Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senator Barack Obama Gets Ovation From Troops At U.S Embassy In Baghdad

Take a look at this video because you're not likely to see this kind of ovation for President Bush. Senator Barack Obama visited our troops at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and got a warm welcome. He then took time to thank them for their service.

John Edwards and Rielle Hunter "The Alleged Mistress" Caught In LA By Enquirer

This is a new story that is based on one I covered last fall. Former U.S. Senator John Edwards, who was also being considered for the VP slot next to Senator Barack Obama, was found at an LA hotel by two National Enquirer reporters as Edwards was visting new mom Rielle Hunter.

In January, this space reported that the Enquirer wrote that Hunter was pregnant.

This is what I added in this blog:

John Edwards' Alledged Lover Rielle Hunter Pregnant By Either "Edwards Operative" Or Edwards Himself

Friday, January 04, 2008

As John Edwards prepares to go negative on Barack Obama after Obama's big Iowa win, there's a looming spectre of a story that should be of concern to him and it seems to be.

This is a story that will not go away and it comes up again, as The National Enquirer and Sam Stein over at the Huffington Post first introduced a story asserting that former U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards had an affair in 2006.

I wrote about it a while back , but focused on the Enquirer / Clinton angle. But I'm done with that as the story has massive legs.

Now, the Enquirer is reporting that the woman of interest as the supposed lover, Rielle Hunter is pregnant, and has a photo , shown here, to prove it. Now this is where the story gets even weirder...

Here is what I wrote in the original story:

This is one of those stories you aren't sure what to do with but figure you should cover to some extent. Apparently the National Enquirer is reporting that John Edwards had been cheating on his wife. It's all the more hurtful because his wife's battling breast cancer and doesn't need any more stress, even from the mere existence of the story itself.


The person who some are pointing fingers at is named Rielle Hunter. She's a video producer who was hired to cover Edwards for a period of time during the campaign and made a special set of videos. Here's one of them..

Hunter released the following statement through a spokesperson:

"The innuendoes and lies that have appeared on the internet and in the National Enquirer concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous.
My video production company was hired by the Edwards camp on a 6 month contract, which we completed December 31, 2006.

When working for the Edwards camp, my conduct as well as the conduct of my entire team was completely professional.

This concocted story is just dirty politics and I want no part of it."

But how in hell did this get started and generate 1,363 blog posts, according to Technorati? We'll get to that, but it appears the National Enquirer is part owned by Clinton backer and former staffer Roger Altman , according to Pat Dollard.

But A spokesman for American Media, Richard Valvo, said in an email that Altman has “no involvement in editorial, ever.” He said that Evercore owns 20% of the company through an investment fund. Altman didn’t respond to an email seeking comment or to a message left with his secretary.

American Media has also published terrible and negative stories about the Clintons since its acquisition, so that may just be coincidence.

But how did this get started?

According to Sam Stein over at the Huffington Post , the two met at a New York Bar (!) and the idea for a set of videos was hatched there. What Sam doesn't report, but does come from Rielle's own website, is that in 2004 she was flat broke. In 2006, just two years later, she scored a six-figure deal with Edwards. But how?

What appears possible is that Edwards got involved with helping a woman in her early 40s remake her life. Indeed, the production company that made the film, Midline Groove Productions, was brand new in 2006, according to its website.

"Midline Groove is a full-service production company committed to projects that reveal truth -- the authentic aspects of humanity that are right here and most often overlooked. Creating short and feature length documentaries for the web, broadcast, and big screen, the company was established in 2006 by producing partners Rielle Hunter and Mimi Hockman."

So it seems that the Edward project was Midline Groove Productions' first work, period. Thus it seems as if Edwards created a job for the new production company. It came at the right time for Hunter. Hunter's other website sends the constant message that Hunter was searching for a new self at the time. Check this out..

Back in bed the thought arises: Funny, I would ask Ramana for help and not Gangaji who is here in a body. Yes, that would be too intimate. Intimate intimate intimate. And because I have learned to move towards my fear, I have learned that under the fear is where all the great juice is hidden, it naturally occurs to me to ask her: Gangaji, PLEASE help me wake up from this dream.

There's a lot of text like that.

NYMag has a great timeline which I've reproduced here:

January 2007. John Edwards's One America campaign debuts a series of Web videos about him, made by relatively unknown documentarian Rielle Hunter. The pair met at a bar, where she sold the future candidate on the idea. Hunter subsequently followed Edwards around the country, filming. Newsweek reporter Jonathan Darman, upon watching the final cuts, notes that "in the midst of a short theme sequence that begins each Webisode, the camera lingers over the former senator's behind as he tucks a starched white shirt into his pants."

August 27, 2007. The Post's "Page Six" runs the following blind item: "WHICH political candidate enjoys visiting New York because he has a girlfriend who lives downtown? The pol tells her he'll marry her when his current wife is out of the picture." This is later reprinted by commenters on the Huffington Post blog.

September 26, 2007. Young Huffington Post blogger Sam Stein writes about his efforts to track down the Web videos, which have disappeared from Edwards's Website. Stein writes an oddly detailed account of his chase of the videos and points out that both the Edwards campaign and Hunter's production company blame one another for their vanishing act. Stein even checks with the Screen Actor's Guild to get more information and tracks down production assistants on the project, none of whom will say much. Finally, Edwards's people let him see the videos while accompanied by a campaign minder and Stein sees nothing sinister in them.

