Here, Politico asks if the press really vets candidates. Here’s the link.
The answer, to me, is yes. Edwards WAS vetted. The new books and articles coming out make that apparent — people knew what was going (See: The National Enquirer). The press just chose not to inform people. The problem isn’t that there is no vetting going on, it’s that the press is grossly incompetent. Remember, photographic evidence and witness statements and anonymous leaks are not enough to run a story about Edwards’ real affair (when he was a potential front runner for candidacy), in even the gossip section. Misconstrued quotes, lies and outright assertions were enough to front page a story about a fake McCain affair.
In both cases, the press had all the evidence they needed to know the truth (Edwards’ aides believed he was having an affair, people believed he was, and there was photographic proof / McCain’s aides said it had the potential for an appearance of impropriety, but nothing was happening) — they just chose to approach it differently.
Vetting happens. It’s the next step where the problem comes in, and sadly, the only solution to this is to have enough viable media outlets afloat to effectively get around the problems that Edwards’ affair is not allowed to make news, while McCain’s fake affair is front page news.