“But getting back to John Edwards’ penis….”

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

A commentator desperately tries to get Fox News host Gregg Jarrett to talk about Russia’s attempt to goad the West into a global war. Jarrett stubbornly insists on sticking with the real story of the day–who John Edwards has been fucking.

I have no love for John Edwards. It’s always been apparent to me that Senator Handsome is a sleaze. But he’s no longer running for office. He doesn’t hold any office. Exactly how and why is this a story? It’s pretty nauseating to watch people like Mickey Kaus triumphantly celebrating their role in humiliating and embarrassing a dying woman. Good for you, Mickey. Top-notch journamalizing, there. The world’s a better place for your dogged pursuit of The Truth.

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28 Responses to ““But getting back to John Edwards’ penis….””

  1. #1 |  Senator Truth | 

    He was still on VP short list. He had not renounced running for office in the future. And he was under serious consideration for AG. Since everyone from Rudy to Larry Craig and the annoying Eliot Spitzer had borne the price of their infidelities, I don’t see why this sanctimonious money-grabber should not. He’s from the dangerous class-warfare wing of the Democratic Party and needed to be knocked off his high horse anyway. The threat of such people–as opposed to such easily avoided things like the drug war–is more apparent to those of us making serious money. We’re a lot more libertarian because we won’t lower taxes and fewer business regulations than because we care about street thugs and drug dealers, even though the expense associated with keeping them down may be ill spent. It’s just less emotionally resonant than the Democrats’ war on entrepreneurs.

  2. #2 |  Radley Balko | 

    And exactly how is Edwards’ affair relevant to his class warfare politics?

    The threat of such people–as opposed to such easily avoided things like the drug war–is more apparent to those of us making serious money.

    Do you realize what a douche you sound like?

  3. #3 |  Chris in AL | 

    That was disgusting. Unfortunately, I think she gives the American people too much credit. I bet the average voter is far too ignorant to care about Georgia, Russia and the ramifications if Georgia had been admitted to NATO. They do, however, love them some soap operas.

    We are doomed.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I once did a blog entry about headlines that I found on foxnews.com. Several times, in fact, I have taken a screen shot of their front page to send around to people at work because of how funny they are. You would be hard pressed to find goofier headlines in a tabloid available at the supermarket checkout stand.

    Personally, I think foxnews s the PR arm of the Republican party.

    On the other hand, they tend to allow a lot more libertarian perspective than CNN ever does. In fairness to Gregg Jarrett, I wonder how much of that conversation was being guided by he control room. I suspect their anchors are given marching instructions that they have to follow.

  5. #5 |  Tokin42 | 

    While I’m not willing to pass judgment on how people react to a spousal situation, where one is dying, like the Edwards situation but since they went out of their way to capitalize upon it for political purposes also means I have zero sympathy for them in this aftermath. Sometimes people tend to get what they deserve.

  6. #6 |  Charles | 

    I think this is a story the same way McCain’s treatment of his first wife and his helping his wife escape prosecution should be — because when a candidate runs on character, personal behavior becomes something that we have to look at. The Edwards went out of their way to remind everyone that she had cancer and he was so great about it.

    I agree that Georgia is a bigger story, but this is too. And I think what Kaus is so excited about it that the media seems to have gone out of its way to ignore the story as long as possible, whereas in different circumstances (say, a less popular wife, or whatever) they would have jumped in with both feet.

  7. #7 |  FP | 

    Uhh, actually its more news that all the mass media hid the obvious for so long, including fox news about Senator Handsome. The dam has burst so many are flying off the handle to talk about it. Of course, they had a plethora of news items hit on Thurs-Fri. as the olympics start, many probably hoping to get those various items ingored by the public. Anyone who’s paid any serious attention to the campaign via blogs/internet has known about this Edwards flap for months.

    Overall, the media is likely jumping for joy they have so much to talk about during August.

  8. #8 |  J Mo | 

    For anybody who thinks this story is relevant because it shows something about Edwards’ character which should preclude him from office, lets not forget that pretty much all politicians are scumbags. I certainly didn’t need any more proof that Edwards was. If character mattered when it came to who we elect, Congress would look much different.

