National Enquirer may have made John Edwards the most unpopular man in history but does that merit a Pulitzer Prize? The tabloid's executive editor, Barry Levine, says its dogged coverage of Edwards' affair and paternity denial make it a strong "contender."
While most guffawed at Levine's suggestion (the Enquirer revels in the sensational), the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, a veteran of the industry, says "don't laugh." Without National Enquirer, today's revelation may have never come out. Kurtz gives the supermarket tabloid props:
Although the Enquirer stories may or may not be prize-winning material... there is no question that the paper scooped the rest of the media world.
When the Enquirer first reported in 2007 that Edwards had had an affair with Hunter, the former North Carolina senator dismissed the account as tabloid trash. The rest of the media, having no independent proof, steered clear of the story, even as Edwards, aided by his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, was mounting an aggressive campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.