One might think People magazine would be embarrassed at how it was used as an early campaign brochure for Anthony Weiner in 2012, as his wife Huma Abedin tragi-comically proclaimed, "It took a lot of work to get to where are are today, but I want people to know we're a normal family." Yeah, right.
But here is People again, shamelessly selling Huma and her “very strong moral character” in an August 12 story headlined “Why Huma Stayed.” Former AP political reporter Sandra Sobieraj Westfall lays it on thick with “friends say” fluff for the Hillary Clinton aide:
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich showed up on Joy Behar’s Current TV program Say Anything! on Wednesday to chat about some hot news topics – chief among them, the ongoing Anthony Weiner saga. Rich assured Behar that the Weiner situation would not affect Hillary Clinton’s future. On the contrary, he said, it would make people love her husband Bill Clinton even more.
Rich made his remarks after Behar mentioned that the Clintons seem to be distancing themselves from Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. Rich remarked, “[L]ook, Weiner had a lot of enemies in the Democratic Party well before the scandals, but I also think it’s not going to have any effect on Hillary Clinton's future, whatever it is.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC and CBS both failed to point out San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic party affiliation on their Wednesday morning newscasts. Good Morning America devoted just one 17-second news brief to the ongoing Filner scandal. CBS This Morning didn't do much better, with two news briefs on the former congressman. NBC's Today didn't set aside any air time to the controversy.
The NBC morning show did one-up its Big Three competitors in identifying Anthony Weiner as a Democrat. Stephanie Gosk underlined the "Democratic drums are beating loudly for Anthony Weiner to step out of race for New York mayor", and noted the scandal-plagued politician's fourth-place standing among "likely Democratic primary voters". CBS This Morning and GMA merely labeled Weiner a "former congressman".
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC's Chris Hayes recalled that "my mouth opened" and declared that "I could not believe this was in the paper," as he recounted that liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd raised questions about whether former Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, has been tolerant of her husband's behavior because of her Muslim upbringing.
Hayes recalled his bafflement during a segment devoted largely to attacking FNC's Sean Hannity and his guests for raising similar questions on his weekend special, Saving America. Notably, Rush Limbaugh was attacked on Monday's PoliticsNation by host Al Sharpton for similarly raising the topic.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared that Hillary Clinton's lunch with President Obama put the possible 2016 Democratic contender "a safe distance from the scandal in New York that now includes a longtime aide." Introducing a report on the meeting, Williams noted how "Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep their distance from any associations with Anthony Weiner, whose wife is a longtime Hillary Clinton aide and confidante..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to fret over the impact the scandal may have on the Clintons, correspondent Andrea Mitchell decried Weiner's continued candidacy for New York City mayor: "Weiner has become a tabloid nightmare for his wife, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's aide. And for the Clintons, resurrecting embarrassing flashbacks they'd hoped were long forgotten. Weiner said again today, he isn't going away..."
Was this a case of Donny Deutsch expressing sincere sentiments—or wanting Weiner out of the way to help Hillary?
Whatever the explanation, the ad man unleashed on Huma Abedin on today's Morning Joe, saying he was "disgusted" by the spectacle of her press conference, accusing Abedin of being an "opportunist" who wants to be First Lady of New York. A much more understanding Mika Brzezinski said that Abedin's performance was "amazing," "extraordinary" and "really brave." Video after the jump.
On Monday's NBC Today, following a report on the latest fallout from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, Hillary Clinton sycophant Andrea Mitchell fretted over the impact of the controversy on the former secretary of state: "This is terribly painful....this is getting to the point where it is really splashing up against the Clintons because it's almost unavoidable that people are making comparisons to the way Hillary Clinton handled Bill Clinton's difficulties in the 1992 campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On July 24, it was Todaymaking that comparison between Wiener and Clinton, with chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd observing: "But you can't help but remember, [Weiner's wife] Huma [Abedin] works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the media these days seem to see everything through the prism of what helps and hinders Hillary Clinton's path to the White House.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, Bob Schieffer said Huma Abedin, by standing by her disgraced husband Anthony Weiner, was "doing Hillary Clinton no favors whatsoever if Hillary Clinton is planning to run for president" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday and Wednesday, CNN followed NBC's narrative of connecting Huma Abedin to her "mentor" Hillary Clinton in dealing with husbands' sex scandals.
CNN repeatedly made the connection in a positive light, touting Abedin as "incredibly politically sophisticated," "intelligent," and "discerning" from her years working for Clinton. CNN insisted that Abedin would use the Clinton "playbook" to overcome her husband's scandal. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.
