The cache location of the original censored Wikipedia page on the John Edwards love child scandal – and the internal Wikipedia debate over it – has been made known to Pajamas Media. Reading it is an interesting experience because, in the light of information we have since gleaned, the initial Wikipedia entry scarcely seems excessive. Indeed it seems measured. Its censoring by Wikipedia is an example of purely reactionary behavior by a supposedly progressive online encyclopedia. And, of course, as we have learned, Wikipedia is not alone in its censorship.
Which returns us to the original question: Is John Edwards’ private misbehavior news? Well, to begin with, it’s not private. This is a man who has made a political career of what a great husband and father he is, not to mention being a public moralizer about American values and our mistreatment of the poor.
But, you say, he has already lost his campaign for the presidency. So what? Leaving aside whatever chance he may have had for the vice-presidency or other important position in an Obama administration, the reaction to Edwards’ behavior by most of our mainstream media is a remarkable example of that media’s own mendacity and self-censorship. Like the child at the Passover Seder, they wit not to know – especially anything that might disrupt their world view. In actuality, Edwards provides a fascinating test case in that eternal condundrum about the interrelationship of public and private lives. That separation is not nearly as simple as our media would like us to believe. Few of us, very much including this blogger, have lived perfect lives. Most of us have told our lies of greater or lesser degree. But, like it or not, those private lies do reflect out on our public character and, directly and indirectly, influence our ability to tell the truth on public matters. In courts of law, juries are often insturcted that a liar in one area is not to be trusted in others. That is for a good reason. As the French idiom goes, mentir est honteux. Lying is shameful. It is also destructive to the public good. I never believed a word John Edwards was saying and now I know why.
NOTE UPDATE HERE: Wikipedia has republished.