The people (some of ’em, anyway) speak out on Edwards

Just got caught up enough to look at my external e-mail account (what with being off last week, I’m up over 1,500 unread messages, even after reading today’s), and a whole lot of folks chose to react to my column there. Assuming they just didn’t know about the blog, I’ll pass on their thoughts here. Y’all will probably find their words more interesting than anything else I might say today:

Good 4 you!  Honesty, that is what the media is missing these days.


Chad M. Mattison, Architect

Subject: Edwards the Phony

So what else is news???

Anyone who cannot see through left wing hypocrisy is a fool.

As far as Edwards is concerned specifically, I cannot help but be reminded
of seeing the appratchiks’ dachas on the Black Sea during the evil empire’s

Commies are the same everywhere – they believe the little guy is an idiot
and will swallow any phony, psycho dribble they can concoct.


Subject: From Pimm Fox

Many thanks for your notes about John Edwards – I have always thought
that small things can mean quite a lot – particularly when people who
are supposed to like people turn into self-appointed leaders. Well, it
isn’t a surprise but it is an indication of how unfortunate we are to
have this current crop of pols on the corn huskings. We will probably
get the evil of many lessers. Cheers and thanks again, Pimm

From: Stehpen Mayo []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:33 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Phony?… someone Finally noticed….
Importance: High
A very good friend of mine was a pilot, and among a very impressive list of people he has piloted for are many top politicians and former presidents.  He flew Edwards once on the campaign trail and was absolutely startled at how he… switched on and off with the opening and closing of the cabin door… he’d fly into tirades, berate his wife, telling her she’d be riding on the bus next time etc…staffers would cower…
I’ve been waiting for a story to appear along these lines because obviously that is something that cannot be hidden… the jeckyl/hyde… to be honest though… I did not expect to see it ever printed… congratulations on exposing a truth that tells people what they really need to know… truth that I believe is deliberately withheld by many so called respected journalist… Thank You…

From: Chris Zarpas []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:37 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: God Bless You

Mr. Warthen,

Thanks for calling a spade a spade. I have neighbors with in laws in Mr. Edwards former neighborhood. They told my neighbor that they were driving near their home one day and passed a little to close to Mr. Edwards while he was jogging. He very energetically flipped them off. That is the real John Edwards.

All The Best,

Chris Zarpas


From: TOM []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:40 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Why I see John Edwards as a big phony
Did you report this in 2004?  If not, why?

From: A Plus Awards Apex []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:57 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards a Phony
I’m told you paper leans if not tilts to the left but I could care less about that now after reading your article.  You hit the nail on the head, with regard to "mr. Edwards".  As a former citizen of the great state of "Eastern NC" and tobacco farmer, we tend to root out bovine scatology when ever we encounter it.  Edwards is full of it, like most lawyers!  Thank you for printing your ed. piece as it confirms what "we the Regular people" already know. 
God, the South, and God bless Strom Thurmond!
Le Batts

From: Linda Champion []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:10 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Why I see John Edwards AS A Phoney
O’ Please write more such as this article on this man. 
Your observations are totally correct!
He’s another black eye for our State!
Keep writing.

From: Glenice Pearson []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:28 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Thanks

Thanks for your article on John Edwards in today’s paper. You hit something in me that I had not been able to figure out. I am one of those persons who signed on, early on, with John Edwards because I do feel that the plight of the poor in our nation should be on the agenda of all persons seeking the highest office. I am deeply concerned about people entrenched in poverty—especially the bone-grinding poverty that forces working mothers to choose between their jobs and their children’s well-being and their lives. Despite my early entry as a supporter, I was never quite able to send the check. Something always held me back. I think your observations of Mr. Edwards may be what I sensed. Of course, your influence on my decision to withdraw, as of today from this farce, means that I placed a moderate amount of trust in what you write;  itself rather strange given my southern black roots and the segregated experiences of my youth.  But there it is so thanks for the heads up. You probably saved me from some disappointment down the road.


Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 10:34 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards
Mr. Warthen:
I’m a native South Carolinian, born (Baptist Hospital), Columbia High (1966) and Carolina grad.  I’ve been in Texas for 25 years, but frequently look at The State on line.  (Sidebar: was in the class with LaNelle Dominick Barber, yr. ahead of Robert Barber, and the Barbers and our family were members of the same church, Virginia Wingard.  They were/are good folks but Robert seems to have had quite an interesting career.)
Saw your link this morning and Drudge, and let me say how proud I am of you for saying what needs to be said.  It was a deep analytical piece or scientific research, but ’twas dead on!
I like to think there are good people in both parties and I usually vote split tickets, but John Edwards has always left me cold.   Kinda the way Bill Clinton did – a snake oil salesman.   And that was before I saw the "I feel pretty" clip and youtube!   His hypocrisy, like the Clintons, just oozes out of his pores.
Thanks again,
Joyce Evans
Arlington, TX

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 10:52 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Welcome to what should have been painfully obvious to you even before the three strikes….

….he’s a plaintiff’s attorney!!!  That breed operates under the motto:  "Sincerity:  I can fake that!"  That he goes on to fake humility and compassion is why he makes the REALLY big bucks.

I know; not exactly an engaging response, but I’m always concerned when I see someone who claims to be something he isn’t ask to represent me.

Bob Neal

Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 10:59 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John (phony) Edwards

I read your blog with great interest as I have known for years that he is a big fake. The obsession with his hair, the phony "lit" up smile, etc. all of it looked contrived to me long, long ago. Good article!

From: Mike Garland []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:12 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards a phony

Liberals are so gullible.  Edwards is as phony as a $3 bill, and it takes a normal person less than an hour to make that conclusion.
You seem like a nice man Brad– but you need an education in real people.  Put down your latte, your copy of the NYT, and park your Saab.  Now take a walk somewhere around real people, the real other side of America.

Listen to them, Edwards, Kerry, Clinton, obama, kucinich, dodd, biden etc…. they are all jackasses.  And yes they are transparently phony.

Mike Garland
Jacksonville, Fl.

From: Rick Marsh []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:15 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: The Best Evidence of John Edward’s Phoniness comes from his trial practice, and his career in the Senate
Dear Mr. Warthen:
I am a tax lawyer in Charlotte, NC.  A few years ago I ran a small law firm.  I had a partner who was a litigator.  She wasn’t available one day, so I handled a meeting with a "Trial Consultant" from Raleigh who was looking to expand his firm’s business into Charlotte.  His firm produced "Day in the Life" videos and other illustrative audio-visual aids designed to prejudice the jury without getting thrown out by the judge.  The consultant bragged that one of his best clients in Raleigh had been our then U.S. Senator, John Edwards.
"What was he like?" I asked.  The consultant told me that John Edwards was the most ruthless and aggressive lawyer that he had ever seen, without any sense of conscience or shame.  One time, when another member of the litigation team questioned whether one of Edwards’ flamboyant approaches would work with the jury, Edwards’ whirled on him and said, "My Eastern North Carolina juries believe that the moon landings were faked, and that WWF wrestling is real!"
He isn’t just a phony – he’s an anti-social personality disorder in a $5,000.00 suit.  He’s Elmer Gantry and Bill Clinton rolled up into one, except Edwards is more dangerous, because he has a sympathetic wife and he isn’t a lecher.
When John Edwards was in the U.S. Senate, fortunately, he didn’t do much.  However, one of the things he did was to smear the reputation of a genuine hero, Judge Charles Pickering.  Edwards falsely accused Pickering of being a racist and an unethical lawyer and jurist.  A close examination of that Senate Judiciary Committee transcript shows how Edwards baited Pickering and twisted the facts.  In fact, Pickering showed Atticus Finch-like courage in fighting the KKK in Mississippi as a young man, at a time when the Klan was something to be feared.  Judge Pickering describes the campaign against his judicial nomination, and Edwards’s central role, in his recent book. While Edwards may have been no worse than Senators Schumer or Kennedy, it is a telling point of Edwards’s character that he would eagerly do the work of PFAW in reinforcing their stereotype that white Southerners are, even today, racists, bigots, and scoundrels.
Thanks for your column.  You are just scratching the surface when it comes to John Edwards’s pathology.  If you would like, I could try to find the contact information for that trial consultant in my old subject files.
Richard E. Marsh, Jr.
Marsh Law Firm, P.A.
828 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203

