'People': Elizabeth Edwards Authorized Friend to Attack John Over Nightline Interview

Elizabeth Edwards authorized a friend to attack John Edwards over his infamous "she was in remission" interview on Nightline.  That's the stunning assertion of Sandra Westfall, the "People" magazine writer who authored the article [excerpt here] containing the friend's crticism. Westfall was a guest on tonight's Verdict with Dan Abrams.

DAN ABRAMS: Sandra, let me start with you. Is it fair to say that the story that you guys have in this week's magazine is effectively Elizabeth Edwards' side of the story?

SANDRA WESTFALL: You know, she authorized her brother and her best friend to speak to me on her behalf.

View video here.

A bit later . . .

ABRAMS: Let me play a piece of the Nightline interview, and then I want to read you a response from a family friend who spoke to People magazine, blasting John Edwards for this comment.

Roll tape from Nightline interview.

JOHN EDWARDS:  Can I explain to you what happened?  First of all, it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer.  That's no excuse, in any possible way for what happened.

ABRAMS: Alright, so here's what People magazine reports: "one family friend is outraged by both his behavior and his public apology.  The idea that so long as her cancer is in remission, his cheating is somehow not so bad—it's mind-blowing." Before I go to Lynn [Sweet], Sandra, was that person also authorized to speak by Elizabeth Edwards?
WESTFALL: Yeah. I'll tell you that that wasn't the only person who told me that.  

ABRAMS: Wow.

WESTFALL: They had former aides screaming at the television --

ABRAMS: Wow.

WESTFALL: -- throughout that interview.

WESTFALL: You know, they said this is not the John Edwards we thought we knew.

ABRAMS: Lynn, you know, I find that to be startling: that Elizabeth Edwards authorized a friend to effectively attack John Edwards for his Nightline interview. 
Looks like it's all coming apart.  John Edwards' story will not hold. Will the MSM let itself continue to be scooped by the National Enquirer and People?
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.