The Erik Wemple Blog cares little about how Fox News correspondent Ed Henry spends his time off-air. In Touch magazine does, however: “In a world exclusive, In Touch — on newsstands now — reveals the bombshell news that Fox News Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry, who has been married to NPR’s deputy Washington editor Shirley Hung since 2010, had a 10-month affair” with a Las Vegas hostess.

Such revelations might normally remain within the four corners of In Touch. In this case, however, the matter is being addressed by Fox News, and will likely put the network in a bind as the presidential campaign wears on: “We recently became aware of Ed’s personal issues and he’s taking some time off to work things out.” Though the network isn’t short-staffed, this means that the guy assigned to cover Hillary Clinton almost exactly one year ago will move to the sidelines for an indeterminate period. Twelve months on the trail bring knowledge and command, something that a newly embedded reporter can’t muster right away. Consider, too, that Henry pursued Clinton with gusto, once coaxing her to address reporters on a campaign stop during a period when she was stiff-arming the media, and another time when Clinton told him that he was “entitled” to one question at an appearance.

Contracts for top television talent — and the swashbuckling Henry qualifies as such — often include “morals” clauses covering extracurricular conduct that brings disrepute upon the organization. It’s unclear whether such a clause is in Henry’s contract, but it is clear that Fox News isn’t pleased that one of its top correspondents is anchoring a “bombshell” piece in In Touch. Nor is it difficult to foresee extreme diceyness down the road: Donald Trump, the freshly crowned presumptive GOP nominee, has made clear that Bill Clinton’s infidelities of the 1990s — and the issues surrounding them — are fair game for 2016. “I haven’t even started in on her yet,” Trump said in January.

Putting Henry back on the trail to chronicle any such Trump attacks in the future could generate blog post by media critics.

AD
AD