From: John Lindsay []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:05 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards

Mr. Warthen:
Your piece on Mr. Edwards phoniness struck a chord with me.  Back in 1992 I
dated an ATF agent who was an ardent democrat as were about half of her
fellow Treasury Department agents.  During that time most of Treasury was
marshalled to supply as many agents as possible for security details to
fill all the demands associated with protecting the presidential
My ATF friend told me of an incident involving the Clinton’s that turned
most of those Treasury agents to the Republican camp.  GHW Bush and his
wife were well-known for their friendliness and personal interest in the
lives of those employees serving around them, and were much-appreciated for
it.  The Clintons did not fare so well in that regard.  One agent was
assigned to take therm to church one day and was made to wait 20 minutes
for them to show up for the limo ride in to church. When they did show up
all three were arguing and bickering amongst each other.  Not unusual for
families pressed out of measure. But when they got in the limo, Hillary
proceeded to order the agent/driver to proceed by an unapproved route –
presumably faster.  When he declined in favor of the prescribed route she
began to argue with him.  When this did not work she began cursing.  When
he raised the privacy screen she proceeded to slam her bible against it
until she spend her fury.
When news of this got out along with a number of other anecdotal stories
concerning similar Clinton antics, most of those agents voted for Bush.
I’m not saying this as an indictment against Democrats because there are
plenty of quiche-eating Republicans who are just as unworthy.  My gripe is
that these coarse phonies never seem to get publicly exposed.
I’m sure my friend still voted for Bill.  She hated Clarence Thomas
too…….. I think it was the pubic hair………

John Lindsay

From: Louie Sardenga []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:27 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Seeing Edwards as a phony
Dear Brad
I enjoyed reading your piece about John Edwards and I fully agree with you.  Do you remember Tokyo Rose during world war II.  She played great music for our soldiers but also played the same message every day just packged in a different way.  She and the enemy (Japan at the time) hoped that it would have a negative impact on our GI’s morale.  What was the demoralizing message?
1. Your President is lying to you.
2. This war is illegal
3. You cannot win the war!!!
Sounds familiar, eh.  It sounds very much like what liberals like John Edwards, Barach Obama, Hilary Clinton, Chris Dodd and Dennis Kuchinich are preaching to people in the U.S. through the written and video liberal media.  To me, they are all phonies
Again, thanks for the piece.

From: Salena Zito []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:35 AM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards Editorial

Good stuff on Edwards.

You nailed him perfectly.

Salena Zito

Political Reporter

Editorial Columnist

From: Les Vogt []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:07 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards

I just read the article ³Why I see John Edwards as a big phony². Edwards is
not my favorite candidate but those are the most lame and petty excuses for
that headline I can imagine. It’s your right, of course but, it is, for me,
completely irrelevant and unpersuasive.

Les Vogt

From: Peter S. Cohl
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:23 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Fred Thompson, John Edwards… unearthing the political brands

Dear Mr. Warthen:
A friend forwarded you latest on John Edwards. From the looks of his poll numbers in SC, the voters seem to agree.  I’ve personally had some conversations on trade with him, however.  At the time, he seemed quite sincere.
With regard to Thompson, you might want to peruse my blog, "The Political Brandwagon" <>, where we view "The song of politics in the key of brand." 
Our most recent post

TV Dinner: Chris Matthews Casts Fred Thompson as the New Ben Cartwright

…takes a look Sen. Thompson as an iconic brand — and comfort food for an America that’s been on edge since September 2001.

‘Southern-Fried Reagan’: Fred is Well-Framed By The Christian Right

…speaks for itself.

