May 31st, 2011

Weinergate fatigue

You may have noticed the enormous blogosphere brouhaha known as Weinergate (see also this).

Or then again—if you’re lucky and have a life—maybe you haven’t. But as a blogger, it’s my sworn duty to pay attention to these things.

And yet I find I can’t. Simply put, I just don’t care about Weinergate.

I don’t care if Weiner is having an affair with someone and sent her a photo of his clothed genitalia. And I don’t much care if he’s hasn’t done either of these things, and he’s been hacked and attacked on Twitter.

I’m sure Weiner cares, and I’m sure his wife cares. But the only thing that is of moderate interest to me is the fact that a significant portion of the right side of the blogosphere is so firmly convinced that Weiner (a man of the liberal persuasion) is at fault here that almost no amount of proof could convince them otherwise. And I am just as firmly convinced that, if the parties were reversed, it would be the left side of the blogosphere doing the same thing, and that it would be an even bigger story in the MSM.

And I’m also moderately certain that part of the attraction to the story is the Congressman’s last name, plus the fact that the whole thing occurred on Twitter, a word that seems to bring to mind a combination of “titter,” “twit,” and “titillate.”

I am also aware that politicians are unusually susceptible to the seductions of seduction coupled with power. But I have come to the point of not caring, unless (and the following list is not necessarily all-inclusive, but it’s all I can think of at the moment) (a) the act involved is with an employee and constitutes some sort of abuse of power; and/or (b) it is accompanied by coercion or violence, as with the allegations about Strauss-Kahn (remember him?); and/or (c) the recipient of the attentions is underage; and/or (d) the perpetrator is a crusader against the acts in question (especially if such acts are illegal), such as Eliot Spitzer using call girls.

A parenthetical note: before mentioning Weiner’s wife, I checked to make sure that he was in fact married. Sure enough, he is: his spouse Huma Abedin is an aide to Hillary Clinton.

I had a dim memory of reading about this person earlier and sure enough, when I checked, I found that there had been a moderate and essentially stupid flurry in the anti-Hillary blogosphere some time back, featuring allegations that Huma and Hillary were having a lesbian affair (here’s a much more positive article about Huma that gives some background on her life but doesn’t mention the rumors).

When Huma and Weiner were married back in July of 2010, that pretty much put in end to the whispering campaign. Officiating at the ceremony was none other than Bill Clinton. Make of that what you will, but the Yeshiva World had some fun with it, giving their coverage the headline, “Christian President Marries Jewish Congressman to Moslem Political Aide on Shabbos.”

The NY Daily News quoted Weiner on the subject of his wedding and the end of his status as a single man:

Weiner, a longtime bachelor linked to several local beauties, said last week that he’s ready to leave his single days behind.

“I’m over the moon,” he said.

And why wouldn’t he be? Here they are on their wedding day:


23 Responses to “Weinergate fatigue”

  1. Trimegistus Says:

    I disagree. This is exactly the sort of mini-scandal which in the past Democrats have used to drive Republicans from office or scuttle their political campaigns. We must hold Weiner accountable for his bad judgement — and his dishonesty in trying to cover it up. Why should he get a pass?

  2. gcotharn Says:

    I want to not care, yet cannot help being drawn in by the gossipy aspects and by the worminess of Weiner.

    Weiner may not be an Elliot Spitzer style crusader, yet left blogs note that he is a big time crusader for feminism.

    Which, is it just me, or does there seem a notable amount of misogyny amongst males who are self-described feminists? Just an impression; which I have begun to sense more and more.

    I sort of want to call myself a feminist. Problem: I believe in equality.

  3. Stark Says:

    The right-wing attention being paid to this non-issue is mostly due to the fact that Weiner is a hated obsequious Shumerite who makes despicable arguments to that ignore logic. Weiner puts his part in partisan.

  4. Curtis Says:

    I don’t care for the details either, and anyone who does is screwed up in the head.

    But I’ve read Biggovernment and Ace and Powerpoint and many others–quite a few blogs. I don’t at all see a significant portion assuming Weiner is guilty.

    I actually see just the opposite. I see timelines, investigation into the facts, speculation, yes, but not self-serving conclusions or one-sided and edited hatchet jobs like 60 minutes would do. I know I’d see so much more if it were a Republican on the other side of the controversy.

    And what are we seeing from the media? Attacks on those with enough bravery to ask for the truth. This event is lining up like the famous capital spitting event. The media is still trying to report that one like an actual spitting occurred. And if we don’t respond and if we don’t fight back yet another episode of narrative building will occur. This is THE FIGHT and we cannot let Hollywood and academia and ferocious lying politicians fight unencumbered. To say nothing is to continue to allow more lies to be established as the truth so that our children are taught lies as facts. Bullshit on that.

    What I have read is two main things which need to be said: Weiner is not pressing charges or attempting to find the sender; and the lame stream media is going on a black out covering this.

    What we do care about is that this creep who has certified himself as an authority, is someone who makes ruthless accusations and promotes whatever the required narrative is, now has a credibility problem but wants special treatment. What we care about is the truth–even if it must involve the prurient or sordid. We cared about it for our own Republican homosexual and other wise hypocritical senators and representatives. They knew immediately upon exposure that they wouldn’t get our vote. Why should this guy get a break? Full exposure for him too!

