Reclaiming the Weiner

The story goes something like this: two Fridays ago, on May 27, an inappropriate picture was posted from the Twitter account of Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). He immediately claimed someone hacked his account. The scandal went on for the rest of the following week until this Monday, June 9th when Weiner held a press conference confessing that no one hacked his account – he accidentally posted the picture to his Twitter feed instead of sending it to a woman via Direct Message (DM). He also confessed to having at least six other inappropriate, online-only relationships with women (other than his wife, Huma Abedin).

This is NOT the wiener picture the Senator put on Twitter.

 I find this interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, Rep. Weiner should have immediately accepted responsibility. The day it happened he had the opportunity to tell the American public, “Yes, I made a mistake. This was inappropriate. I am very sorry.” Instead he claimed that someone hacked his Twitter account. I have to admit, I didn’t believe that story for a single second. The fact that he tried to stick with that story for an entire week is representative of what is wrong with conversations between the government and the public: there is no transparent, honest conversation happening. That brings me to my second point.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the sentiment that Weinergate is evoking.

During Rep. Weiner’s press conference, he specifically states the number of online, extramarital conversations he’s been having. He also mentions that he has, “never had sex outside my marriage … I don’t do drugs, I was not drinking … this was me doing a dumb thing, and doing it repeatedly, and then lying about it.” It’s hard to know what to believe in this instance. Is he really telling the truth this time? And if so, he just openly admitted to lying – knowingly, and repeatedly! Now his personal and professional life have collided head-on, and it’s hard to believe that he would lie knowingly and repeatedly only in his personal life. Which makes myself, and many other Americans included, wonder what else is Rep. Weiner hiding?

I’m afraid this one misses the mark, too.

Rep. Weiner also mentioned in his press conference that he was not stepping down. House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) along with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) have called for an investigation from the Committee on Ethics to look into the situation with Rep. Weiner. I will hold out judgement until this investigation is complete (if it happens – if not, look for another blog post). But in the meantime, people don’t trust him because they are wondering: what else is Rep. Weiner hiding?
Last and not least, I have to say that I haven’t heard the word “wiener” this many times in one day since I was in high school. In fact, I don’t think I’ve said “wiener” this often since then. And for that, I have to thank Rep. Weiner for making these last two weeks just a little more awesome.

Additional notes:
You can watch the entire press conference here at MRC TV and you can read the entire transcript of the conference over at the New York Post. You can find Rep. Weiner’s webpage here (although it is currently devoid of any updates about the Weinergate). The webpage for the Committee on Ethics can be found here.

[Thank you to Wikimedia Commons and the 109th Congressional Pictoral Directory for making the Rep. Weiner image available for reuse. Wikimedia Commons also made the hot dog images available for reuse.]



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