Old media trumped by new media as Edwards scandal unfolds

“When John Edwards admitted Friday that he lied about his affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, a former employee of his campaign, he may have ended his public life but he certainly ratified an end to the era in which traditional media set the agenda for national political journalism,” according to Tim Rutten in the L.A. Times.

“A number of news organizations with resources far greater than The Enquirer’s, like The New York Times, say they looked into the Edwards matter and found nothing solid enough to report, while others did not look at all,” according to the New York Times, which is now in the uncomfortable position of having to admit that they fumbled the ball on this story.

Did the story matter?  I think so.  It spoke to Edwards’ lack of character.  And he was on the short list to join the Barack Obama administration, should Obama become our next President.  Now Edwards appears to be toast as even his own party has banned him from speaking at their upcoming national convention.

The National Enquirer took the lead on the Edwards story, going as far as to chase the man in a hotel while he met with the woman who had been his mistress and who may have delivered his latest child.  But the rest of the new media, particularly the blogosphere, also reported on the story while the T.V. news networks and the big newspapers turned up their collective noses.

Newspapers are quickly going out of business in today’s new economy.  How can they afford to get scooped by the National Enquirer and the blogosphere?

Furthermore it is obvious that the Mainstream Media DOES limit what they report – they are NOT objective after all.  Edwards was a media favorite, so the MSM protected him.  And the new media took him out – or perhaps I should say that his behavior undid his aspirations.

Locally the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) Melahat Rafiei, hung her hat on the success of the DPOC’s Truman Dinner and bringing her Edwards to town.  The DPOC has been very quiet as Edwards’ political career has blown up.

But the DPOC’s unofficial blog, the Liberal OC, did weigh in on the matter as Dan C. had this to say about Edwards, “I’m not sure the former North Carolina Senator will be able to recover from this politically speaking.  But if Newt Gingrich can survive after being a serial adulterer, anyone can.”

Whatever.  Let’s put aside the adultery for a moment.  The real news here is that the MSM utterly failed to report this story.  And it the story DID have major repercussions.  Whether or not Edwards can survive lying to the media and to his wife and to the American people is besides the point.  The MSM cannot long survive by letting the new media break the news…

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.