“Veiled threats” by Edwards campaign staff
Kansas City writer also cites “Vigorous Denials” as Likely Reasons Press Didn’t Report on Story
An adversarial press scrambles to explain to their readers why they were left in the dark about the John Edwards scandal until 7 months later.
Kansas City Star’s Aaron Barnhart made a damning confession about how the Mainstream Media reports–or in the case of the John Edwards scandal, failed to report–news on political candidates it covers. [The John Edwards love-baby story: What took so long?]
Edwards was still running for president last December. Why didn’t his opponents jump on this? Why didn’t the story get any traction? One likely reality is that vigorous denials from campaign staffers, veiled threats to put reporters off the bus if they persisted, and the absence of any follow-up reporting from the Enquirer or any other source combined to take the air out of the story.
Thanks, Aaron, you said a mouthful.
UPDATES at end of story:
UPDATE #1 14:14 EDT August 1 2008
UPDATE #2 14:25 EDT
UPDATE #3 14:38 EDT
UPDATE #4 14:55 EDT August 1 2008
Reporters presented with “veiled threats” by a campaign staff?
NOW, wouldn’t that be news? You could just see the headline–unless you were familiar with how the mainstream press operates.
Wouldn’t that have been a story in itself? Wouldn’t those “veiled threats” to reporters not to ask uncomfortable questions, have excited some interest or curiosity among their press brethren?
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DBKP has repeatedly stated that the “cozy relationship” between reporters on the Edwards press bus and the campaign staff was partially responsible for why they shirked their constitutionally-protected job as an adversarial press.
We said in it December. We said it last month. And now, Aaron Barnhart has confirmed it.
This “cozy relationship”–as opposed to the adversarial duties they’re supposed to perform–leads us to a second point: those “vigorous denials from campaign staffers” that Aaron talks about.
Because of those “vigorous denials from campaign staffers”, not one reporter posed the question to Edwards that DBKP kept repeating, “Do you deny that you’ve been in telephone contact with Rielle Hunter since she found out she was pregnant?” Did the reporters on the Edwards’ campaign bus perhaps assign a larger weight to the campaign staff’s denials than their readers would have?
We’ll never know: nothing was said in the mainstream press about their “vigorous denials”.
After all, what’s a little scandal among friends?
The third part of Barnhart’s faux pas trifecta, “the absence of any follow-up reporting from the Enquirer or any other source” highlights the incestuous nature of the MSM. It isn’t news unless someone in the MSM says it’s news.
Eight days after the Enquirer released the second series of Edwards love child allegations, “John Edwards Love Child Scandal“, DBKP published the following: [Rielle Hunter Housed by Former NBA Player]
Question: What former NBA playerâ€™s latest charity outreach involves providing housing for unwed, pregnant women?
Hint #1: The player and various family members have each contributed the allowable limit each to the John Edwards campaign, for a total of over $15,000.
Hint #2: The unwed, pregnant woman is actually just one: Rielle Hunter, the former producer of videos for the Edwards campaign that traveled around the country last year with the presidential candidate.
Doug Ross responded–within hours–with “The John Edwards Love Child Saga, the NBA and the MSM“.
Okay, so I was curious. Went to OpenSecrets and did a donor lookup.
The only ex-NBA player and heavy Edwards donor I found is Eric Montross, who is listed in Chapel Hill. That’s not to say Montross is hosting Rielle, but if the DBKP story is accurate, he’s someone for the MSM to check into.
DBKP was curious, Doug was curious, BNN and our readers were curious.
Ross was even curious enough to take a second look at the Enquirer story, especially this next sentence.
A source close to Young vehemently denies that he funneled campaign money to Rielle â€“ who drives a BMW SUV registered in Youngâ€™s name.
Doug says, “What an odd denial! Who accused Young of funneling campaign funds to support Rielle in the first place? I wonder if any member of our crack mainstream media will bother to check into this interesting thread.”
Readers on top of the story can supply their own answers to that last question.
How curious were Aaron and his buddies on the press bus about any of this?
Their curiosity was finally piqued seven months later–after a team of Enquirer reporters chased Edwards around the Beverly Hilton, where Aaron and his buddies were spending the night, coincidentally.
In the wee hours of Tuesday, July 22, John Edwards â€” the former senator from North Carolina, former presidential candidate and running mate in 2004 â€” was confronted by reporters for the National Enquirer at a men’s room of the Beverly Hilton, the very hotel where TCA summer press tour had concluded a few hours earlier.
Fox News, at that point was curious enough to interview on the hotel security guards who confirmed the confrontation.
PJ Gladnick, of Newsbusters Writer Claims Edwards Scandal Story Has Finally ‘Trickled Out’ Into MSM, does a complete demolition of Barnhart’s other claims about why the MSM didn’t cover the story.
Of course, NewsBusters also took a pass on the story in December. But, NBs has been all over the story in its July reincarnation, chiefly through the efforts of Gladnick. Gladnick’s NewsBusters coverage has been a key element in holding the media’s feet to the fire over the last two weeks.
Barnhart and his MSM friends weren’t curious enough about the highly-curious aspects of the story in December; what will Kansas City readers have to say about that?
Aaron attempts to quell any unease of readers left in the dark with a bit of revisionist history.
“If I were you, I’d dispense with the idea that a liberal conspiracy of silence kept this story under wraps.”
Okay, we’d take him at his word–except he forgot to provide any proof. Perhaps, because he can’t. Not one word was published in the Kansas City Star–or in any MSM outlet–about the Enquirer’s December allegations. We know. We kept checking.
Gladnick sums up nicely.
While the MSM continues to drag their feet, the blogosphere is up front investigating this scandal story. The National Enquirer and the blogosphere are going where the liberal media fears to tread. Meanwhile newspaper circulation continues to tumble. And their lack of coverage on a topic that the public is interested in provides a great example of why they are on the decline.
Pretty hard to improve on that.
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A Child is Born
Doug Ross asks some questions in “Edwards Love Child Birth Certificate Shows No Father!” that the traditional press could have asked months ago.
But, at least some in the traditional press are pursuing the story with gusto now.
The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer, both in Edwards’ home state of North Carolina are asking questions and running down leads. At least two of the reporters Edwards was forced to dodge Wednesday in Washington DC were from those papers. Both papers published copies of the birth certificate yesterday, and others in the media followed suit.
Continue reading: John Edwards Scandal: KC Writer Cites â€œVeiled Threatsâ€, Denials as Likely (plus UPDATES 1-4)
Source: John Edwards Scandal: KC Writer Cites â€œVeiled Threatsâ€, Denials as Likely