they’re in a hole. You? Man, you think the only way out is to dig until you hit the other side of the earth.

    May I suggest you address some of the others who have responded to your jerking knee?

    Dude, I’m mocking you.

  30. Hal says:

    your words don’t mean much anymore.

    Hmm. I figure my words are worth as much as you’re paying for them. That would be zero, right? So you’re saying my words are now less than zero? That’d be cool.

  31. Bithead says:

    You’re just the most entertaining of the bunch. The others have at least enough sense to stop digging when they find they’re in a hole. You? Man, you think the only way out is to dig until you hit the other side of the earth.

    And what of you, then? Are we to understand that you don’t see the hole you’ve dug yourself? Funny thing; All the other respondents see clearly what you continue to deny.

    Dude, I’m mocking you.

    No, Hal… that’s what we’ve been trying to tell you; You’re digging.

  32. Hal says:

    Are we to understand that you don’t see the hole you’ve dug yourself?

    What? That I think the MSM is largely composed of incompetent boobs? That I think they are subject to group think and rarely venture outside their comfort zones and cherished narratives?

    You’re not making any sense.

    You’re digging.

    I’m digging tweaking you. I’m digging watching you spin these elaborate theories based on whispers of vapor. I’m digging watching you play the “I know you are but what am I” game like we’re in some Pee Wee Herman movie.

    What y’all have done is make a bunch of assertions about things. Then you try to get people who point this out to prove the negative. You then follow up with ad hominem attacks.

    What this all has to do with the subject of this post is beyond me. I started out with asking YAJ for some shred of evidence. It’s no wonder he’s your blogmate as he responds much as you would with completely unrelated gobblygook and conspiracy theories. Then you jumped in with your diatribes that topped even his.

    Stunning to behold, way cool to watch. It’s entertainment you simply can’t buy. Someone should do a reality show using you guys.

  33. Bithead says:

    That I think the MSM is largely composed of incompetent boobs?

    I suggest you study the difference between incompetency, and intentional bias.

    I’m digging tweaking you. I’m digging watching you spin these elaborate theories based on whispers of vapor. I’m digging watching you play the “I know you are but what am I” game like we’re in some Pee Wee Herman movie.

    Then you’re a bigger fool than I took you for.

    What this all has to do with the subject of this post is beyond me. I started out with asking YAJ for some shred of evidence.

    And given far more than a shred, you go into denial, continuing to dig the hole you’ve been working on. Did you think nobody noticed?

  34. Bithead says:

    Bains, drop me a line.
    feedback@florack.us.

  35. TJIT says:

    Hal,

    Regarding the blatant bias the mainstream media showed in burying this story your said

    How so? Do you have *any* scrap of evidence to show your case or is this just a reflex with you?

    Which perfectly illustrates the fact that those in the “reality based community” really aren’t.

  36. Hal says:

    Which perfectly illustrates the fact that those in the “reality based community” really aren’t.

    Okay, I’ll play along. Why is actually asking for some evidence a perfect illustration that we’re not in a reality based community? Um, wouldn’t actually asking for evidence rather than blindly accepting assertions without proof be evidence of reality based?

    Or perhaps you can elaborate further on your interesting theory here. Wait! Actually asking you for an explanation isn’t reality based, is it? I’d have to simply accept whatever you say as truth! That would be operating in a reality based fashion.

    My, do you guys work on this stuff or does it just spring naturally from your fevered brains?

  37. bains says:

    So you’re saying my words are now less than zero? That’d be cool.

    Funny guy…

    Problem is Hal, you’ve proven yourself to be intellectually corruptible. You’ve got no coin outside your choir.

  38. Hal says:

    I have a choir? Where?

  39. Hal says:

    “Ring me when the MSM chases the story of McCain’s adultery”

    I thought the NYT was all over it back in 2000…front pageish no?

    Well, went to the NYTimes site and did a search. Didn’t turn up anywhere. Perhaps you could do the same and provide a link?

  40. Bithead says:

    Interesting search engine you must be using. Never find anything damning about Democrats. If you’d been using something a bit more substantial, you’d have found this… in which you will find a link to the Times story.

