Wanker of the Year: John Edwards

You stupid, selfish fuck:


August 8, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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 recognized 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% 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.

Ok, I’m with Amanda Marcotte –I still say this kind of of salacious panty-sniffing distraction ain’t news. But, goddamn, skippy’s right–what kind of asshole fucks around on a cancer-stricken spouse (terminal cancer)? And what the fuck if John-boy had managed to secure the Democratic nomination?

More reactions from around the ’sphere:

Pam Spaulding:

These matters are none of our business anyway; he’s no longer running for office, and who knows what goes on in a marriage. It just looks bad from a judgment perspective, since he had issued denials and brushed off the stories as reporters got closer to the truth. The main curiosity for me is the insanity of carrying on like that, given the high level of personal scrutiny by today’s MSM (and tabloids)  that could blow up in your face politically. Think about it what if he were the nominee? Why would any pol put it all at risk to get laid (shades of Gary Hart)? I find it fascinating and disturbing. Are the gonads that in control of these folks? I know, I know.

Chet Scoville:

Let’s not mince words: John Edwards is a reckless idiot. If he had actually become the presumptive Democratic nominee or been chosen as running mate, the party would now be in total chaos. They’d have to dump him and throw things open at the convention, and the eventual ticket would surely go down in flames in November anyway. Who knows, it might still have an effect on the polls, despite the fact that he’s not the nominee.

Michael Crowley:

The one mitigating factor here is Elizabeth. By Edwards’ account, his wife knew about the affair back in 2006. Her adamant support for his candidacy suggests that she forgave him. If so, should he still be ostracized from politics permanently?

I think we need to know more, but that’s some initial food for thought.

Adam Serwer:

Personally, I don’t care what politicians marriages are like, but I really think that it’s a mistake for conservatives to make marriage fidelity an issue when their standard-bearer has his own share of problems in that arena. Edwards is not his party’s nominee.

Still, remember when he was arguing that he was “the most electable?” His run this year has to go down as one of the more incredibly stupid decisions in recent political history.

John Cole:

Maybe I have a double standard- when most people cheat, I think “What a jackass” and I feel bad for their spouse. When Republicans who spew their family values bullshit and sanctity of marriage crap, I go to town. This just seemed like a case of the former to me, but having said that, it is pretty clear that Edwards lied to the media, and from what I can tell, appears to still be lying or spinning or whatever you want to call it, so I guess that does raise the bar.

11 Responses to “Wanker of the Year: John Edwards”

  1. tas says:

    I was just about to make a post about this noting that, since the story has been confirmed outside of the National Enquirer, the media is reporting it. It was the first story mentioned on NBC News tonight. So for all the wingers claiming that the MSM would ignore this story.. I have a little crow they can choke down.

    Nifty time for Edwards to annouce it, too — friday night, Olympic opening ceremonies about to air… Too bad his morality isn’t as impeccable as his sense of timing.

  2. matttbastard says:

    Meh. The wingers are still going to ride this one as hard as they can while Obama’s on vacation. A Washington Times columnist on CNN just linked Edwards with Elliot Spitzer and Kwame Kilpatrick (conveniently ignoring the many conservatives/Republicans who’ve haven’t exactly been paragons of moral virtue). As far as they’re concerned, the MSM dropped the ball, reality be damned (as is the wingnut’s wont).

    I could give a toss about the sex. It’s not news. But the lack of judgment on Edwards’ part is disturbing, especially considering how much support he enjoyed during the primaries. The fact that he could delude himself into thinking that the secret of his infidelity would somehow survive the campaign season intact is astounding.

    As to whether his political career is over, two words:

    John McCain.


  3. skippy says:

    thx 4 the link mattbastard. i want my $50 back!

  4. skippy says:

    uh, the $50 i donated to the edwards campaign, i mean.

    upon re-reading of my comment, it sounds like the $50 i gave to you for the link! no, you can keep that…

  5. Craig says:

    Tas, are you eating your own heaping helping right beside them??

    It seems that somewhere between your name-calling and obscenity-laced rants you gave your assurances that:

    -only morons would give the smallest credit to a story that was initially broken by the Enquirer, because as anyone intelligent knows, they produce nothing but trash.

    -since no reputable media players (other than those heathens at Fox) had confirmed anything about the story immediately afterwards, it should be painfully obvious to all but the smallest mental midgets that the story is bogus. Because, clearly, every outlet would have thoroughly investigated it immediately and just as quickly would have published confirmation.

    -anyone who questions these truths, spoken by a true journalist, simply doesn’t know their proper place in discussing how the media works, when talking to a professional.

    Let’s review the only, very subdued, point I was trying to make on this story. The Enquirer has a very well-earned reputation for loony, trashy stories. However, they have broken some key stories involving Jessie Jackson, Gary Hart, Rush Limbaugh, and O.J. Simpson, among others. Because of this, one couldn’t simply completely dismiss the Edwards story just because of who broke the news. If it was simply smoke, it would be evident fairly soon. But sometimes smoke leads to a fire. Which would also become evident.

    That was it. No cries (from me) about media bias. No immediate accusations that the story was true.

    Enjoy your meal, but be careful of those bones!

