From listening to CNN's pre- and post-Weiner press conference commentary, one could be forgiven for thinking they were already attempting to jumpstart the congressman's political career. Already one former politician caught in a sex scandal is using his prime-time position at CNN to rehabilitate his image.
"Sad" and "tragic" were words used by CNN's political team to describe Weiner's resignation given that he was a "rising star" in the Democrat Party. CNN's Wolf Blitzer told colleague John King, "It's almost tragic, John, because as you've been pointing out, [Weiner] was really the front-runner to become the next mayor of New York City after Michael Bloomberg."
Chris Matthews on Thursday said Fox News ought to hire disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to play the "typical liberal with all the lifestyle qualities of a typical liberal" to talk about "the latest scandal every night."
Politico's Ben Smith responded to the "Hardball" host, "I asked them about it today. They didn’t buy it. They referred me to CNN" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews came up with a bizarre analogy on Thursday, suggesting that Anthony Weiner's resignation press conference was "sort of like the hanging of Saddam Hussein." While offering criticism of Weiner, the Hardball anchor also praised the event: "At his best, he had dignity today. He had a measure of class, which has been missing in all of this."
Matthews made the weird comparison to the execution of a dictator while talking to Ben Smith of Politico. The host complained of hecklers at the press conference, opining, "Ben, it reminded me of the Saddam Hussein hanging today. Even they couldn't do that right. The grossness of affair led to the grossness of the finale."
If anyone needs one more item for the already massive Missing the Point file, the ladies of The View were happy to provide their insights into the Anthony Weiner resignation. "In a way it's a tragedy." said Barbara Walters. "He's never had another job. What does he do after this?"
That's right Barbara: the real tragedy is not that Weiner has damaged his reputation and humiliated his family, but that the poor little congressman might have trouble finding a new job. "He's got a whole life ahead and he has to worry also because we don't know what Huma, who is three months pregnant, is going to do." added Walters.
Update: 14:30: Weiner made it official moments ago with these words:
"I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible."
Was disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who carried on several inappropriate online chats with young women, a victim of a newly “puritanical” climate in Washington? That’s the inference from Kate Zernike’s front-page story for the New York Times's Week in Review, “Naked Hubris...While digital flux makes it easier for politicians to stray,” a companion piece to Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “When it comes to scandal, boys will be boys.”
The night after CNN’s debate in New Hampshire with seven Republican presidential candidates, Anderson Cooper brought aboard left-wing “comedian” Bill Maher to ridicule them. Asked if he “had to vote” for one of them, he named Ron Paul since “he's a cut from a different cloth than the rest of those people who are of course selling their souls to the corporate interests who back them and who have just horrible, society-killing ideas about America.”
Later discussing Anthony Weiner, Maher used it as an opportunity to deride one of the left’s favorite targets they never tire of vilifying: “Dick Cheney used to go out and shoot birds by the hundreds that were like in a cage. To me, that's a lot more psychotic than anything Anthony Weiner ever did.” Maher insisted: “He shot and killed an incredible number of birds for absolutely no reason than a blood lust.” (Audio: MP3 clip)Video below:
The same congressional panel that launched a preliminary inquiry into Weiner-gate this week has been diddling around with several other Democratic ethics scandals for years. These aren't foxes guarding the henhouse. They're sloths guarding the foxhole.
The House Ethics Committee is now reportedly probing into Twitter-holic Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's possible abuse of government resources while sending pervy messages and photos to young women across the country. The latest batch of Weiner's leaked social-media self-portraits — more cheesecake than beefcake — showed him in various states of undress at the congressional gym. From what other public buildings has Ick-arus tweeted his junk? And how much time on the public's dime did his government staff spend coaching Weiner girls to assist with damage control?
At the end of February, when CNN unceremoniously dumped moderate sorta-Republican co-host Kathleen Parker from Parker Spitzer after just 20 weeks, CNN implied they weren't dumping a conservative-leaning angle from the new solo-Spitzer show. On March 1, they touted the "newbies" Will Cain of National Review and ex-Fox News anchor E.D. Hill -- as contributors, not really as co-anchors. But it now appears that within two months, Cain is the newest right-leaner to be quietly exiled.
