On April 10, the New York Times almost singlehandedly revived the political career of disgraced Anthony Weiner with an 8,300-word profile of the former Congressman, his wife, and their baby boy Jonathan. Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted shortly thereafter that Jonathan van Meter's profile, which revealed Weiner's intention to become a candidate in New York City's mayoral race while somehow avoiding still-open questions about Weiner's "underage girl problem," had its intended effect, as the major broadcast networks fell in line to "promote his political rehabilitation."
We all know that the attempted rehabilitation failed spectacularly, because the supposed personal rehabilitation which formed its basis turned out to be completely fictional. In late July, a Times editorial called for Weiner to withdraw from the race without owning up to the role the paper had played in his attempted revival. So it figures that the Times, which identified Weiner's demise as one of 2013's "political lowlights" earlier in the day, would ignore Weiner's "Look at me" Thursday Facebook post.
When the New York Times Magazine published an 8,000-word puff piece in April about Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin, the media predictably applauded with all three broadcast networks gleefully referring to the piece to assist in the sext-crazed politician's rehabilitation.
Adding insult to injury, the article's author Jonathan Van Meter - who is a contributing editor to Vogue and New York magazine - told the Washington Post's Erik Wemple Monday, "Never even occurred to me to ask" if Weiner was still sexting.
In a Tuesday evening editorial, the New York Times called for former Democratic Congressman and current New York City mayoral candidate to withdraw from the race. What the Times failed to acknowledge -- and should have -- is the critical role it has played in enabling his still-alive comeback attempt from the 2011 sexting scandal which led to his resignation.
On April 10, the Times published an 8,000-plus word item by Jonathan Van Meter which appeared in its April 14 Sunday magazine. Its only conceivable purpose was to hasten Weiner's political rehabilitation. At the time, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that it was dutifully "touted" on the NBC, CBS, and ABC morning shows. It doesn't take long during a re-read of that Times piece to arrive at several bitterly ironic passages, as will be seen after the jump.
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
In a fawn-fest over Chelsea Clinton with CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday, Vogue magazine's contributing editor Jonathan van Meter slipped in some serious love for Bill and Hillary.
"I think one of the things the Clintons will go down in history for, it may very well being the world's greatest parents. I mean, they did such an incredible job of protecting her [Chelsea] from the likes of us, basically," van Meter admitted of the press. [Video below the break.]