  9. #9 |  freedomfan | 

    One approach a reluctant commentator might take is just to say, “Look, it’s obvious to everyone that Edwards has been a sleazy hypocrite here. That said, there is no more actual NEWS to this story. And, I don’t know about you [gives “gay challenge” eyebrow raise], but I really don’t want it said that I make my living waxing poetic about John Edwards’ penis.” :-P

    Anyway, FNC isn’t particularly different in this regard than any other 24 cable news channel. It’s the middle of a typical, slow-domestic-news Summer and none of them want to spend more than five minutes on any foreign story where Americans aren’t dying.

    BTW, I happen to like Edwards as little as little as anyone. He’s an economic illiterate (nothing rare about that among presidential candidates) and he is the most openly classist (“Two Americas”) goon of any big media candidate who ran. That class warfare easily hurts the poorer people it panders to as much as the wealthier people it demonizes.

  10. #10 |  Rose | 

    Why let John Edwards define himself as a narcissist? How is he different from any other cheating husband? Seems to me that he’s just a grade A (and stupid) Adulterer.

    If John Edwards is a narcissist, then lets compare this to the DSM psychiatric criteria for his personality disorder:

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-R), the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following[1]:

    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. has a sense of entitlement
    6. is interpersonally exploitative
    7. lacks empathy
    8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    So, let John Edwards call himself a narcissist. Obviously, someone has told him this in the past. So, if you voted for Edwards, then you have to ask yourself why you would put the United States in the hands of such a person?

    Of course, if John Edwards was smart, he’d have claimed that Rielle was simply a surrogate holding his baby (from artificial insemination). Elizabeth had full knowledge and expected the child to be turned over, but John was meeting with Rielle after she reconsidered. This explanation even covers the money payments. Well, seems like John really ain’t too bright!! Just a poor liar and a cheat!

  11. #11 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    Actually, isn’t it the host who decides the topic of the show? It seems like the guest is the person who is trying to change the topic. Perhaps the war in Georgia is more important, but that isn’t what the host brought her on to talk about.

  12. #12 |  buzz | 

    “Exactly how and why is this a story? It’s pretty nauseating to watch people like Mickey Kaus triumphantly celebrating their role in humiliating and embarrassing a dying woman. Good for you, Mickey. Top-notch journamalizing, there. The world’s a better place for your dogged pursuit of The Truth.”

    You know how and why this is a story. What a stupid question. The person humiliating and embarrassing a dying woman is John Edwards, no one else. While it’s nice you don’t feel character should be considered for public office, others do. If this had happened 20 years ago, it’s a non story. Having said all that, the real story would be the media sitting on this for all this time. Now it’s overkill. Absolutely what is happening in Georgia is more important than this. I see no reason why, once reported, the media can’t move on to more relevant stuff.

  13. #13 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Whatever you do, fellow Americans, don’t watch FOX News. The correlation between FOX viewers and ignorance of current events is staggering (and that is saying something in the U.S.).

  14. #14 |  Chris in PA | 

    Sorry, Radley, but a guy who had an illegitimate child in the middle of running for the presidency is a real story. If he had gotten the nomination, he could have single-handedly torpedoed the Dems chance to win. Like it or not, this is a story in the current political climate.

    It also says something about how power-hungry this narcissist is. He already had a complete cover-up operation going. He bullied his staffers into lying. He was operating a mid-2004 level Bush cover-up and he wasn’t even Pres yet!

    Even now, he knows that some pols have come back from affairs, but none from illegitimate children, so that’s as far as he’s admitted to. Creepy, scary dude.

  15. #15 |  CK | 

    Missing White Woman
    V. Iseman
    Missing since Feb, 20, 2008
    Suspected paramour of serial adulterer J, “Keating 5” McCain.

  16. #16 |  freedomfan | 

    #15 CK, what in heck are you talking about? The Iseman story fell apart because there was almost nothing to it. (So little, in fact, that the the Times own ombudsman tore it to bits.) And she’s not missing anyway. And, if she were McCain’s affair, the last thing he would want is for her to go missing and drag their relationship into the headlines again.

