ABC's GMA Skips Probe Into Edwards Campaign Cash to Mistress

Despite running two segments in the last week on Elizabeth Edwards and how she has coped with the extramarital affair of former Senator John Edwards, ABC's "Good Morning America" has yet to feature a single story on the news that a federal probe has been launched into whether the then-presidential candidate paid off the woman he was having a relationship with. This is despite the fact that Edwards acknowledged on Sunday that such a investigation is under way (though he denied any guilt).

CBS's "Early Show" briefly noted the probe on Wednesday. "Today" featured a segment on Monday. NBC reporter John Yang explained that investigators were looking into whether or not campaign money was improperly paid to Rielle Hunter, a videographer for Edwards in 2006. And while GMA hasn't followed this latest development, the show highlighted Elizabeth Edwards' new book on Friday and, on Wednesday, her upcoming appearance on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

To ABC's credit, correspondent Claire Shipman did mention the apparent contradiction of Elizabeth Edwards promoting her husband's honesty during the campaign, even after knowing of the affair:

CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Even as Elizabeth Edwards was saying things like this-

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: But, once they hear him speak, once they feel his passion, once they understand that he is the truth-teller in this race-

SHIPMAN: -she already knew her husband had an affair. But she says, he told her it was a one-night stand.

However, the morning show should certainly find time to update its viewers on the latest charges against Edwards.  

A transcript of the "Today" show segment on the subject, which aired on May 4 at 7:08am, follows:

NATALIE MORALES: Former presidential candidate John Edwards is now the subject of a federal probe. Investigators are looking into whether any campaign money was wrongfully paid to the woman he admitted having an affair with. NBC's John Yang has more.

JOHN YANG: After months of denials it was a stunning confession from former presidential candidate John Edwards. He had an affair with a campaign aide.

JOHN EDWARDS: In 2006, I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness.

YANG: Now another admission, a federal investigation into whether campaign funds were illegally paid to the woman, Rielle Hunter who produced campaign web videos. In a statement to the Raleigh News & Observer, Edwards said, "I am confident that no funds were used improperly." He said he had given investigators, "the information necessary to help him get the issue resolved." Federal records show that Edwards' political action committee paid Hunter's firm $100,000 in 2006. Then in April 2007, four months after Edwards announced his candidacy, an additional $14,000 payment. Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, who has incurable cancer, were very public about their marriage, accepting the "Father of the Year" award, six months after he said he told his wife about the affair. Elizabeth Edwards tells her side of the story in a book to be published next week. John Yang, NBC News, Washington.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org