    The value of this episode is showing the selective attacks of the media and its silence when one of its darlings is threatened. The “move along nothing here” meme is exactly the reason why there is a citizen’s media. There is also a pent-up hatred at how the media has controlled and corrupted our country, how it has carried Obama’s water and yet preens itself like a smug and satisfied self-righteous saint.

    The tea party movement is a movement that says those days are over. Sure enough there will be excesses, but those excesses are not accepted; nor do they comprise a reason for regaining control of the ability to establish truth.

  5. gcotharn Says:

    I’m with Curtis.

    BTW, we do not need a smoking gun to point out, at this point: the evidence indicates guilt. And not by a mere smidgen: the evidence definitely weighs in favor of guilt. Before I perused the evidence, I suspected the evidence would be neutral. Nope. When I truly paid attention to the evidence – at Ace of Spades, and at other blogs: the evidence, by a significant margin, indicates guilt.

    This type stuff is distasteful to many. However, hiding truth is also distasteful. We ought report whatever is true. Weiner represents himself as a virtuous feminist. The truth ought be exposed. Media is going into Bill Clinton/John Edwards cover up mode, and will not report such truth as is already known. Media ought not be allowed to get away with it.

  6. expat Says:

    I don’t care about the details of the case either, but I am sick of the sleazebags who seem to make it up the political ladder (just saw the Hot Air post on John Edwards today). What has happened to our ability recognize a lack of character? Are we so superficial and nonjudgemental that people like this are promoted to represent us? I think we could solve our energy problems by erecting drilling rigs on the heads of half the political and intellectual class. The oiliness seems inexhaustable.

  7. Parker Says:

    While it has become routine and tedious, the extra-martital affairs of politicians are worthy of notice. If you can’t remain faithful to the vows of marriage why should anyone expect you to remain faithful to your oath of office? (I know, I know the oath of office means next to nothing to 90% of the political critters that inhabit DC.)

  8. Foxfier Says:

    Thirding Curtis, and adding that the reason the right is so loud about this is because nobody else is doing it.

    This SHOULD be all over the comedy networks, at least, and mentioned elsewhere in passing since it happened on a Thursday night, going off of prior scandals. Wasn’t happening. With that name, it REALLY should’ve been pretty big news. (Humanity. Meh.)

    Possibly the reason that:
    a significant portion of the right side of the blogosphere is so firmly convinced that Weiner (a man of the liberal persuasion) is at fault here that almost no amount of proof could convince them otherwise
    is because the evidence is pretty dang solid. As Jonah pointed out, even some of the KOS KIDS have realized that this stinks.

  9. Curtis Says:

    I’ve been to Yahoo, Grio, HuffPo and DailyKos. Yahoo and Grio has nothing; HuffPo buries the story and mis-characterizes it as an established “hack;” in the comments of HuffPo was a link to DailyKos which “proves” it is a hack from Breitbart.

    If you read comments from the left blogs, there is a strong (and strange or usual) correspondence to another recent event: the DSK criminal counts: They think Weiner, like DSK, was set up. All that is needed is the word “Breitbart” and this controversy is solved in their minds.

  10. Foxfier Says:

    !!!! I thought that SOB looked familiar!

    Weiner’s the same bastard that announced: “It’s time that the military reimburse New York for its sacrifice,”

    (And for those who know me, I try not to curse lightly.)

  11. rickl Says:

    Yes, I’m also fatigued by the whole thing. I saw it all over the blogs I read over the weekend.

    It’s a silly, ridiculous, non-issue, except for one thing: Any Republican who did that would have been hounded out of office by the MSM, which would have covered it 24/7. It would have been a major scandal.

    With a Democrat, it’s “So what? Everyone does it. Why are you right-wingers so anti-sex? Stop being such prudes.”

  12. texexec Says:

    I also wish politicians’ private lives, however sordid, whould remain private. Neo’s list of exceptions seem reasonable to me.

    Several of our founding fathers did things considered very inappropriate in their day.

    Having said that, I will say:

  13. Foxfier Says:

    A lady on twitter put itnicely:
    It is, PRIMA FASCIE, stupid for a grown, married man of public distinction to be sending a picture of his penis via DM on Twitter.
    30 May via TweetDeck

    In context (long quote, but I switched it to read from top to bottom)

    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    I know this may shock sanctimonious liberals and libertarians, but I don’t give a rats ass who diddles who as long as it’s legal. 1/2 Except
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    When a public official diddles around, he diddles with national security, he reveals how lacking in judgment he is. 2/3
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    I *DO* care about judgment and discretion. That liberals don’t is obvious. 3/3
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    It is, PRIMA FASCIE, stupid for a grown, married man of public distinction to be sending a picture of his penis via DM on Twitter.
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    And every time this sort of thing happens, liberals and libertarians say: I don’t care. Not my business.
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    Oh really? Would you want to be business partners with Bill Clinton? Would you trust him?
    30 May
    MelissaTweets Melissa Clouthier
    How about Anthony Weiner? He’s such a frakkin genius. Want to be a business partner with that sort of stupid?
    30 May

  14. Gary Rosen Says:

    Yep, this is one of those stories that was overexposed (ha) almost the moment it came out. The most substantive take is to point out “What if he had been a Republican” but even then it’s not like the overwhelming bias of the MSM is late-breaking news.

