Open Phones: Weiner's Constituents

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A NY-1/Marist poll shows that 51% of New York City voters think Anthony Weiner should not resign; 56% think he should not run for mayor in 2013; and 61% think that his online behavior is unethical but not illegal. What do you think? Are you a voter in Weiner's district? If you supported him, would you vote for him again? How do you assess his behavior, his political capital, and his professional future?

Comments [25]

Richard Levy from Manhattan

Here's Alec Baldwin's comment:

Jun. 10 2011 10:17 AM
Ilze Earner

Wow - I did not know I lived in a congressional district with so many people who have NEVER done anything wrong, stupid or behaved badly. I think I will have to move! Anthony Weiner's congressional record speaks for itself - he's done a terrific job and I am proud of that. Did he behave badly - yes; did he learn a lesson, I hope so. Am I disappointed, yes; do I want to chop his weiner off, no.

And Brian - where on earth do you find those old war horse feminists to trot out their tired moralistic comments about protecting 'young impressionable girls' (in their twenties???!!!!!). I experienced such radio rage yesterday driving down the FDR I nearly got into an accident! What do you want to bet those young women were ROARING laughing while sexting that geek? That's power - its dumb sexual power, but its still power. If so many feminists stopped being such puritans about sex maybe just maybe young women would stop rolling their eyes and begin to understand and ask for REAL power.

Jun. 09 2011 09:51 AM
LCruz from brooklyn

Weiner is pathological liar and must resign...
this is not about his political views, is about his character.

Jun. 08 2011 03:58 PM
mgduke from nyc

It’s astonishing to read many of the comments in this thread, to find people who want to express support for Weiner and to continue to be represented by someone so sleazy, incompetent, and sociopathically dishonest.

It would be interesting to know--wonder why Lehrer didn’t ask--what issue(s) they find so to be of such over-riding importance as to make them happy to swallow all the crap. It can hardly be any domestic policy accomplishments, after all, how many people (besides the congressman himself) are so passionate about getting more visas for hot young foreign models to come work in NYC?

Lehrer seems to have set up this segment, like the preceding one, to try to help and protect Weiner. Given that Lehrer does not seem at all like a sleaze himself, and certainly can’t like Weiner’s anti-bike, anti-sane-transportation-alternative positions, it would be nice to hear from him why he is slanting the coverage.

Jun. 08 2011 03:36 PM

T. Watchman wrote:

" If this was done by Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin, Brian would be telling us a different story of how they are public figures, they are leaders, they betrayed the trust of American people, etc."

I myself am a sharp critic of Lehrer, but I think T. Watchman is wrong here. Brian is ultimately non-judgmental - what he tries to do - and mostly succeeds at - is to ask questions fairly of both sides. If nothing else, I think he sometimes overcompensates in trying to give tge right the benefit of the doubt.

Having said that, I, like many Democrats, never held Mark Sanford's (R) infidelities against him. A person's private sexual life is no one's business, provided no one is being harmed. After watching Mrs. Sanford's Medea-like reaction to revelations of the affair, I thought Sanford could be excused, or even cheered, for falling in love with a less violently ambitious, less sanguinary, better-read and more thoughtful woman in Argentina.
I refuse to judge Congressman Weiner's behavior with less empathy.

Jun. 08 2011 01:08 PM

Weiner has to resign. His continued presence in the House will be an albatross around the neck of the Dem party. He's a degenerate and he needs to get psychiatric help. There are plenty of capable liberals who can replace him.

Jun. 08 2011 12:19 PM
T. Watchman from New Jersey

Typical but sad how Brian attempted to reduce the impact of Weiner's immoral actions by referring to the scandal as a matter for his family and constituency, etc. If this was done by Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin, Brian would be telling us a different story of how they are public figures, they are leaders, they betrayed the trust of American people, etc. Since Weiner is liberal, all the king's horses including Brian Lehrer Show have depolyed to protect him while also covering the story.

Jun. 08 2011 11:46 AM
Avi from Brooklyn

I'm a Weiner constituent and voter. I'll vote for him again if I have the chance. His views represent mine almost perfectly, but more important, he is the most responsive politician who represents me, his constituent services are head and shoulders above anyone else's, and this has applied in cases where the matter would not effect large, vocal groups of constituents. Furthermore, unlike others, I've never caught him flip-flopping on the issues. That's more important to me than a lie about his personal life.

Jun. 08 2011 11:12 AM

Brian's Houdini comment was a subtle and beautiful coda to this sorry media festival of Roger Chillingworthisms.

I support Anthony Weiner. If he is forced to quit, I will never forgive the useless, spineless Democratic Party.

Jun. 08 2011 11:08 AM
jake brandspigel from astoria, ny

Weiner is a jerk, like many politicians. He's also anti bike lane/ alternative transportation expansion. I won't vote for him.

