John Edwards’ Alleged Love Child

By Beacon Staff

If you spend any time in the grocery store line perusing the tabloids near the checkout counter, you have noticed that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is back in the news. Specifically, he is the target of a National Enquirer investigation that claims he fathered a “love child” with former party girl Rielle Hunter. The Enquirer, as the most popular gossip magazine in the nation, isn’t always credible, but Edwards has fanned speculation by running from questions posed by the mainstream press. Now, that same press is getting hammered for not finding out of if this juicy story is true.

The Enquirer first accused Edwards of fathering the child in late 2007, but his friend and political operative Andrew Young stepped forward and claimed to be the dad. And the story appeared to lose its legs until last month when the magazine cornered the former senator while he was allegedly visiting Hunter at a hotel. Then he began dodging questions about it.

The Charlotte Observer, following the Enquirer piece, did print the birth certificate for the child in question. It doesn’t list who the father is and Hunter has maintained that Edwards isn’t him. Yet the big boys in the newspaper business have yet to bite on the story. At the Washington Post, a reporter said in an online chat that they were waiting to see the “photos promised by the Enquirer.” Those came out Wednesday and show an out-of-focus John Edwards holding a child. The Enquirer calls it “damning proof.” We will see.

Because the story shows no signs of going away, Edwards will either have to prove he’s not the dad or it’s going to be proven that he is. For those who have argued that Edwards should be left alone because he is now a private figure, I would ardently disagree. As others have pointed out, he was being vetted for the vice presidency and imagine if former Gov. Mitt Romney was caught up in a similar scandal. While the press loves exposing Republican hypocrisy (remember Sen. Larry Craig), Edwards always trumpeted his values and, in an interview, called fidelity a “fundamental” indicator of presidential worthiness.

A reluctant press is about to pounce.