Front-row seat to John Edwards sex scandal

Rielle Hunter sitting next to him)

I had no idea that when former Senator John Edwards invited me to come along on his plane back in December of 2006 that I would have had a front-row seat to a sex scandal. John Edwards today admitted he had an affair with Rielle Hunter back in 2006.

I, along with a few other journalists I had a front-row seat and have some of the only photos of Hunter.

See, stuff like this always seems to happen to “other people.” People you don’t know. Never have met. Don’t care about.

In this case, though, my wife, Maryam, interviewed Elizabeth Edwards. I interviewed John and sat next to Hunter. All while not having any clue about the secret they were all keeping.

It reminds me that as a blogger/journalist I have to always capture images, not knowing what the real story actually will turn out being. And always keep looking beyond what I was being presented.

The photo above is Hunter sitting next to Edwards. I never saw them behave inappropriately in front of me and Edwards let me hang out with him nearly around the clock.

There are lots of stories on Google News. Personally, my thoughts go out to everyone involved.

Here’s all my photos of the trip with John Edwards where he announced he was running for President of the United States. Unfortunately the videos I shot are gone, PodTech pulled them down and I don’t have the copyright on those, so can’t repost them.

Here’s my photo of Hunter:

Edwards' videoblogger - Reille Hunter

146 thoughts on “Front-row seat to John Edwards sex scandal

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  3. Andrew Young the admitted father of the John Edwards story: The arrests for worthless checks, DWI, burglary, criminal mischief, the federal tax lien

    webofdeception.com

  4. Andrew Young the admitted father of the John Edwards story: The arrests for worthless checks, DWI, burglary, criminal mischief, the federal tax lien

    webofdeception.com

  5. I’ve often heard various folks comment on how wonderfully varied, complex and diverse the English language is, effortlessly welcoming foreign words and phrases ‘into the fold’. The depth of our language is sometimes described as a ‘bottomless reservoir’ of nuance.

    I agreed with that sentiment, but no longer, thanks to John Edwards. I’ve been struggling the last two weeks for words to describe exactly how much of a douchebag he really is. And sadly, for the first time I find my native tongue wanting. The adjectives simply aren’t ‘there’ to accurately describe how much of a manipulative, calculating, reprehensible, scumbag, liar, phony, narcissistic, empty-suit, jackass he really is.

    See that? My best effort to ‘capture’ the fundamental essence of John Edwards rings completely hollow, like calling the Grand Canyon a ‘really big ravine’. I would otherwise be embarrassed by my linguistic impotence, but I really don’t think it’s my fault. He has simply re-defined the boundaries of douche-baggery, shattering the power of words to define him. It is, in wierd sort of way, a mark of greatness. A legacy, if you will.

  6. I’ve often heard various folks comment on how wonderfully varied, complex and diverse the English language is, effortlessly welcoming foreign words and phrases ‘into the fold’. The depth of our language is sometimes described as a ‘bottomless reservoir’ of nuance.

    I agreed with that sentiment, but no longer, thanks to John Edwards. I’ve been struggling the last two weeks for words to describe exactly how much of a douchebag he really is. And sadly, for the first time I find my native tongue wanting. The adjectives simply aren’t ‘there’ to accurately describe how much of a manipulative, calculating, reprehensible, scumbag, liar, phony, narcissistic, empty-suit, jackass he really is.

    See that? My best effort to ‘capture’ the fundamental essence of John Edwards rings completely hollow, like calling the Grand Canyon a ‘really big ravine’. I would otherwise be embarrassed by my linguistic impotence, but I really don’t think it’s my fault. He has simply re-defined the boundaries of douche-baggery, shattering the power of words to define him. It is, in wierd sort of way, a mark of greatness. A legacy, if you will.

  7. I always thought that Podtech blew it, in regards to you being on the Edwards plane.

    The PR person or firm or whatever Podtech had – yes, I know your new anti-PR screed, and just nod and smile – had a major story, a major coup for Podtech. Here was the first candidate embracing social media (and, if memory serves, this was pre-Obama entering the race).

    Nothing – or very little – in the newspapers that reached the audiences that Podtech probably needed to reach.

    When Hillary announced her candidacy on YouTube, the major media picked it up and turned it into a bigger social media story. I remember reading the big article from AP, and I thought “wow, Podtech should have been in this article in regards to Edwards.”

    It all comes full circle, though. If Podtech/you had been in those original stories, the mainstream media might have picked at your videos the second time around, giving press to your FastCompany.tv venture.

    See, PR does have value.

  8. I always thought that Podtech blew it, in regards to you being on the Edwards plane.

    The PR person or firm or whatever Podtech had – yes, I know your new anti-PR screed, and just nod and smile – had a major story, a major coup for Podtech. Here was the first candidate embracing social media (and, if memory serves, this was pre-Obama entering the race).

