The precious Times has finally condescended to do some original reporting the John Edwards scandal, pulling from the tabloidy muck a scoop establishing that Edwards loyalist Fred Baron, who can't quite recall these things clearly, admits he maybe set Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter and Edwards campaign aide Andrew Young up with two separate lawyer buddies of his, and also maybe paid their legal fees?? All this happened right before one of the lawyers announced that his new client Hunter was not carrying Edwards' love child, and then the other lawyer announced that her new client Young was the father of the love child. And you know, funny thing, both of the lawyers forgot to mention their ties to one another via Baron. Here are some great quotes where swaggering genius lawyer Baron (pictured) pretends he's an Alzheimer's patient, to the Times:

"I have this recollection of somebody asking me for lawyers in New York, and I remember naming three or four, and he must have been one of them... It was either her who called or somebody on her behalf...

"I remember getting a call from Pam and her telling me that she was representing him... I may have sent him over there, but on the other hand I may not have. I don't have an accurate recollection...

"I have a brief recollection of giving someone some cash. My assumption is I loaned some small amount of money to the both of them..."

Baron had previously admitted to paying for Young and Hunter's posh living arrangements but said he didn't know how they found their lawyers. So the Times here is establishing that he might be a liar and also that he may have helped orchestrate the exoneration of Edwards as father of the love child.

The newspaper is apparently quite proud of its scoop, placing it on A1. Editor Bill Keller appears to be in full retreat from his haughty statement that the Edwards scandal is "a supermarket tabloid's anonymously-sourced story" that he would never "recycle." In today's story, his own newspaper not only mentioned the Enquirer's proven reports that Edwards had an affair but also alluded, in the second paragraph, to the tabloid's stories about Edwards fathering a love child. Neither the Times nor any publication other than the Enquirer claims to have proven that allegation through its own reporting. Sounds like "recycling!"

And presumably the Times' standards editor changed his mind about the scandal being "classically not a Times-like story."


(Photo via Wikipedia)