Sex Scandals

By Mark Finkelstein | June 6, 2013 | 8:34 AM EDT

MSNBC and Anthony Weiner: made for each other like a frank and a bun?

Today's New York Daily News reports that when NYC mayoral candidate Weiner got into an argument on the campaign trail yesterday, he boasted that despite his mistakes, "I am still gonna be out there leaning forward."  "Lean Forward" is of course MSNBC's lefty slogan, featured in many promos that NB has analyzed, as here and here.  More after the jump.

By Kyle Drennen | May 8, 2013 | 1:25 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Huffington Post contributor Abby Huntsman proclaimed that following Mark Sanford's win in Tuesday's special congressional election in South Carolina, disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner "probably slept well last night knowing that he can potentially come back, too."

Co-host Willie Geist agreed: "Absolutely, absolutely." News reader Natalie Morales chimed in: "I was thinking the same thing this morning."

By Noel Sheppard | April 27, 2013 | 11:31 AM EDT

HBO's Bill Maher on Friday – like so many liberal media members before him – made the case for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to be forgiven for his sins and allowed to re-enter politics.

At the conclusion of his Real Time program, Maher said, "In the not too distant future, we will elect a president whose penis we have all seen" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

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):