A Nexis search shows Cain hasn't been on Spitzer's new show In The Arena since May 6, more than a month ago. He was a regular until April 7, and then only appeared on April 14 and 22. E.D. Hill, by contrast, is still appearing almost nightly.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews took a well-deserved shot at rival network CNN Monday for actually giving former New York governor Eliot Spitzer his own program.
The "Hardball" host also took a swipe at Spitzer saying it was "ludicrous" for him to actually be talking about Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) sex scandal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham appeared on the June 10 edition of FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor to document the broadcast networks’ double-standard on congressional sleaze stories. When the story first broke, ABC, CBS and NBC refused to cover the Weiner “sexting” scandal, and their overall weekday evening news coverage had amounted to less than a dozen stories as of last Friday.
But back in 2006, Graham noted, the networks pounced right away on the similarly sleazy actions of a congressional Republican, Mark Foley, which were a focus of five times as many evening news stories (55) in the first 12 days, even though Foley had quit Congress almost immediately.
The June 13 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables has now been posted over at www.MRC.org, showcasing the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media over the past two weeks. This edition features: CNN’s Piers Morgan snootily slamming the Tea Party as “not the brightest” and perhaps similar to the mobs Hitler and Mussolini employed in the 1930s; MSNBC’s Martin Bashir seriously arguing that Sarah Palin is a criminal because of the American flag painted on the side of her tour bus; and news reporters fretting over Weinergate, worried that President Obama might lose a “very important" left-wing critic now that a “rising star” of the Left has become tainted by scandal.
The entire package (including four videos) is posted at www.MRC.org (click here for the nicely-formatted three-page PDF); here are some of the highlights:
The Andrew Breitbart-hating media certainly got its comeuppance Monday when Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) finally admitted that he had indeed been sending lewd pictures to young women via his Twitter account.
Sensing that he was seated with one such press member, CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" told a mopey Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, "You're just annoyed because Breitbart, who doesn't like the liberal media, has actually gotten some credit on this story" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Amy Holmes of America's Radio News Network made a fabulous observation Sunday concerning the New York Times and the Washington Post asking readers to go through Sarah Palin's email messages to assist them in finding dirt on the former governor.
Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Holmes marvelously concluded, "The media it seemed to me it was like they were putting out an 'America’s Most Wanted' tipline to try to find something to try to nail Sarah Palin...I think the media needs to go to rehab with Anthony Weiner and get over their obsession with this woman" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal lunatic Janeane Garofalo doesn't think Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is responsible for the sex scandal that is currently threatening his career.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," the so-called comedian and actress claimed Weinergate is caused by the media and "hypocrite Republicans" (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):
How tone-deaf do you have to be to a) compare Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to Martin Luther King, Jr. b) say the women who got Weiner's lewd photos were "hardly traumatized" and c) call on Weiner's wife Huma Abedin to call a press conference to belittle the media for attacking her hubby?
That Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Chris Hayes of The Nation may be perpetuating the Weiner scandal apparently has not occurred to them.
Maddow told Hayes last night that she could understand why Republicans were calling for Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign, but she was at a loss to understand why his fellow Democrats in Congress were doing likewise (video clip after page break) --
On Thursday's Hardball, Chris Matthews determined that Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner could be in danger of being forced out of Congress by Blue Dog Dems who face uphill battles in red states because, as he put it, "people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian conservative culturally - you can say backward if you want...don't like this kind of stuff."
Oh the unfairness of it all, it's more than Ed Schultz can bear.
Bad enough that embattled Democratic congressman and former habitual tweeter Anthony Weiner hasn't resigned from Congress as Schultz demands. Even worse, at least from Schultz's parochial perspective, the Weiner scandal hasn't cost its namesake a dime while Schultz paid dearly for maligning Laura Ingraham as a "right-wing slut" and "talk slut."
