We interrupt this program to bring you this special, extraordinary bulletin of epic proportions. But first, a word from our sponsor. Don't touch that mouse!
Back to our regularly scheduled program, former U.S. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who was recently being vetted to be Obama's VP, has been dug up as an unfaithful spouse and veritable liar, slutmonger and dewshbag. If you didn't already know, Edwards's wife has cancer, and it is terminal, which makes John look like an even filthier piglet for cheating on his dying soulmate.
Not only did Edwards go public with his admission of guilt on Friday, but he did it right before the Olypics began in Bejing. That means that he knew it would be a small American news item going up against a weeks-long world news story that only comes once every few years. I'm dead @ this.
Without trying to judge or speculate too much on this one, I'll defer now to James Poniewozik, who has broken down the good and bad reasons why a journalist might be interested but probably would not cover this story.
My bottom line: It comes down to whether the story affects a public issue. This story at least bore investigation back when Edwards was a candidate. (Whatever any of us thinks about whether an affair disqualifies someone for office, a voter has every right to take it into consideration—even if for tactical reasons—when trying to vote for their party's nominee.) When Edwards dropped out, it was probably fair enough to ignore it: the fact that it was a story once, or might be a story in the future, did not make it a story at that time.
But with Edwards facing the possibility of getting shut out of his own party's convention, it would have been bizarre to simply let that pass without explanation from the media. It was not a huge, earth-shattering story, but it was a story. He must have known that—and Democrats sure as hell did, "private figure" or no—hence his disclosure (on a Friday, before the opening of the Olympics).
Now, of course, the press will probably over-cover the story in compensation, because that's what we do.
So why is this relevant to Obama? Simple: Edwards endorsed Obama, and he could have been a veep candidate - you never know. Whether you have sympathy for him or not, you have to admit he was wasting everyone's time if he knew that this was lurking in his past.
They say that leaking your VP choices, if you're a major party candidate for POTUS, is a smart thing to do. If you let the media know who you're vetting, they might do an even better job that you or your limited team. Hell, these internet lurkers can and will dig up all types of dead dirt on someone that you could have sworn was the truth.
Ain't that America?