I have been following the whole flap over the new Elizabeth Edwards book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities — you know, the one where she talks about her death of her son, her cancer, and the affair of her husband, John — and I’m stunned by the negative media reaction to it. Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times, “Now Saint Elizabeth has dragged [John] back into the public square for a flogging on Oprah and in Time and at bookstores near you. The book is billed as helping people ‘facing life’s adversities.’ But it’s just a gratuitous peek into their lives, and one that exposes her kids by peddling more dregs about their personal family life in a book, and exposes the ex-girlfriend, who’s now trying to raise the baby girl, a dead ringer for John Edwards, in South Orange, N.J.” Then, in response to Edwards’ appearance on the Today Show yesterday (embedded below), Daily Beast editor Tina Brown wrote a piece under the headline “Elizabeth Edwards fed herself to the Vultures” that said, “If she had stuck with her health and her loss, Edwards might have held on to our sympathy. But her insistence on belittling to Oprah the dreaded ‘other woman,’ Rielle Hunter, was so embarrassingly self-righteous it almost made me feel sorry for the Democratic twinkie John.” Huh?
I guess I’m not sure I understand all this venom. And I certainly don’t agree with it. Elizabeth Edward’s reasons are her own, and she’s justified to make them. Who are we to sit in judgment? When Gloria Allred and Tina Brown appeared on the Today Show this morning to discuss the whole thing, Brown said at one point that she didn’t think Elizabeth needed “to parade her lack of resolution to the cameras.” Meredith Vieira seemed visibly annoyed, saying at one point, “Why is she the one being judged when she’s the victim in all this?” I never thought I’d find Gloria Allred the voice of reason, but I sure agreed with her when she said, “I think she was giving an honest reaction that she has every right to give. She is looking at the good and the bad and the ugly, and giving weight to all of that.”
What do you think?