Court of Public Opinion:
How the National Enquirer beat John Edwards in the biggest trial of his life

National Enquirer vs. John Edwards

NE vs. JE

Clinton resurrectionist and spin doctor, Lanny Davis, wrote a book on resurrecting Bill Clinton, subtitled “Tell it early, Tell it all, Tell it yourself”.

That Davis subtitle is an effective blueprint for dealing with public scandal.

John Edwards could’ve referred to that book two weeks ago, as his fifteen-minute confession to ABC’s Bob Woodruff was debunked almost before it even aired, and may go down in history as the benchmark for insincere attempts at avoiding consequences of one’s actions.

“What a strange and insincere admission,” mused some.

“The timeline’s doesn’t match known events,” said others.

Still others claimed Edwards had injected Botox into his face to prevent him from telegraphing true emotion that could be analyzed by experts.

[Background information: access over 100 DBKP stories on the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair, scandal and cover-up: John Edwards Love Child Scandal Library.]

John Edwards had been beaten by an opponent that had read his playbook and had analyzed every game he ever played. Not only had the Enquirer set the trap to collect evidence on Edwards, they laid the groundwork for Edwards to paint himself into a corner from which his political career and public image could never escape intact.

Edwards constructed an elaborate cover up, based on classic Prisoner’s Dilemma game theoryif everyone kept their mouth shut and denied the facts until the end of time, nothing could be proven, and minimum penalties would accrue.

But there were too many players for Edwards to control, and in the end his website-scrubbing team of political cleanup hitters vastly underestimated both the sheer volume of evidence connecting Edwards to Rielle Hunter, and the sheer flakiness of his girlfriend and her network of yoga-loving, Hollywood wannabes.

But, there were two masterstrokes on the part of the National Enquirer: the first being the strategic underrepresentation of collected evidence; and the second being the blurred presentation of the “spy photo” of “former presidential contender holding his infant daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, at the Beverly Hilton hotel”.

The Enquirer resurrected its Edwards Lovechild story on July 21 with eight-month-old stock photography and vague references of confirming sources. Edwards probably knew he’d left some evidence behind. Had he wiped all his fingerprints clean from the inside of the basement restroom door of the Beverly Hills Hilton? He left the restroom under guard with his coat covering his head… was there a telltale watch, freckle or scar? Had Enquirer photographers managed to take his picture in the brief moment before he’d run to the restroom?

Edwards needed more information before he made his next move and he curtailed public appearances, and refused comment other than to decry the “lies told by tabloid trash”, a move cited widely by his supporters as a denial.

Then the other shoe fell.

The Enquirer ran the blurry “spy photo” of John Edwards holding the baby. Was it real? Was it fake?

Many Scandal followers cried “fake” in unison at a photo with the potential to be anyone from Bronson Pinchot to Janet Reno cradling, what was not necessarily, a human baby.

But John Edwards’ heart had stopped.

He knew the photo was one of him holding the baby at the same hotel–only it had been taken five months earlier. Most likely it had been snapped on March 20, 2008, when Edwards had filmed a late night television appearance for The Tonight Show in California.

Edwards was exposed–or was he?

Was this the best evidence the Enquirer had to offer? Apparently, their July 21 pictures had been useless and this photo… Well, this photo could be anything that John claimed it was.

Maybe this fight wasn’t over.

Continue reading: John Edwards Scandal: How the Enquirer Beat Edwards in His Biggest Trial

by Mondoreb/dossier
Source: John Edwards Scandal: How the Enquirer Beat Edwards in His Biggest Trial

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at All DBKP stories are filed under Mondoreb at BNN. This story is by dossier.

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