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):
Last July, ABC and NBC highlighted a temper tantrum from Rep. Anthony Weiner, alleging on the House floor that the Republicans were denying health care to the heroes of 9/11. To Diane Sawyer, Weiner spoke for all of America: “Every now and then, someone seems to express the nation's frustration with the endless wrangling and delay in Congress.”
Remember Weiner when liberal journalists roll their eyes at the stupidity of conservatives. Weiner’s social-media sex scandal was underplayed by the national media precisely because they thought their ultraliberal star was far too smart to commit these stupid sex pranks with women he barely knew on the Internet.
The sounds of the slaps you hear are those of the DUers at the Democratic Underground and the Kossacks at the Daily Kos slapping themselves silly for ever believing Anthony Weiner's very obvious lies. The only thing that makes them angrier than their gullibility being publicly exposed is the fact that Weiner apologized to Andrew Breitbart. That really drove them over the edge and contributed greatly to their sudden disillusionment with the New York congressman.
To get a handle on the unbelievable extent of their gullibility, we need to take a short trip down memory lane to just over a week ago to May 29 when the DUers were completly buying into the assertion in the title of their thread, "Anthony Weiner: Hackers posted lewd photos on Twitter." A few choice tidbits of their outrage over the belief that it was Weiner who was hacked:
I knew those monsters would go after Weiner. They always attack the best of us. Psychopaths always attack your strengths. Grrrrr
They messed with the wrong person this time. Anthony Weiner is not going to be silent while they go after him. This could actually be a good thing.
MSNBC's Cenk Uygur made an on air admission Tuesday that might not only raise some of his boss's eyebrows but could also make a few ex-girlfriends very unhappy.
As he defended Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) handling of the sex scandal that's riveted the nation for more than a week, Uygur said to his guests, "You know how many times when I was single, and I had girlfriends, you know how many times I lied to them?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Wolf Blitzer admitted Monday that he believed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) when the congressman told him in an interview that he did not send a lewd photo of himself over Twitter. Blitzer related to CNN's Piers Morgan Monday evening his thoughts immediately after the interview.
"I'm saying to myself, you know what, it sounds to me like it may have been his picture, but it was out there, but somebody else hacked it and somebody else sent it out to embarrass him. I sort of believed, you know, that line," he confessed.
New York Times media reporters Jeremy Peters and Jennifer Preston recognized conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart (pictured below) for breaking the Weiner-gate scandal that resulted in a dramatic press conference Monday afternoon where both Brietbart and Rep. Weiner spoke. "Conservative Blogger, a Go-To Source for Political Scandal, Looks for Legitimacy" was printed in Tuesday's Metro section (Rep. Weiner represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens).
When Meagan Broussard asked one of her friends what she should do about an intimate online relationship she had been having with Representative Anthony D. Weiner, the friend, a Republican, told her to go to Andrew Breitbart.
Mr. Breitbart, a conservative blogger, has established his Web site, BigGovernment.com, as the place to go with tidbits of a scandal in the making. On Monday, he claimed a moral victory after Mr. Weiner admitted that he had indeed sent the suggestive photos posted earlier on his site. "I’m here for some vindication," Mr. Breitbart said as he took to the lectern at Mr. Weiner’s own news conference.
As NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, the Weinergate scandal showcased a variety of liberal media conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories focused on besmirching conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story wide open Monday with a series of posts on BigGovernment.com featuring lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner.
"Look, Breitbart is a proven liar, okay?" bellowed MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur on June 1. "He doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes. He's done this over and over again. Why would anybody take this fool seriously?"
UPDATE: Check out reaction from some of the chief Weiner-defenders below the break.
The so-called Weinergate scandal provided a true spectacle of media bias and conspiracy theorizing. While there was certainly plenty of good reporting throughout, many opted to take Rep. Anthony Weiner's claims at face value and search for other culprits or scapegoats.
Others devised more malicious theories about why a lewd picture had appeared on the congressman's Twitter feed. It was Andrew Breitbart's attempt to gin up another bogus story, or a coordinated effort by conservatives to provide cover for Clarence Thomas. These wild theories actually gained quite a bit of traction among liberals online, and even a few mainstream personalities.
We know now, by Weiner's own admission, that they were all nonsense. So with the facts readily available, it's worth reviewing some of the dominant narratives that pervaded media coverage of the scandal.
Asked by new CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley why Congressman Anthony Weiner “matters,” CBS Capitol Hill reporter Nancy Cordes on Monday night maintained he’s vital as a critic pushing Obama from the left.
