WASHINGTON, March 27, 2016 – In 1987 the Miami Herald story was relatively tame. Reporters were camped around Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart’s Capitol Hill townhouse. A woman later identified as Donna Rice was seen entering the home on a Friday evening and not seen to leave until late the following night.
The Herald was following up on rumors that the married Hart was something of a womanizer. “The story in its facts and in its inferences is totally inaccurate,” William Dixon, Hart’s campaign manager, said in a press statement.
“Gary Hart will not dignify it with a comment because it’s character assassination. It’s harassment. He’s offended and he’s outraged. He’s furious, He’s a victim. Someone has got to say at some point that enough is enough.”
“Follow me around,” Hart begged the New York Times, “I’m serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’d be very bored.”
It was clear Hart expected the Times story to tranquilize the inquisitive minds of the journalistic fraternity. After all, Hart knew how deeply the left-leaning press craved having a Democrat back in the White House after eight long years of conservative Republican President Ronald Reagan. “Gary Hart is serious about policy ideas,” said the Washington Post’s David Broder, “and many of those ideas deserve to be taken seriously.”
“He has roots in the Kennedy-McGovern tradition of the [Democratic] party, and he worked for both… Hart is a cerebral man who reads and thinks about change, both social and political,” said the Boston Globe’s Robert Healy.
But there was one “news” outlet that wasn’t much impressed by the Democratic Party’s progressive pantheon or the political fortunes of a bookish senator from Colorado.
Sex sells. And one sexy photo is worth a thousand-word, above-the-fold, cover story.
The photo showed a lovely model sitting on the lap of a wonkish Colorado senator, his arm wrapped around her. It was Donna Rice and Gary Hart enjoying their time in the Caribbean aboard a chartered yacht once visited by Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Nicholson.
The smiling couple donned T-shirts emblazoned with the vessel’s name: Monkey Business.
The photo, along with others, appeared in the pages of the National Enquirer, best known for sensational stories on such topics as extra-terrestrials and two-headed babies.
Gary Hart later admitted to ABC’s “Nightline” that he was unfaithful to his wife.
The sensationalist tabloid, it seemed, had carved out a singular journalistic niche for itself: The National Enquirer would be, now and henceforth, the newspaper of record concerning politicians and the women they love – especially those not their wives.
The Enquirer also broke the story in 2001 that race-hustler and former Democratic presidential candidate, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, fathered a child with one of his many mistresses.
He later admitted the affair and his paternity.
The Enquirer also broke the story in 2007 that Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Edwards had an extramarital affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter and that the couple had a child together. In fact, it later came out that Edwards funneled campaign funds to his baby mama, a violation of federal law.
He later admitted the affair, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, divorced him.
When she later succumbed to breast cancer, John Edwards was, understandably, something of a pariah at her funeral.
Now the Enquirer reports that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has (allegedly) had five extramarital affairs, one with a “foxy political consultant,” said the tabloid.
To be crystal clear, Communities Digital News has seen no concrete evidence of such affairs and takes the senator at his word: “I want to be crystal clear,” Cruz responded on Twitter, “these attacks are garbage.”
But the story continues as Cruz accused Trump of enlisting “his friends at the National Enquirer” to “do his bidding.”
That is also most likely untrue as the lawsuits, if the National Enquirer does not have the proof to back up the allegations, would be “yuuuge.” Not even for Donald J. Trump would we believe the newspaper would take that chance.
Responding on Facebook, Trump said, “Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about… John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”
Contradicting Cruz’s claim that it is all “The Donald’s” fault, The Daily Beast reports:
A half-dozen GOP operatives and media figures tell The Daily Beast that Cruz’s opponents have been pushing charges of adultery for at least six months now—and that allies of former GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio were involved in spreading the smears
Other reports are that Breitbart.com, as early as February of this year, was tipped to the senator’s affairs but did not go forward with the story .
When it comes to the tabloid’s accuracy concerning the philandering shenanigans of America’s politicians, I wouldn’t bet against the National Enquirer. Until then, we just need to wait for the next shoe to drop.