In many ways the John Edwards split with his wife Elizabeth Edwards symbolizes the growing impotence of mainstream news reporting today. That the mainstream media could ignore the Edwards affair and illegitimate baby story for so long is emblematic of the sea changing occurring from traditional news outlets to the internet.

Edwards split


Right Pundits was one of the first news providers to run with the story in 2008. Even so, Edwards continued as a player in the Democrat primaries with both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton courting his endorsement. Already a VP candidate under John Kerry, many in the Democrat party continued to push his candidacy for vice president again.

Such a selection would have been a travesty for our election process as the events we reported upon unfolded and were eventually confirmed by the mainstream media. The John Edwards affair, love child, and now a sex tape, all leading to the recent Edwards’ split could have submarined the Obama candidacy and presidency to follow. Honest reporting would have taken him out of the picture early. But the news sources were a day late and a dollar short, both figuratively and literally.

The money has dried up in the budgets of mainstream newsrooms to the point they have do virtually no investigative journalism anymore. The vaunted New York Times and Washington Post, once renowned for their breaking stories, are now relegated to reporting candidate’s press releases and me too journalism.

The real investigative journalism today is coming primarily from two sources, blogs and tabloids. This change became apparent to many when CBS News falsely reported on the Bush Air National Guard story, a news abomination that became known as Rathergate. The integrity of Dan Rather’s reporting on 60 minutes was torn apart by blogs within a matter of hours.

The story of John Edwards split, affair with Rielle Hunter, baby bombshell including photos, and sex tape were broken by the tabloids, chiefly among them the National Enquirer and People Magazine. They are succeeding while the traditional media sources are failing the public in the fundamental role of journalism.

Once targets of snickering in elitist newsrooms, the supermarket tabloids are now doing most of the investigative reporting that the mainstream media once did regularly. The simple reason is that tabloids still make ample profit, and so their investigative reporting is well funded. Whether or not they have a lower bar of proof is immaterial. They are filling a necessary void.

So while the latest news of a John Edwards split with his wife of 30 years is a big story in the old media, the blogs and tabloids have already moved on. She will need to wait one year for a divorce under North Carolina law assuming that she lives to see the day. Who didn’t see it coming?


Edwards Split (Video)