What is happening to John Edwards today could appear as mere anecdote, but it isn't.
On the contrary, it teaches a lot of things about the power of MSM (mainstream media) and how a politician's career can be promoted or ruined by the simple will of influent journalists.
Once admired for its capacity to investigate and denounce the corruption of presidents or elected officials, or to report on abuses of power (as in the Watergate affair which led to President Nixon's resignation thanks to the remarkable work done by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein), the American media seems to have forgotten its lofty mission.
Now it has become more interested in sensational news or the promotion of an African-American to the top even if he is obviously incompetent, simply because they expect to boost their sales or increase their audience.
The disclosure of John Edwards' affair has been perfectly organized. This is a story which has been circulating on the Internet and in tabloids for months now. So everybody knew about it, but it was still said to be a rumor, which means Edwards could go on denying it, and his political career was not affected. A lot of pundits even said he could well be given a prominent position in an Obama cabinet, if Obama were to win in November.
However, from the moment the MSM decided it was high time for them to prey on Edwards, his career came to an end and we may even consider him as dead politically today.Strangely, it happens just a few days before the Democratic Party Convention in Denver, and it enables Obama to get rid of a contender for vice-president who could have well threatened his aura if he had put him on his ticket (American voters would have immediately noticed the difference between the two men, one being obviously a competent, professional politician whereas the other one is a deplorable amateur).
Our aim here is not to give anybody a lesson of morality : we are not interested in moral judgements concerning the way Edwards behaved towards his wife while she is struggling against incurable cancer, for these are mainly private matters. The only thing we may notice is that John Edwards has been extremely hypocritical as he built his political reputation on the image he gave of his united family : most of the time he was shown on the campaign trail surrounded by his wife and children, and they all always seemed to be the perfect representation of the typical American family.
Yet, we can't put the blame on him for doing that, because this is what most politicians do : this is how it works. They are forced to give a false image of their private life if they want to have a chance of being elected. Edwards is not the first politician who has cheated on his wife, and he won't be the last. If all those who have been unfaithful were to be eliminated from the political scene, there would not be many male politicians left, in the USA and everywhere in the world (in France it is the same, think about the president himself, Nicolas Sarkozy who is far from having an irreproachable behaviour in private as far as marriage matters are concerned ! But French people don't mind on the contrary : they admire him for his macho attitude).
In the USA the most famous example in history will undoubtedly remain John Fitzgerald Kennedy who pretended to have a very happy family life with Jackie, and who at the same time had many mistresses, including Marilyn Monroe, but at that time Americans were not informed ; it was only revealed after his assassination.
As French people, we are always amazed when we see an American politician who comes to confess his adultery sin on television, generally with his wife at his side. Yesterday John Edwards (without Elizabeth) came to make his mea culpa on ABC, and pronounced those words, which sound incredible in our country :
"In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognised my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness.
"Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 per cent honest is no longer enough.
"I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly.
"But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby.
"I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.
"It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.
"If you want to beat me up - feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.
"I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say."
Sorry, but I 'll call the whole stuff, circus, not politics.
This leads me to another conclusion we may draw from the whole affair : what do all the marital scandals which broke out recently or in the past in the US, the UK or in France have in common ?
No idea ? Well it's evident :they involved only male politicians. You have never heard of a famous female politician who had to apologize publicly because she had an extra marital affair ! Not surprising !
Women in politics are too busy working hard on issues : they do not have the time to have fun. Their commitment is real and sincere, and they are not only interested in power and glory. As they are wives and mothers, their main challenge is not to sacrifice their family, so they are very careful to combine their political occupations and their family life. They simply do not have the time to have affairs with other men !
No doubt : this is one more reason to vote for them and to elect a woman president ! We'll see the difference !
Another lesson we can learn from the whole Edwards thing is that Obama is not a very reliable friend : a few months ago, he praised Edwards and declared himself very proud of his support.
Now, he makes it clear he does not want to be associated with all this mess. He immediately declared that finally, John edwards will not speak at the Convention, and the Edwards family will not be present in Denver :
"The Edwards family indicated that they probably wouldn't be attending the convention (...) This is a difficult and painful time for them and I think they need to work through that process of healing."
In other words, he just advises Edwards, his former friend, to stay away from him and from politics !
Ironically, one person must be laughing today : that is Bill Clinton. HE will speak at the Convention whereas John Edwards is "forbidden" to attend it. That must be a sweet revenge for the Clintons : John Edwards chose not to support Hillary at a very crucial moment while she quite needed his help. He endorsed Obama whereas his voters (working-class people) preferred Hillary in almost all primaries, simply out of ambition. He probably saw himself on the ticket again at that time !
Bill Clinton must really not feel any sympathy for him : he perfectly knows what it means to be lynched by the media. He was the victim of a media harassment for eight years, culminating in 1998 with the Lewinsky scandal which endangered his presidency :
Who came to help him at that time ? Nobody ! No member of his own party ! I guess he remembers what Edwards had said about his behaviour. While he was already harassed by MSM daily, threatened to be impeached by Congress, Bill Clinton certainly found no comfort in Edwards'words : they were full of scorn, moral condemnation , reprobation, outrage :
« I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen. (...) We have a man who has just been confronted with this problem, who is political by nature. And do we really believe that the first thing he thought about is, “I’m going to protect myself legally ?” I suspect the first thing he thought about is “I’m going to protect myself politically.” He was worried about his family finding out. He was worried about the rest of the staff finding out. He was worried about the press finding out.
“Poor John Edwards !
Maybe he was sincere at that time, when he uttered those words...
After all, he was ten years younger !
Finally, it is a pity the MSM did not wait a little before "killing" him : an Obama/Edwards ticket would have looked tremendous. Both together would have been unbeatable : an inelligible candidate for president (Obama was not born in the US and it is becoming more and more obvious that he is not entitled to become POTUS : he is ineligible ! We'll write an article about this issue very soon) + an immoral figure as vice-president...
What happened to the Democratic party ?
What happened to American investigative journalism ?