Edwards 'Love Child' Story Shows Press Double Standard

Media are hypocrites about hypocrisy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2008 11:00 AM CDT
John Edwards speaks at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice in Newark, N.J., Friday, July 11, 2008.    (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The press jumped all over Larry Craig’s bathroom dalliance not because he was gay, it was claimed, but because he was a hypocrite with an anti-gay voting record. But no one is piling on John Edwards, whom the National Enquirer says it caught visiting his mistress and love child this week. Jack Shafer of Slate thinks the non-coverage reveals a double standard: Homo-hypocrisy is wrong, but hetero-hypocrisy is OK.

The stories aren’t identical—Craig was in the police blotter, while "Edwards, as far as we know, is guilty of nothing beyond running away from tabloid reporters in a Beverly Hills hotel stairway in the wee a.m. after visiting a female friend in her room,"  Shafter writes. And yes, the Enquirer claim of an affair is based on anonymous sources. So he obviously deserves the benefit of the doubt. But doesn't Edwards, who made his marriage a key part of his campaign, also deserve the same scrutiny as Craig?