Weiner Exposed! Weiner’s Pickle!
Yes, the New York tabloids had a field day with the unfortunately named Congressman Weiner, accused of Twittering a bulging underwear crotch shot to a young coed.
And yes, I admit I laughed at evil genius NY Post headline writers, who managed to squeeze four double entendres on the front page (Weiner Exposed, Battle of the Bulge, Could Be My Weiner, It’s Hard for Weiner), and even at their lead story. But then I saw their 2nd article, and 3rd, and 4th… All told, the Post devoted five full pages to this breaking news, the day after the stock market dropped 300 points and unemployment fears skyrocketed again (not a word about either).
But hey, that’s obviously what we want. The paper sold out at most newsstands, leaving the poor Daily News (with much less coverage, despite their “pickle” headline) in the dust.
The fact that Weiner replied “You know, I can’t confirm with certitude” to a question of whether that was indeed his crotch shot didn’t help, as TV pundits and comics eagerly piled on.
Even Weiner pal Jon Stewart got into the act, saying he couldn’t ignore this “comedy gold.” Perhaps Stephen Colbert had the best line, deadpanning “I see only two options here: Either Anthony Weiner has too many photos of his junk, or Certitude is the nickname for his penis.”
Oh yes, a good time was had by all–except the Congressman, who until the day before what is now called “Weinergate” was the leading candidate to replace Mayor Bloomberg next year. Forget it, Anthony. Although he didn’t assault or stalk anyone and his indiscretion pales in comparison with those of Newt Gingrich, who left his wife on her cancer bed to run off with his seven year mistress, then assailed Bill Clinton for his immoral behavior, or Rudy Guiliani, who alerted his wife he was leaving her by parading his mistress down Broadway, he is in mucho trouble.
While Gingrich has now thrown his hat in the ring as a Republican Presidential candidate, and Guiliani is considering it, Weiner now has as much chance of being New York City’s next Mayor as The Naked Cowboy (hey, maybe that photo was of him).
Is it fair? No. Did Weiner do this to himself? Absolutely.
The hero of progressives for being virtually the only Democrat to forcefully challenge the bullying and heartlessness of the new Republican right, Weiner also is an incredibly high energy guy who gets little sleep and is known to e-mail or call staffers in the dead of night to challenge or berate them, resulting in Weiner having the highest staff turnover of any member of Congress.
A non-stop workaholic, Weiner is known to do six things at once, being highly active in social media, including Twitter. As many sleep-deprived multitaskers can relate to, it is very possible the frantic pace of this life lead to the public posting of the photo instead of the private, Twitter direct message he most likely intended to send.
And whether he knows it or not, that careless post has destroyed his political future. In the battle over decent health care for all, union busting and other causes, Weiner has become the voice–often the lone voice–of the common man. Now that voice has been weakened, if not lost altogether. And that is the real shame here.
(“Midnight in Paris” review–see Arts page)