Monday, May 03, 2010

Here we go again

This time the National Enquirer is setting its sites on the President of the United States.

The magazine is taking its usual aggressive approach as it examines whether the president had an affair with a woman. Mind you, the affair -- if it happened -- took place 6 years ago.

Normally, anything dealing with the National Enquirer and investigative journalism would be met with a snicker. But let's not forget that it was the National Enquirer that got the John Edwards-as-a-cheat-and-a-liar story correct. Set aside whatever chuckles you normally associate with the National Enquirer and give it credit for nailing this story.

Does this recent "get" mean the National Enquirer is correct this time? There's no way to know. But more importantly, if it is correct, then what does that really tell us?

The indiscretions of previous presidents are known, and the indiscretions of America's politicians also are known. Sen. Edwards, in fact, no longer is the latest politician to engage in some extramarital hanky-panky; sure, he got caught, but so did men such as Mark Sanford. I stop there only to save time. Moreover, indiscretion can also take the form of using one's political office for financial or other gain. Here again, our list would be a long one if it were to be compiled.

Let's give the National Enquirer the time to work through this story. If there is some fire resulting from the smoke the newspaper says is out there, then the president will need to answer some difficult questions about his past. On the other hand, if the smoke results in nothing, then I would hope the newspaper would have the courage to admit it completed an investigation and uncovered nothing.

Until then, let's do our best to avoid passing judgment.

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