Sex Scandals

By Noel Sheppard | July 28, 2013 | 4:13 PM EDT

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the media these days seem to see everything through the prism of what helps and hinders Hillary Clinton's path to the White House.

On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, Bob Schieffer said Huma Abedin, by standing by her disgraced husband Anthony Weiner, was "doing Hillary Clinton no favors whatsoever if Hillary Clinton is planning to run for president" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | July 28, 2013 | 2:18 PM EDT

George Will made an observation on ABC's This Week Sunday that shouldn't have evoked laughter from his fellow panelists and host.

"If these two people, [Mayor Bob] Filner in San Diego and [Anthony] Weiner here, were Republicans, this would be a part of a lot of somber sociology in the media about the Republican war on women" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | July 27, 2013 | 11:45 AM EDT

Bill Maher on Friday attacked the media – particularly MSNBC’s Chris Matthews – for hypocrisy concerning how they handle sex scandals based on whether or not they like the politician involved.

The HBO Real Time host correctly pointed out that the Anthony Weiner-bashing Matthews absolutely adored John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton who were both involved in far worse sexcapades than the New York City mayoral candidate (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | July 26, 2013 | 12:21 PM EDT

Norah O'Donnell had a memory lapse on Friday's CBS This Morning, as she expressed her disgust over San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's alleged sexual harassment of women. O'Donnell exclaimed, "I know we shouldn't editorialize, but this behaving badly – it's gone overboard at this point." [audio available here; video below the jump]

The anchor apparently isn't self-aware, because she has regularly injected her personal commentary into her journalism, particularly when she interviews conservatives/Republicans. Her track record during her first several months on the CBS morning newscast:

By Scott Whitlock | July 25, 2013 | 12:58 PM EDT

 

Now that former Democratic Congressman and current mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has been caught, again, sending sexually explicit texts to women, the hosts of ABC's Good Morning America decided to ask the important question: What is cheating? 

Regarding the extremely graphic messages Weiner sent, reporter Linsey Davis wondered, "Is texting really cheating?...Do explicit E-mails, texts and tweets, like the ones Weiner sent even count as cheating?" GMA weatherman Sam Champion saw this question as a type of public service, lecturing, "It's a good conversation. I think a lot of people have had that talk lately." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Hadro | July 24, 2013 | 11:31 PM EDT

On Tuesday and Wednesday, CNN followed NBC's narrative of connecting Huma Abedin to her "mentor" Hillary Clinton in dealing with husbands' sex scandals.

CNN repeatedly made the connection in a positive light, touting Abedin as "incredibly politically sophisticated," "intelligent," and "discerning" from her years working for Clinton. CNN insisted that Abedin would use the Clinton "playbook" to overcome her husband's scandal.

By Kyle Drennen | July 24, 2013 | 4:45 PM EDT

Throughout the coverage of the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal on Wednesday's NBC Today, hosts and correspondents repeatedly made comparisons between Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, and her long-time boss Hillary Clinton. At one point, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski declared that Abedin "has learned from the master, Hillary Clinton" on how to deal with scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In a later segment, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Clinton as Abedin's mentor in damage control: "But you can't help but remember, Huma works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."

By Matthew Balan | July 24, 2013 | 1:10 PM EDT

CBS Evening News stood out among the Big Three evening newscasts on Tuesday in their failure to cover former Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he sent lewd text messages even after his resignation in 2011. The CBS show apparently deemed the British royal family's new baby, the doping scandal in baseball, and whale watching to be more important news items. ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both devoted air time to the Weiner story.

The network finally reported on the latest revelations about the disgraced politician on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to point out his Democratic affiliation. Jan Crawford merely identified him as a "former U.S. congressman turned New York City mayoral candidate."

By Scott Whitlock | July 24, 2013 | 12:51 PM EDT

Despite devoting three segments to Anthony Weiner's latest sexually explicit photos and texts, Good Morning America on Wednesday failed to identify the New York politician as a Democrat. Instead, an ABC graphic simply called him a "mayoral candidate" for office. The previous evening's World News deemed Weiner a "former congressman" and a "mayoral candidate."

Reporter Jeff Zeleny delicately described Tuesday's bizarre press conference: "It was a real human drama when his wife stepped forward to deliver a very public testimonial." Zeleny told viewers that Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife, "is defending her man and his candidacy." In a follow-up segment, Linsey Davis focused on Abedin. A graphic declared, "Standing By Her Man: Wife Stands By Weiner in Sexting Scandal."

By Kyle Drennen | July 24, 2013 | 12:33 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made a strange analogy while discussing the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal: "You know, let's just say he is the Chuck Yeager of sex scandals, he is constantly pushing the envelope, and breaking – I mean this is like The Right Stuff for sex scandals. Nobody has ever been here before, he is in new ground, new territory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Moments earlier, Scarborough put Weiner in line with other disgraced politicians making political comebacks: "We now officially live in the age of Bill Clinton, where you can survive a scandal. I mean, you look at Mark Sanford, you look at David Vitter, you of course look at President Bill Clinton, you look at Eliot Spitzer....it's not about the scandal, it's about competence. And the question is, can these people do their jobs?"

By Tom Blumer | July 23, 2013 | 7:50 PM EDT

For some reason, press reports I've seen thus far dealing with revelations that disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner continued "sexting" after his June 2011 resignation won't directly tell us that he didn't stop sexting -- assuming we've heard the last of this, which is by no means certain -- until November 2012 or January of this year, 4-6 months before he declared his Gotham mayoral candidacy. Additionally, he kept communicating with one of his partners, while supposedly not sexting, until April, the month before he began his run.

The four-month time frame can be inferred from the first excerpted paragraph after the jump in an Associated Press report by Jonathan Lemire (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Matt Hadro | July 23, 2013 | 7:50 PM EDT

Former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, now a New York mayoral candidate, admitted Tuesday to sending out lewd photos of himself even after he resigned from Congress for doing so back in June of 2011.

During the previous scandal, up until Weiner's resignation, members of the media moved from casting the evidence against him as a smear job to acknowledging his mistake while imploring him to stay in Congress to mourning the "tragedy" of his downfall and resignation and insisting he was too talented to stay out of politics for long.