While doing some fact-checking on a couple of Weinergate posts I’ve got waiting in the wings for completion, I tried to file away or discard various tidbits I’ve collected through the saga of Weinergate. Here’s a few recent ones that tickled my funny bone for one reason or another:
- A writer, Ethan Klapper, at National Journal had a strange headline on his story about how direct messages operate differently from public tweets: “How Weiner Fell Into the Direct Message Trap.” I don’t know about you, but to me that reads as if Weiner was a victim of some sort of setup. That bad Twitter had been lying-in-wait for him.
- The New York Times has got to be sickeningly dizzy from all the spinning and protecting it has done for Rep. Anthony Weiner’s obscene online behavior. Their latest bit is truly comic, in which they compare Weiner to Alexander Hamilton, in their editorial “Technology and the Political Sex Scandal”:
In 1791, while serving as secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton began an affair with Maria Reynolds, being blackmailed by her husband for several years to allow it to continue. When a muckraker exposed the affair and the cover-up, Hamilton turned to the communications technology of the day to defend himself, publishing a pamphlet in which he argued that he had never abused any public resources.
The illustrious NYT doesn’t seem to realize that Weiner has relied on old technology—mainly pandering propaganda machines, also known as news organizations—to lie about his behavior and lie that he never used public resources to create or transmit his obscenity. Therefore, he is using old tech to coverup his new tech sins, not vice versa. But getting that straight would get in the way of the weak analogy that underlies the entire premise for the NYT piece.
The NYT article gets more humorous at their end of reciting sex scandals throughout history in an effort to diminish the offensive nature of Weiner’s. It seems Sarah Palin must have written their original prop-up piece, because they had to issue this correction:
Correction: June 12, 2011
An earlier version of this article misstated that Alexander Hamilton blackmailed the husband of his lover. In fact, Mr. Hamilton was being blackmailed.
- FishbowlDC has done some excellent reporting on the fact that Mike Allen’s Playbook over at the “nonpartisan” Politico has done virtually NO Weiner reporting. On Friday, they posted this summary of his week’s reporting and asked him for comment:
Tuesday: Shockingly, the day after Weiner’s blockbuster New York press conference in which he admitted he sent the lewd photographs, there was absolutely nothing to be found in the Playbook.
Wednesday: Today Allen has one item on Weiner and links to a NYT story. TOP TALKER, N.Y Times 1-col. lead, “CALLS TO RESIGN AS WEINER TRIES TO MAKE AMENDS – FALLOUT OVER A SCANDAL,” by Michael Barbaro and David W. Chen.
Thursday: Today Playbook features the news of a strummable guitar on Google’s homepage. Any news on Weiner? Nada. Zip. Nothing. This, despite the fact that on Wednesday not only was the nude photograph of Weiner’s penis released by the Opie and Anthony radio program, but the NYT reported the bombshell news that Huma Abedin was pregnant. Seems these stories would have been no-brainers for Playbook.
Friday: On this day, when everyone is suffering from Weiner fatigue, Allen throws in a joke from NBC’s The Tonight Show. The SECOND reference to Weinergate all week. JAY LENO: “It was so hot in Washington, everyone was sitting around in their underwear like Congressman Weiner. He finally felt at home.”
Things got a bit nastier yesterday when FishbowlDC published a post titled “Incest Desk: The Weinerless Politico Mike Allen Edition.” Guess Allen feels very comfy in his role as propaganda prince on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. If it’s not propaganda fit to print, then by golly, he’ll direct your attention elsewhere. I don’t typically see FishbowlDC taking on their Washington buds. Guess these two are having a bit of a spat. How enjoyable for the rest of us!
- The New Yorker magazine tries to get in on the Weiner action with a collection of what they think are the most memorable quotes from the scandal. My favorite is the one by conservative blogger and Cornell law professor, William Jacobson (whose blog is well known to us right-wingers as Legal Insurrection).