Jun. 08 2011 11:06 AM

politicians: don't answer questions about your private life anymore

Jun. 08 2011 11:01 AM
Richard from Brooklyn

Given what we know, I would vote for Mr. Weiner, but there's a more important issue here. Last week, Congressman Gary Ackerman introduced a bill that would allowFred Wilpon and Saul Katz to keep the profits they made at the expense of Bernard Madoff's victims. Citifield sits in the middle of Mr. Ackerman's district and the Wilpons regularly contribute to his campaign. The news coverage of this event amounted to a single, short story in each of New York's major papers, yet it underscores how the wealthy are able to exert political influence beyond the reach of most people. Influence-peddling of this sort can exert a far greater impact on our lives than this soap opera in which Mr. Weiner has entangled himself. Yet, the media pays scant attention to the Ackerman proposal, while devoting what seems like miles of copy to this affair. This is a relatively unimportant event, but the media has raised it to the level of a national headline, while continuing to ignore events that have far greater meaning. It's just another sign that the mainstream media no longer serves as watchdog for the public. It's too busy acting as a court jester, providing mindless entertainment that distracts us from more pressing issues.

Jun. 08 2011 11:01 AM
Sabrina from Brooklyn

I think the reason so many male callers are phoning in is because this is a sensitive topic for them. For the most part, men are encouraged and encourage each other to have this type of relationship with women, and it is fueled by power. Weiner's case just brings up the issue that it is socially acceptable for power hungry men to use women sexually to bolster their self-image. Men are calling in because they know this is wrong 'socially' and are conflicted by their want to do it. Weiner did, and so the men calling are being defensive about their social right to misogyny.

Jun. 08 2011 10:54 AM
amanda from bln

My understanding is that he had hundreds of messages to that one woman. This would mean hundreds more from the other 6. Is he doing all of this on his time? I find that hard to believe, given he has a wife at home. I like his politics, but if you must be sexting on my dime, it is time to go.

Jun. 08 2011 10:50 AM
Lynn from Manhattan

I think we need to decide what the age of consent is - young women have the right to make mistakes, get hurt, etc. etc. and get over it. There is power in all relationships. It's OK to ban certain relationships as condition of a job - like professors not being allowed to date their students. But then let it go. If young women are susceptible to it more than anyone else, then we need to do something different in raising our daughters, but then let them make their mistakes and go on.

Jun. 08 2011 10:50 AM
Abe from Oceanside

Anthony Wiener is replaying the Samson and Delilah(s) story. It's the classic story of a strong fighter for his people who is led astray by his baser desires. (I thought of yelling "Samson and Delilah!" at him when I spotted him at last year's Israel parade, but I don't have the lung power. ) He loses his power because of his proclivity. I can only hope that Mr. Wiener at least manages to take down a house full of Philistines in his final act.

Jun. 08 2011 10:49 AM
Robert from NYC

If the woman or even the man approached by the "predator" then that person should just immediately put his/her foot down really hard and say stop this, it's harassment, I'm not interested and if you don't stop bothering me I will take whatever action necessary to stop it!!

Jun. 08 2011 10:46 AM
Robert from NYC

So he lied. He was scared and lied like most of us either have done so or would so do and like all before him have. Think Vitter. He should stay and let his voters decide. He's a good congressman and fights for what most of us causes we all believe in. He got caught in an embarrassing situation and did what most of us would do initially and unprepared. He got his sh** together and told us the story. If he did something illegal than he should pay the consequences if not he's paying with the shame he feels and should feel.

Jun. 08 2011 10:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Mr. Weiner if your constituents don't want you come to our district 14.

Jun. 08 2011 10:31 AM
Elizabeth from NYC

Was it predatory? Were there minors involved? If not, let it go. As Donna from Brooklyn mentioned, there's an election within 2 years. I like his stance on politics.

Jun. 08 2011 10:30 AM
Matt from NYC

I like Mr. Weiner but he should go although the offense is slight albeit extremely stupid. If he stays I think it will set a bad precedent of politicians staying for inexcusable behavior. While the very careful culture we leave in renders so many of our public officials insipid and monotonous I don't think we can afford to allow our politicians to be more irreverent and cynical than they already are.

Jun. 08 2011 10:27 AM
n murray from 10012

NO - not another 45 minutes on Weiner's twitters. I am tuning my radio to QXR.
The choice of this topic reflects a lack of "a broad inquiring spirit" that NPR and WNYC has increasingly exhibited - a very distressing direction !
What about the Senate and the Debit Card fees?
What about introducing the location of Yemen?

Jun. 08 2011 10:20 AM

polls say he should stay
move on

Jun. 08 2011 10:19 AM
donna from brooklyn

i strongly believe he should not resign. this political party pressure is ridiculous and should be resisted all around. (chris lee should not have resigned either.) he was elected by his constituents, he is doing his job well and his constituents will have the opportunity to decide soon enough whether they want him to continue. congressmen are elected every two years for goodness' sake! special elections are expensive; appointees are undemocratic. better a flawed but elected representative than an unelected representative.

Jun. 08 2011 10:17 AM
Judith from Brooklyn

I live in Weiner's district. If it is just a half dozen inappropriate texts or phone calls, I would definitely vote for him again. Some of the smartest people have very limited social skills so I don't subscribe to the theory that someone who botches up his personal life can't be trusted to govern. But how can we tell at this early date whether we would vote for him again or not when the whole story isn't yet out.

Jun. 08 2011 10:08 AM

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