Hi, folks! Don’t y’all miss that guy? I won’t ask if you missed me, that’s tacky. I’m moved to write today by one of the more unbelievable flubs I’ve witnessed in local news history. Such is the state of local television journalism that I’m reduced to indignation every time I happen to catch some late local news, but indignation is so tired and sharing it so common now that everyone sounds like Julia Sugarbaker all the time. Nevertheless, I must share last night’s travesty with you, my Pulsies. Naturally, our man Johnny led the 11:00 news, as well he might, and the trusted anchor introduced a reporter who “has been covering this story for two years.” There was a lot of blah-blah about the indictment over numerous shots of Edwards, accompanied by his oldest daughter, arriving at and leaving the federal courthouse in Winston Salem. Then there was some chat with a former federal prosecutor that did nothing to illuminate the rather intricate questions of campaign finance law on which the case will hang. Finally, the experienced reporter so well versed in the case summed up by noting that we had seen our former senator accompanied by his oldest daughter, Cate, “and he has two younger children as well.”
Just take a moment with that, people, if you need it. Because as I recalled instantly (such is my perspicacity) he has THREE younger children, one of whom is pretty central to the case. Can a sentient human really have spent two years following this matter without realizing that Edwards had a child with his mistress and gallantly denied it on network television? I’m pretty sure nothing could be as callous as having your father publicly deny you, but must reporters perpetuate his cold up-ness? Seriously, Quinn is a person who exists. She is every bit as much John Edwards’s child as the children born within his marriage. Someday, more’s the pity, she’s going to be reading and watching all this because who wouldn’t? She deserves to be counted.
I guess you could argue that it was just a slip. That no one on the program appeared to notice. Even though they’re alleged journalists. But I’m not buying it. Are we supposed to be so grateful that they led with an actual story, one that didn’t involve violence, that we’ll overlook the shoddiness of the reportage? Probably, in which case I have to wonder why you bother to have a news program at all. Why not just show sports and weather on the TV and keep a tiny corner of the website for news that citizens might need to know in order to participate fully in their glorious democracy. Just a thought.