Is this healthy for a democracy? I don't see how it can be. It's probably unrealistic to expect that intoxicating fluff like the Hunter story not be covered at all. But the disproportionate amount of attention it's gotten is absurd. The biggest story of the election apparently involves the sex life of a man we know for a fact won't be president come January.
Larisa Alexandrovna has doubts too, related to the over-convenient nature of the story, as regards the press.
But none of this is really the issue and never has been. The Edwards story is important because it can be stretched far and wide, to cover all other background noise which an uneducated populace can easily forget when a sensational and sleazy story is before them.
Both the left and the right, as well as the mainstream media have been talking about this private matter non-stop as though it were newsworthy. Edwards is not a public official, nor is he now running for public office now. Even if he were, it is a matter for him and his wife to resolve. So why is this news? Because when he was running for public office he did not want to share his private (legal) life with you? Do you have the right to even ask? Unless there is some illegal activity going on, what right do you have to know what a public figure does privately in their bedroom if it is not used as a political "family values" tool against citizens of this nation? Did Edwards try to pass the no cheating constitutional amendment and I simply missed it? I do recall the same-sex marriage ban amendment being shoved down our throats by people who were gay or criminal deviants. But I do not recall Edwards ever demanding to know how any of us lived and loved privately, nor did he insist on enforcing his view on how we should live and love.
That whole post is worth reading.
As far as I can tell, the most interesting aspect of the story has been ignored: the possibility that it may have been manipulated behind the scenes.
Elizabeth Edwards may have an intuition as to when her husband is deceiving her. I can't credit National Enquirer reporters with the same psychic insight, especially when they haven't spent time with the candidate. Someone had to put them on this trail.
Someone may be trying to throw marbles underfoot for Barack Obama and the Democrats. Neutralizing Edwards keeps him out of the campaign, when he could have helped rally working class voters and Southerners. It may also sanitize John McCain's less-than-exemplary past as a husband in the public eye.
It could also be someone with a personal grudge. There wasn't much of a chance that Edwards would be Obama's running mate (Hillary Clinton's supporters would not have appreciated her being passed over for the distant third) but he was on the list. Now, presumably, he isn't. His chances of being appointed to a potential Obama cabinet--Secretary of Labor, say--look pretty dim too. It would be awfully petty to expose the affair to dent his career, and not exactly a kindness to his family. But human nature being what it is, somebody could have made this call.
The possibility that someone may be playing them like a row of handpuppets is something that should interest members of the media, but usually doesn't.