All the best,

From: C.D. Chebon Marshall []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:44 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards Editorial

Mr. Warthen –
I must say that I enjoyed your editorial concerning the "phony" factor
of former Senator Edwards.
I live in Oklahoma, where in 2004 we were an early primary state.  Mr.
Edwards made numerous trips here in his attempt to win the state.  On
one such occasion he allowed C-SPAN to travel with him.  On his tour
bus, after leaving a small rural town in southeast Oklahoma, he sat on
the bus and made fun of the people he had just met and the humble
nature of their surroundings.  The amazing part – he did it on camera!
I’m glad to see that you are taking a strong stand on this lack of
character that so many politicians suffer from.  I was taught by a
former Congressman I used to work for that the least voters can ask of
the people they elect is that the politician love the land and people
they represent.  I can’t say that I feel Mr. Edwards does.

Chebon Marshall

From: George Lyster []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:53 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards the phoney
Shouldn’t have taken you that long! Two minutes into any speech Edwards makes you just know he’s an empty shirt and as phoney as a three dollar bill.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:57 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards

I read your piece on Edwards. Though a liberal ( you know, the thing Thomas Jefferson,Ben Franklin and the other Founding Fathers were?) Im always interested in having politicians exposed for what they are regardless of their end of the political spectrum ( though if truth be told – you know, that thing that Conservatives call "liberal bias"?) the number of phony conservative Republicans both in office and as journalists would dwarf anything the Democrats can produce.But what stunned me was your personal observation of Edwards, which I found almost silly and the conclusions you drew from them and what you think are their significance,  closing with"not enough for you"?
It would be enough for Fox News, Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter but, sorry, its not enough for anyone who doesn’t pay for the beach house by bashing Democrats.What did you expect Edwards to do? Go up on stage looking like maybe he didn’t really feel like being there which is a distinct possibility? Should he have had his wife say" sorry you all came but john is no phony and he really doesn’t feel like talking now so we’re going home"?
If you want to criticize preparation and phoniness how about Justice Department officials whose salaries are paid for by the tax payers, spending hours and hours of tax payer time over a period of weeks coaching, preparing, and mock grilling Alberto Gonzalez in preparation for his sworn testimony before Congress to make sure he doesn’t perjure himself.
Marc Rubin

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:59 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: copy editor and Howard Dean

Mr. Warthen,
I enjoyed your column on John Edwards. I am sure you are getting plenty
of reaction.
I had a question about a small piece of the column. Is the copy editor
who is a fan of Howard Dean working on the news side or editorial? I
was surprised to see a copy editor described as a fan of a political
candidate, especially if the person works on the news side, but perhaps
not as much if the person is on the editorial side.
I blogged about this here and would be happy to update the post with
this clarification as needed:

Andy Bechtel
Assistant professor
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
UNC-Chapel Hill

From: Martin Duggan []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:05 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Phony Edwards

Mr. Warthen:
Let me compliment you on your characterization of John Edwards. I
haven’t met the man. Your sketch reinforces my feeling that I really
don’t want to.
Martin Duggan
retired editorial page editor, St. Louis Globe-Democrat

From: David Barham []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:02 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: your column on Edwards

I got the same feeling about a pol I covered in Louisiana — Mary
Landrieu (now a U.S. Senator, but I think she was running for governor
when I got the phony impression at a behind-the-scenes meeting).

Excellent work.
Editorial writer
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

From: Carleton Casteel []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:09 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards The Phony
I usually vote for Democrats.  Thanks for this insight into the 
"trial lawyer" nature of John Edwards, for that is what he is, and 
God bless them, successful trial lawyers, be he/she for the defense 
or the plaintiff, have to charm the jury.  That said, there is no 
bigger huckster and phony than George W. Bush, all the way from his 
put-on Texas twang to his brush cutting photo ops.  (I know cuz I am 
a Texan) But your op-ed sealed the deal for me on John, particularly 
the last two incidents, the final one being unforgivable.  Thanks.

Carl Casteel

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:16 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards is a phony?

The bow-tie says it all..

That generally denotes a giant F-you I’m smarter than you are and don’t care what you think.

