John Edwards vs Ted Haggard

[POLS RESPONSE: We removed the diary because it was based on a report in The National Enquirer. We don’t allow the promotion of unfounded personal rumors here, and that includes the Bigfoot-sighting National Enquirer.]

Earlier today Haners posted a front page diary discussing the National Enquirer story about John Edwards possibly having an affair. This diary is not about that story.

This diary is about that diary being removed. I do not know why it was removed (I have emailed Pols but no reply yet). But I assume it was because it was “just a rumor.”

Several years ago when the Ted Haggard story first broke, the story was all based on the testimony of a single source – a prostitute. And if I recall correctly, he was anonymous at first. But we had numerous discussions here based on just that.

I agree that the National Enquirer is not the most credible newspaper on the planet. But reading the article, they do a good job of separating facts they saw from supposition. And they have a lot more to lose if they are lying about anything.

I think this is as credible a source as Mike Jones was when the Ted Haggard story first broke.

It may also be that this is not Colorado news. And it’s not. But John Edwards was a possibility for VP and probably the front runner for AG. And we have a number of front page diaries about the presidential race.

Maybe it should have only been on the side-bar, but it definitely should not have been removed if this was the reason.

Finally, this site has listed a ton of financial and sexual pecidillos for various Republicans. With the sole exception of Eliot Spitzer, this has been a Republican list of disasters.

This lets the Republican members here get a rare turn to point out that we Democrats aren’t perfect. I hate to see it removed because it then feels like it’s ok to talk about Republican problems, but not Democratic ones.

??? – dave

ps – Please keep the discussion on this diary to if the other diary should be up and not the John Edwards story itself out of respect for Pols decision to remove it.

Should the Edwards diary have been removed

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76 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Go Blue says:

    the National Enquirer becomes our standard bearer for “news” on this website it should go ahead and rename itself the Gawker Mountain West Media News and Gossip.

    • RedGreen says:

      I’d bet Pols removed it not because the topic is off limits but to keep Dittoheads and others from finding it via search and swamping the site. But then, they’re all about the page views, so maybe that’s not it.

      And, by the way, David, the Enquirer has nothing to lose if it’s making the whole thing up. Nothing.

        • RedGreen says:

          simply by publishing anything. But a judge would throw it out of court. Edwards is a public figure and the threshold for libel is extraordinarily high, if not insurmountable.

          • BlueCat says:

            had front pages featuring the imminent Bush divorce and confrontations between Condi (as the other woman) and Laura. At least I think it was the Enquirer, could have been one of the other rags you see in check out lines.  Sometimes the Enquirer has broken accurate stories but more often prints ridiculous  tall tales.  In any case plenty of rumors turn up here so I guess colpols should explain why this one got yanked for those who care.

        • Cold Mountain says:


          There is no possible successful suit that Edwards could bring under current Supreme Court precedent. None. Nada. Zilch.

        • One Queer Dude says:

             Public figures must demonstrate actual malice which is that it was pubished knowing that it was false or with reckless disregard for the truth.  Extremely difficult for public figure to prove.

  2. sjintheknow says:

    I do not care if it is a Democrat or a Republican that have the morals of a slug they need to GO!

    We have Clinton that has a whole generation that think oral sex is not sex and a married Republican Congressman or Senator got caught in a bathroom trying to have a sexual encounter with a man.  Some Republican in New York that has a love child and yes our own former Gov. Owens that has a love child or two.  Go figure why EVERY news outlet in Colorado never let that cat out of the bag.

    Let me ask you DavidThi808 if this report was about a Republican I bet it would have been front page news on this fourm.

    So yes, Colorado Pols is VERY Bias and prints only negative about Republicans and only good about Democrats.

    You can not change a Liberal, they can never tell the truth!  It is just the nature of the beast.

  3. colorado76 says:

    To people who make their living the way the folks at the Enquirer do.

  4. PERA hopeful says:

    I went back and read Pols’ stories about Ted Haggard.  First, Haggard was a Coloradan who had been mentioned as a possible candidate for CD-5.  Second, Pols first posted after the 9News story, in which Paula Woodward interviewed Mike Jones on camera.

    Now, if Haners’s diary involved an on-camera interview with a woman who said she had sex with John Edwards in that hotel room, it would be analogous to the Haggard story (minus the Colorado connection).  However, all Haners’s story said was that a reporter tailed Edwards and Edwards wouldn’t talk to him.  There’s nothing but innuendo; no actual evidence that Edwards was doing anything wrong.

    OK, that said, since I’m not practicing law anymore I don’t have to give lip service to that innocent-till-proven-guilty stuff.  It sure sounds to me like Edwards was fooling around in that motel room with the unidentified occupant.  

