Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

National Enquirer alleges John Edwards affair; blogosphere readies salt shaker

barack obamajohn edwardsnational enquireropinion l.a.opinion larielle hunter

National Enquirer claims it caught John Edwards with alleged mistress Rielle Hunter and love child at Beverly HiltonBarack Obama's VP shortlist might have gotten shorter: The National Enquirer yesterday published a story claiming it had caught John Edwards meeting with an alleged mistress and illegitimate child. Then again, the Enquirer hasn't been able to produce quotes, photos or even eyewitness accounts. And the mainstream media seems to be ignoring it, for the most part.

TalkLeft, among others, hopes it isn't true. And thus far, the claims don't seem to have hurt Edwards politically — although the Corner has something worth noting:

...after first seeming to take himself out of the running, he put himself back in the race two weeks ago, telling NPR, "I'm prepared to seriously consider anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country."

But yesterday — the day the Enquirer story went live — the Rocky Mountain News reported, "former Sen. John Edwards told a Denver audience Tuesday that now he's plunged into a new kind of campaign, 'to end poverty as we know it in a generation.'"

Wonkette, in its own way, expresses exhaustion at the thought of another Edwards story:

The important question is not “Why is John Edwards cheating on his wife who had cancer?” We know that answer: He’s a Democratic politician. They have affairs with ladies. The important question is “Why do we have to hear about this again now?”

The answer is “Because a tabloid caught him with the mistress and the baby at a hotel!” A love child? Jesus! Bill Clinton must feel a million years old tonight. Joe Klein, too.

Pajamas Media plays savvier-than-thou:

Oh, one last thing, for those of you who say it’s The National Enquirer, how do we know it’s true? I suggest you Google the “National Enquirer and OJ Simpson.” They broke most of the important stories on that case. In general, these days they’re vastly more reliable than The New York Times.

But Outside the Beltway interrupts, "Indeed, the Enquirer breaks legitimate scandals all the time.  But they run with all manner of nonsense too — they just don’t care so long as they sell papers." It goes on:

Edwards has been widely touted for another run as vice president, although I can’t see why he’d want to go through that again, especially with his wife in ill health.  Certainly, those facts would make the scandal worse, if true.  Frankly, I hope it isn’t. 


-- Amina Khan


Comments () | Archives (213)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Any reporter willing to do the legwork could have broken this. Any reporter in the LA area could confirm it.

The hotel video surveillance system has the entire episode on tape.


I guess you're right. Democratic politicians have affairs with ladies. Republican politicians have them with men.

mr bojangles

Why should it matter? McCain is a repeat adulterer who left the wife that looked after his 3 children while he was a POW for 5 years for a younger, wealtheir woman...Cindy McCain. Cindy who later went on to embezzeling from her own non-profit to support her prescription painkiller addiction. Not to mention, she adopted a special needs child w/o consulting John while she was a pill addict. I think that story is far worse.


I recall hearing the LA Times had this story last year, but decided to sit on it.

Any truth to that, LA Times?

Rachel Cohen

Remember the Enquirer and Rush? Broke that story,too. And the actual story says Edwards turned tail and ran, rather than answer the reporter's questions.

Love Wonkette--Dems have affairs with ladies? Even as their wives fight for their lives? Nice to know.

Otto Focus

Love Child? Sounds more like his baby mama wanted to keep the cash flowing. (Hope the kid is better looking than the baby momma). Either way, slydawg Edwards now has official street creds by being a baby daddy-What a typical democrat/republican power hungry rules don't apply putz.

Jimmy Riddle

You only have to read Edwards' non-denial denial today to know it's true.
At least Bill Clinton came out with a forceful denial: "I did not have sex with that woman."
Of course, he was lying.


Of course it's true.! This is a guy who won a big judgement from a company by "channeling" a dead girl...literally speaking to the jury like he was the girl. If he's capable of using a dead child to line his own pockets why would he not use his political ad woman for sex? And, yes, you libs this is a story even if you don't want to hear about it.


If this is true (and now that it's emerging for the second time it appears likely), then we should consider that John Edwards' political career is in a tailspin - as if we didn't know that already!

Jeff Saeli

The tragedy in these situations is the price the family has to pay for the husband's infidelity. If it is true about his "love child", and it looks as if it is, I feel sorry for Edwards' wife and children. How do you explain to your children that you are cheating on Mom. I'm not an Edwards fan and I don't care for his politics, but I hate to see the innocents in his family subject to public scrutiny.


How about some attribution?? Who is responsible for this drivel? He cheats because he's a Democratic politician?? Assuming he cheated, a huge leap based on the evidence thus far, didn't ol' Newt Gingrich essentially abandon his wife for a young minky? And what about Rudy "ball-cancer" Giuliani? What a jack ass this writer is and what a preposterous joke the Los Angeles Times has become.


Let's keep in mind that THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER - not ABC, not CNN, not The Washington Post or any other respected news source - broke this "story."

The Enquirer has the same about of credibility as Drudge or FOX News.