Given the limited field and the current state of the retarded monkeys that we call the president, vice president and his cabinet I would believe that a publicly educated man (NC STATE and CAROLINA [ the real one] would suit the white house better than another Yale or Harvard ass.

Registered independant

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:23 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Hello

Hello Mr Warthen,
Read your ,  John Edwards story with amusement.  I recently went to visit my folks in Rochester, NY and John Edwards was on the radio in town.  But to my surprise, he was talking like a New Yorker.  Very refined, very deliberate and nothing like the "ya’ll doing ok" JE one hears down South.  I live in Greenville, SC so I know the big difference I was hearing in him. 
Warm regards
Dennis Diehl

From: Geoff Pope []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:09 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Unbelievable

While campaigning for Senator Edwards in South Carolina in ’04, I came to appreciate The State.  I am stunned that you have cast judgment on someone based on some incredibly minor details.  This article would be more appropriate for the Bill O’Reilly blog than a serious newspaper.  For what it’s worth, I have heard countless people who have observed Edwards in similar situations describe him as completely genuine.  Too bad they don’t have your platform.

Geoff Pope

From: Blair Priest []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:23 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards
Dear Brad,
Your editorial reminded me of a Time Magazine article I read excerpting Robert Shrumm’s new book.  The following paragraph in particular sickened me and illustrates what a used car salesman Edwards is:
"Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he’d never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he’d do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade’s ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn’t pick Edwards unless he met with him again."
Blair Priest
From: Marty Parrish []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:35 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Edwards, the Phony

Yep, I can believe Edwards is phony…which is just too bad.

Attached is "Why I Vote Joe." I’ve found Joe Biden to be real.


From: Renegar, David []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:42 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: RE: Why I see John Edwards as a big phony

Dear Brad:

I thought this was an excellent article and wonderfully written. Thank you for writing this for all to read; it made the Drudge Report as you probably are aware of.

I have always thought the good Senator was a phony with the two-America campaign. Then again, the people of NC had him pegged as well and would have likely voted him out of office had he run for the Senate for a second term.

He indeed fooled a jury on the "child within speaking to them," theatrics in his closing arguments that gave him fortune but I don’t believe for a second that phony approach will give him the momentum he desperately needs at this point. I think he’ll eventually stay on the compound for good.

David Leigh Renegar
Mortgage Loan Counselor
Greenville, SC 29601

From: Sterling W. B. Homan, Ph.D., J.D. []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:52 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Article on Edwards as a phony…
Hi:  Not only did I heartily agree with your opinion in the article, I thought that you might want to know that I downloaded it for an example of good writing for my grandchildren.  My sons always want me to explain good expository writing and I try to do so satisfactorily.  It is much easier, however, with a good example of something current to show them.  They are in both high-school and college so they need to learn the rudiments on constructing a good essay.  You gave me a great example to show them.  I have had post-graduate students who couldn’t do it so when I find a good example like this article, I am always tickled pink. 
Thanks for a good article and a big help.
Sterling W. B. Homan, Ph.D., J.D.
Birmingham, Alabama

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 3:24 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards IS a phony

Four years ago, we had a chance encounter with a former neighbor of John Edwards who told us–guess what–"John Edwards is a phony". Glad you found out. Allen Holcomb, Sun Valley ID

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 3:26 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: column about John Edwards

Thanks for explaining what was wrong with him.  I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t enthuse even though he is a SC boy.  My daughter-in-law says he acts like the fraternity boys she knew in college.  I want you to know I voted for John Dean even thought I doubted he had a chance.  nancy padgett

From: Rich Hall [mailto:richhall@OGIND.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 3:38 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards – phony
Brad, If you haven’t seen it you must check out the YouTube John
Edwards hair combing / preening marathon set to "I Feel Pretty"….he
is a complete phony.

