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Edwards scandal: Silence, please

The National Enquirer’s home page displays pictures of Edwards and his alleged mistress, Rielle Hunter.

The National Enquirer’s home page displays pictures of Edwards and his alleged mistress, Rielle Hunter.

A leading political figure, whose wife is battling breast cancer, is caught in a secret rendezvous with another woman at a Los Angeles hotel. The other woman might even have had a baby with the politician.

Why are we not hearing more about this scandal, then, particularly as the man is John Edwards, a former Democratic presidential candidate and now one of the people said to have a chance at being Barack Obama's running mate?

Maybe it's because the story was broken by the National Enquirer. Even so, the Enquirer seems to have the story nailed down pretty well. The tabloid first reported last October that Edwards had a relationship with a divorced woman named Rielle Hunter, and that she was pregnant. Edwards denied the report and another man came forward to say he was the father of the unborn child.

The Enquirer didn't give up the chase. On Monday, it staked out Los Angeles' Beverly Hilton, where Hunter, with the baby in tow, had rented two rooms. Edwards, who was in L.A. for a homeless event, was spotted entering the Hilton at 9:45 p.m.

"Edwards was not carrying anything,'' said Enquirer reporter Alan Butterfield. "He walked in alone. He was looking around nervously before he entered the hotel. Once inside, he interestingly bypassed the lobby and ducked down a side stairs to go to the bottom floor to catch the elevator up — rather than taking the elevator in the main lobby. He went out of his way not to be seen."

At 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, Edwards left the hotel and was greeted by several Enquirer reporters. He ran back into the hotel and later was escorted out by hotel security.

"It was impressive and quintessential tabloid work,'' comments gawker.com on the Enquirer's report. "But there's no reason the paper should have had the scandal all to itself. Isn't this the sort of thing traditional newspaper tabs like the [New York] Post used to cover? And even starchy broadsheets should have had some interest — it was the Miami Herald that busted Gary Hart in 1988 (when his mistress left his townhouse — shades of the Edwards affair) and the [New York] Times that broke the story of Eliot Spitzer's whoring earlier this year.''

As for Edwards, Gawker asked: "When is an affair while your wife is dying of cancer NOT a political career killer?''

Edwards scandal: Silence, please 07/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2008 5:01pm]
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