Buried: Edwards Admission Hidden in Four out of Top Five U.S. Newspapers

If you're totally reliant upon print media, some of the major newspapers that is, you might not have noticed the news about former Democratic Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards' admission that he was indeed the father of his campaign mistress's daughter.

That story couldn't so much as garner a single front-page story from any of the nation's top five major newspapers - USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post. And only The Wall Street Journal, found the story worthy to print on its second page, not to mention the fact that it is a business journal.

Edwards admitted in a statement on Jan 21 that he was indeed the father of Frances Quinn Hunter, saying, "It was wrong for me to ever deny she was my daughter." The story of his affair with campaign staffer and videographer Rielle Hunter broke last summer when the National Enquirer busted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.

So where was this prominent story placed in the nation's most respected and circulated newspapers? With exception of the Journal, it was buried deep in the A-section of the aforementioned papers, with the exception of the Post, which didn't even find it newsworthy enough to put in its first section:

USA Today - 4A
The Wall Street Journal - A2 (teased on front page)
The New York Times - A12 (teased on bottom of front page)
Los Angeles Times - A13
The Washington Post - C2 (teased on bottom of front page)

The New York Times clearly thought that an international story about the politicization of the sport cricket was more newsworthy than a scandalous admission by a former vice presidential candidate. Yes, "Cricket Team Snub Reeks of Politics to Pakistanis" made it onto page A-6, while "Edwards Admits He Fathered Girl With Mistress" appeared way back on page A-12.

Not even The Los Angeles Times, which had the local angle being that the Edwards scandal broke in Beverly Hills, found the story worthy of putting before page A-13.

Perhaps the most obvious burial of the story occurred in The Washington Post, where the story appeared in the C-section. While it did get a brief, twenty two word mention below the fold on the front page, the full story appeared a whopping 32 pages into the newspaper.

USA Today did not mention the story on its front page, but did manage to fit in into its first section with the headline, "Edwards admits he is father of woman's child" appearing on page 4A.The article in USA Today wasn't even an original, as it was merely a wire story from the Associated Press. So what did the USA Today deem more worthy than the Edwards love-child story? New technology to digitally track the tattoos on bad guys.

Political Scandals Media Bias Debate Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Culture/Society Bias by Omission New York Times Wall Street Journal USA Today Los Angeles Times Washington Post Rielle Hunter

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