Click to viewJohn Edwards has admitted to his affair with "filmmaker" Rielle Hunter, even if he hasn't come totally clean about the shenanigans he and his inner circle of advisors went through to keep it a secret. Elizabeth Edwards has also admitted that she knew about the affair before her husband formally announced his candidacy. But the Baron family — deep-pocketed trial lawyer Fred Baron and son Andrew Baron, who funded his startup Rocketboom from the family coffers — continue to hand-wave about what, exactly, they knew.Andrew Baron has denied he knew anything. But troublingly, he also says his dad didn't know about the affair, which strains belief — considering that it was Fred Baron's ongoing financial assistance to Hunter which blew Edwards's cover. I'm inclined to believe that the younger Baron was not, in fact, wise to the arrangement, and it's only natural to stick up for family. Unless you purport to be a news organization, in which case recusal is your best bet. Because it all makes Rocketboom's original coverage of the Edwards campaign look all the more fawning and uninformed in retrospect. By continuing to toe the family line in public adds fuel to a story that, like Edwards's political career, no longer really matters. While one might be willing to forgive the original faux pas of letting the campaign lead you around by the news nose, it doesn't help perceptions of questionable "new media" journalist ethics to continue to deny, deny, deny. As long as the younger Baron continues to trumpet his father's innocence in public, the more Rocketboom looks like it traded access for complicity, even if unintentionally. Andrew should probably take his own advice and "take a few days off."
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