Sex Scandals

By Noel Sheppard | April 14, 2013 | 12:01 PM EDT

The media are starting a full-court press to assist disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in becoming mayor of New York City if he decides to run.

Jonathan Karl tried to do exactly that on ABC's This Week Sunday, and was surprisingly snubbed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who three times refused to comment on the issue (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | April 11, 2013 | 10:37 AM EDT

On Thursday, the morning shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC all touted a New York Times Magazine profile of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, an article designed to rehabilitate the Democrat's image in preparation for a mayoral run in New York City. On NBC's Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk explained: "Most people wanted to know whether or not he had learned from his mistakes before they could vote for him. His wife says she forgives him."

Gosk detailed Weiner's expression of regret for the 2011 sexting scandal that ended his congressional career: "Both Weiner and his wife revealing in their own words how it happened, why it happened, and the damage it caused....Weiner describes the shame and the guilt." A sound bite was featured of NYT magazine interviewer Jonathan Van Meter sympathetically recalling: "[Weiner's] still wracked with a sort of shame and pain and guilt about it, and – and he cried, I think every time I interviewed him, at some point."

By Mark Finkelstein | April 2, 2013 | 9:31 PM EDT

Married congressman texts pics of his private parts to other women but brazenly denies it. How would you characterize the fact that he was eventually forced to resign?  

If "bum rap" springs to mind, you are on the same wavelength as Michelle Goldberg of Newsweek—and probably should seek immediate professional help. Goldberg's assertion, made on day deux of Chris Hayes's new MSNBC show, was even too much for David Axelrod.  View the video after the jump.

By Kyle Drennen | February 19, 2013 | 1:14 PM EST

Amid all of the news breaking in Washington, from the upcoming sequester cuts to President Obama's second term agenda, NBC's Today decided to focus its Tuesday political coverage on a scandal that plagued former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford four years ago. The news hook was Sanford running in a GOP primary for the congressional seat left open by newly appointed Senator Tim Scott.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie touted an exclusive interview with the Republican: "Second chance? Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford running again for Congress years after an affair that ended his marriage and made him a political punch line. Will voters forgive and forget? This morning we'll talk to him live."

By Clay Waters | February 18, 2013 | 4:12 PM EST

Eric Lipton made the front page of Sunday's New York Times with a strange sort of rebuttal to the paper's investigation into influence-peddling scandals (among other things) surrounding Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, "Inquiry on Menendez’s Influence Was Powered by Partisan Players."

While reluctantly admitting the seriousness of the charges involving Menendez's relationship with Florida donor Dr. Salamon Melgen, Lipton suggested the partisan, shadowy origin of the charges weighed against them. The caption to a photo of a lonesome Menendez set the tone: "Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said a partisan conspiracy focused the news media on him before his re-election." Would a conservative politician enveloped in scandal be covered from such a sympathy-inducing angle?

By NB Staff | February 8, 2013 | 7:10 PM EST

When then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was caught in a sex scandal involving inappropriate instant messages to an underage boy, the media had a field day, using the matter to tar House Republicans at large in the 2006 election cycle, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted in a February 7 appearance on Fox Business Network's "Cavuto." But fast-forward six years to allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and the media snoozed on the story until well after he was reelected.

"Silence! You heard nothing from the media before the election. it was this complete opposite view. In other words, we're not going to cover this if it hurts the Democrats," Bozell noted of the liberal media. [watch the full segment below]

By Kyle Drennen | February 5, 2013 | 12:48 PM EST

On Tuesday's Today, while teasing NBC's third full report on the unfolding scandal surrounding New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "...we're hearing from [him] this morning for the first time about claims that he was with prostitutes during some overseas trips. Coming up, his emotional response to what he says is a false attack."

In the segment that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell teed up a series of sound bites of Menendez denying the allegations and attacking those making them: "[He] denied that online story and grew emotional, saying political enemies launched a false attack." Referring to the story that broke on The Daily Caller, Menendez ranted: "...smears that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election...It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream..."

By Noel Sheppard | January 30, 2013 | 11:34 AM EST

Jay Leno did something Tuesday most media members up to that point hadn't done.

On NBC's Tonight Show, the host actually reported - albeit with jokes, of course - the FBI's investigation of Sen. Robert Menendez's (D-N.J.) alleged involvement with Dominican prostitutes (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | January 27, 2013 | 1:16 PM EST

On Friday it was revealed that the FBI is investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) for allegedly sleeping with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

Despite this, when Menendez was given a six-minute interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC's This Week Sunday, he was not asked one question about the investigation or the allegations (commentary follows with full transcript at end of post):

By Kyle Drennen | January 25, 2013 | 6:06 PM EST

During fawning reports on Thursday's NBC Nightly News and Friday's Today, the network's news personalities expressed thrill over the discovery of a collection of JFK memorabilia once owned by Kennedy aide Dave Powers, with anchor Brian Williams raving: "It's an intimate collection of time spent with the President of the United states and his family. It's the kind of memorabilia only a close friend would have. And it shows a man, our president, up close." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

What the coverage failed to mention was the recent shocking revelation by former White House intern and Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford that the late President once pressured her to perform oral sex on Powers during one their trysts. The omission was particularly surprising since Alford recalled the incident in an exclusive interview with Meredith Vieira aired on NBC's Rock Center in February of 2012.

By Noel Sheppard | November 21, 2012 | 12:22 PM EST

NBC's David Gregory on Tuesday appeared to make the case that the public really didn't need to know about former CIA Director David Petraeus's affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.

Appearing with him on NBC's Tonight Show was Lindsay Lohan who surprisingly challenged the Meet the Press host on this point (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | November 18, 2012 | 2:01 PM EST

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) dropped a bit of a bombshell on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

Talking with host David Gregory about the David Petraeus affair, Rogers said, "I'm not sure the President was not told before Election Day."