Elizabeth Edwards: Why so much hate from the media?

I have been following the whole flap over the new Elizabeth Edwards book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities — you know, the one where she talks about her death of her son, her cancer, and the affair of her husband, John — and I’m stunned by the negative media reaction to it. Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times, "Now Saint Elizabeth has dragged [John] back into the public square for a flogging on Oprah and in Time and at bookstores near you. The book is billed as helping people ‘facing life’s adversities.’ But it’s just a gratuitous peek into their lives, and one that exposes her kids by peddling more dregs about their personal family life in a book, and exposes the ex-girlfriend, who’s now trying to raise the baby girl, a dead ringer for John Edwards, in South Orange, N.J." Then, in response to Edwards’ appearance on the Today Show yesterday (embedded below), Daily Beast editor Tina Brown wrote a piece under the headline "Elizabeth Edwards fed herself to the Vultures" that said, "If she had stuck with her health and her loss, Edwards might have held on to our sympathy. But her insistence on belittling to Oprah the dreaded ‘other woman,’ Rielle Hunter, was so embarrassingly self-righteous it almost made me feel sorry for the Democratic twinkie John." Huh?

I guess I’m not sure I understand all this venom. And I certainly don’t agree with it. Elizabeth Edward’s reasons are her own, and she’s justified to make them. Who are we to sit in judgment? When Gloria Allred and Tina Brown appeared on the Today Show this morning to discuss the whole thing, Brown said at one point that she didn’t think Elizabeth needed “to parade her lack of resolution to the cameras.” Meredith Vieira seemed visibly annoyed, saying at one point, “Why is she the one being judged when she’s the victim in all this?” I never thought I’d find Gloria Allred the voice of reason, but I sure agreed with her when she said, “I think she was giving an honest reaction that she has every right to give. She is looking at the good and the bad and the ugly, and giving weight to all of that.”

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What do you think?


Comments (93 total) Add your comment
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  • Melissa

    I’ve been listening to some of the words that have been spoken about Mrs. Edwards and I can’t understand all the derision. She was a married woman wronged in the worst way imaginable. She has every right to speak out about her feelings after such a betrayal and that she is doing it with grace shows how level-headed she is. Perhaps as someone whose family was broken apart because of adultery I have every sympathy for her.

  • Kelly

    Though I have some sympathy for Elizabeth who is battling not only a cheating husband but also terminal cancer, after watching her on Oprah I felt I would have felt more for her if she would have been more honest. She’s still protecting John. She kept up this ridiculous notion that she’s never thought that the baby might be his because regardless it “won’t affect her life.” Uh, what? How do you figure? You’d have a stepchild. Your kids would have a half sister. Your husband would be the father. It’s almost like she’s letting him off the hook by saying if he was the father, it wouldn’t matter. Shouldn’t you be teaching your children that there are consequences for your actions? Responsibility? I would have felt more if she would have said, “If he is the father and I have insisted that he find out because it is his responsibility then we will deal with it together.” Ignoring it won’t make it go away and continuing to protect him only makes her look like an accomplice instead of a victim

  • mdw225

    The same media that judged Elliot Spitzer’s wife for “standing by her man” is now judging Elizabeth Edwards for speaking out about how she felt betrayed and wronged. Damned if you and damned if you don’t – these women cannot catch a break.

  • Anne

    Yes, she was the “victim” of the Breck Boy and his other woman. I have no real problem with her, though I think she (and he and the other woman) are just tacky. I think it would be more graceful (someone else commented on her grace) to not parade her marital woes on national TV. And, of course, it would have been much better had she not referred to the love child as an “it.” That is true tacky. Really, “it” is the true victim in the whole mess.

  • ?

    “Who are we to sit in judgment?”
    Why, we are the television viewing audience and those who she wants to buy and read her book. And since she has been on, oh, like, four hundred programs in the past week, I’d say she is ripe for the criticism — she went on Oprah on under the condition that the “other woman” remain “SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED” throughout the entire interview (that was far more distracting than actually saying the woman’s name!), and pretty much says, “Oh it’s no skin off my nose if my HUSBAND FATHERED ANOTHER BABY.” She puts pretty much all the blame on this awful, skanky, “other woman,” as “how dare she come and TAKE MY HUSBAND and MY FAMILY” — like John is Mr. Innocent, one mistake only in his life, here. The whole family is disgusting. How can she call him a wonderful father over and over again? He stepped out on his family. They are all deluded.

  • Chris

    Good for Elizabeth Edwards! She not only has every right to speak out but she has done her children a huge service. After all of this there is absolutely no way the skanky tramp will ever be in her children’s lives and it would a real tragedy if she were.

  • Lee

    Mrs Edwards is wrong to spread her personal hurt around the world. her children will have to always live with that. She is wrong when she thinks she is the only victim. She made the children victims. The other woman and her child are victims, since news of the affair came out. Mrs Edwards self righteous statements against her husband and his mistress do not belong in world news. She has no sympathy from me.

  • kayla

    I thik Elizabeth Edwards is doing her childen a HORRIBLE disservice by staying with the creep who cheated on her – and while she was going through cancer treatments. What message does that leave to her kids?? She needs to kick his sorry a** out the door.

  • LisaMama

    I did wonder why she would write this book and do the media parade, thereby exposing herself, her kids and her marriage to scrutiny. They have plenty of money, and she must have known that no matter what she said, people would criticize her, so why do it? Has anyone asked her that?

  • Sadie

    This whole media blitz and new book just seem incredibly self-serving. She hasn’t spoken out about the entire situation until she could make some money off it by promoting the book. And she seems a little smug. While what she’s gone through isn’t a picnic, millions of other women face similar, if not worse, trials in their lives without the benefit of a luxurious lifestyle.

  • tara

    Everyone has a right to be heard but she should also remember if you are going to write a book and go on Oprah not everyone is going to agree with your reactions and opinions. I don’t agree with her decision to stay with him but I am also not on my death bed !

  • Jessica

    I think it’s important to remember that she isn’t divulging any basic facts that the media haven’t already put out there. They reported the situation, how dare they malign her for telling her side of the story! I’m sure it would be more convenient for them that she be silent so they can put their own spin on all this nonsense without her input. It isn’t like she brought all this up. I can guarantee that every publication and media source that is now maligning her wanted to get the interview to tell her side of all this a long time ago. Their self-righteous judgment now makes them all look petty and obvious poor losers.


    probably because in all the interviews she has given she has talked badly about the other woman (rightly so) but acting as though the other lady was the only to blame & and not mr. edwards… not to mention the fact that she seems in denial about john’s other infidelities…just keep her views to herself,just made he rlook bad and making john look like the good guy.

  • Tam

    As someone who has been through a similar situation, I feel for her. I have no doubt that her suffering has been tremendous, especially in light of the cancer. And I understand her resentment toward the other woman. She does seem to be in denial about her husband though, which might have a lot to do with her cancer. However, I have a real problem with this media whore-ish-ness. I could never understand how John could run for president when his wife has terminal cancer and I can’t understand this book tour in light of it. From Oprah’s show, we know that her kids live under the cloud of her illness. Why isn’t she with them instead of on the road? One more thing – John seemed like a total fake.

  • Tom H

    The sheer arrogance of thinking we should care about her predicament is hubris worthy of anger and contempt. Live your private life in private, Elizabeth, and you can avoid our scorn and hatred!

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