Edwards admits extra-marital affair

John Edwards has admitted that he had an extramarital affair while his wife was battling cancer. However, Edwards denied fathering the woman’s daughter. Edwards says he knows he did not father the child because of the timing of the affair and the brith. A former Edwards staffer reportedly has said he (the staffer) is the child’s father.

Edwards told ABC News that he lied repeatedly about the affair with the woman, 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. Edwards also said he didn’t love Hunter.

JOHN adds: I was going to note this, but Paul beat me to it. In other news, Russia invaded Georgia today. We’ll get to that later.

From a media standpoint, the Edwards story reminds me of Eason Jordan. As we noted here, Jordan, then CNN’s top news executive, resigned following a new-media firestorm that the mainstream media had, up to that point, studiously ignored. We wrote at the time:

If, like most people, you relied on the conventional media for your news, you would not only be late to the party, you would have no idea what is going on–your first knowledge of anything out of the ordinary would be Jordan’s resignation. Assuming even that will be reported. It would be an interesting assignment: trying to write a story on Jordan’s resignation for a paper that has not heretofore covered the controversy. If Jordan had just announced he wanted to spend more time with his family, he would have made their task easier.

Likewise with Edwards. Those who get their news from the New York Times will be left wondering why on earth Edwards is on television confessing to an affair. Still, it’s nice to see that our newspapers are capable of such discretion. If only they would apply a similar code of silence to, say, illegal leaks from disgruntled CIA staffers.

PAUL adds: Edwards has issued a statement. In it, he characterizes himself as “99 percent” honest” when it comes to the affair. That self-assessment seems questionable.

But the following self-assessment is probably spot-on, and Edwards should be commended for expressing it: “In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.” This self-knowledge should assist Edwards as he promises to “now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.”

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