    February 21, 2008
    The Long Run
    For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
    By JIM RUTENBERG, MARILYN W. THOMPSON, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and STEPHEN LABATON

    Correction Appended

    WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

    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 said on 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.

  41. Bithead says:

    Of course had you gone farther, you’d have noted a story on this very blog, dated the same day, 2/21/08, which provides a capture of the front page of the NYT for that day, showing the article in question.

    Not surprisingly, James posted in that article a list of folks responding to the hit piece.

    * Kevin Drum has some interesting musings about the decision to blog or not blog about these manufactured Scandals of The Day. He terms this one a “kinda-sorta-maybe-John-McCain-had-a-non-affair non-story .”

    * Publius (ObWi): “Gotta say, I’m underwhelmed by the NYT’s McCain bombshell.” And a good point: “[C]omplaints about timing seem overblown. If anything, the NYT leaked it at the best possible time. If they leak it earlier, it looks like they’re trying to knock McCain out. If they leak it later, it looks like they’re trying to influence the general.”

    * Steve Benen: “Now, reading through the Times’ very lengthy article, one notices that it feels at least a little thin. The evidence is hardly overwhelming, and the article is padded with extraneous details. […] But one also gets the sense that this NYT piece is the opening salvo.”

    * Ed Morrissey: “The New York Times launches its long-awaited smear of John McCain today, and the most impressive aspect of the smear is just how baseless it is.”

    * Matt Welch: “The New York Times has uncorked a lengthy, long-awaited, weirdly written, (mostly) anonymously sourced, six-reporter article about John McCain that people will remember mostly for hinting in a not-quite-convincing way that he was having an extra-marital affair in the late 1990s with a telecom lobbyist three decades his junior.”

    * Megan McArdle: “CNN notes ‘This may end up being a story about the New York Times as about John McCain.’ One does kind of wonder why they’re breaking an eight year-old story now.”

    * Mary Katharine Ham: “This doesn’t reflect badly on anyone but the Times, as far as I’m concerned. The innuendo and full-on craptastic nature of the lede alone is enough to damn any actual facts that follow, which are few and far between.”

    * Betsy Newmark: “It really is a nothingburger of a story all wrapped up with the sexual innuendo that McCain has been having an affair with an attractive lobbyist.”

    * Steven Taylor: “Given that key portions of McCain’s appeal are supposed to be his character and his anti-corruption stances, this story has the potential to be quite damaging, especially if he ends up facing off against Obama, who has a visible, and seemingly quite stable, marriage1 and is running against lobbyists.”

    * Mark Kleiman: “Apparently this has been an open secret for years. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with a senator doing to a lobbyist what the lobbyists do to the rest of us. But it says something about a man’s morals when he isn’t even faithful to his trophy wife.”

    * Pam Spaulding: “Just imagine all the moralist McCain haters on the far right are thinking right about now, after all, they all want into your bedroom and women’s wombs.”

    * Digby: “I don’t know if McCain is crooked. But you have to wonder, after his close call with the Keating Five and public association with campaign finance reform, how anyone could be so arrogant as to think he could get away with this stuff if he actually became the Republican nominee?”

    * Logan Murphy: “Could this be the reason Mike Huckabee is still hanging around and Mitt Romney merely suspended his campaign instead of ending it altogether?”

    * Jane Hamsher: “No jokes about ‘lobbyists’ and ‘pork.’”

    * Michelle Malkin: “If you lie down with MSM dogs, you wake up with stories like this.”

    * John Hawkins: “When a Democrat is accused of some sort of affair, the mainstream media is extremely concerned about making 100% sure the story is drop dead accurate, down to the last detail, before they’ll even begin to think about printing the story. That’s why Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story to the public, not the MSM. It’s also why stories about affairs involving John Kerry, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton have been buried or not printed at all in most MSM outlets over the last few years.”

