EDWARDS AND THE NYT. A rather provocative article in The New York Times today makes John Edwards seem fairly shady. Because Edwards did not have the benefits of, say, a senate seat to maintain his name recognition, NYTstaff writer Leslie Wayne declares:

Mr. Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and -- unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students -- the main beneficiary of the center's fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.

The National Review crowd loves it, of course. But according to Greg Sargent, the article might be a little unfair. He writes that TPM "just learned something new and surprising about the story. The Edwards campaign has just told us on the record that The Times refused the chance to talk to any real, live beneficiaries of Edwards' programs. If this is so, this strikes us as highly suspect."

The NYT obviously deserves a chance to respond, but this makes me initially uneasy since it so comfortably fits into the common media narrative that because Edwards is rich, so he can't possibly really care about poverty. Considering he's the only major politician really talking about that issue, this is extremely troubling and makes me suspicious of articles like the one linked to above.

--Steven White