Andrew Sullivan: Sexting Shouldn't Exclude Someone From Public Office

I asked my Facebook and Twitter followers Tuesday how liberal media members would save disgraced New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner so he wouldn't have to drop out of the race.

Andrew Sullivan certainly did his part in a Wednesday piece titled "Breaking: Man Gets Off Online" wherein he actually wrote, "In this new Internet Age someone has to be the person who makes sexting not an excludable characteristic for public office."

First, Sullivan set out to explain why sending pictures of your private parts really isn't something to be frowned upon:

With countless interactive hook-up sites, and ever more apps that combine sexting with GPS, a huge proportion of the current and future generations will have sent pics of their boobs or butts or junk as a form of sexual play, fantasy, virtual interactive pornography, and, to a lesser extent, getting laid. That’s simply the reality. Humans are sexual beings, and given a new obsessive-compulsive toy to play with, the Internet, their first instinct was to see how they could use it to get off. [...]

And as long as both parties are adults acting consensually – and in virtual space, no coercion is really possible – I fail to see any scandal. In fact, I see it as a way to blow off steam, without the risk of STDs or pregnancy. It can indeed distort one’s view of sexuality; it can objectify people with ruthless efficiency; it can make actual sex more difficult (see our NO-FAP thread). But it’s nothing different than another arena for us to court, display and preen our sexual selves. It was ever thus.


In Sullivan's distorted view, sending pictures of your private parts is a natural form of flrting in the internet age.

I don't know about him, but I never considered genital exposure as flirting. Quite the contrary, it's called exhibitionism, and is illegal.

Additionally, I quite imagine the overwhelming majority of Americans - even the millenials! - find sexting totally objectionable.

I've got a 25-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter, and they not only would never consider doing such a thing, they'd immediately cease contact with anyone sending them such electronic messages.

I daresay they're in the overwhelming majority of those their age, and think Sullivan is 100 percent wrong on this.

And now the money section:

He should do us all a favor, if his wife agrees, and plow on until we can all smoke a collective cigarette. In this new Internet Age someone has to be the person who makes sexting not an excludable characteristic for public office. If it becomes one, then the range of representatives we can choose from in the future and present will be very, very different in experience and background than the people they are supposed to represent.

Really, Andrew? Sending pictures of one's private parts is going to be so common in our society in the future that it will become difficult finding electoral candidates that haven't done it?

Exactly what is the color of the sky in Sullivan's world?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.