    Anne Althouse devoted an entire post wondering when and if Rush LImbaugh would mention “Weinergate” on his show today. Rush craftily ignored it except for throwing out a few double-entendres (“Seems like it’s hard to swallow” “I had my hands full” etc.)

  15. Rathtyen Says:

    Oh come on, this post is just a bit too balanced.

    Weiner is a totally obnoxious, in-your-face, smart-aleck et hoc genus omne jerk. He is soooo annoying.

    If he was hacked, he’d be the first to run to the authorities, but he hasn’t. Why? Because to report a crime that doesn’t’t exist is itself a crime. He was silly to blame a hacker, and doing so has put him in a trap. He should have just stuck with a dumb “I have no idea what happened”, but that wouldn’t be the Weiner way. He was trying to deflect blame, no doubt on a conservative conspiracy (I love the way Breitbart is tackling that front on).

    So its pretty certain he sent the picture, and he lied about it. And it’s a crotch shot to a college girl who was distinctly not his wife. And he is a Congressman.

    Crotch shot, college girl, falsely claiming criminal activity, lying about it.

    And the dude’s name is Weiner (which is so unfortunate, but he was the one who went for that part of the anatomy). And he was dumb enough to not send it as a private message.

    And he is a congressman, And it was a college girl, And it was a crotch shot. And did I mention he has lied about it?

    Seriously, what part of that isn’t a scandal?

    And if you don’t want to be serious, how can anyone resist pinning down a smart-mouthed dude called “Weiner” for sending pictures of his (no, I can’t say it) to some college chick, no doubt while his wife is on the phone to Hillary discussing politics.

    Seriously or not seriously, he is one person who deserves what he is getting.

  16. RandomThoughts Says:

    Somehow I missed (or more likely ignored) the whole Weiner Twitter thing. I blame this on being a Californian, and hearing ad nauseum about ex-Governor Schwarzenegger’s extramarital shenanigans. I’ve reached Politician Sleazebag Overload.

    Thus, I agree with: I have come to the point of not caring, unless … (a) the act involved is with an employee and constitutes some sort of abuse of power; and/or (b) it is accompanied by coercion or violence…and/or (c) the recipient of the attentions is underage; and/or (d) the perpetrator is a crusader against the acts in question (especially if such acts are illegal).

  17. Rathtyen Says:

    Jon Stewart, who is a friend of Weiner’s tackles this quite well. He is very funny, and open both about the comedy of the story, and his friendship with Weiner. He is also smart enough to leave wiggle room in the event it gets proven Weiner did send the picture.

    Stewart is clearly coming down on Weiner’s side, but when it is this well done, that really doesn’t matter (which is the reason Bill Clinton still has popularity and credibility).

  18. Foxfier Says:

    I suppose the “chatting” with a high school girl is nothing to worry about, either.

    I really hate the assumptions that “everyone” is doing something like this– it makes me question the person who claims that “everyone” does it, rather than excuse the guy who got caught being a disloyal moron.

  19. Roman Says:

    I agree, too much is being made of this. It’s no big thing!

  20. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo and all the other “I don’t care” posters should consider, “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.”
    The Country Class gets this without knowing Latin. It is the Ruling Class that tries to distinguish Private from Public conduct in its pursuit of moral relativism. The blurred line ever widens.

  21. SteveH Says:

    “”What has happened to our ability recognize a lack of character? “”

    Character has joined the ranks of the jingoistic for liberals. Lacks a balanced grasp of moral relativity and assumes there’s any effort of goodness at all required of human beings….Blah blah blah…

  22. daxypoo Says:

    weiner is the left’s ace in their farm system– he is quite the conjurer of straw men and false narratives; add in his trademark obnoxious/acerbic “fibbery” that whoops up the frothy base much like some backwater pentecostal rattlesnake preacher and you have the poster child of lefty leadership

    this (arranged?) marriage between the weenie and his token muslimess is as good as it gets for the left and their spindoctors

    i wouldnt care about this (weinergate) either but for the fact that public figures in the other party have had to fall on their swords over similar “scandals”

  23. RandomThoughts Says:

    Foxfire, “everyone” isn’t doing this, but an awful lot of adolescents and politicians (who behave just like adolescents) apparently are.

    I don’t care about Weiner’s behavior because I assume that no politician has what I would consider solid moral standards. The very nature of their profession involves a willingness–even an eagerness–to lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise behave badly in order to achieve their goals, both professional and personal. This is nothing new; any student of American political history knows that scandal and sleaze have been a part of American government since its inception.

    So Weiner’s contemporary behavior is just more of the same in my eyes. Yes, I suppose I could be offended at the double standard the media gives Democrats and Republicans behaving badly…but that also is nothing new.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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