Jim Taylor

John Edwards has been getting vocal lately about Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. empire (which includes Fox News), urging Congressional Democrats to block its acquisition of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, and chiding the other Democratic presidential hopefuls for accepting News Corp. donations.

Today the New York Post (a Murdoch newspaper) wrote,

John Edwards, who yesterday demanded Democratic candidates return any campaign donations from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., himself earned at least $800,000 for a book published by one of the media mogul’s companies.

(It’s under the headline, “Edwards in a biz hate & $witch” for extra we-report-you-decide journalistic impartiality.)

The Post would have its readers equate cash donated by News Corp. in support of a political campaign with cash earned in a retail venture.

The screed continues,

The campaign didn’t respond to a question from The Post about whether it was hypocritical for Edwards to take money from News Corp. while calling for other candidates not to.

I’ll respond: Edwards took money from the purchasers of his book, not from News Corp. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, did take News Corp. money. (Disclaimer: I endorse John Edwards for president, but I am not endorsed by him or his campaign and do not speak for them.)

Let’s say this distinction is lost on you. What would be an honorable thing for Edwards to do with the disputed cash? Give it to charity?

Edwards claimed $333,334 in royalties from last year’s release of the book, according to media accounts. The campaign said last night that those funds were part of the advance.

He says he gave that amount to charity, which would also provide tax benefits for Edwards.

The cynical Post can make even the honorable thing have the taint of hypocrisy. A ham-handed attack like this belongs in a Hollywood movie from the ’40s, not in real life. But I guess we should expect no less from News Corp. journalists, the remains of whose souls are at this very moment dribbling down the chin of a cackling and engorged Rupert Murdoch.

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