Rielle Hunter Writes Tell-All, Doesn’t Want To Talk About Her Personal Life

What Women Really Think
June 29 2012 5:14 PM

Rielle Hunter Writes Tell-All, Doesn’t Want To Talk About Her Personal Life

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This morning, John Edwards’ former mistress Rielle Hunter took the publicity tour for her memoir What Really Happened to CNN’s Starting Point With Soledad O’Brien. A CNN.com description of the interview says that Hunter went on the show “to discuss the affair and to respond to the fierce criticism she's received about her decision to write the tell-all book.” But it seems more like she was there to get another helping of that fierce criticism.

In an interview that was equal parts uncomfortable and entertaining, O’Brien and her co-anchors took Hunter to task with some aggressive, disdainful questions that were really thinly veiled accusations of hypocrisy.

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At one point, O’Brien queries Hunter about her relationship with Edwards’ younger children. Hunter demurs and makes noises about respecting their privacy, but O’Brien—with an assist from a colleague—pounces. “I think people would say, like, ‘That does not make sense. That’s completely contradictory.’ " Later, after Hunter rebuffs a similar question about Edwards' elder daughter Cate, O'Brien says, "It's interesting to me [that] you get offended when people ask questions of things they think are contradictory." (Hunter's response: "The manner in which you're asking them feels a little harsh.") In both cases, it seems clear that O'Brien used the word "people" as a stand-in for "I."

Later, Hunter uses fuzzy distancing language in a different way: to seemingly criticize O’Brien and praise herself. “Some people are offended by authenticity," she says.

Her lack of self-awareness would make her a great Bravo star.

Watch a clip from the segment below.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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