    * Brent Baker: “[Keith] Olbermann insisted the alleged efforts of staffers to ‘protect’ McCain sound ‘eerily similar’ to Clinton-Lewinsky. Later in his 45 minutes of ‘Breaking News’ coverage, Olbermann proposed: ‘If this doesn’t sound like deja vu all over again, I don’t know what does.””

    * Dan Riehl: “When it falls to your lawyers to defend you on Fox, as Bennett is doing now for McCain, you’re screwed. McCain can survive it. But on top of Keating Five and who knows what else, this faux conservative is a flawed, old candidate.”

    UPDATE: Politico reports that “Aides to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have released a remarkable 1,500-word document outlining what his campaign calls ’some of the facts that were provided to the New York Times but did not end up in the story.’” They reprint the document in its entirety; it’s basically a timeline refuting the dates and allegations in the story.

    UPDATE: McCain has held a press conference denying the allegations.

    “I’m very disappointed in the article. It’s not true,” the likely Republican presidential nominee said as his wife, Cindy, stood beside him during a news conference called to address the matter. “I’ve served this nation honorably for more than half a century,” said McCain, a four-term Arizona senator and former Navy pilot. “At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust.” “I intend to move on,” he added.

    McCain described the woman in question, lobbyist Vicki Iseman, as a friend.

    The newspaper quoted anonymous aides as saying they had urged McCain and Iseman to stay away from each other prior to his failed presidential campaign in 2000. In its own follow-up story, The Washington Post quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who split with McCain last year, as saying he met with lobbyist Iseman and urged her to steer clear of McCain. Weaver told the Times he arranged the meeting before the 2000 campaign after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about Iseman.

    But McCain said he was unaware of any such conversation, and denied that his aides ever tried to talk to him about his interactions with Iseman. “I never discussed it with John Weaver. As far as I know, there was no necessity for it,” McCain said. “I don’t know anything about it,” he added. “John Weaver is a friend of mine. He remains a friend of mine. But I certainly didn’t know anything of that nature.”

    His wife also said she was disappointed with the newspaper. “More importantly, my children and I not only trust my husband, but know that he would never do anything to not only disappoint our family, but disappoint the people of America. He’s a man of great character,” Cindy McCain said. The couple smiled throughout the questioning at a Toledo hotel.

    McCain’s remaining rival for the Republican nomination, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, called McCain “a good decent honorable man” and said he accepted McCain’s response. “I’ve campaigned now on the same stage or platform with John McCain for 14 months. I only know him to be a man of integrity,” Huckabee said in Houston. “Today he denied any of that was true. I take him at his word. For me to get into it is completely immaterial.”

    UPDATE: TNR’s Gabriel Sherman reports:

    The publication of the article capped three months of intense internal deliberations at the Times over whether to publish the negative piece and its most explosive charge about the affair. It pitted the reporters investigating the story, who believed they had nailed it, against executive editor Bill Keller, who believed they hadn’t. It likely cost the paper one investigative reporter, who decided to leave in frustration. And the Times ended up publishing a piece in which the institutional tensions about just what the story should be are palpable.

    In short, Hal, and as usual the fact run contrary to your claims. Game, set, match, Bithead.

  42. Bithead says:

    By the way, I’ll draw this quote out, because it fully explains what’s going on with the MSM and Edwards…

    “When a Democrat is accused of some sort of affair, the mainstream media is extremely concerned about making 100% sure the story is drop dead accurate, down to the last detail, before they’ll even begin to think about printing the story. That’s why Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story to the public, not the MSM. It’s also why stories about affairs involving John Kerry, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton have been buried or not printed at all in most MSM outlets over the last few years.”

    Bingo. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding.

  43. od says:

    Definitely a media bias towards the Democrats on this issue. Having said that, infidelity seems to be pretty much par for the course for a lot of powerful members of both parties … enough so that both sides look like hypocrites when they try to make an issue out of it.

    If the Republicans are smart they’ll keep a low profile on this, and let the Republican leaning press (and yes, there is a sizable element that leans to the right even if the majority lean to the left) make an issue of it … too many people living in glass houses in both parties for either to throw many stones.

