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War, famine, pestilence; but about John Edwards...

August 11, 2008 |  7:30 pm

Our own Tim Rutten was among the many holding forth over the last few days on how the handling of the John Edwards adultery story -- before the confession by the onetime Democratic presidential contender -- will not be remembered as a shining example of the Mainstream Media justifying its existence (to put it mildly).

Elsewhere, Clark Hoyt looked at why his newspaper -- the New York Times -- punted on pursuing the story, while the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz more broadly examined the MSM's hands-off approach (his lead: "The whispered allegations about John Edwards were an open secret that was debated in every newsroom and reported by almost none.").

Blogger Mickey Kaus long had castigated the MSM for taking a pass on the matter; he is well worth reading now that the National Enquirer has been vindicated. And Jennifer Rubin makes her case for that the non-coverage -- prior to Edwards' confession -- exemplifies MSM failings that include a liberal bias.

Post-confession, of course, there's been an avalanche of Edwards-related coverage. And that helped produce two especially notable asides.

One was the lament from Howard Wolfson, the former Hillary Clinton aide, that had the affair been exposed before the Iowa caucuses in early January, his former boss would be the one preparing for a coronation at the Democratic National Convention (our colleagues at the Swamp have more on this "what if" scenario).

The second was the exchange below on the Fox New Channel, as anchor Greg Jarrett (no doubt later winning plaudits from his producers) gamely resisted the earnest efforts by U.S. News and World Report columinst Bonnie Erbe to segue from Edwards' to the war between Russia and the Republic of Georgia. The result: must-see TV.

-- Don Frederick