Well another congressman has lied about something. I know it’s difficult to control your shock, but please try to keep yourselves together. Last week New York Congressman Anthony Weiner had a picture posted from his Twitter account, that we all know about. The crotch shot.
The picture went to a youthful FEMALE Twitter follower, and she somehow got it into the hands of a conservative blogger, who further outed Weiner today with yet more questionable pictures and electronic communications. I really don’t need to re-hash what happened, but let’s examine how Weiner handled the situation. Frankly, he botched it from the beginning.
First of all he took the picture, then allowed it to escape. That stupidity alone should be grounds for impeachment, but stupidity is not a crime, so that’s out. His next mistake was denying it was him, and trying to peddle the idea that his Twitter account was hacked. Again, not the best idea he’s ever had. All this did was stoke the interest of the media. It took what could have been a one or two day story to a whole new level.
Why? Because most people would do one of two things. Admit it was a mistake and move ahead, or deny, deny, deny — which works just fine if you are truly not guilty of something more sinister, but when the denials become shrill, and petulant-like Weiner demonstrated — it signals there is something more to hide. Lo and behold, he fessed up during a news conference Monday afternoon. Not only did he admit the image was from his account–posted by him–he revealed he’s done this multiple times with several women.
I answered a question last week on a blog site about this from a reporter’s perspective. I’m paraphrasing, but the question was something akin to “why is the media pursuing this story? It’s so silly!” I agreed that is was silly, then pointed out that this is the job of reporters and the media. Essentially the rule is “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Citizens rely on the media to actively question politicians and people in government, because most of the time ordinary citizens have no opportunity or access to those very people elected to represent them.
I’ve heard a few people say Weiner wasn’t breaking the law, but he exercised poor judgement. Agreed, but is this the kind of judgement voters should have to depend on when times are difficult? I’m curious to observe just how many times I’ll hear anyone say they knew this was going to happen. Moreover, I’ll be paying close attention to how many of those same folks were calling for the media to back off last week since this was a “non-story”.
I’m a reporter. Past, present, and future-deep down I will always take the media side of nearly every argument. I realize media is a dirty word to a lot of Americans. But, this is one time we all need to step back and say the media got it right. Had it not been for the media hammering away on the gaps in Weiner’s story, this would have all been swept under the rug. When are politicos going to learn-you cannot control the media. You might get a few on your side, but if an office holder is screwing up-the media will find out.