If you’re a “former close friend to [John] Edwards’ mistress” with something[s] to say about The Edwards Story, TV news wants you!
Pigeon O’Brien, whom a Fox News chyron this afternoon ID’d as “[Rielle] Hunter’s FMR Friend” (FMR=Former), wants the world to know that “Edwards lied on timing of affair.” O’Brien told Fox News’ Shep Smith that Rielle Hunter (her FMR BFF) told her (back in 2006, when she and Hunter were still in touch) that her relationship with John Edwards began several months before Edwards is saying that it did.
How can viewers know whether to believe Pigeon O’Brien? Even if Fox News’s Shep Smith really tried to pin her down (“You own a PR firm, is that right? Anytime someone comes on here to trash somebody, I try to figure out what their motivation is. What is your motivation?” and “Are you enjoying this process? TV stations and TV stations?”), how can viewers really know whether to trust her?
Smith got her to swear on her mother’s life on-air that her claim is true.
SMITH: You were talking before the segment began about how much you love your mother. If your mother’s life were on the line, could you be 100 percent sure that she was dating John Edwards [early in 2006]?
O’BRIEN: Oh, 100 percent sure…
SMITH: …If your mother’s life were on the line…
O’BRIEN: Yes. And I love my mother…
(Every reporter knows what to do when your mother says she loves you — you check it out — but what do we do when someone says they love their mother?) Also? Pigeon thinks John is the father of Rielle’s baby because “Rielle would never have a baby with someone she wasn’t in love with.”
Which is exactly what Pigeon O’Brien told CBS News’s Maggie Rodriguez during her turn on The Early Show this morning.
RODRIGUEZ: Do you think that John Edwards is the father of her daughter?
O’BRIEN: I do.
O’BRIEN: I don’t see any other explanation. She would not have a child with someone that she didn’t love, and she loves him.
O’Brien also shared with Rodriguez her claim that Edwards’s affair began earlier than he says it did. Next time, Rodriguez, get her to pinkyswear it.
Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.