After the National Enquirer broke a story about former presidential candidate John Edwards’ meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with his alleged mistress and the child they had together, the mainstream media proceeded to ignore the story.
Coverage of the incident continued to be noticeably absent from most major print and broadcast outlets. Fox News did corroborate that Edwards was where the Enquirer reporters said he was at the time, and that the potential Democratic vice presidential nominee was not registered as a guest at the hotel.
This is a man who ran as a serious candidate for leader of the free world and whose wife is bravely battling cancer. Still, the mainstream media for the most part have remained mum.
Now the U.K. Sunday Times has broken the overseas silence on the Edwards allegations. “Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy,” the newspaper’s headline reads. “Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes,” the subtitle hits again.
Will The New York Times, Washington Post, alphabet networks and other major media players report the story now? Caution: Waiting with bated breath for it to happen may result in oxygen deprivation, dizziness, and potential fainting spells.
Is this the two Americas Edwards was talking about — one whose residents recklessly play around but don’t get busted, another whose residents get pummeled in the media for the same activities but whose reputations are left at death’s door?
Speaking of double standards, apparently Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins’ concern for the underprivileged only extends to the less fortunate who live in neighborhoods other than their own.
The liberal pair resides in a chic part of Greenwich Village. Three blocks away is St. Vincent Hospital, which is purportedly in need of larger facilities. The hospital is well known for giving needed medical care to the poor. The New York Post reported that the facility provides $40 million a year in care to the indigent.
Sarandon and Robbins recently appeared at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing in order to express their opposition to the hospital’s expansion. “Improving the hospital is a great idea. However, this can be accomplished without compromising the neighborhood. St. Vincent's should consider the proposed alternative solutions,” Sarandon said in a statement.
In other words, help the poor but go do it in someone else’s backyard.
James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor, and teacher of mass media and entertainment law at Biola University.
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