Handling the John Edwards story

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Times readers and others since late July have sent notes by the dozens to the readers’ representative office, asking if The Times was looking into a story published by the National Enquirer containing allegations about John Edwards. National Editor Scott Kraft sent an e-mail Thursday night to the Times’ communications department and the readers’ representative office, two departments that have fielded the questions about how this story was being handled. [Update: This posting earlier said that The Times hadn’t published anything about the Enquirer reports; in fact, the Opinion LA blog did post an item on July 23 that was a roundup of coverage by others.] Kraft’s note:

‘We have decided to post, on Top of the Ticket, an item and link to a Charlotte Observer report, quoting Democratic supporters of Edwards on the record as saying that they think he needs to address the National Enquirer report if he hopes to speak at the convention.

‘While we have stayed away from that Enquirer report, because we couldn’t confirm it, this strikes us as a legitimate story -- that on-the-record Dems, including a former Edwards campaign manager, are criticizing Edwards’ decision to stay mum on the topic and saying it might affect his credibility enough that he wouldn’t get a speaking slot at the convention. (Those speaking slots haven’t been decided yet, the party says.)’