September 27, 2007. Daily Kos contributor Ben Bang links to Stein's post and viciously berates the reporter. "Are we supposed to infer something from this non-ending, douchebag?" Ben Bang asks, going on to call him a him a "no-article-finishing, character-assassinating hack fuck."

October 10, 2007. The National Enquirer reports that Edwards is having an affair with a mystery woman who had traveled with the campaign and met the candidate at a bar. An Edwards rep calls the allegations "false, absolute nonsense."

October 10, 2007. That same day, Stein posts a follow-up to his original Huffington Post piece. He questions why the filmmaker, Rielle Hunter, was paid upwards of $100,000 for her work and points out that she used to be a party girl who dated writer Jay McInerney in the eighties and inspired the main character in his book Story of My Life.

October 10, 2007. Ann Coulter, late in the day, mentions the Enquirer story on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC talk show. Daily Kos once again picks up on it and lists the reasons why Stein and the Huffington Post are irresponsible journalists for digging into it.

October 11, 2007. Mickey Kaus on Slate writes a post headlined "Emerging Edwards Scandal?" in which he notes the previous coverage, mulls what would happen to Edwards's campaign if the story were true, especially since he's been "tacitly and effectively used Elizabeth and her struggle" with cancer (the struggle with cancer no doubt being a large part of why the "mainstream media seems to be strenuously trying to not report it"), and wonders who might benefit. Obama?

October 11, 2007. Jezebel.com doesn't mince words, with a headline that screams, "Is John Edwards Cheating on His Cancer-Stricken Wife?" "Who the fuck sleeps with a married man whose wife has terminal cancer and THE ENTIRE WORLD FUCKING KNOWS ABOUT IT?"

October 11, 2007. Washington, D.C., gossip blog Wonkette.com picks up on the Enquirer story, too. After Ann Coulter (who once called John Edwards a gay slur) mentions it, they query: "But, um, Ann? Why would Edwards have a lady-affair when he's a 'faggot'?"

October 11, 2007. New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer dutifully compiles all of the coverage of the rumor, without adding any information or making conclusions of any kind.

The AP Picks Up The Story

The Associated Press just picked up the story as did the LA Times. In total, 70 news outlets are running with the yarn. Let's see where this takes us as it's not going away.

Back to The Present

John Edwards tried to elude the Enquirer reporters Monday night and according to the Enquirer he did call hotel security. But the overall damage was done.

In this video I talk about Edwards committment to the poor and how that should be allowed to remain in our thoughts about Edwards as he faces this tough issue.

What I call for is us to "circle the wagons" and wish Edwards and his wife the best as they go through what has to be a terrible period.

There are many questions.

For example, why were the videos that Hunter made taken down from the Edwards site last year? And who is behind making the YouTube channel "MissingVideos"? That channel has this wording:

Sometimes things go missing from the internet.

Usually they pop back up.

What Edwards will do now is anyone's guess. Also how will this impact his speaking at the DNC Convention? Stay tuned.

DNCC Giving Away Trip To Convention For Donation - DemConWatch

DemConWatch, which reports on DNC Convention News, has it that the DNCC is sponsoring a contest where the donor winner gets a trip to the DNC Convention. Here are the details from the blog:

Just make a contribution to the DCCC before August 11th and you'll receive an official entry to win flight, tickets and accommodation in Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention August 25th - 28th.

Click here to enter with a donation
or you can click here to enter without contributing

The Rules and Regulations are exactly what you'd expect from Congress...
Winner shall be randomly selected from all eligible entries before August 22, 2008.
The winners shall be notified by email on or before August 2, 2008
Your entry must be submitted electronically to: http://www.dccc.org/convcontest1, and must include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
No purchase necessary. Contributing to the DCCC will not improve your chances of winning. You may enter the contest as many times as you like without a contribution by entering here.
So they say you can enter up until August 11th and the winner will be notified "before August 2nd" I'm wondering how they can notify the winner before the contest is over?

And if there's a typo and the winner will be notified on August 22nd... they won't have much time to pack. The flight leaves on August 24th.

Another rule says you have to submit your "name, mailing address, phone number, and email address" but if you go to the page where you don't have to donate, it only asks for your name, email address and zip code.

Gallup And Rasmussen Polls Both Have Obama Ahead By A Hair

I just looked at both the Gallup and the Rasmussen daily tracking polls and Senator Barack Obama's ahead of Senator John McCain by just three percent in the first, 47 to 44 percent and one percent in the last, 45 to 44 percent. But I can't figure out why other than racism. That's the element not adressed, but I also believe that the number of young people polled is not in proportion to their numbers or turnout.

Both polls survey "likely voters" which tend to be older than 45 years of age, and that's where McCain does better. So, we're going to see these numbers -- wrong though they are -- for awhile. John McCain's making a lot of mistakes and the media's not hammering him on them, like talking about a country that does not exist, or today, saying that Iraq is on the boarder of Afghanistan when it's no where near it.

Either someone's not paying attention or they're just plain, well, it's got to be racism -- that's the only mental illness that could explain this.