CNN’s Alina Cho: Mrs. Edwards ‘One of the Most Beloved Women in America’

Alina Cho, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN correspondent Alina Cho gushed over Elizabeth Edwards, the cancer-stricken wife of the former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, during a top-of-the-hour breaking news segment about possible new details in the John Edwards affair story on Tuesday’s American Morning: "Now, [John] Edwards, as many people know, has admitted he made a ‘serious error in judgment’ when he had the affair with Hunter, that he told his wife about it long before it became public. Elizabeth Edwards, of course, one of the most beloved women in America, is battling cancer right now."

That superlative might be news to many Americans, since there are plenty of women who could earn that description, ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Laura Bush. When the news initially broke that Mrs. Edwards had cancer, and later that it had reemerged, she might have been the one woman who was receiving the most sympathy in America.

Also, there’s the little-mentioned issue of when Mrs. Edwards learned of her husband’s affair. If she learned about it "long before it become public," as Cho reported," it’s possible that she learned about it before the former North Carolina senator announced his presidential bid. If that’s the case, did Mrs. Edwards also have an "error in judgment" in staying silent about the affair as her husband decided to run for president? Did she complicit in concealing this affair to the media, as they ran flowery tributes such as the one ABC’s Good Morning America did on their wedding anniversary meal at Wendy’s? Did she help keep the Edwards campaign staff out of the loop about the affair?

The transcript of the relevant portion of the segment, which came at the top of the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday’s American Morning (special thanks to Dan Gainor of MRC’s Business and Media Institute for the tip):

ALINA CHO: Now, [David] Perel [the editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer] also said when Edwards admitted that he told his wife about a July visit to the Beverly Hilton, the day after it happened -- a visit during which it appears a photo was taken of him holding Hunter's baby, that he only did so because he was confronted by reporters working for the Enquirer. And Perel says that story was up on the Enquirer's website within two hours and that Edwards really had no choice.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is reporting that when Edwards announced his presidential bid back in December 2006, his wife Elizabeth was not by his side, but Hunter was -- standing off to the side filming him as he announced he was running for president. Now, Edwards, as many people know, has admitted he made a ‘serious error in judgment’ when he had the affair with Hunter, that he told his wife about it long before it became public. Elizabeth Edwards, of course, one of the most beloved women in America, is battling cancer right now. Hunter has since put out a statement saying she will not seek a paternity test to prove whether Edwards is the father of her 5-month-old baby. She says she is not running for public office, Kiran, and wants to maintain her privacy and her daughter's privacy. So, of course, the big questions right now are: who is the father of Hunter's baby? What does the future of Edwards political career? And for now, Kiran, as you well know, those are still open questions.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center