With the New York City mayoral primaries being held on September 10, it's a good time to review how Anthony Weiner, probably the only Democratic member of the House who was willing to fight for anything, and a one time front runner for Democratic nomination for mayor, will probably lose. And the reason is that when it comes to sex, the news media and most politicians have reactions that range from the infantile to the juvenile. Especially the news media whose level of maturity when it comes to the subject of sex can be defined as: "na na na nana".
When Sydney Leathers went to a web site called TheDirty.com and (in all probability) sold the chats of her online sometimes sexually explicit conversations with Weiner, the news media exploded with adolescence to such a degree they all looked like they were suffering with journalistic acne.
The New York Times sank so low as to publish on it's front page, an interview with the editor and founder of a web site called TheDirty.com forever making a joke out of the paper's 100 year old slogan, "All the News That's Fit to Print". The Times Editorial Board piled on and considered these chats so significant that it chose to publish an editorial favoring us with their opinion on such a hot and important topic.
What it all came down to is that Sydney Elaine Leathers wanted to be a porn star and her fifteen minutes of fame and knew that when she was talking to Weiner he was her meal ticket. And she knew she could play the news media and cash in.
The New York Times, Huffington Post and other news outlets who forgot a long time ago what the job of a journalist really is, was only too happy to oblige, ready, willing and able to get as down and dirty as Leathers and for the same reason -- for a buck.
Unfortunately even that they can't do very well since almost all of them from the Times to CNN have been suffering major losses in the 3 R's -- readership, ratings and revenue mostly because they are oblivious to the fact that it's the tactics they use to try and get those 3 R's which turn news into a peep show or politics into a WWF wrestling match, that has the opposite effect. The fact is no one at any news organization knows anything about how to attract an audience (which isn't their job anyway and it shows) and unfortunately it seems, not much about journalism either.
But Sydney Leathers knew how . At least she knew how to attract an audience of news media. And with their taking the bait, Sydney Leathers parlayed that into her first porn video and a job as a stripper at a local NY strip club. And she owes a lot it to the New York Times and other media outlets who decided this mattered when it came to the important issues of the mayoral race.
Essentially Leathers made fools of everyone from the journalists she was able to sucker to politicians and Weiner himself who was foolish enough to have these chats with a stranger and be open about who he was without considering that the person on the other end could be a bottom feeder who would exploit the conversations. Foolish, naive and reckless especially considering all the fall out from his past experience with political and media bottom feeders and how he knew the news media would drool if it became public.
One of the best examples of how inept, low and dishonest journalists can go was the story written by a purported reporter for Huffington Post who goes by the byline Inae Oh. She is credited with writing what has to be the most idiotic, inaccurate, dishonest and personal agenda driven journalistic drivel about Weiner and Leathers that existed amid a tsunami of journalistic drivel.
Inae Oh wrote on Huffington Post when the story first broke:
"I’ve been in contact with a young female girl who wishes to remain anonymous ( italics mine). She was lured by Anthony Weiner post scandal via Facebook".
Imagine that. She was, according to Inae Oh, lured by Weiner. This is the kind of journalistic drivel and sheer stupidity that exemplified much of the media coverage of Leathers and Weiner. "She wishes to remain anonymous" huh. Looks like Leathers wanted to make Oh feel special. And looks like Inae Oh fell for it.
Or maybe Leathers lured Inae Oh into thinking she had a scoop that nobody else had. Oh, who someday may break an ankle from all her attempts at jumping on moving bandwagons, was trying to portray Leathers as a poor innocent helpless babe in the woods who supposedly wanted to remain anonymous, and was "lured" by that evil Svengali, Anthony Weiner into explicit online chats on Facebook.( The chats actually took place on a social media web site called Formspring but who needs facts?)
Based on the logic and journalistic skills of Inae Oh, Leathers must have also been lured by Weiner to take screen shots of her chats with Weiner to save them and was lured by Weiner into selling them to a site called The Dirty.com cashing in for her own ambition and financial benefit.
Leathers, according to Oh, must have also been lured by Weiner into sending him a message telling him she was going to take a shower and did Weiner want to join her? That Anthony Weiner sure knows how to lure. As well as Inae Oh knows how to be a journalist.
Oh filed another story on August 28, the result of more bandwagon jumping, that the Weiner campaign payed actors to portray campaign supporters in TV commercials. The problem with that story was that it was completely false, put out by a hoaxster that Inae fell for, just like she fell for Leathers desire for anonymity.
As for Weiner himself, on a personal level, what he did in terms of right and wrong is between him and his wife. On a public level being open about who he was in a forum like that and having sexually explicit chats was stupid given his public notoriety. But as for the actual conduct, what Weiner did was nothing more than what about a hundred million people or more around the world do at least once a week in as many different languages as there are at the UN. On a scale of wrong doing by politicians, it might be the equivalent of double parking.
Whatever one wants to think of Weiner, he didn't cheat on his wife with prostitutes provided by the Washington D.C. Madam as did Republican conservative Louisiana senator David Vitter who is still on the job and for reasons that probably have more to do with journalistic economics and cowardice in terms of who they are willing to gang up on more than morality, he was given a pass. The same is true for Democrats who threw Weiner over the side and forced his resignation even though his constitutents wanted him to stay, while Republicans did no such thing with Vitter. Pelosi and the Democrats were paid back for their political cowardice and lack of integrity when, in a special election Weiner's seat went to a Republican for the first time in more than one hundred years.Which is ironic because the only Democrat in the House who was able and willing to stand up against Republican attacks was Wiener. It was attacks from Democrats that did him in,
Weiner deserves to be criticized for being reckless and naive but the rest is between him and his wife. Since he is married, that is something for the two of them to deal with since if your going to do those things while part of a couple, its usually better to either tell your partner what you're doing, or, if you don't think your partner won't like it very much, then just don't do it. But again, all that is between Weiner and his wife not Weiner and Jarrold Nadler, a Democratic NY congressman who offered his worthless and unqualified medical opinion about Weiner's activity but had nothing especially tough to say about David Vitter at the time his indiscretions with the DC Madam were exposed.
Yes, Weiner should've known better given his high profile as both a congressman and mayoral candidate, especially given how the news media drools over themselves over anything related to a politician and sex. And its starting to look like his candidacy, even when the infantilism of the news media and bellowing of a few self serving politicians blows over, doesn't have much of a chance of succeeding. Which is too bad given his political history and willingness to fight for a position he believes in which is more than the journalists moralizing about him will ever do.
Weiner, as a politician has always been willing to stick his neck out. He should have kept it to his neck.
Now his chances of winning the Democratic primary for mayor are about as good as Sydney Leathers chances of being a hot ticket. Or Inae Oh's chances of being a credible journalist. But at least when Sydney Leathers decided to cash in she didn't just expose herself and Weiner. She exposed a lot of other people who needed to be exposed too.