Monday, August 13, 2007

Pot, Meet Kettle

It strikes me as rather amusing that on the same day Elizabeth Edwards accuses Senator Barack Obama of behaving in a "holier than thou way," it was disclosed Edwards' husband had not told the whole truth about donating his book deal advance from Rupert Murdoch's publishing house to charity.

Senator Edwards, of course, has claimed that Murdoch's media companies demonize the Democratic Party, and he has refused to appear in a debate on Fox News Channel. Then it was pointed out he had personally benefited from a significant publishing deal with a Murdoch company.

While Senator Edwards claims to have donated "every dime" of his own half-million-dollar advance to charity, it turns out that at least some portion of his book's $300,000 expense budget was paid to his daughter and also to his assistant.

Complete honesty about the issue would seem to have demanded that Edwards disclose that his daughter had received -- and apparently kept -- a substantial amount of money from the publisher due to her involvement in her father's project.

Back to Mrs. Edwards. She was also quoted as saying, "The problem for me with the other candidates is I don't know what it is that drives them. I should think the president has to be somebody who has that kind of vision outside themselves."

We might grant that Mrs. Edwards is speaking as a loving wife, but many people would not agree that it's her husband who has a "vision outside" fact, in a story I first linked to last week, editorialist Brad Warthen, who has observed Edwards in varied situations, believes Edwards may not think about others, in general. Mrs. Edwards' complaint, in the current issue of People, about her husband's habit of jogging at dinnertime seems to back up one of Warthen's claims, that Edwards kept a crowd waiting in a hot park while he went for a run.

Tuesday Update: Anne at Just Muttering posted about Edwards' daughter's book income back on August 4th, so the story was out there before Politico ran with it yesterday.

Anne raises some excellent points, including: Edwards promised to donate all the "profits" to charity. Have there been any profits?

To which I add, the book seems to have had little chance of selling anywhere near what would be needed to recoup Edwards' huge advance. Was Edwards, thus, actually receiving something akin to a political contribution from Murdoch? Interesting...


Blogger jau said...

Ah, you're not reading every pearl I write. I mentioned this up in my post of August 4th. I've been thinking that I should learn to write more newspaperly or at least lay out paragraphs to draw attention better.

Anyway, yes, you are SO correct about pots and kettles. And that one sympathizes (empathizes?) with Elizabeth E. and yet wishes she (and he) would get their act and honesty together.

Have a nice, sunny, summery day!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I did miss that post, Anne! I didn't realize that it has been known for a few days that his daughter and assistant collected money.

And you raise a really good point: Edwards got a *huge* advance. The book seems to have had little chance of selling well. Were there actually any "profits" that went to charity? Mmmm.

I'm going to update my post with a link to your article.
Thanks much,

9:08 AM  
Blogger jau said...

Thank, Laura! And isn't it interesting that Murdoch has, as you say, essentially contributed to Edwards' campaign, although I doubt that was the point. Murdoch is a free-market guy of the first order which is likely to be all that was behind it, from his point of view. But Edwards' hypocrisy is downright dangerous and scary, to me, partly because none of the major media are making any noise about it.

8:26 PM  

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