John Edwards career as scandal fodder may end up lasting longer than his career as a politician.
Case in point: Two stories landed today detailing various aspects of Edwards bad behaviour.
The more damaging one (if that’s even possible at this ) is the report that voicemail messages “purportedly” left by John Edwards that show he was involved in bankrolling the cover up of his affair with Rielle Hunter have been turned over to a grand jury investigating the matter.
According to former Edwards aide Andrew Young, he and his wife Cheri lived a life on the run to keep news of the affair from the media. The voicemails show Edwards checked in from time to time from the campaign trail. Young turned over voicemail messages to federal prosecutors and to ABC News to back-up the story in his book. They show Edwards was in contact with the people Young says bankrolled the cover-up.
Audio of the messages below.
Meanwhile! Over at HuffPo a woman named Pigeon O’Brien—a former magazine editor and publicist who is apparently suffering from a guilty conscience —has penned an essay today explaining that it was she who leaked the story of John Edward’s affair with Rielle Hunter to the National Inquirer.
O’Brien had known Hunter even before her name was Rielle Hunter (it used to Lisa Druck…she “was trouble”) and was involved with working on the website Being Is Free.
O’Brien apparently had a catbird seat to the whole affair (which she says wife Elizabeth was very aware of) and cracked under the pressure of too many phone calls from political operatives who smelled blood. She eventually opened up to the National Enquirer…the only publication that would apparenlty take her seriously.
To my surprise, nothing happened. I got all braved up and no one would take my call. I hadn’t noted who called me, so I got a receptionist. “Can I speak with the person writing about the, um, John Edwards affair?” I ventured. “John Edwards… affair?” Sneered the receptionist. I might as well have asked for the person writing about hating cute puppies.
My second call was to a big newspaper. They had called, repeatedly, and clearly were well versed in the affair whispers. Carefully, anonymously, I asked what would happen if I said anything. There was nothing they could do, they said, unless I went on the record and they used my name. Well, no. But I saw light and I just didn’t stop.
My third call was to the National Enquirer. I had just finished helping a colleague work through an issue with them. I had a basic idea of how they worked: Stealthily. I called.
It was not a promising beginning. “I guess… John Edwards is having an affair,” I stumbled. “The television psychic?” the other person asked. It was laughable. “The presidential candidate. “Oh,” he said, “OH!”
Hard to imagine that sort of reaction from mainstream media any more. But there you have it. Edwards was outed by a friend of his mistress, and the National Enquirer got all the glory.
Vid of the phone messages below.
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