None of the articles I have read or seen have any EVIDENCE to back this up. If they have photos or videos of this, why are they not showing it? Its a pack of lies.


Nice.. "He’s a Democratic politician. They have affairs with ladies."

Yeah.. but republicans just pick guys up in airport restrooms.. or get rentboys in filthy book stores, or have their prostitutes orderd through call girls.

Hell.. who needs to have an affair with a lady?!


I'm guessing the Inquirer has pictures and will publish them when they feel the time is right. The Inquirer wouldn't knowingly publish lies about Edwards, an attorney who I'm sure wouldn't have any problem suing if the article, or previous article, was false.


he Inquirer wouldn't knowingly publish lies.....

Now thats a joke. Of course they would. They wouldn't care if they got sued, its great publicity.

Tom in Californa

Only in America would garbage like this be considered news.


"The Enquirer has the same about of credibility as Drudge or FOX News."

I hate to bust your chops Nick but Drudge broke the "blue dress" story on Bill

Robert Nagle

Ever since NE lost a few libel cases, NE started giving their stories a lot of vetting. Often they couch sentences with qualifiers precisely to prevent lawsuits. Perhaps the NE story is misleading or not telling the whole story, but I find their accounts very credible (albeit tasteless).


When men have these affairs I'm wondering why they never think about their families until they are caught. Then they are ashamed and sorry. I feel sorry for the family. I feel sorry Elizabeth Edwards that she has to now deal with this in addition to cancer. I pray she has God in her life she's gonna need him if its true. The media is gonna have a field day.


This is horribly upsetting. And I supported the guy right up to the time he dropped out of the race. His wife's cancer metasticized to her bones...it will be a very painful death. And yet she spent all that time out campaigning for him despite the horrid medical treatments she must be undergoing.

Why couldn't he keep it zipped? Or at least used the services of a discreet high-class call girl ring, and there are plenty of those in L.A.

Elizabeth no doubt hasn't the strength to sue for divorce and get half the dirtbag's money. Then again, what good are millions of dollars when you're going to die SOON? On the third hand, she could put it in trust for their two sons who are under age 10. Their dad is no doubt going to keep reproducing.


Drudge broke Monica Lewinski story. National Enquirer broke Edwards last year. They are hardcore whereas CNN, ABC, Washington Post are in bed with all politicos!


I have spent most of my life in public life, including holding elective offices. I am a male, and husbands cheating on thgeir wives is not a new story.

I have been surprised before by guys who cheated on their wonderful wives--whom they apparently loved madly.

But I was shocked by this story. I supported him twice for President, enthusiastically so. Integrity was part of the reason. Frankly, it did not occur to me that John Edwards would cheat on his wonderful wife. And maybe it isn't true.

If the story turns out to be factual, I guess it proves that no matter how intelligent we are, sometimes our desires overcomes our good judgment as well as our hearts.

Frankly, I hope the Enquirer is totally off the mark with this story.

Tim 88

The reason it isnt being picked up is surprise, he's a liberal democrat.

if youre concerned about the source of the story, consider former Ambassador Andrew Young, an edwards aide has admitted it and still it's not a story.

c'est moi

Why would the Enquirer go after this VERY successful slip-and-fall lawyer, unless it has the goods?
I'm waiting for the "Sorry-if-this-offends-you" apology that usually follows a Democrat's peccadillos.


I agree with Zombie's post; my thoughts exactly!!


"Let's keep in mind that THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER - not ABC, not CNN, not The Washington Post or any other respected news source - broke this "story."

The Enquirer has the same about of credibility as Drudge or FOX News."

Respected news sources? You've got to be kidding. Nowadays, I'd believe the Enquirer over the msm. The bloggers are the only ones keeping ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN accountable. The left-wing bias of these media outlets is over the top, and their support for Obama makes them look like fawning shills for ultra-liberal ideology.


Most people don't realize how common this is.

In the palliative care unit here it's common to see wives abandoned by their husbands, far more common than the opposite. I guess men only see women as convenient sex things who also scrub the toilet, not as real human beings.

Chad Steele

We are not hiring Edwards to be the pope, we are hiring him to work with other elected people and get the country back on track and weld up the gaping hole that the Bushberg has smashed into the USA.

Since only mentally deficient fools buy the inquirer it's pretty much a waste of space, time and effort to even report on this story. Who cares who he slept with????


[Clinton] "I did not have sex with that woman."
Jimmy Riddle: Of course, he was lying.

Actually, Bill Clinton said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." This highly (and deliberately) misleading statement did have the disadvantage of not working on everyone, the way a pure lie might have.

I immediately yelled at the TV, "He got BJs!" and one reporter, at a press conference that afternoon, noting the narrow dictionary definition ("coitus"), asked Clinton's press secretary if Clinton had received some other kind of sex besides coitus. The press secretary ridiculed him for saying something so cynical.

Skip Hughes

Love the outrage.


