ABC's Moran Interviews John Edwards But Skips Blog Scandal He Helped Expose

ABC Nightline co-host Terry Moran helped expose the anti-Christian prejudice of John Edwards’ official campaign bloggers (who’ve since quit the campaign), asking three weeks ago on his blog whether Edwards condoned “hate speech” by refusing to fire the pair. But Moran himself failed to mention the controversy in a two-segment profile of Edwards on Monday’s Nightline.

Back on February 6, Moran listed some examples of the hostile anti-Christian views espoused by Edwards’ campaign blogger Amanda Marcotte on her own personal site and suggested the issue reflected poorly on Edwards himself:

Questions: What, if anything, does it tell us about Edwards that he's joined up with this blogger? Is Edwards' association with a person who has written these things a legitimate issue for voters, as they wonder--among other things--whom he might appoint to high office if he's elected? If a Republican candidate teamed up with a right-wing blogger who spewed this kind of venom, how would people react? Is the mere raising of this issue a kind of underhanded censorship, a way of ruling out of bounds some kinds of opinion? Are we all just going to have to get used to a more rough-and-tumble, profane, and even hate-filled public arena in the age of the blogosphere?

Edwards issued a statement standing by Marcotte and another blogger, Melissa McEwan, arguing that “they have both assured me it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word.” Edwards wouldn’t fire the pair, perhaps worried about offending other hard-core liberal bloggers, but the two eventually quit the campaign anyway.

Click here for an example of Marcotte’s bile, and judge for yourself whether it’s credible to think she "never intended to malign anyone’s faith.”

For last night's Nightline, Moran accompanied Edwards on a campaign swing through New Hampshire, and interviewed both the candidate and his wife. In two segments totaling 9 minutes 20 seconds, Moran never once raised the blogger issue, even though it’s arguably the biggest controversy to face Edwards this year.

Moran did, however, make it clear that this time Edwards is not running as the “cheerful moderate populist” of 2004, but is “much farther to the left” on an array of issues important to liberal primary voters, even proposing “an ambitious and expensive universal health program....funded by tax increases.” Excerpts:

Terry Moran: “He’s different this time around. In 2004, when he was a relative unknown, Edwards was a cheerful moderate populist. Now, in what some critics call a convenient conversion to woo liberal Democrats, Edwards is tougher, staking out positions on health care, national security and the environment much farther to the left than he advocated in 2004.”

John Edwards in New Hampshire: “I don’t think that incremental baby steps are enough. Now, if that’s what you want, I’m not your guy. You should be for somebody else. That is not what I’m for. I believe we need bold transformational changes.”

Later, after recounting Elizabeth Edwards’ successful battle against breast cancer, Moran outlined Edwards’ left-wing health care plan:

Moran: “Partly as a result of their experience, John Edwards has proposed an ambitious and expensive universal health care program.”

Edwards: “I’m proud of the fact that I’m the only candidate thus far who has a truly universal health care plan.”

Moran: “Every American would be required to have health insurance, paid for either by employers or through a vastly expanded Medicare-type system funded by tax increases. He and Elizabeth talk about it at every stop.”

Edwards to a small group of voters: “If you’ve got a lot of money and you want to buy, uh, Cadillac coverage, you can do that. But the basic level of coverage is high.”

Political Scandals 2008 Presidential Amanda Marcotte ABC Nightline