Rich Hall

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 3:41 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Interview Request
My name is Shawn Stinson and I’m the executive producer with the Danny Fontana Show in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m writing to schedule an interview with you to discuss your blog talking about why you see John Edwards as a big phony.
We broadcast from 3 – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and the interview will last around 6 to 8 minutes.
You can reach me directly in my office at 980-235-7917 or on my cell phone at 704-517-9718.
Thank you in advance,

Shawn Stinson
Executive Producer
Danny Fontana Show
WDYT 1220 AM

From: On Behalf Of Samson Habte
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 4:50 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: JE is also not a good tipper
as a former colleague at a DC-area restaraunt where I worked a few years back found out. Not a bad tipper — something like 17 percent — but not a good one, either (I’m a pathetically broke student and almost never give less than 20 percent).
I guess waiters are part of that ‘other America,’ huh?
– SH

From: Jeffrey Sewell []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 5:24 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: you just made FOX



Jeffrey Sewell, MCP
Principal Consultant
Sewell Consultancy, LLC
100 Sunset Boulevard
Suite 203
West Columbia, SC 29169

From: []

Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 5:37 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Permission to reprint your article on Edwards

We request permission to reprint your opinion piece on ‘Edwards the phony’ for our website:
Thank you for consideration.
R E Gus Payne

From: de France, Linda []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:06 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Question on use of words
Mr. Warthen,
Forgive my ignorance, but in your column of today, entitled "Why I see John Edwards as a big phony" you use some phraseology of which I am unfamiliar.
Under the Strike Two example, you write Mr. Edwards "was all ersatz-cracker bonhomie.
I have no idea what this means.
Is this a racial slur? I know what ersatz means, and I understand the word cracker is sometimes used to describe white people, and I know that bonhomie means a friendly and approachable disposition, but put all together– I am not sure what you were driving at.
Please tell me it isn’t a fake white approachable guy, because then the meaning is clearly lost in translation. What would it matter what race Mr. Edwards is? I just can’t understand what you meant by that.
Linda de France

From: Nancy L. Wolf []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:21 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Exercise every day
I,for one ,think it is great that Senator Edwards makes time to exercise every day. It shows his commitment to staying healthy – far better than your commitment to using anecdotal "evidence" from 3 and 4 years ago to support a fact-free argument.
Nancy Wolf
Washington, D.C.

From: Jeffrey Sewell []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:38 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: RE: you just made FOX

You were national, at least a half dozen TV and Print, time for a raise?

~Jeffrey Sewell

From: John De Fede []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:43 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Good Job Brad!



I like reading your thoughtful pieces in the State. This was another one.  Generally, I feel your too ‘nice’—too damn liberal—which for a troglodyte like me—somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun (he was too soft on the Romans….) is pretty easy to do.  But you told it like you thought…not based on the positions, not based on the press releases, but from your own experience with der mensch—the man.  And…that of others.  Important people that I think deserve the real attention at any org….the NCO’s and privates, the receptionists and secretaries…..(I drove a cab before I joined the Army).  Bravo.  What a shame you’ll get some personal attacks on this….but what can they say?  This was your own real experience, and you certainly don’t need validation from me or anyone else.  Your article was picked up on the Drudge report….be prepared for the deluge…..jad


John A. De Fede, Esq.

Major, US Army (Ret.)


From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:44 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email; Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards is a phony?
Mr Warthen,
I read you bit on John Edwards, describing him as a phony?  Mr. Warthen?  You got nothin’.

From: Sterling W. B. Homan, Ph.D., J.D. []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:46 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: Re: Article on Edwards as a phony…
Loved your answer.  However, I am a lady, not a "Sir."  Almost was drafted because of this name, at one time. And my Mother died calling me "Son," although she did go on to have two of the real thing.  Used to hate it when the boys yelled  "Hi, Ho, Silver" at me but came to like it after I grew up and figured out that it was sort of classy.
I took the liberty of copying your article, underlining the thesis statement and then italicizing your supporting documentation so the kids could see it clearly.  Also, I noted that you used really pithy comments to lay him out.  And that is important because the tendency in beginners is to pussy-foot around and not to make clear statements.  I used to tell classes of Flannery O’Connor’s comment:  "For the almost deaf, you shout, and for the almost blind you draw with bold and glaring strokes."
And thanks, also, for the reference to Clinton.  Did you notice him laughing as he approached Ron Brown’s funeral–But then, walking through a flower trellis to the funeral and coming out the other side with tears coursing down his face?  LOVED that.
Thank you for the good writing and for the response.  Best Wishes.
Sterling Homan

