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April 12th, 2012

As Edwards’ Trial Begins, Some in Media Portray Shameless Liar, er, Lawyer Sympathetically

Jury selection begins today in a North Carolina federal court where John Edwards, the multimillionaire former plaintiffs attorney, U.S. senator and presidential hopeful stands accused of campaign finance law violations for accepting from wealthy doners money allegedly intended to hide a mistress and love-child from the media during the 2008 presidential primaries.  

And though he blatantly lied to their faces, cameras and microphones on countless occasions, there remain at least some folks in the media willing to view the craven defendant sympathetically.  Take Michael Leahy of the Washington Post, for example.  Leahy’s story today notes:

“The plummeting of [Edwards'] star has taken its toll. He has made himself scarce around his preferred restaurants and bars, those favored by Chapel Hill’s elite. He finds less likely refuges now. Over the past couple of years, he has sometimes dropped in at the Wooden Nickel, a working-man’s bar in nearby sleepy Hillsborough, where the posted rules include not drinking while leaning on the cars outside.

“Friends think the animosity and pressure contributed to his recent health scare — a heart ailment that necessitated treatment and a short delay in the trial. Edwards’s doctor emphasized in a note to the court that his 58-year-old patient needs to avoid stress. ‘But he’s doing better,’ [a friend] says.”

Oh, brother.  

Fortunately, at least some unbiased reporters are not in the tank for Mr. Edwards.  The Wall Street Journal’s Valerie Bauerlein played it straight in yesterday’s piece, writing:

“Mr. Edwards, a 58-year-old millionaire trial lawyer, has been very involved in planning his defense strategy, according to people close to the case. But while renowned for his relaxed charm in front of a jury, Mr. Edwards might not testify in his own defense. He is expected to decide whether to testify based on his read of how his case is playing out for the jury.

“Mr. Edwards declined to be interviewed. His lead attorney, Abbe Lowell, said, ‘Mr. Edwards has been waiting for some time and is looking forward to his day in court. So much has been said about his life and his case. The time has come for the evidence.’”

Indeed it has, Mr. Lowell, indeed it has.

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