  5. cologeek says:

    for the removal was because this was about a very popular Democrat, it completely destroys any reason for those of us on the right to be here any more.  I would like to hear from Haners on whether or not he had been given a reason.  If any rumor about a Republican or conservative is fair to be posted here, then the Edwards story is just as fair game.

    • Sir Robin says:

      Everyone should drive more gas efficient automobiles, and as a life long oil man is saying…..”I’m building wind turbines”(T. Boone Pickens)

      Thanks for providing a banner for sound Democratic energy policy.

      • cologeek says:

        as Libertad.  Be original, post something related to the topic!

      • cologeek says:

        Pickens is also in favor of drilling offshore, building nuclear power plants, more coal plants, basically doing everything possible to increase domestic energy production.

        • Go Blue says:

          Show where it says in the Pickens Plan anything about “offshore drilling.”

          What he actuallys says

          Can’t we just produce more oil?

          World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn’t enough of it to keep up with demand.

          The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone.

          • cologeek says:

            BLITZER: What about drilling offshore? There’s a debate. As you know, McCain says, yes, go ahead and drill off the coasts of Florida and California. Obama says, no.

            You’re an oilman. What do you say?

            PICKENS: OK. McCain says, OK off the East and West Coasts. I say East, West Coast and ANWR. Get it all. I mean, to get off of foreign oil, that is the enemy. Get everything you can get. You cannot drill your way out of it. But you’re drilling, and whatever you are able to find and put into the domestic system will help us. But you — you aren’t going to be able to find enough to take care of all the imports that we have.

            BLITZER: What about nuclear?

            PICKENS: Nuclear, fine, do it. Anything in America, do it, and get off of foreign oil.

            His concern is reliance on foreign sources of power generation, not having only green ones.

            • Go Blue says:

              And he said it before the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee. However, he realizes we can not drill our way out of this problem and like offshore drilling.

              We need to build an energy infrastructure of natural gas, bio, wind and solar, and guess where that’s going to happen? In the West. With CSU announcing a Global Environmental Sustainability School, as well as numerous other research institutions, Colorado will play an incredibly major role in this endeavor.  

            • ThillyWabbit says:

              His concern is about making lots of money because he owns a lot of natural gas leases and wind farms.

              To which I say fine. Making money is good. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking this is anything other than a marketing strategy for his business interests.

              A guy doesn’t give a million dollars to help the re-election of a president who did everything in his power to increase our dependence on foreign oil because he is worried about foreign oil.

    • Haners says:

      They have not contact me personally about the diary in question, however if they had I suspect they would have said something similar to their response above

  6. twas brillig says:

    Dave, as you may know I think you are out to lunch most of the time, but I appreciate you calling out Pols on this and actually having a DISCUSSION about it. Censorship sucks. Kick it off the front page or whatever, but outright deletion sucks.

  7. sjintheknow says:

    Ok so I did not remember the names of these immoral slugs.  You people have no lives so you remember the names.

    I still say if this story out of the Enquirer was about Mitt it would be on the front page of this Fourm.  

    Pinheads like you just can’t admit it.

    By the way RedGreen when you talk about McCains first wife she has nothing bad to say about him.  If you knew many Nam vets many came back and divorced especially the POW’s.  

    • RedGreen says:

      She has nothing bad to say about him because of the gag order she signed to get lifetime health care. But she’s not the moral arbiter of John McCain’s fitness to serve. God is, and He has spoken. You ignore His ruling at your peril.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      ‘My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens…it just does.’

      Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.

      When McCain – his hair turned prematurely white and his body reduced to little more than a skeleton – was released in March 1973, he told reporters he was overjoyed to see Carol again.

      But friends say privately he was ‘appalled’ by the change in her appearance. At first, though, he was kind, assuring her: ‘I don’t look so good myself. It’s fine.’

      He bought her a bungalow near the sea in Florida and another former PoW helped him to build a railing so she could pull herself over the dunes to the water.

      ‘I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after,’ says Carol. But as a war hero, McCain was moving in ever-more elevated circles.

      Through Ross Perot, he met Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. A sympathetic Nancy Reagan took Carol under her wing.

      But already the McCains’ marriage had begun to fray. ‘John started carousing and running around with women,’ said Robert Timberg.

      McCain has acknowledged that he had girlfriends during this time, without going into details. Some friends blame his dissatisfaction with Carol, but others give some credence to her theory of a mid-life crisis.

      He was also fiercely ambitious, but it was clear he would never become an admiral like his illustrious father and grandfather and his thoughts were turning to politics.