    Nothing – or very little – in the newspapers that reached the audiences that Podtech probably needed to reach.

    When Hillary announced her candidacy on YouTube, the major media picked it up and turned it into a bigger social media story. I remember reading the big article from AP, and I thought “wow, Podtech should have been in this article in regards to Edwards.”

    It all comes full circle, though. If Podtech/you had been in those original stories, the mainstream media might have picked at your videos the second time around, giving press to your FastCompany.tv venture.

    See, PR does have value.

  9. CJ: > Question for Scoble: was Hunter on the plane on the Des Moines leg of the trip? You interviewed CJ’s both in NOLA and Iowa.

    Yes, she was on that leg.

  10. Having gone through a political campaign with one of my sons, and later having gone through an aggressive cancer treatment program with another, I was very disappointed in John Edwards decision to pursue the presidency while his wife was battling for her life. Although I admired him very much before, this selfish pursuit of his own interests in the face of the detriment this added stress would be to her health (it takes a toll even on a person in perfect health) made me wonder about his character. Oh sure, Elizabeth said it was HER decision, but now realizing what she knew that we didn’t, it’s clear why she wouldn’t DARE stand in his way. Grief and stress are the worst things that can happen to a person trying to fight cancer and he made sure she had plenty of both.

  11. Having gone through a political campaign with one of my sons, and later having gone through an aggressive cancer treatment program with another, I was very disappointed in John Edwards decision to pursue the presidency while his wife was battling for her life. Although I admired him very much before, this selfish pursuit of his own interests in the face of the detriment this added stress would be to her health (it takes a toll even on a person in perfect health) made me wonder about his character. Oh sure, Elizabeth said it was HER decision, but now realizing what she knew that we didn’t, it’s clear why she wouldn’t DARE stand in his way. Grief and stress are the worst things that can happen to a person trying to fight cancer and he made sure she had plenty of both.

  12. I love how people like to call out Democrats for affairs… when Republicans are meeting man on man in airport restrooms… and running for president after cheating on a first wife (who was sick at the time) with a woman who is now his second wife…

    It just seems that a lot of men, in positions of power, can’t say ‘no!’

  13. I love how people like to call out Democrats for affairs… when Republicans are meeting man on man in airport restrooms… and running for president after cheating on a first wife (who was sick at the time) with a woman who is now his second wife…

    It just seems that a lot of men, in positions of power, can’t say ‘no!’

  14. All you needed to know about this guy was that he is a lawyer, a profession known for lying, half truths, win at all cost, and no honor. What do you expect. Shakespeare was right “first kill all the lawyers”. Of all the dangers our country faces the most sever is our out of control legal system.

  15. All you needed to know about this guy was that he is a lawyer, a profession known for lying, half truths, win at all cost, and no honor. What do you expect. Shakespeare was right “first kill all the lawyers”. Of all the dangers our country faces the most sever is our out of control legal system.

  16. Question for Scoble: was Hunter on the plane on the Des Moines leg of the trip? You interviewed CJ’s both in NOLA and Iowa.

  17. Question for Scoble: was Hunter on the plane on the Des Moines leg of the trip? You interviewed CJ’s both in NOLA and Iowa.

  18. Yeah, OK, he did not handle it well. He has however the excuse of being only human in very stressful situations. Add stress, politics, the emotions of a mistake, the wife at home, and it is easy to get a bad mix. I would not call it a Sex Scandal, and give the guy a break.

    Maybe we should ask ourselves if the press should not better focus on more pertinent matters.

    By the way: if Steve Jobs did the same, would you stop buying iPhones?

  19. Yeah, OK, he did not handle it well. He has however the excuse of being only human in very stressful situations. Add stress, politics, the emotions of a mistake, the wife at home, and it is easy to get a bad mix. I would not call it a Sex Scandal, and give the guy a break.

    Maybe we should ask ourselves if the press should not better focus on more pertinent matters.

    By the way: if Steve Jobs did the same, would you stop buying iPhones?

  20. Jean: he lied to all of us when he told the press repeatedly that he hadn’t had an affair. Also, he lambasted Clinton for doing the same thing with his affair. That’s what took it from being a private affair to being one that’s public. I agree with you overall, but if he had just said “I don’t comment on private matters” then I would have been on your side. The minute he started lying to the public that’s when I changed my view.

  21. Jean: he lied to all of us when he told the press repeatedly that he hadn’t had an affair. Also, he lambasted Clinton for doing the same thing with his affair. That’s what took it from being a private affair to being one that’s public. I agree with you overall, but if he had just said “I don’t comment on private matters” then I would have been on your side. The minute he started lying to the public that’s when I changed my view.