From: bill mack []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:57 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: John Edwards phony
Wow, you must be either really, really,  preceptive or paranoid scheptic. 
With your keen observation of one facial expression and two second hand stories from un-named people who you say felt slighted because they either didnt get to shake John Edwards hand, or had to suffer standing around what was probley an "open" bar, chugging free drinks, waiting for him to appear, …you deduced him to be a complete phony.  With such overwhelming evidence, you even managed to put down a Clinton and complement Howard Dean.  (one easy task, the other not so easy).
Now thats what I call sticking to what your blog proclaims it self to be about…. "talk about pragmatic ways to do stuff that truly needs doing in South Carolina, the nation and the world." 
And I wont, and your blog invites, "challenge the rest of us with sincere ideas" as I see none on your blog from you.  Maybe its like clicking on your blogs heading "About Brad Warthen’s Blog"
Coming Soon?

From: Jeffrey Sewell []
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 7:38 PM
To: Warthen, Brad – External Email
Subject: RE: you just made FOX

It was awesome, they credited you by name and it was extensive, good job!  We don’t agree like most people on all things but you are good, best face on SC in the last month.  So sick of the Susan Smith moments.

~Jeffrey Sewell

22 thoughts on “The people (some of ’em, anyway) speak out on Edwards

  1. Syd

    Congrats Brad, you’re now nationally known as an idiot. It’s no longer our little secret.

  2. Ready to Hurl

    In case you’re totally clueless, a Drudge link and heralding by Faux News Channel are absolute indicators of hitting rock bottom in journalism.
    What’s next? Will World Net Daily give you the Free Republic Propaganda Award? Possibly you could snag a guest slot with a supermarket tabloid.
    BTW, is your post above supposed to be some sort of eye sight test?

  3. Eric

    “stony bulwarks of Gothic proportions”? Your hyperbole is appropriate, as it matches your overdrawn conclusions from three passing off-camera moments. Heaven help me if I ever have a bad day and don’t grin enough for you — to groups of your choosing. Oh, yeah, and Edwards has an education and health care plan too, ready to be examined, but this is where you focus? This is a determining factor I need to be alerted to? I’ll stick to legislative precedent and proposals, thank you.

  4. CAREY

    The writing was dead-on target. Edwards is a phony, a creep, and probably has a little Helen Reddy in him.
    Pretty-Hair Edwards IS the Breck Girl, afterall. He’s not out of touch, though – he’s totally out of his mind, like most Libs.
    U.S. ARMY

  5. Brad Warthen

    Who said “determining factor?” Some folks asked me a while back WHY I said he was a phony. I told them I’d tell them when I got around to it. Sunday night, I got around to it, and it ran Tuesday morning, and I came to work finding that the country was going ape over these rather pedestrian observations.
    And RTH, after I get some supper in me I’ll see if I can fix that. Just the reading, copying and pasting took more time than I had. I didn’t have time yet to debug the formatting.

  6. CAREY

    Yo, Libs – If the Breck Girl is so great and misunderstood, why doesn’t the crybaby go on FOX News?
    Seems girly-boy can’t get a break, even by other libs. Goodnight, this wimp makes “Jimmah” Carter look like a tough guy! Carter is one of our biggest wimps ever to serve as President – he should have worn a dress some. 🙂
    U.S. ARMY
    U.S. ARMY

  7. CAREY

    DON’T back off your observations NOW. Are you being threatened by the liberal, drive-by media?
    “Edwards feels pretty, he feels pretty…”
    U.S. ARMY

  8. Brad Warthen

    Not backing off, Carey. I just don’t understand why people are getting so worked up about it. I just explained an observation I had made in passing a while back. Big deal.
    Since this DID make such big news, I’m starting to suspect that not many journalists bother to explain their prejudices. Well, that’s mine. I see Edwards, and I see phony, and I just explained why.