  6. tas says:

    I said this story as bogus when?

    First off, I accused wingers of relying on solely the National Enquirer for the truth to be morons. Let’s face it, if you believed the Edwards story only because the Enquirer said so, you’d have to believe in all the other shit they irresponsibly print, too. So until you’re ready to believe that Bush is drinking again, shut your trap.

    Secondly, when this story initially came out, the Enquirer had no visuals or audio posted on the web to accompany it — which was another red flag beyond the fact that it was in the fucking Enquirer. Later on, the pictures they released sucked so much that even Allahpundit said they could have very well been photoshopped.

    Third, as I said before, the MSM wasn’t going to run with the story unless they could confirm it from another source besides the Enquirer. It’s the same rules for otther stories the Enquirer broke — I mentioned Rush Limbaugh as an example.

    At the time the Enquirer initially released this story and the crickets it produced afterwards, since nobody could confirm it, the story looked like a steaming load. Could it have been true? Yes, but the Enquirer didn’t do anything to make a reasonable reader trust them. You morons, on the other hand, wanted the MSM to run with this story despite those conditions.


    Last year, Alan Butterfield, one of the writers behind the Edwards story, wrote about Ted Kennedy’s alleged “love child” and was subsequently sued by the baby’s mother. Butterfield was also sued for an article which alleged that actor Ben Affleck cheated with strippers while famously dating Jennifer Lopez. Five years ago he was also involved in a scandal which developed at the Salt Lake Tribune.

    The Tribune “fired two reporters who were paid $20,000 for collaborating with the National Enquirer on an Elizabeth Smart story because they misled their employer about the level of their involvement with the tabloid,” the Associated Press reported in 2003. In addition, “the story ha[d] been retracted as part of a settlement between the Smart family and the tabloid.”

    If that’s the kind of integrity you place your trust in, then it’s no wonder you’re such a douchebag. And just because a reporter manages not to step in it for one of his stories doesn’t mean skeptics should eat crow.

  7. Craig says:

    Tas Said:

    I don’t think the media hasn’t reported this story because it’s boring. There’s just no story.
    Honestly Craig, do you think that no MSM reporter or editor has checked this story out to see if it has any legs? Any credibility at all?

    Tas, I’d say you were very clearly stating above that the story must not be true.

    Furthermore, you keep trying to put my argument into some extremists position on this issue. That certainly makes it easier to argue against, but it has NOTHING to do with my specific point. I made a very rational, measured, clear-thinking comment on this issue. Maybe you should read it a few more times. I have NEVER said that the original Enquirer article should have been accepted as the truth. I have NEVER said the MSM should have just accepted the Enquirer story and run with it. Please try to show me where I have said so.

    Funny thing, usually in a debate between two people, you base each other’s counter-point on the specific points that the other person is making.

  8. Pug says:

    Certainly this news about Edwards is disappointing and there is no doubt he was reckless to run knowing this could, and probably would, blow up.

    Maybe there is a silver lining here, though. Edwards isn’t the nominee and I don’t see how this damages Obama. The Republicans, however, do have a nominee with a clear history of marital infidelity, including a sick and disfigured wife who he dumped for a 25-year old heiress. McCain had good reason to make no comment on the Edwards fiasco. His own history is strikingly similar, or even worse.

    Is the genie out of the bottle? Will the media explore McCain’s history now?

  9. tas says:

    Thanks for selectively quoting me out of context. Reading further into my comments on the thread, I also discuss how the MSM would have reported this story if it could be confirmed from some place other than the Enquirer, and that it was the Enquirer’s fault for not giving the story more credibility by not release any photographs of audio of their surprise interview with Edwards. Now the post in question discussed the winger mentality of how the media is liberally biased because they wouldn’t report the Enquirer/Edwards story — the point of my comments were that, unless the Enquirer could provide more proof or this story could be confirmed from other sources, there’s no reason anyone should touch or believe this story. As is right now, we don’t know if the “love child” scenario is true since the Enquirer provided us with blurry, could be photoshopped pictures to “prove” it. So are they 100% right or half right?

    Who knows. And who cares at this point. Edwards is an idiot, you got your scalp and the MSM reported it. Every winger should be happy. Now given the media cycles, coverage of this story will be buried for two reasons: 1) The Olympics (which is cliche), and 2) Russia’s growing war with Georgia. As far as I’m concerned, since innocent people are being bombed in the latter story, I’d be ashamed if the media pays more attention to Edwards than that.

    (Of course, Putin plays the same game Edwards does — release news right as the Olympics open and hope the games buries it.)

  10. fderk says:

    yeah edwards is really pathetic and deserves everything that goes wrong in his career over this. many people admire elizabeth edwards and john edwards just spit in their faces.
    Video: Hillary Campaigns For Obama in Nevada

  11. Dynamic says:

    It is eternally frustrating to see otherwise good people destroyed because they can’t honour a simple agreement to stay committed, til death or divorce do they part. Honestly – it’s not that hard to be a decent human being with integrity. I could care less about consensual sex, but if you’re going to tell someone you’ll be with them exclusively for life, then just effing do it.

    I really respected John Edwards, this is a severe disappointment.

    Also – hello again, CFLF!

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