John Edwards hasn’t stopped lying.
After many angry denials that he had sex with that woman, Rielle Hunter, Edwards went on Nightline Friday to confess that yes, he did have an affair with Hunter, and yes, he was caught by National Enquirer reporters while visiting Hunter last month at the Beverly Hilton.
But he was quick to add several caveats:
(A) The affair was brief; it started and ended in 2006. This was when his wife’s cancer (which is now terminal) was in remission, he makes a point to emphasize.
(B) Rielle Hunter’s baby, who was born in February, is not his. Because of the timing, “it’s not possible.”
(C) The affair happened after he hired Hunter, who had no real filmmaking experience to speak of, to film behind-the-scenes campaign videos for $114,000.
(D) He knows nothing about any hush-money Hunter has received.
(E) He knows nothing about where the National Enquirer got a picture of him holding a baby in what appears to be a Beverly Hilton hotel room.
All of these assertions are suspect. One is demonstrably false.
Start with (A). If the affair had been over so long ago, why was Edwards still visiting Hunter so recently? His answer is that he was meeting with her to convince her not to talk to the press. But why was he worried about the press?
The mainstream press, shamefully, had totally ignored the story, to the point that this is as much a media scandal as a sex scandal. The New York Times was happy to run vague innuendo about John McCain on its front page in February (the week before Hunter’s baby was born) but fastidiously avoided looking into the Edwards affair, which was first reported by the Enquirer in October 2007.
A McCain spokesman declined to comment when I asked him on Friday whether there’s a partisan double-standard in how the media handles adultery rumors. Readers can draw their own conclusion.
As for the Enquirer, it hadn’t run anything on Edwards since December. If the goal was to keep his name out of the tabloid’s pages, it was pretty dumb to risk getting caught in the same place with Hunter.
Why didn’t he just pick up the phone? And if the affair was over as early as 2006, why was Hunter still on the Edwards campaign payroll through April 2007?p>If his claim about the timing of the affair is false, that of course undermines assertion (B), that Hunter’s baby can’t possibly be his. Edwards said on
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