“The President has a lot of critics on the right,” Cordes noted, “but Weiner is one of his most outspoken critics on the left wherever liberals feel that the President is straying too far from their principles,” so “it's unclear how well he's really going to be able to perform that role now, a role that even the President has said is very important.”
Anthony Weiner finally came clean about Weinergate, but not before an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl that ABC is pushing in light of Weiner's confession yesterday. In the tape, Weiner insists he is the innocent victim of a hoax and lectures Karl for assuming anything else.
The whole thing is a bit off-putting in light of yesterday's events. After Karl asks why Weiner was following a significant number of young women on his Twitter account, the congressman blows up at him for making "outrageous implications."
The Washington Post published a seriously misleading headline Tuesday. At top of the Style section, it read: “Anthony Weiner is everywhere – except CBS: Anchor Scott Pelley takes the high road in his debut, focusing on other news.”
It would be natural for readers to think Pelley skipped Weiner’s confession entirely on Monday night. But TV critic Hank Stuever was merely thrilled and impressed that Pelley showed a “ray of serious sunshine” by delaying Weinergate until midway through his first newscast:
Barbara Walters said Monday that if Sarah Palin can be considered as a possible presidential candidate, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) can stay in Congress despite the current sex scandal he's involved in.
Significantly more shocking, "The View" co-host Joy Behar actually came to Palin's defense (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chrystia Freeland made a series of bizarre statements on MSNBC today that were overshadowed only by Anthony Weiner's contrite presser during which the Democratic congressman admitted to tweeting the infamous crotch photo and lying to cover it up.
Before the press conference, the Reuters editor-at-large quipped that the Twitter controversy showed that Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as New York governor in 2008 after being caught sleeping with prostitutes, "is a really classy guy."
In an ongoing press conference, an emotional Rep. Anthony Weiner admitted that he sent lewd photos to six women over the past few years. The New York Democrat refused to resign, however, depsite expressing his "deep regret" for his actions. Weiner also seemed to acknowledge the possibility that Andrew Breitbart, who took questions before Weiner took the stage, has in this presence a photo even more revealing than those that have already come out.
This is all developing. Post updates below as you hear them come in.
Old and new media clashed on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday.
After CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed Andrew Breitbart for her network's slow response to the ongoing Weinergate scandal, Gawker staff writer Maureen O'Connor said, "I think even if that's the case, it was very quickly that you could have looked into this story and verified it for yourself" (video follows with trancript and commentary):
While many liberal media members spent the week defending Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), PBS's Mark Shields may have made the best comment about this sordid affair on Friday's "Inside Washington."
Shortly after NPR's Nina Totenberg said we really shouldn't care about this scandal because "it's a great lark of a diversion," Shields asked the definitive question, "What the hell is a member of Congress, who wants to be mayor of New York, having portrait galleries of his crotch available for distribution?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One of the really enjoyable aspects of this week's scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has been watching the perilously liberal and devoted media shills tell America how unimportant the whole thing is.
A fine example was Nina Totenberg who said on Friday's "Inside Washington" that we really shouldn't care about this because " it's a great lark of a diversion" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How long before Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner conducts his next meltdown press conference flanked by two adult-movie "goddesses" a la Charlie Sheen? Like the delusional bad-boy actor, Weiner actually thinks his self-destructive act is winning, too.
The tweetaholic congressman spent the week dodging and deflecting questions about what he called a "randy" image that appeared in his official, verified Twitter account last Friday. The Fruit of the Loom torso shot in his social-networking stream was addressed to a 21-year-old Seattle college student. She's an ardent fan of the cable TV-hopping lawmaker and a member of the fawning generation that unabashedly asks its political idols "boxers or briefs"?
Curiously, one of Weiner's non-deleted tweets made reference to the Seattle time zone the same night the junk photo turned up. Weiner wrinkled his nose at a question on Wednesday about that inconvenient allusion, dismissing it as "pure, pure coincidence." He refused to explain why he gave Seattle of all places a Twitter shout-out. Weiner, if I may helpfully point out, represents New York's 9th District, not Washington State's.
"Frankly" — (red flag!) — he protested, he had "no idea." He then segued into relentless self-promotion of his "feisty" Twitter messages and started braying about the debt limit and health care reform.
It worked on cowed CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. But did it work on his wife? Would it work on yours?
