Sorry I Dropped the Ball on John Edwards Scandal

Who could believe he was actually that big a scumbag?

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2010 10:09 AM CST

(Newser) – Andrew Sullivan is really, really sorry for not doggedly pursuing the John Edwards scandal in the same way he went after, say, Sarah Palin. But he has a good reason: “It seemed too awful for me to believe.” Who would imagine that “a husband could do that to his wife then,” when she had terminal cancer? All of us, Sullivan says, obviously excluding the National Enquirer, just “assumed that he wasn't one of the biggest assholes on the planet.”

Sullivan’s own “leeriness of investigating people's sex lives” also contributed to what he considers a journalistic failure. And he “felt protective toward Elizabeth, feeling that investigating this would be deeply hurtful to a woman faced with mortality,” he writes in the Atlantic. “My mistake as a journalist was in making an assumption of a baseline of decency in public officials that it is not my job to make.” And Edwards, he notes, “came closer to power than Palin.”

John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth in 2007.
John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth in 2007.   (AP Photo)
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We know now what a narcissistic creep and liar [Edwards] was. I don't believe that politicians should be saints, but I do believe that character matters. - Andrew Sullivan

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