By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Anthony Weiner walks out of our lives

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Well, that was one of the stranger political spectacles you’ll ever see. U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., was late to his own news conference, thus giving right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart a chance to jump up to the podium and beat his chest for a few minutes. Unlike Weiner’s chest (allegedly, I must say, since Weiner later told the media he hasn’t seen the new pictures), Breitbart’s was covered by a shirt.

Among other things, Breitbart claimed to have an “X-rated” Weiner photo that he would not post. Still, you have to wonder if that might change given Weiner’s refusal to resign. God help me, I can’t believe I’m taking Breitbart seriously given his past transgressions. So that’s another gift Weiner has bestowed upon us.

Rather than keep babbling, let me direct you to our discussion of Weinergate on “Beat the Press” last Friday. The host, Emily Rooney, has some special insight into Weiner, and it’s worth hearing again following today’s confirmation that yes, that really was his wiener.

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From the Dept. of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up


  1. L.K. Collins

    I notice, Dan, that in your zeal to address the inanity, you neglected to inform that Weiner has admitted that a) he sent the picture(s) and b) that he lied.

    Is it double standard, Dan, or no standard?

  2. Stephen Stein

    OK, so I was totally ready to believe that he’d been hacked. Until he started talking about it last week, that is. Too bad he gave Breitbart a scalp, because Breitbart is scum.

    Now we get to see if he can survive the scandal using Yglesias’s formula:
    1) be an incumbent
    2) don’t resign

  3. Mike Benedict

    What’s worse: sending a photo and then lying about it?

    Or actually cheating on your wife, then lying about it? (See Hyde, Henry; Livingston, Robert; Gingrich, Newt; Cunningham, Duke; Sanford, Mark; Ensign, John; McCain, John; Vitter, David; Schwarzenegger, Arnold; Pickering Jr., Chip; … need we go on?

  4. L.K. Collins

    Oh, my, Mikie, you forgot Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson. Is there a reason?

    We, of course, won’t mention Barney Frank.

  5. Stephen Stein

    LK – when did Barney Frank cheat on his wife? BTW, Spitzer resigned – not any of the Republican philanderers. (Hence Yglesias’s rule – but I do note Kennedy’s exception.)
    Oh, LK, you forgot the other Kennedy(s).

  6. L.K. Collins

    A whole family full of Kennedys. But where to put Arnold? Happened when he was a Kennedy. Or does he get a stand-alone mention?

    Stephen? Given the way Barney got towed around like a pull toy, it surely put strain on his special partnership…in several ways.

  7. Mike Benedict

    L.K., you sound even more jealous than usual. Try not to let it get to you.

  8. Aaron Read

    Let’s not forget Eric Massa and Chris Lee, either. What IS it with New York state Congressmen?!?!?

  9. Stephen Stein

    OK, stop the presses!!! Weiner’s Press Conference was FAKE!

    You heard it here first!

  10. L.K. Collins

    There’s also Franklyn Delano Roosevelt, D-NY

  11. C.E. Stead

    @Mike – are you willing to take Weiner’s word for it that he never philandered? I think that was John Edwards’ starting point as well.

    @Aaron – Chris Lee promptly resigned. With Mr. Boehner standing grimly behind him, reminding him it was his decision. Actually, Lee and Weiner are sort of equivalent cases – same transgression in the same time period. Only difference is that Lee didn’t lie and Weiner won’t resign.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @C.E.: It depends on your definition of “prompt.” I think Weiner is likely to resign. It’s still early.

  12. Mike Benedict

    L.K. might not be the brightest bulb in the antiques shop, but he has inadvertently stumbled upon an important distinction: the Democrats accused of cheating have an crucial advantage over the Republican philanders in that they Dems don’t walk around in a crazy religion-driven, holier-than-thou, put you on the stand and waste-millions-of-taxpayers’-dollars-trying-to-embarrass-you way. They simply pluck their chickens, so to speak, and go about their business. This is why the public forgives President Clinton, while the con men like Livingston, Gingrich and Ensign, etc., all had to resign.

  13. Mike Benedict

    @CE: I couldn’t care less if he had sex with half of Rochester. That’s for him and his wife to work out, not me.

  14. Stephen Stein

    Here’s an interesting point – the story of how Weiner launched his career with a dirty trick.


  15. L.K. Collins

    Ah, I take it Mikie, that you are experienced as sex with half of Rochester.

    Oh, and Mikie, I suggest you read this: M.G.L. c. 265, s. 43

  16. Stephen Stein

    Rachel Maddow rates political sex scandals along axes of prosecutability and creepiness on the “post-Bill Clinton American political sex-scandal consequence-o-meter.”

  17. Mike Benedict

    Why thanks, L.K. I suppose since you’ve been stalking me for so long, it’s good you are intimately familiar with that law.

  18. Rick Peterson

    @Mike:they’re all stalking you. (And I stole the strawberries).
    @LK: good luck. Mike and reality are two ships passing in the night.

  19. Mike Benedict

    @Rick: You’re so predictable. If you can’t beat ’em, smear ’em.

  20. peter sullivan

    Why does everything have to come down to Republican vs. Democrat. If you are an elected official and dumb enough to use Twitter and facebook and e-mail to pick up young chicks, you are an idiot, party affiliation notwithstanding. As well, if you are referred to professionally as “blogger” and it is preceded by Conservative or Liberal, you are wasting everyone’s time writing your biased opinion to people that have the same biased opinion. Is it really that hard to formulate your own opinion about topics regardless of what our voter registration card says!!!

  21. Stephen Stein

    @Peter – it’s called “working the refs”. Maybe not as effective now that the news-o-sphere is so discriminated and the respective audiences’ opinion sets have narrowed.

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