If and when you see actual pictures and real credible eyewitness reports to validate this info,then believe. However the political timing of this supposed news is very suspect. Let’s cast doubt on a strong contender for the Democratic VPresidency. With typical political expediency, Look to motive.. why would Edwards meet her in a famous hotel in L.A. a papparazzi haven? He arrives there in stealth fashion, yet the report then states they both leave the hotel together… WTF… I don’t think so, no actual pictures or independent eye witness reports..here is a very famous man with a woman already suspected to be his mistress just going for a stroll in L.A. all a week before Obama is to announce his VP choice?? Seems to me Edwards was alot further up that short VP list than the powers of be wanted….so now we destroy him


I guess you're right. Democratic politicians have affairs with ladies. Republican politicians have them with men.

Posted by: roccosmom |

Roccosmom, right on! Republicans also molest pageboys!


Remember the Enquirer and Rush? Broke that story,too. And the actual story says Edwards turned tail and ran, rather than answer the reporter's questions.

Love Wonkette--Dems have affairs with ladies? Even as their wives fight for their lives? Nice to know.

Posted by: Rachel Cohen
Rachael, that was Newt Gingrich, a Repub.


One of two things are true.
1. The National Enquirer is lying and is tabloid trash.
2. John Edwards is lying, is human trash and the mainstream media are in the tank for him simply because he is a democrat like they are. The mainstream media include:
ABC, NBC, CBS, Washington Post, New York Times, The Boston Globe, Associated Press.
My bet is on number 2.

DB Cooper

Give the breck boy a break. He was just channelling Bill Clinton.


Democratic politicians have affairs with girls, Republican politicians have affairs with boys. The hypocrisy is all the same, only the sex is different.

Chris Jones

Edwards has always been a phony. I can't believe no one is calling the media out for their blackout on this story. Remember Larry Craig? Had this been a Republican caught with a mistress and a love child it would be wall to wall coverage for about 2 or 3 weeks. But since its "Mr. Poverty Tour" nothing but silence. Scandal? what scandal? Pathetic.

Read more on this here.


This story has enough detail to have the ring of truth. Edwards was in Houston today and was asked about the story. He immediately looked startled and nervously bleated out a few sentences, carefully avoiding and out and out denial. This story is true. This woman is driving around in a car paid for by Edwards, her house is rented by Edwards, and when this story broke last year, she was unnamed. She immediately issued a denial, which provided the media with her name. She outed herself! Andrew Young tried to say he was the father of the baby. All of this is factual, publicly available, and not just in the National Enquirer. This story is true. The man is a snake, and if he were a Republican, the media would be swarming.


Yeah, I know Drudge broke the Monica story. But everything he writes in his almighty "flashes" should be taken with a grain of salt.

And then double and triple sourced.


Why many Liberal/Dem politicians are horny, phonies? Infidelity seems norm while they advertise they are family-man and tell you and pretend they believe in "family values"? FDR, Kennedy bros., Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, and lately, Spitzer.....

I don't care what their personal life are, but, when they reveal they are hypocrites, and liars, how could you trust them to represent the good citizens?

Miles Holmes

Drudge and FOX NEWS have already broken this story. I saw it on my local FOX channel. I saw the original story and hoped it was another Sinclair fantasy, but this one is apparently true. He hid out in a bathroom for 15 minutes and had security escort him from the motel at 2am.


Let me get this straight, he goes into the hotel all stealth like and alone, only to re-emerge later with his alleged lover to parade outside the hotel, all the while reporters are milling about.The couplethen return together to the hotel but then later the next morning he skulks away alone, trying to avoid the same media... Oh yeah that makes total sense, especially at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles the mother ship of papparazzi. Oh yeah this is real credible…not!
And we have yet to see ANY pix of all this activity...


I believe that Hillary Clinton has connections with the National Enquiror. The timing of this seems to favor her in dealing with Barak Obamas “short list” of VP’s. I hope he takes a DNA test, and puts this foolishness to rest.


Why is Edwards getting a pass on this? If this was a Rrepublican it would be front page news!


Ironically Elizabeth Edwards appeared on The Daily Show on Monday, 7/21 (the day before this story broke) and I thought she looked the most beautiful, heatlthy, and trim I'd ever seen her. John Edwards always struck me as a slick politician who knows how to regurgitate rhetoric better than anyone. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in their home right now.


Yes - seriously, wake up most of you. This is not something that happened 30 years ago - this is something that occured while the man was actively campagning for President and later as he was being considered as a VP candidate. And while his wife who valeintly campaigned with him is dying. It doesn't get anymore slimey as this. Yet it's hidden by the MSM. Why? and then a number of you have the gall to say yeah, but......? This guy is sleaze personnified. did you see the guilt on his face today. Busted.


roccosmom, you forgot Barney Frank (D-Mass) and the late Gerry Eastman Studds D-Mass)


Edwards said, “That's tabloid trash. They're full of lies. I'm here to talk about helping people." That's a non-denial denial alright. There's no denying that.


I don't have a full list but Tom Cruise, Gary Condit, Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson have all successfully sued the The National Enslimer for their lies.

That doesn't make this story untrue. But if you're taking the N.E. at their word, you are an idiot.

1 2 3 4 5 | »



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...