The News John Edwards Did Not Want You To See

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb8r0XIZs7Y]

The news story in the video above was produced by a student at The University of North Carolina. While hardly the most critical story of Edwards I’ve seen, it does raise the suspicions which many have that Edwards is campaigning on poverty more out of political expedience than conviction.

The New York Times and The News & Observer reports on efforts of the Edwards campaign to suppress distribution of the video, including demanding that it be removed from You Tube:

A UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor said John Edwards’ presidential campaign tried to kill a student’s video story about his campaign headquarters.

Associate Professor C.A. Tuggle said two top staffers for the former North Carolina senator demanded that the school drop the segment from the student-run television program “Carolina Week.” They also asked to have the video removed from the YouTube Web site.

Tuggle said they threatened to cut off access to Edwards for UNC student reporters and other student groups if the piece aired.

“My gosh, what are they thinking?” Tuggle said. “They’re spending this much time and effort on a student newscast that has about 2,000 viewers? They’re turning a molehill into a mountain.”

The story also summarizes the aspects of the video which the Edwards campaign objected to:

The segment, by graduate student Carla Babb, began as a look at Nation Hahn, a UNC senior interning with the campaign. During the interview, Babb asked about a recent column in The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper, criticizing Edwards’ choice of the posh Southern Village shopping center as the location for his headquarters.

Babb rewrote the piece to focus on that angle and interviewed the columnist, prompting the complaint from Edwards’ campaign.

In the video, James Edward Dillard, a columnist for The Daily Tar Heel, says that the location conflicts with Edwards’ campaign goal of reducing poverty in America.

“To pick that place as your campaign center, when you’re going to be the man who advocates on behalf of the poor, I just think, why not turn the media’s attention to somewhere where there are huge, huge problems,” Dillard said.

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    Liberal Journal says:

    I’m not supporting John. But I do want to say a few things about Chapel Hill.

    Chapel Hill is, as you probably know, home to the University of Chapel Hill, of whom I am an alum. It is one of the finest public institutions in the nation. The university has a program called the Carolina Covenant, which allows low income students in the top of their high school class in North Carolina free tuition to the university, regardless of where in the state you live.

    The town of Chapel Hill goes above and beyond in terms of public services. The entire bus system is free. Its K-12 public schools are some of the best in the nation. The student body is diverse, including children from every economic strata and race. It is also is an extremely tolerant place. The town next to it had a gay mayor. In other words, it is a model for what progressive policies can do for this nation.

    I think Edwards chose it because of these reasons, and that he is an alum of the law school, and that students would be able to volunteer without having to travel down to Raleigh, where he had his campaign headquarters in 2003.

    As for Southern Village, it is a recent development project. Posh? Posh is where Dean Smith lives, where the homes are around 1 million. Southern Village has some expensive properties, but also many condos and town homes, and students rent there.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is really a peripheral issue. While the video does question if Edwards is being hypocritical, the real concern is how the campaign tried to suppress the criticism. This was also quite foolish as it guaranteed that far more people would view the video on line than would otherwise see it.

  3. 3
    Liberal Journal says:

    My post was in response to how this video raises “the suspicions which many have that Edwards is campaigning on poverty more out of political expedience than conviction.”

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    The arguments in this video are consistent with these suspicions, but certainly do not stand on their own to make this case. This has been a topic I’ve discussed in the past and certainly is not based upon this video alone.

  5. 5
    Nicole says:

    Please log on to http://www.dailytarheel.com/livediscussions to send in questions for opinion columnist James Edward Dillard tonight. He will be online from 6-7 to answer your questions. Feel free to send in questions as early as 5:00.

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