      In 1979 – while still married to Carol – he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage.

      Carol and her children were devastated. ‘It was a complete surprise,’ says Nancy Reynolds, a former Reagan aide.

      ‘They never displayed any difficulties between themselves. I know the Reagans were quite shocked because they loved and respected both Carol and John.’

      Another friend added: ‘Carol didn’t fight him. She felt her infirmity made her an impediment to him. She justified his actions because of all he had gone through. She used to say, “He just wants to make up for lost time.”‘

      Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

      ‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

      ‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

      ‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’

      One old friend of the McCains said: ‘Carol always insists she is not bitter, but I think that’s a defence mechanism. She also feels deeply in his debt because in return for her agreement to a divorce, he promised to pay for her medical care for the rest of her life.’

      But Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.

      ‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said.

      ‘After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.’

      That’s character

      These are facts from the 2nd biggest paper in the UK not some internet punching bag set up by swiftboaters.  Why isn’t the “liberal” media talking about this when they love reporting on your fake stories?

  8. cologeek says:

    Are you out there?  It would help to hear from you on this.

  9. sjintheknow says:

    Whine, Whine, Whine.  

    You are the one who brought up McCains wife, I just told you the truth.  

    • RedGreen says:

      because you brought up “the morals of a slug,” and she’s the perfect example of John McCain’s morals. That and all the lying. And the affairs. Thanks to you, we get to discuss the slug’s morals. Otherwise all these liberals might have thought McCain was an acceptable alternative. You’ve set them straight. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  10. Go Blue says:

    Haner’s “concern diary” has made its way to DailyKos.

    If you all are looking for juicy gossip, I’m sure I can find a link to a story about Karl Rove actually being John McCain’s illegitimate black child

  11. Dabee47 says:

    And I can’t pretend that I’m not.  I worked for JRE…I’ve stood outside of a VFW hall in Winterset Iowa with him and his daughter Cate and mused about how ridiculous it was that anyone would venture out of their home to listen to anyone give a speech when it’s 4 below out.

    That being said, I think Haners’ posting was inappropriate and support it being removed.  Lending credibility to the National Enquirer just strikes me as dumb.  That’s not an attack on Haners, but on Drudge.

    For every “scandal” Drudge gets right before the rest of the media, he gets far more wrong.    I browse over to Drudge at least once a day and the litany of pure crap on his site is astounding.  Of course he gets some things right because he takes chances on stories like this.  But at the end of the day, the vast majority of his “scandals” only end up on his page for a day and then he’s on to something else.  There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just what he does, IMO.

    So, like I said, I’m biased and can’t really hide it.  If the story is true I’d be very disappointed.  Incredibly disappointed.  But at this point it seems to be just rumor like the lovechild story a few months ago…

  12. twotone says:

    The post should have been removed. In addition, I think it is sickening that you are using baseless attacks to futher your own “prestige” by rewriting the smear in this post. Get a life.

    • Dabee47 says:

      Dave was an Edwards supporter until he dropped out…he’s not trying to smear JRE.

      Why are you even commenting on this?  Don’t you have some Shafroth shilling to do?

  13. cologeek says:

    Both the L.A. Times:

    and the Washington Post:

    consider the story worthy of commenting on.  So what is the reason for pulling the post Pols?

    • Mr. Toodles says:

      Did you read either post? LA Times is an opinion piece that pretty much dismisses it, and wapo gives it a two paragraph blurb in a gossip section. Yeah, real reporting there.

      By the way, David, laughing boy tried to make hay of this months ago. Also, I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound. Who gives a shit if the republicans get a chance to see a democrat get his comeuppance (with no credible sources, pics, and published by a grocery store tabloid, to boot). If your reason for posting this is so they can have a day of relief for all the crap that has been flowing from their politicians has been posted here you should be embarrassed. There is absolutely no equivalence.

      Pols doesnt owe you an explanation, and quite frankly they dont owe haners one either. If they feel it violates the rules they can remove it. Feel free to post this on your own blog, but you are really taking advantage of your editing priviliges in my opinion.

      • cologeek says:

        It was discussed, at both of those papers, neither of which are right wing mouthpieces.  The point of Daves’ post is not the substance of the story, but Pols removal of it from the forums without the posters here giving comment on it.

        The reason Haners was given editing privileges was that he is one of the most reasonable posters on the right here.  From your comments I am assuming (with all the risk that implies) that you would prefer this site become another dreary left-wing echo chamber like DU and KOS.

        • Mr. Toodles says:

          It was discussed on gossip pages, not front pages. If these were front page stories, I would have no beef (and be pissed, because I have always liked Edwards). The point of this diary is about the substance of the story, whether David intends for it to be or not. It was removed because of the substance and because of the source material.