  22. How does this affect his performance on the job? How can you disqualify him for such a personal matter? What about his policies? His views for the future of the US? His take on global warming? Don’t those matter more than the fact that he made a mistake that should concern only his closest circle – because IT IS PERSONAL?

    Scoble, he did not lie to you, he cheated on his wife. That’s it. If you need to disqualify him, do it on matters related to the job he applies to.

  23. How does this affect his performance on the job? How can you disqualify him for such a personal matter? What about his policies? His views for the future of the US? His take on global warming? Don’t those matter more than the fact that he made a mistake that should concern only his closest circle – because IT IS PERSONAL?

    Scoble, he did not lie to you, he cheated on his wife. That’s it. If you need to disqualify him, do it on matters related to the job he applies to.

  24. >He was a Microsoft PR flack, and now he’s a free-lance groupie. He was never a journalist.

    Um, really?

    I’ve done more than 1,000 interviews and you get to see almost all of my work (most TV journalists only let you see 1% of their questions and answers).

    What the heck is a “free-lance groupie?”

  25. >He was a Microsoft PR flack, and now he’s a free-lance groupie. He was never a journalist.

    Um, really?

    I’ve done more than 1,000 interviews and you get to see almost all of my work (most TV journalists only let you see 1% of their questions and answers).

    What the heck is a “free-lance groupie?”

  26. >I did not have.

    I’m backing Obama. If you watched the videos that I did with political leaders over at http://www.fastcompany.tv you would have known that.

    >Text Link

    I didn’t see it coming.

    >Dawn

    Several journalists have told me there’s a lot more news coming on this story including other women.

  27. >I did not have.

    I’m backing Obama. If you watched the videos that I did with political leaders over at http://www.fastcompany.tv you would have known that.

    >Text Link

    I didn’t see it coming.

    >Dawn

    Several journalists have told me there’s a lot more news coming on this story including other women.

  28. On his interview Fiday night John said that Elizabeth was always here (patting his heart) does that mean he was thinking of her while he was in bed with Hunter. I guess it was like Princess Diana felt like there was (3) in her marriage. I guess it was (3) in the bed with John, Rielle and Elizabeth. He actually makes me sick. I had a husband just like him, however, at least when backed in a corner John admitted the affair my ex just married his.

  29. On his interview Fiday night John said that Elizabeth was always here (patting his heart) does that mean he was thinking of her while he was in bed with Hunter. I guess it was like Princess Diana felt like there was (3) in her marriage. I guess it was (3) in the bed with John, Rielle and Elizabeth. He actually makes me sick. I had a husband just like him, however, at least when backed in a corner John admitted the affair my ex just married his.

  30. So, were the PAC payments to her bogus little production company in violation of campaign finance laws? Those sure look like political ads. And he must have hooked up with her then found a way for people who donated to his campaign to pay for his plaything. Nice.

  31. So, were the PAC payments to her bogus little production company in violation of campaign finance laws? Those sure look like political ads. And he must have hooked up with her then found a way for people who donated to his campaign to pay for his plaything. Nice.

  32. Must suck to know that you backed the totally wrong horse in the election. And you still haven’t recovered from your brief foray into politics. You were all in on Edwards, tried to get The Hill to tweet…and yet still don’t have an opinion or position on the remaining two candidates. Way to go…

  33. Must suck to know that you backed the totally wrong horse in the election. And you still haven’t recovered from your brief foray into politics. You were all in on Edwards, tried to get The Hill to tweet…and yet still don’t have an opinion or position on the remaining two candidates. Way to go…

  34. Edwards claimed that the relationship began only after Hunter was hired to film him for a series of campaign documentaries?

    By the time Hunter was signed on to the Edwards campaign as a videographer — for a fee of $114,000 — O’Brien said they were already in a steamy relationship with nicknames like “Love Lips”

    “The affair began before she was hired to work for the campaign,” said Pigeon O’Brien

    Here is 1 of the 4 John Edward videos that were Produced by Reille Hunter

    Edwards Webisode 1: Plane Truths

    http://www.webcastr.com/videos/politics/edwards-webisode-1-plane-truths.html

  35. Edwards claimed that the relationship began only after Hunter was hired to film him for a series of campaign documentaries?

    By the time Hunter was signed on to the Edwards campaign as a videographer — for a fee of $114,000 — O’Brien said they were already in a steamy relationship with nicknames like “Love Lips”

    “The affair began before she was hired to work for the campaign,” said Pigeon O’Brien

    Here is 1 of the 4 John Edward videos that were Produced by Reille Hunter

    Edwards Webisode 1: Plane Truths

    http://www.webcastr.com/videos/politics/edwards-webisode-1-plane-truths.html

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