kf Unburies the Lede in Ben Smith's piece on John Edwards' ex-aide and Fall Guy Andrew Young (who was talked into claiming paternity for Edwards' mistress' love child). It's not the sex tape! Kf and N.Y. Daily News readers have known about the sex tape for a while. I'd say the lede is Smith's report about the spring of 2008, after Young had publicly claimed paternity, after Edwards had dropped out of the primary and after he had endorsed Obama--but when he still had hopes of being named Attorney General or VP:
Young was under the impression that Edwards would, after dropping out, step forward and claim paternity - which he showed no inclination of doing.
Elizabeth Edwards, meanwhile, had been leaving messages on Young's and Young's wife's voice mail, two sources say Young told them, demanding that he reassert his paternity to clear the cloud over her husband .
Is this really just more hurt-wife denial or are we heading into the active careerist cover-up zone? Elizabeth Edwards had to know at least that there was a good chance Young was not the father--and that her husband was. She certainly had known for a long time that her husband had had an affair with the mother, Rielle Hunter. Perhaps she wasn't proceeding with sure knowledge that she was asking Young to lie for her again, but it's hard to see how she wasn't proceeding with at least what libel lawyers call "reckless disregard for the truth." ... Did she ask Young if he was really the father before "demanding"?. ...
#2 Lede: Smith reports that in late 2006 "worries about a possible affair coursed through Edwards’s organization." Just as suspected! Did Edwards aides (for example, Jonathan Prince and Mudcat Saunders) really not hear about these coursing worries? Or did they hear them but nevertheless set up the Democrats for a possible epic PR debacle (if Edwards had won)? "Reckless disregard," anyone? ... P.S.: You make the call about Edwards aide Joe Trippi's excuse, available here . ... 2:20 P.M.