Shameless: People Mag Takes Another Turn As Huma Abedin's Journalistic Weiner Cleaner

One might think People magazine would be embarrassed at how it was used as an early campaign brochure for Anthony Weiner in 2012, as his wife Huma Abedin tragi-comically proclaimed, "It took a lot of work to get to where are are today, but I want people to know we're a normal family." Yeah, right.

But here is People again, shamelessly selling Huma and her “very strong moral character” in an August 12 story headlined “Why Huma Stayed.” Former AP political reporter Sandra Sobieraj Westfall lays it on thick with “friends say” fluff  for the Hillary Clinton aide:

"Huma has a very strong moral character, and she made a commitment for better or worse," explains her longtime friend, New York businesswoman Rory Tahari. "She never wanted Jordan to say to her, 'Why didn't you do everything you could to help Dad?'"

People’s piece added:

Raised in an observant Muslim family where divorce is unheard of, Abedin was determined to give her son an intact home and to not keep Weiner, whom she has frequently said is a great father, from seeing his son. “Anthony’s very attentive to Huma. He’s bright and funny,” explained a friend of the couple.

This is where you set your copy of People on fire. “Anthony’s very attentive to Huma.” That would explain Carlos Danger? This magazine is positively Orwellian in its Huma worship.

It’s a four-page spread with this large-text quote from a Friend of Huma: “It’s hard enough to go through something like this, let alone have people attack you about it.” The “why didn’t you do everything to help Dad” quote was also in large text on the last page, under an old happy-loving-couple photo from the 2012 People photo shoot.

At the bottom of the third page, Westfall tried briefly to address that. She wrote Huma “was being honest, other friends insist, when, in a July 2, 2012 interview with PEOPLE about how they rebounded from the first scandal, she cast his Internet exhibitionism as over and said they were a ‘normal family.’ It wasn’t until the following month in the Hamptons that Weiner’s social isolation became painfully apparent and strained the marriage anew.”

Not a single sentence in People magazine considers whether Abedin has political ambitions for this family that outweigh her caution about her husband's very obvious personal problems. Westfall wrote from inside a carefully constructed bubble of "friends and family" and couldn't bother to hear a skeptical word from the real world. That's why People looks like a silly celebrity magazine that will say anything to get access to the "stars." Or it looks like a liberal Time Warner property that acts like a Democratic Party war room.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis