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John Edwards Update: Mass Media Takes a Bite

The John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story is finally leaking into the mainstream media. McClatchy has weighed in on the story, reprinted in parts as far afield as Cleveland (thanks Mom!), Charlotte and Modesto. And reporters from other outlets are probing the former candidate on the question. Edwards ducked the subject when a dozen reporters and photographers tried to ask him about his night at the Beverly Hilton, the alleged affair and subsequent baby, at a speech he gave this week at an AARP symposium on poverty and aging in Washington. Edwards slipped out the back of the hotel and told a journalist, "Can’t do it now, I’m sorry." Commentators are quite rightly pointing out that if Edwards had nothing to hide, why not do a paternity test and be done with it? And there’s another story today, this in The Charlotte Observer, digging up the fact that Hunter’s child, Frances, has no father listed on the Santa Barbara birth certificate.

Couple of other points worth noting: The New York Times, the paper of record, has yet to print anything on the topic. This is particularly uncomfortable for the paper in the wake of having published a front-page piece in February that suggested an affair and improper ties between John McCain and a female lobbyist who was not his wife.

Here’s another question: Where is Elizabeth Edwards? How is she taking all this? She is typically not shy about berating the media when she feels they have stepped over the line.

And finally: Why is the National Enquirer playing coy? Where are the photos and the full-out coverage from its multiple-reporter-photographer-extravaganza- chasing-John-Edwards-into-a-Bathroom at the Beverly Hilton? Roll tape please.