Hooray! The National Enquirer has published photos of former political person John Edwards with a baby. The baby is almost certainly made up in part of DNA he left in a woman named Rielle Hunter, a former Edwards staffer who now spends her time cashing checks and hiding in hotels and denying everything to the media (until Good Morning America finally books her!). So now would be a perfect time for, like, established print media to cover this story, right? Anyone? Ha, no, they are all too embarrassed. Once again, it's up to the internet! The story is still sneaking in through the cracks. McClatchy ran a "why isn't Edwards answering our questions" piece that will set the tone for future MSM stories on this terrible subject. Leno and Conan have mentioned the story too, which definitely suggests that the era when no one would've known about this unless the Times picked it up is finally over.
But now it is the internet's time to shine! Slate's done great by the story, with cranky Mickey Kaus justifying his insane anti-MSM crusade and Jack Shafer being his usual cantankerous and inarguably correct self. And hey, it's been good for Gawker too-nothing helps beat the August doldrums like a sex scandal that also allows for excoriation of Olde Media. Of course, not everyone on the internet has performed so honorably. It's bannable to mention the story at liberal blog powerhouse DailyKos, the HuffPo is still mostly quiet on it, and the Wikipedia edit war is staggering into its second contentious week. But now we have photos! Once there are pictures, the story is ready for television. If the Edwards love child was the Montauk Monster, CNN would've been all over it last week! And once the story is on television, the newspapers can finally go back and write about it, even if it's just a meta-media "oh dear what happened to the press on this one" kind of story. John himself has played this stupidly, running from reporters and hoping they'll maintain their vow of silence as long as he keeps his mouth shut. They will, John, because they love your wife, but they can only justify this to themselves for so long. Because, as you can see above, the photo is damning and ready-made for distribution on the internet or cable television.