          I have never read kos or du, and it is a lame insinuation you are trying to make. It would be like me saying that you would prefer this site becomes like the freerepublic. I dont care what this site becomes.

          Maybe it is because this is the third time I have heard this rumor, two times on here both times it was an enquirer link, but if this were true there would be much greater press presence then there is now. Posting a National Enquirer link as a credible source for discussion is not reasonable, and it sets a dangerous precedent for the viability of this blog.  

      • Laughing Boy says:

        There is absolutely no equivalence.

        This is the problem David identified.  QED.

        • Mr. Toodles says:

          You are saying that David identified the problem that the vast majority of political scandals are perpetrated by republicans, and they frequently get posted here. Then, an unfounded rumor coming from the National Enquirer gets posted and that is somehow equivalent? Or rather as David says:

          This lets the Republican members here get a rare turn to point out that we Democrats aren’t perfect. I hate to see it removed because it then feels like it’s ok to talk about Republican problems, but not Democratic ones.

          Let me rephrase, letting this stay on the frontpage as some sort of appeasement is partly amusing, partly eye-rolling, but absolutely ridiculous. It would be equivalent if I posted a story about Bush or McCain or Romney from the National Enquirer and it got front paged. As it stands, it is an unfounded rumor which has no equivalence on this blog.  

  14. sjintheknow says:

    Couldn’t Edwards find someone with some looks?  LOL, LOL, LOL

    Like cologeek says, If the L.A. Times and Washington Post acknowledged the story…where there is smoke their is fire.

    Pols just will not print anything bad about Democrats.  Pols is a Left Wing Media Outlet so what do you all expect?

  15. Laughing Boy says:

    For being honest about this.  Yes the Enquirer is garbage, but another yes that if the same story had been about a Republican that it would have been trotted out as gospel by the same Go Blues and Sir Robins of the world right on this very site.

    My respect for you in discussing this as you have (dismissing the actual story while probing the possibility of censorship and the reasoning behind it) has raised my respect level for you even higher.

    Plus, your Mom’s a Republican.


    • Go Blue says:

      of the diary needing to be deleting. You have now earned praised from one of the independence institute’s lackey’s.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        Pols is setting a difficult precedent here.  The Enquirer is no more goofy than the Huffington Post (who originally broke this story, BTW) or NewsMax for that matter.

        Go Blue doesn’t like to hear anything that conflicts with his/her view of the world.  

        Therefore, the diary should be censored.  The Enquirer is simply a convenient excuse.

        If the story were untrue, I’d think Edwards would be suing instead of denying, but that’s my opinion.  Nevertheless, we’re left with an obvious outcome – any allegations against a Republican are fair game, whereas the same doesn’t hold true for Dems (on this blog).

        The cool thing, is that being a somewhat conservative guy, I have a firm grasp on exactly whose property Pols is, and that they can do whatever they want here.  If the shoe were on the other foot, I think the more reactionary here might blur that line.

        • Go Blue says:

          I’m all for contending views and opinion but not trash. The National Enquirer story is trash but since it trashes a Democrat you take great joy in spreading that utter non-sense regardless of the source. That’s the difference in standards. For a conservative guy, you should do make a lot of strawman arguments… I guess that’s typical though.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            My point was not is the story clearly accurate or not. In point of fact, I don’t think there is any way to determine squat at present. And the Enquirer while sometimes is first with a story, is much more often just making stuff up.

            But that wasn’t the issue I wrote about above. My question was – is this a topic that should be open to discussion. Based on the links above, the WaPo and LA Times found it worth listing – mostly so they could then debunk it. But they did find it worthy of discussion.

            I do wonder how everyone would have reacted if it had been John McCain they had written about this way. I think I probably would then be a lot more insistent that it was worth discussing.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            You hate dissent from your view.  Absolutely hate it.  There’s a fair chance this story is true, but it’s not about the story – it’s about the fact that you aren’t going to scream and cry about this story from the same source if it’s about McCain or a Republican (hehehe.)

            Did you post the NYT’s hit piece on McCain’s “affair” that was far less substantiated than the Edwards story when it appeared earlier this spring?

          • Laughing Boy says:

            You little hypocrite.

            So pols, “We don’t allow the promotion of unfounded personal rumors here”, what was that all about?

            • Colorado Pols says:

              You’re joking, right?

              • Laughing Boy says:

                The story was every bit as much rumor as the Enquirer piece is.

                Could you please post a list of Pols-approved media sources?

                See what you’re getting yourself into?  You should have just let the diary stand.  