    BTW, I am not a McCain fan, by any stretch. But, there is so much legitimate stuff to tear him to pieces on, why take the low road?

  17. #17 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    My apologies to FOX viewers. Apparently, based on my negative karma, I offended some folks. My fault.

  18. #18 |  Brian V. | 

    Pray, Helmut, tell us where on television should we get our news? Or where on the web?

  19. #19 |  Andre Kenji | 

    What I didn´t get was the astonishing to the fact that Edwards lied. That piece of scum lied his whole life.

  20. #20 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #18 Brian V.:

    Well, that’s up to you. You should probably consult multiple sources. Is that a suitably libertarian answer? Damn, next time I’ll keep my FOX jokes to myself.

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    I love Radley and all, but why play holier than thou? How on earth can the affair, fathering an illegitimate child, and subsequent lies and cover-up by a guy who was a serious presidential contender and has a fair chance of being VP or AG come January not a story? In what universe?

    Kaus’s point was the hypocrisy of the media, who pretended to be disgusted by the story until Edwards confessed, at which point it somehow became newsworthy again.

    And yes, I do think that the more we know about the lies and hypocrisy of those who seek power over our lives the better place the world becomes. Doesn’t Radley?

  22. #22 |  honeyfrog | 

    > A commentator desperately tries to get Fox News host Gregg Jarrett
    > to talk about Russia’s attempt to goad the West into a global war.

    “…goad the West into a global war”??? What? With *whom*?

    You very badly misunderstand what Russia is up to: They’ve attacked Georgia precisely because they’re certain that the US, NATO and the UN are going to sit on their asses and do nothing.

    Putin is a fascist, through and through, and intends to restore Russia to its presumed Soviet glory. Georgia is a test of world resolve.

    If Georgia is the Sudetenland, then the Ukraine is Poland — and we know Putin wants it badly.

  23. #23 |  The Whited Sepulchre | 

    Clinton’s Lewinsky episode was enough to give the Presidency to Bush instead of Gore. To this day, Gore and Bush have little or no contact. Note the reluctance of Gore to endorse Hillary.

    Is there any doubt that the Republicans would’ve been handed another election if Edwards had been the nominee?

  24. #24 |  Legate Damar | 

    Radley, I rarely disagree with you, but this is a swing and a miss and letting the bat go flying into the stands. She reportedly knew in 2006, meaning that she allowed her husband to keep her (and his puppydog-eyed devotion to her) in the national spotlight well after she knew about the affair. Meaning she either has zero say in what goes on in her own household (so why does she stay?) or she signed off on the decision to pimp their marriage.

    It’s one thing if a spouse gets blindsided about an affair (some do), or isn’t a central theme of a campaign (like, say, almost all of them). But Elizabeth Edwards knew, and was, respectively. Either way, she gets no sympathy for being found out. She was willing to lie all the way to her grave to support her sham of a husband (and I mean that in both senses.) Remind me what part of that is so admirable and virtuous that her husband should be spared from shame?

  25. #25 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Exactly how and why is this a story?”

    “No enemies on the left.”

    That’s why it’s a story, Radley. It’s about the media.

  26. #26 |  bud | 

    I find it amusing that you’re complaining that Faux News isn’t “covering” the Georgia-Russia conflict, given that you’ve obviously made up your mind that ANY action by the US is tantamount to starting a war with Putin’s boys. Since the fact that getting in the middle of this spat has the possibilty of dragging us into it, why waste time discussing it? Pounding on Breck Boy seems to be an acceptable alternative use of air time.

    Why? Because if this is allowed to die a quiet death, 5 or 10 years from now, we’ll have his pretty puss, with a crocodile tear for his dear, departed wife running down it, back on the tube, running for Pres, or Senator, where he can “put it to the man” for the great unwashed.

  27. #27 |  Andrew Williams | 

    This. Is. A. Non-. Story.

    As Jello Biafra used to say, “We’ve got bigger problems now.”

  28. #28 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #27 Andrew:
    Kudos for using the Jello quote. He is a funny guy, a pretty shrewd political observer, and an all round good Left-libertarian. He and Frank Zappa made great contributions during Al and Tipper’s “dirty music” panic of the 80s.