Throughout the coverage of the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal on Wednesday's NBC Today, hosts and correspondents repeatedly made comparisons between Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, and her long-time boss Hillary Clinton. At one point, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski declared that Abedin "has learned from the master, Hillary Clinton" on how to deal with scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a later segment, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Clinton as Abedin's mentor in damage control: "But you can't help but remember, Huma works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."
CBS Evening News stood out among the Big Three evening newscasts on Tuesday in their failure to cover former Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he sent lewd text messages even after his resignation in 2011. The CBS show apparently deemed the British royal family's new baby, the doping scandal in baseball, and whale watching to be more important news items. ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both devoted air time to the Weiner story.
The network finally reported on the latest revelations about the disgraced politician on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to point out his Democratic affiliation. Jan Crawford merely identified him as a "former U.S. congressman turned New York City mayoral candidate."
MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent nearly half of their Wednesday program covering the latest revelations in the Anthony Weiner scandal, yet never once mentioned that the disgraced former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate is a Democrat. The panel was extremely critical of Weiner and his candidacy, but apparently did not consider the candidate’s political affiliation to be of any importance to the story.
But while the (D) label was never applied to Weiner – save for one graphic showing a Democratic primary poll – the MSNBC show did have time to squeeze in two partisan labels – one for Republican Senator David Vitter and one for Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, in a round-up of other scandal-scarred politicians. In that same round-up, Democrat Bill Clinton was, like Weiner, not labeled.
Isaac Chotiner at The New Republic exposed New York magazine writer Mark Jacobson as a Huma Abedin shoe-polisher. “Abedin always gets good press, but this piece takes it to a new level. As a public service, I have chosen the four silliest/creepiest tidbits.”
1. “She approached in a knit white top and navy-blue business skirt, her dark, almost black hair down to her shoulders. She wore bright-red lipstick, which gave her lips a 3-D look, her brown eyes were pools of empathy evolved through a thousand generations of what was good and decent in the history of the human race.”
All three networks on Wednesday played a promotional video of Anthony Weiner, hyping the mayoral run of the "comeback kid." On Good Morning America, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos showed an extended clip of the campaign video. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But Stephanopoulos (who in his previous career defended Bill Clinton's against sexual scandals) didn't get into much detail over the Weiner's failings. Reporter Jon Karl simply explained that the ex-Congressman tweeted out "lewd pictures" of himself.
CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both, briefly, featured blurred pictures of the aforementioned photos. But the Today segment included a network graphic that speculated, "Comeback kid?" Journalist Maria Schiavocampo offered more details than ABC. She described Weiner's fall as a "sexting scandal," but parroted, "but now he says he's ready to put the controversy behind him and get back into politics."
Apparently former congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, granted the New York Times Magazine a long interview with the intent of preparing the public for a new post-tweet exposure scandal campaign for public office, most likely for New York mayor. However, if Weiner thought he could put the scandal, and the jokes, behind him he would be wrong. Although the extended profile of over 8300 words written by Jonathan Van Meter was mostly sympathetic, it just couldn't resist repeating an absolutely hilarious Weiner joke as told by former DNC chairman, Terry McAuliffe.
The Weiner joke is so funny that your humble correspondent is placing it below the fold so you have time to put down your drinks and spare soaking your screens and keyboards. Oh, and if there are any kids around, please tell them to step away since the joke is risqué. Very risqué:
According to contemporary reports, as here and here, Egyptian protesters who pelted the motorcade of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with tomatoes during her visit to Egypt last July were chanting "Monica! Monica!"
So who did Al Sharpton, on his MSNBC show this evening, blame for the tomato pelting? Why, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann, of course! According to the Reverend Al, it was the raising by Beck and Bachmann of the possible connection of Hillary's top aide, Huma Abedin, to the Muslim Brotherhood that outraged the Egyptian horde. Sharpton says "there is absolutely nothing" to back the claims of Abedin family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. That is simply false, as this National Review item documents. View the video after the jump.
Jay Leno on Thursday took a cheap shot at Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Referring to McCain's admonishment of Bachmann's comments regarding Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the Tonight Show host quipped, "When the guy who picked Sarah Palin says you are crazy, you are crazy" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Seizing on a handful of Republican members of Congress questioning Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's supposed tenuous family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell used the incident to fawn over Clinton's "second daughter": "Abedin is Hillary Clinton's dear friend, closest senior aide...Elegant, glamorous, profiled in Vogue."
O'Donnell labeled the charges against Abedin – outlined in a congressional letter sent by Michele Bachmann and five other Republican House members to the State Department – as "what some are calling a sinister attack on the patriotism" of the top Clinton aide. She then hyped Republican Senator John McCain denouncing the obscure letter to what a front-page Washington Post story admitted was an "otherwise empty Senate chamber."
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?