  9. Jack Brooks

    People are going ape because:
    1. Sometimes the greatest act of public service one can perform is to openly state the obvious.
    2. A candidacy so clearly based on illusion can’t stand any scrutiny at all, whereas a candidacy that reflects the actual personality and beliefs of the candidate has a lot of resilience. E.g., who would have ever believed any claim that Reagan was a Nietzchean pessimist, or that FDR was a Nazi sympathizer?
    3. As a member of the MSM, the Right expects you to toe the line, so your opinions about Edwards shock them. In complete contrast, the Left expects you, as a member of the MSM, to toe the line, so your insubordination enrages them. Welcome to Bob Dylan World, where the Fans expect the Singer (you) fit into the little groove they have carved for you.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand
      You see somebody naked and you say, “Who is that man?”
      You try so hard but you don’t understand
      Just what you will say when you get home
      Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
      Do you, Mr. Jones?

  10. Ready to Hurl

    CAREY, US ARMY, why would any legitimate non-Republican candidate go on FAUX News? Why continue the charade that they’re anything but a propaganda arm of the Reich-wing?

  11. Barry Paul

    What an outstanding commentary. 3 years ago – I was immediately turned off by the concept of a multi-millionaire lawyer telling us he’s a “man of the people.” It’s not credible and I never believed him.

  12. truthmattersfa

    “why would any legitimate non-Republican candidate go on FAUX News? ”
    Why don’t you ask Edwards himself? He had no problem going on there 33 times in the last 5 years…

  13. Richard

    Obviously, the corporate media focuses on trivia to deflect Edwards’ brilliant plans and solutions that would benefit a majority of The State’s readers and subscribers.
    Why does Brad dumb down South Carolinians?

  14. NC Guy

    I’m just wondering when you will pillory most of the Republican candidates for President on their hypocrisy of marriage? Most of them have been divorced several times and yet they are the “family values” guys? And you choose to call Edwards a pretender?
    I see a clear agenda developing among the right wing media: destroy John Edward’s chance at being the Dem. nominee.
    Why? Because the Republicans want to match up one of their guys against Obama or Hillary. A lot of (very) preliminary polls show Edwards does very well when pitted against Republican Runners in a presidential election. Obama and Hillary, not so well.
    Thus, we will continue to see the conservative press attacking Edwards and quietly “rooting” for Obama and Hillary…right up until the primaries are completed.
    Edwards is by far the most electable candidate.
    But congratulations on your Drudge link. You manged to follow lock step (1. Get Edwards; 2. Play up “trial lawyer”; 3. pretty boy attack; 3. Make him lose his birth state of SC; 4. Attack him for being successful) and you got the recognition you deserved.

  15. Ready to Hurl

    truthmattersfa, guess who led the Dem candidates boycott of the Faux News debate in Nevada.
    If I get the chance to talk to Edwards, I’ll ask him why it took him so long to wise-up. Maybe he thought that not all FNC viewers are gullible idiots.
    He’s obviously an optimist.

  16. Jack Brooks

    I am struck by the empty-headedness of the reactions. Next thing you know, one of these people will claim that you turned him into a newt (but he got better…)

  17. John Burns

    So now you resort to publishing scurrilous and untrue attacks by the likes of Mr. Marsh? By the way Mr. Marsh, thanks for telling me who not to go to in Charlotte for tax advice. I wouldn’t want to trust my taxes to someone who falls for Pickering’s self pitying bull.
    And the story about the person who lnows someone who used to be a pilot knowing how Edwards treats his wife is just slander. Pure and simple. I hope he gets sued.
    I’ll take Elizabeth’s word for it. “He’s the smartest, toughest, sweetest man I’ve ever known…. the most optimistic person I’ve ever met.”
    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  18. John Burns

    I gotta tell you, Brad. I always wondered who could be stupid enough to fall for the crap on FOX News, as it is so transparently biased and vapid that I couldn’t see how a person with an ounce of intelligence wouldn’t just laugh and change the channel.
    Now I have read the comments to your article.
    Now I understand.

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