As a rule of thumb, and making allowances for certain exceptions, having the National Enquirer on their case isn’t something you would wish on even your worst enemy.
Which means that the always well-informed and often right Cindy Adams has some very bad news for John Edwards from the Enquirer’s Executive Editor Barry Levine.
Not surprisingly, the paper hasn’t gone of half cocked on such a visible story; they’re sitting on a mountain of information and are planning to dole it out at their own pace. So the already lame and all but threadbare Edwards strategy of modified limited hangout (with at least a couple of outright untruths thrown into the mix) is doomed to further failure.
The story is now being covered in fits and starts by the mainstream media, where the inclination —partly based on the embarrassment of having been so quiet for so long — is still to minimize it as just the latest case of high level philandering.
In fact, the arc of the story has already moved on and is, to coin a phrase, following the money into areas where questions of morality and taste are replaced by matters of law and justice.
It turns out that, at least for selected friends and loyalists of Mr. Edwards, the wages of sin are pretty darn good. At least several millions of dollars have been spent on Rielle and Frances Hunter and on Andrew Young and his family.
From whence has all this dough come? And for what reasons has it been and is it being paid? (And how, without actually sleeping with Mr. Edwards, can I get my name on that list? I am prepared, on very short notice, to leave the western shore of the Chesapeake for stately resettlement in Chapel Hill and/or Santa Barbara; there’s even a nearby small airfield to which a private plane could be sent.)
According to Editor Levine, his paper has the goods.
We’ve followed the money trail. He bought her [Rielle Hunter] a $1 million house in North Carolina. Few days before our headlines forced him to go public, he spent $150,000 just on a private plane to whisk her to some undisclosed place. She was moved in the middle of the night. Lots of money is being spent to keep her happy and away from the media.
The Enquirer has the money and the time to wait for the weakest link in this chain of fools to grow weary with deceit or (whichever comes first) to start looking around for an additional payday.
For now, she’s following whatever script he’s written for her. She’s saying what she’s told to say. Keeping her mouth shut. John Edwards and Rielle are in steady contact. Who knows, but as things go along, she may tire of the game. And we’ll be ready.