Okay, enough already! We all know Congressman Anthony Weiner did something dumb and distasteful. But enough is enough! Yes, he tweeted pictures of the little wiener to a few adult women on Twitter. Yes, he got married after the exchanges began. And, yes, he lied about his indiscretion after Republican hit man, Andrew Breitbart (purveyor of false claims against ACORN, Planned Parenthood and Shirley Sherrod), made the photos pubic…er, public.
But for more than a week, the Weiner story has dominated the news. The story has pushed aside debates over the federal debt limit, Medicare, and jobs programs. Can you for a moment imagine Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid and David Brinkley reporting this story daily?
Where is the media’s sense of fairness and proportionality?
What Congressman Weiner did was show his body to a few women in what is supposed to be a private medium. He didn’t distribute the photos to the masses (Mr. Dumbart and the media did that). He didn’t have a physical relationship with those women. And though he may have intellectually cheated on his wife, he didn’t have a physical affair (as former Republican Senator John Ensign did). He didn’t hire prostitutes (as current Republican Congressman David Vitter did). He didn’t use the Internet to solicit sex (as former Republican Congressman Christopher Lee did). He didn’t dump his wife as she was fighting cancer (as former Democratic Senator John Edwards and former Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich did). And though Congressman Weiner lied to cover the truth, he didn’t have his mother write a $96,000 check as a bribe for silence (as former Republican Senator John Ensign has been accused of doing).
Yes, Congressman Weiner’s actions constitute a legitimate news story or two. But more than a week? It’s as if Lindsay Lohan had just been elected to Congress!
With the exception of media coverage of John Edwards, stories of indiscretions of all the other ethically-challenged elected officials combined haven’t equaled the media attention of Weiner’s wiener. And when is the last time you saw a story of Congressional corruption receive this kind of coverage?
One has to ask the question, Why? Does the public really regard the Congress-man’s behavior as that egregious? (According to polls in the Congressman’s district, the answer appears to be no.) Was his behavior worse than the aforementioned perpetrators’? (The answer has to be that cybersex between adult individuals does not rise to the level of actually breaking the law or physically cheating on one’s spouse.)
So why the non-stop media frenzy? I submit that the lazy and sensation-driven media have, once again, been manipulated by Breitbart and Fox News Channel. And in their rush for damage control, Democratic leaders have, once again, fallen into the conservatives’ trap by piling on with their own calls for Weiner’s resignation.
To put an end to the story, Congressman Weiner should tell the media that he will announce his resignation the day after Congressman Vitter resigns and after both Democratic leaders and sanctimonious Republicans censure all of those who have done worse.
That ought to shut them up.