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News Organizations Asked Not To Name “Other Woman” During Elizabeth Edwards Interviews

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What’s in a name?

A lot if you are Elizabeth Edwards, especially if that name is Rielle Hunter.

Edwards began making the rounds last week publicizing her new book. But in three TV interviews – with Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer and Larry King – Hunter, “the other woman” in the John Edwards affair, was not mentioned.

The AP’s David Bauder writes about how the networks handled this request from Mrs. Edwards.

On the “Today” show, Matt Lauer said Edwards had asked “out of consideration” that NBC not use Hunter’s name. “We’re a news
show,” he said while interviewing Edwards, “but, and out of consideration, I won’t use the name.” “Thank you,” Edwards replied. Jim Bell, executive producer of “Today,” said the Edwards interview had been booked without this request being made. If it was done as a demand, “Today” would not have done the interview.

In a “Larry King Live” interview on CNN Tuesday, Hunter’s name was not mentioned. King talked about the affair at some length, even asking Edwards whether she was curious about “the woman” and wanted to meet her. (“I don’t think that’s a very useful experience,” Edwards replied.) King said Edwards had requested Hunter not be named “out of consideration,” and CNN agreed.

Bauder writes that his own organization, The Associated Press, would not agree to the demand and was twice turned down for interviews with Edwards. “It’s simple,” said Michael Oreskes, vice president and senior managing editor of the AP. “We don’t let other people edit our wire.”

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