  44. Bithead says:

    Well, look, OD, while you’re quite correct, let’s ID the particulars now that you’ve laid out the generalities….

    There’s a reason the TIMES never went forward with the story despite rather intense investigative efforts, even by their own words… there wasn’t any ‘there’ there.

    Yet, clearly, in the case of Edwards, and in the case of Clinton… two stories they avoided outright until suppsoedly less respectable news orgs reported it first, there WAS a rather large ‘there’.

  45. Hal says:

    Bit, do you actually read things or just start spouting?

    a) the issue was about McCain’s adulterous affair with the now Cindy McCain, not the lobbyist.

    b) the commenter claimed it was on the front pages of the NY Times in 2000

    So please just stop embarrassing yourself and stay out of the conversation unless you’re going to actually participate with the actual conversation instead of the fantasy conversation that’s going on in your head.

  46. Bithead says:

    No sale, Hal. I was directly responsive to your ask. You said:

    Ring me when the MSM chases the story of McCain’s adultery,

    I did that. I directly responded to your call. I gave you what you asked.

    As to the other, let’s see… if your claim is to be that McCain is getting cover from the press, and that the press refuses to cover McCain scandal… (Is that now NOT your claim?) … how does that claim mesh with the evidence I’ve just given you?

  47. Hal says:

    Yea, that’s why we were pinning the date on 2000, when McCain was running for president.

    Moron.

  48. Bithead says:

    I’ve said it for years… decades in fact… the worst thing you can possibly do is give a Democrat exactly what they ask for. Case in point;

    I responded to your original request. Those are your exact words, not mine. You pinned the 2000 thing after the fact.

    And still, my question remains unanswered.

    Again…if your claim is to be that McCain is getting cover from the press, and that the press refuses to cover McCain scandal… (Is that now NOT your claim?) … how does that claim mesh with the evidence I’ve just given you?

    If you can’t answer this question Hal, just say so and have done, and quit the posturing. You’re not selling anyone with it.

  49. Hal says:

    Bit, you’re an f’ing loon. Read the original comment I was responding to.

    You are not part of this conversation, so I don’t give you a flying f at a rolling donut what deranged theory spews from your fevered swamp of a brain. You push yourself into the middle of a conversation that you didn’t even bother to understand in the first place, misunderstood what was going on and now you’re in high dungeon trying to slap me about to fit your original thesis.

    Step away from the keyboard and put down the Jack Daniels.

    Stop digging.

  50. Bithead says:

    Bit, you’re an f’ing loon. Read the original comment I was responding to.

    Irrelevant.
    I have you what you specifically asked for.

    Further, within what I gave you were several references to the original 2000 story. Yet, even in the face of that, you still deny the Times ever covered it. And when faced with mere facts, you resort to:

    You are not part of this conversation

    Wrong. You don’t get to make that choice.

    And yes, Hal, I’m speaking up because unlike you, I do fully understand what’s going on. Indeed, that’s your biggest problem. Don’t blame me because you’re less than accurate in your demands. But you can be educated in the matter, possibly. Allow me to illustrate:

    There’s an ancient tale of Greece describing a warrior when went to a wizard, seeking a helmet that in his words would make him invulnerable to injury. The Wizard and this warrior had something of a bad history… and the wizard saw he had a chance to even the score. Using his wizardry, he placed a demon in the helmet. When the warrior put that helmet on, the demon bit his head clean off. As the Wizard explained to his friends, he gave the warrior exactly what he asked for. “After all”, said he “I gave him exactly what he asked for. The warrior will hardly care about injury when he doesn’t have a head.”

    That tale translates rather well to this situation, don’t you think? Oh… Nice guy that I am, and in case you need a translation, allow me to put this in words you’re sure to understand:

    Dude, I’m mocking you, because it is YOU who is the most entertaining of the bunch. Thanks for playing so well the part set you.

    Oh, by the way, Hal… is it still your position that the press is running cover for McCain? You’ve still not answered the question. Third try.
    Or are you going to continue running away from the issue?

  51. Bithead says:

    (Chuckle)
    The latter, I see, is the answer.
    Just as well.