I was going to say it’s getting so only priests can run for public office these days. Then I remembered, they may be the last people who should run for office.
In any case, Anthony Weiner brought Weinergate to a bizarre, um, climax today, giving the press what it had been dreaming of: an admission he flirted online with girls, supplemented with spicy photos. God help America.
It has to be said, considering that these days everything everybody does eventually ends up on the internet, and that in the case of politicians, especially fighters such as Weiner, hackers, snoopers and spies will be getting into your business on a daily basis, hoping to embarrass you or to wreck your career, doing what Weiner did was somewhere between risky and stupid.
Still, as far as we know now, Weiner’s fun was confined to merely playing online, and the congressman was not attempting any hook-ups in the “real” world. And no one Weiner was fooling around with on Twitter or Facebook, at least so far, has complained they were in any way upset or not consensually playing too.
However, what was scandalous was the buffoonish behavior of the press corps at the Weiner press conference this afternoon. Who the hell were those people? If we could have gotten them that worked up when Bush administration officials were lying daily through their teeth about the reasons for the Iraq invasion, we could have saved ourselves a trillion dollars or so and several hundred thousand lives.
Members of the peanut gallery asked Weiner a couple of thousand times where his wife was right at that very moment, as though they wouldn’t be satisfied until he told them she had hanged herself. They sounded as astonished and bloodthirsty as a mob of Puritans who had cornered themselves a witch.
I suppose expecting the press to show the proper amount of interest in the right things, or perspective or poise, is like asking jellyfish to eat with a knife and fork. Let’s put it this way: there was a lot more than one wiener in that room.