David Shuster, arbiter of journalistic standards? The MSM didn't bother to pursue the Edwards story, yet Shuster, he of "pimped out" fame, had the chutzpah to look down his nose not once but twice on the National Enquirer during an interview this afternoon with Barry Levine, its Executive Editor. Levine, speaking with Shuster on MSNBC this afternoon at 4:20 PM EDT, laid out a number of open issues, including paternity and the source of funding for Rielle Hunter's living arrangements.
BARRY LEVINE: I think this story is far from over in that regard.
DAVID SHUSTER: And finally I mean, I mean, as a newsman, and I sort of, take that term, sort of liberally for some of your critics, in terms of how they would describe the National Enquirer, but nonetheless, you did get the story right. In your estimation, where is the next aspect to this story for the National Enquirer?
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LEVINE: Well, we're continuing to follow the money trail on this. We think there's still questions that need to be asked of John Edwards. And certainly the biggest thing is he saying that the affair ended at a certain date and so he couldn't be the father. He's admitted that he's lied about so much of the affair. Why should we believe him at this point that that information's incorrect? I really think we need to determine the paternity of this child for the sake of the child, for Rielle Hunter and also for the sake of his own family, so we can finally put this story to rest.
Shuster couldn't resist taking a parting slap at Levine and his paper.
SHUSTER: Well, there's certainly a reason why a lot of people have very strong feelings about the National Enquirer and I think that Barry Levine has just underscored that.Nice. So the lords of the MSM look down on the tabloid-trashy National Enquirer. But in the symbiotic world of the media, MSNBC also needs and wants Levine. And let's remember that the Enquirer first broke the story of the affair last year, while Edwards was very much an active candidate for president, and the MSM was sitting on its high-and-mighty derriere.