Eric Pooley of Time has written a fawning profile of John Edwards, which is so flattering -- and so deliberately obtuse on some topics -- that one really has to wonder if the Edwards campaign slipped a mole into Time.
As for deliberately obtuse, check out this paragraph:
"Another challenge is that much of the attention he's gotten recently has been the unflattering kind, stories that question his sincerity and assail his image as a fighter for the little guy by focusing on his pricey haircuts, huge house and hedge-fund job. These viral attacks, spreading from the Drudge Report and other blogs to newspapers everywhere, make a dumb argument. They assume that someone who's wealthy can't be a sincere advocate for poor and working people. By that logic, the healthy can't speak on behalf of the sick, or whites on behalf of people of color. But in politics, of course, dumb arguments can hurt you, which is why some Edwards aides urged him not to build such a big house."
What's really dumb is the argument made in the above paragraph. To my knowledge, no one has asserted that a rich guy can't be a "sincere advocate" for the poor. The writer has either chosen to ignore reality and restructure the "argument" to benefit Edwards, or alternatively, he's just...well...to use the author's own adjective, dumb?
Edwards' problem has not been his wealth; it's been his blatant hypocrisy and his desire to tell the rest of us how to live, while doing something entirely different himself. For instance, advocating that Americans give up their SUVs while he enjoys an energy-guzzling 28,000-square-foot house.
And guess what? Edwards owns two SUVs!
There are many similar examples of Edwards talking the talk but not walking the walk.
Back to the article, another paragraph worth examining:
"By the time midsummer rolled around, the negative stories had crowded out substantive ones about Edwards' proposals, so most primary voters didn't know he had been leading the debate on domestic policy. He was the first to present a credible plan for universal health care. (Obama later offered a similar but less expensive plan that leaves some 15 million uninsured; Clinton still hasn't revealed hers.) He came up with a Gore-approved policy to combat global warming and a well-conceived antipoverty package, including a $1 billion fund to help people facing mortgage foreclosure. (Clinton later proposed a similar fund.)"
Why is the Time writer editorializing that an "antipoverty" package, including a billion-dollar taxpayer-funded mortgage bailout fund, is "well-conceived"? In whose eyes?
And they wonder why so many people no longer respect the "mainstream media"...
A postscript: Yesterday NewsBusters ran a brief story about the lack of coverage of Edwards asking whether Cuba had a government-run health care system.
You know that if that question had come out of the mouth of Giuliani, McCain, or any other major Republican candidate, it would have been aired on TV for days.