Although the mainstream media has finally started to report on the John Edwards scandal now that he has admitted to an affair on ABC's Nightline following several reports by the National Enquirer, they continue to fall way behind in investigative reporting compared to the blogosphere. This is yet another reason why the public is relying more and more on the web for news rather than the MSM as NewsBusters editor, Matthew Sheffield, reported yesterday both here in NewsBusters and at the Washington Times. So what is the MSM excuse for being so far behind the ball in reporting on the Edwards scandal? According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the answer is money, not bias. Here is their defensive quote from a blog entry from Hollywood blogger, Sharon Waxman:
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about tabloid journalism: it is usually the principals involved who provide the crucial details, for money. That’s why the information is so often on the nose.
How does the News of the World manage to be there just when Michael Jackson or Elizabeth Taylor leaves their plastic surgery appointment? It’s not by chance. Usually the doctor tips them off. Sometimes they even have the celebrity’s agreement.
My guess is that there is a simple reason why the mainstream media is unable to confirm the Edwards-Hunter affair during these past weeks. Because very few people knew what had been going on. Edwards’ staff didn’t know. Elizabeth Edwards didn’t know. The group may have been as small as three: Edwards, Hunter and her pal Bob McGovern.
One of those, in my view (and not Edwards), sold the information….
Money did pay a role in the initial investigation but how does Waxman and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explain the fact that blogs, with limited monetary resources, are now able to scoop the MSM on this scandal on a fairly regular basis? One example of the MSM merely following the path paved by the blogosphere is this New York Times report yesterday that Edwards' finance chair, Fred Baron, not only paid Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young but also might have recommended their lawyers to them:
But what went unnoticed was that the two lawyers shared an important connection to Mr. Edwards that suggests they were part of an orchestrated effort to protect him, one that is continuing even after he admitted last week that he had an affair with Ms. Hunter but denied that he fathered her child. The lawyers are linked through Fred Baron, a wealthy Dallas lawyer and former finance chairman for the Edwards campaign who was a key player in the campaign’s response to the scandal. Mr. Gordon has worked with Mr. Baron on class-action personal injury cases,...
The Talkleft blog took offense at this "unnoticed" claim by the New York Times:
And now, ladies and gentleman, a shocking new revelation in the John Edwards scandal. Of course, this revelation comes not from the MSM but from the blogosphere. DBKP, which has been one of the blogs leading the way in investigating the John Edwards scandal has just published of photo taken on December 30, 2006. You can see it below as well in much greater detail at this enlargement which clearly shows John and Elizabeth Edwards as well as Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, in the background holding up a video camera.
John Edwards has explained that he told his wife "slowly" that he was having an affair but that it ended in 2006. If this were the case, he must have spent all day on New Year's Eve in 2006 explaining the affair to his wife. And remember, MSM, when you publish this photo, please give the credit to the DBKP blog. Once again the blogosphere leads while you follow.