Within one day of Schultz's smear of Ingraham on May 24, MSNBC announced he was taking an unpaid, week-long suspension for remarks the network deemed "unacceptable."
Schultz complained to his radio listeners Tuesday about what he sees as a double standard at work (audio clip after page break) --
In a desperate attempt to save Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has even been abandoned by the leaders of his own party, MSNBC is still refusing to acknowledge that Weiner's actions should jeopardize his House seat.
Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," ridicules the idea that lying should be grounds for resignation, Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show," describes the situation as "more gossip than news," and Cenk Uygur, MSNBC political commentator, says that "he lied, so what."
If disgraced New York congressman Anthony Weiner needs a shoulder to cry on, he now has one in journalist Barbara Walters, who on Thursday’s edition of The View proposed that Weiner should not resign. “He was a good congressman, and maybe he can weather this all and be effective.”
Walters (who blabbed in her memoirs that she had an affair with a married politician) hoped Weiner could become another heroic Clinton: "we had a president named Bill Clinton who went through a great deal of trouble, weathered the storm and is now not only respected, but he's beloved by many people with a very good marriage."
They call it BCS, Bill Clinton syndrome, and it has broken out anew in New York and here in Washington, where it was first discovered. As elaborated upon in scholarly detail in the now famous "Starr Report: The Official Report of the Independent Counsel's Investigation of the President," BCS strikes powerful figures, usually male, who experience lewd compulsions of an overpowering nature, generally in the presence of technology — often the telephone, occasionally a smartphone or even a computer — and usually when they are alone or behind closed doors with a woman of inferior rank. The first victim of the syndrome was, of course, President Bill Clinton, but it has struck a growing number of powerful individuals, most recently Rep. Chris Lee, International Monetary Fund chieftain Dominique Strauss-Kahn and now Rep. Anthony Weiner (pronounced VY'-nehr — at least by him).
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a statement to his colleague Eliot Spitzer Wednesday that folks who remember the media firestorm surrounding former Congressman Mark Foley (R-Fla.) will find hard to believe.
Appearing on "In the Arena," the media analyst complained about the amount of coverage recent sex scandals involving Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dominque Strauss-Kahn have received saying, "I've just never seen it spin at this velocity, this out of control" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Renee Montagne touted the Rep. Anthony Weiner sex scandal as a "dilemma" for Democrats on Wednesday's Morning Edition. Correspondent Andrea Seabrook also underlined how it was apparently "hard for Democrats to call for his resignation" because the New York politician is a "bulldog" for their issues.
Montagne used her label during an introduction for Seabrook's report, which put the Weiner controversy in the context of other Washington sex scandals: "The New York Democrat admitted earlier this week that he had inappropriate exchanges with women online, exchanges that included sexually explicit pictures. He also said he will not resign his House seat. As NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports, that poses a dilemma for his Democratic colleagues."
Brent Bozell reminded readers of his column that the networks piled on 152 stories about Rep. Mark Foley in the story's first 12 days in the fall of 2006, but they weren’t the only ones with a vast left-wing disparity. Time and Newsweek each devoted cover stories and multiple pages to the Foley scandal. Time put an elephant’s rear end on the cover with the words “What a Mess...Why a tawdry Washington sex scandal may spell the end of the Republican revolution”. Newsweek had a huge picture of Foley (with a small President Bush in front of his face) with the huge headline “Off Message” and the subhead “Foley’s Secret Life: How a Predator’s E-mail Sex Scandal Could Cost Bush Congress.”
After admitting on Monday to sending lewd messages and pictures to a number of women, some Democrat and Republican leaders are urging Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign his congressional seat.
Nancy Pelosi has called for an ethics investigation, Harry Reid has refused to defend Weiner's actions, but perhaps most out-of-the-blue is former DNC chair and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine's call for Weiner's resignation.
Check out the video with Kaine's remarks after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
To a liberal media member, politics means never having to say you were wrong.
On Tuesday's "The Ed Show," Salon's Joan Walsh said she looked "kind of stupid" for defending Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) last week, then went right on defending him (video follows with transcript and commentary):