Sending creepy photos to another adult on Twitter is not a crime, of course. But it is abjectly embarrassing for Democrats to be caught with their double-standard pants down — especially given how liberals hyperventilated over former GOP New York Rep. Christopher Lee's shirtless Craigslist photo. As always, it's the cover-up that's worse than the original transgression.
Due to perpetually low ratings, we won’t see how former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric would dismiss Weinergate. But on her Twitter page on Thursday, Couric tweeted: “I'm curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians...thoughts?”
So much for Couric's Twitter motto: "True journalism separates fact from fiction. Passionate about discovering what makes the world tick." Like many liberals (and feminists), Couric somehow can’t believe this could be true, that a 46-year-old married Member of Congress would be stupid and creepy enough to send a crotch picture to a college student young enough to be his daughter. What if Weiner had bulge-tweeted her 19-year-old daughter?
Both CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday's AC360 and CBS's Nancy Cordes on Thursday's Early Show highlighted conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early part in spreading news of the lewd photo Tweeted from Rep. Andrew Weiner's Twitter account. Cooper played up Breitbart's supposedly "questionable credibility," while Cordes reported how "supporters of Weiner note that it was [the] right-wing blogger...who broke the story."
The CNN anchor raised Breitbart's involvement 15 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour as he introduced the second part of an interview of the New York Democrat conducted by his colleague Wolf Blitzer:
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spun furiously for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) Thursday, dismissing the Twitter controversy as a sideshow undeserving of the media's attention.
"He's being pretty transparent," opined the daytime anchor, turning to Republican strategist Joe Watkins. "Joe, wouldn't you agree?"
After Watkins agreed but suggested Weiner's refusal to clarify whether he is the man in the photo does not help his case, Roberts followed up by parroting the Democratic congressman's dodge: "Well why waste taxpayer dollars on something kind of so stupid?"
For a compilation video showing Weiner's lack of transparency and inability to cooperate with the media, see below the fold:
Comedian Jon Stewart took "the most trusted name in news" to task for the network's reluctance to investigate the Twitter controversy that has embroiled Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Although the Comedy Central host is a personal friend of Weiner, he lambasted CNN on the May 31 "Daily Show" for glossing over the issue while political blogs relentlessly pounded the pavement over the weekend to uncover the truth.
According to Joy Behar of 'The View,' someone is "out to get" Anthony Weiner because "they don't like his politics." Behar and her co-host Whoopi Goldberg advanced a conspiracy theory on Thursday and included the possibility that the Congressman could have been at a beach and had an innocent photo digitally manipulated. Meanwhile, Barbara Walters pronounced dead the political goal of the politician to one day be New York's mayor.
Offering cover for Weiner, Goldberg theorized, "Well, you know, if you have been on a beach in a bathing suit with friends- and I've had this happen, so I know that this can get done- where they take, you know, a little piece of you and they put you in a diaper or whatever."
Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was probably expecting softball questions from Rachel Maddow last night. That's not quite how it played out.
On Friday, the same evening he previously appeared on Maddow's MSNBC show, a risque photo of Weiner was sent from his Twitter account. An uproar in the blogosphere and broader media quickly followed, with Weiner denying he sent the photo but not addressing whether the photo was of him.
Weiner made another attempt at damage control when he went on Maddow's show again Wednesday. Before he appeared, however, Maddow signaled that the interview would not be business as usual when she said this (video below page break) --
At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira worried about the impact of the Twitter photo scandal on Congressman Anthony Weiner's career: "Will the scandal and his response to it derail his political ambitions?"
Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd later, Vieira pointed out how "the people who write the headlines in New York City are obviously having a heyday with this" but then soberly added, "beyond the laughs here, this guy is a rising star in this state, especially in the city of New York, considered a front-runner for the next mayoral campaign....What about the political toll?"
Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said today it would be a crime for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D.-N.Y.) to file a complaint with the police claiming his Twitter account had been hacked if he knew it had not been hacked.
Last Friday, a Tweet that included a lewd photograph was sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a 21-year-old woman in Seattle, whom the 46-year-old congressman followed on Twitter. Weiner issued a statement saying that his Twitter account had been hacked and that someone had sent the lewd photograph to the woman as a prank. Thus far, Weiner has not indicated that he has filed a complaint about the alleged hacking incident with any law enforcement agency.
“If he in fact filed a complaint claiming he had been hacked, when in fact he had not been, that would be making a false statement to either local police authorities or federal officials. That would be a crime,” diGenova told CNSNews.com, pointing to 18 U.S.C. 1001 as the relevant statute.