                • Colorado Pols says:

                  Unless it was a thread on alien transvestites and their plot to take over America with hybrid-electric elephants.

                • Colorado Pols says:

                  The NYT story you’re referring to concerned a corporate lobbyist who bragged to colleagues about her close ties to McCain. The salacious stuff in that story was a minor aside.

                  To compare that with this totally unsourced drivel from the National Enquirer–centered only on rumors of an affair with no politically relevant angle–is ridiculous, especially considering the track record of that publication.

                  If this isn’t stone-cold obvious, even to you, well, sorry. Can’t help you.

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    It’s your blog.  Let me know the next time you remove a diary that cites any source that’s detrimental to an R.

                    I won’t hold my breath.

                    Where’s Haners? Is he banned or does he just have the scruples to refuse to accept the censoring?

        • RedGreen says:

          That’s ludicrous. He’d be ignoring it, which is what national politicians do when scurrilous, unfounded rumors start flying.

          Pols has been full of your pals spreading lies about Democrats this season (remember “The Blonde,” who couldn’t hit post without letting some nonsense about Obama slip out? and on and on and on). So what you’re saying simply isn’t true. But you knew that.

  16. Alan says:

    The National Enquirer ran a story a few months ago implying Obama is an Iranian plant.

    The National Enquirer reported that the family of Elizabeth Smart, the SLC girl kidnapped by vagabond extremist Mormons was part of a “gay sex ring.”

    They have been sued repeatedly and successfully for printing outright BS, though they always seem to sell enough copy to pay those judgments without skipping a beat.

    Of course the righties are going to eagerly spread their unsourced crap whenever it suits them, but Pols and others are in no way obligated to subsidize that.

    David, I like you most of the time, but you’re pissing on your host’s rug here, and in defense of totally unsubstantiated reporting from a tabloid.

  17. Aristotle says:

    All this hand-wringing is overwrought. Pols has a few rules, but they were always clear – no rumor-spreading allowed; you need credible sources for stuff like this. The context (does this end Edwards’ national prominence) doesn’t justify the posting if only the Nat’l Enquirer is reporting it, and those other links mentioned by folks here (Drudge, LA Times et al) were all not confirmed reports either which is why it wasn’t on their front pages (except maybe for Drudge whose reputation on these matters is almost as bad as the Enquirer’s).

    Haners, maybe you didn’t know better; now you do. It will come out of more reputable media outlets if it’s true. Let it wait.

    David, it should have been crystal clear why the diary was removed. Your concern with perceived fairness of the way ‘pubs are treated is commendable but you have it almost to a fault. Please keep it in mind.

    Censorship – a strong and overused word. Pols may be an open forum but it is their house. It is not censorship when they delete posts and diaries, it is how they keep their credibility intact. They let us say a lot of things here and let us have the run of the place quite a bit, but it is their house. Let’s not pee on the rug, okay?

    • Aristotle says:

      Pols – you can save yourself some trouble and always post an explanation for post/comment deletions. I know some blogging software can replaces them with notes explaining why they were removed, but if Soapblox doesn’t do that you may need to do it manually…

    • Laughing Boy says:

      …really does tie the room together.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      But I also think a discussion of it was a valid exercise – look at the comments above.

      Also, Haners point was not that Edwards was definitely having an affair, it was that with this second story his political career is over and he was a (long-shot) possibility for VP and probably the 1st pick for AG.

      I agree 100% that removing it is not censorship, it is editorial control. But I do like your idea of always replace it with a short note and people can then discuss the action (not the story, the editorial decision) in comments off of that notice.

      As to being overly fair to Republicans, I have to – my mom is one 🙂

      • Aristotle says:

        but the manner in which it was stated made it easy to focus on the alleged adultery instead. I think he was just trying to bolster the notion that the adultery made the apparent end of Edwards’ national office ambitions something to now speculate; but in doing so he dedicated about 80% of the diary to the adultery. Remember, he titled the diary “Edwards caught cheating on his wife?” not “Edwards’ national office ambitions possibly ending in scandal” or some such heading that would have made his point clear. Further, he could have just dedicated once sentence to the Enquirer report (e.g., National Enquirer claims to catch Edwards with mistress; if this gains traction then his days as a VP or AG pick are over).

        That’s not to say that he would have avoided having his diary deleted, or accusations of engaging in smearing Edwards, but that would have been truly gray. I don’t think it was very gray the way it was written, although I know Haners didn’t intend it that way.

  18. One Queer Dude says:

       Ahhh, but how quickly we forget about Michael Garcia asking that lobbyist at the pool table to chalk his stick.

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