Is Anthony Weiner Running, For Real?

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Former Congressman Anthony Weiner says he’s interested in running for New York City mayor, two years after a Twitter sex scandal derailed his career. Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, granted an extensive interview to The New York Times Magazine, and swam right back into the political waters this week.

Weiner’s Times interview was his most extensive since he resigned. But he’s been testing the media waters since last spring, appearing on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show to talk about health care, and appeared in the page of People magazine to show off his baby boy.

“I do think that people are willing to forgive in these sex scandals,” said WNYC Metro Editor Andrea Bernstein. “There was no criminal activity, there was no corruption...and even in New York, those things can be forgiven.”

The timing of the latest media roll out may not be a coincidence. In order to cash in on $1.4 million in public matching funds, Weiner must declare candidacy by June 10. But as the media reports on the gripping story of a fallen public figure in search of redemption, it also plays a role in that redemption, wittingly or not.

Bob Garfield, co-host of NPR’s On the Media, said it’s a symbiotic relationship.

“The media loves a story about the shamed politician seeking redemption, and the politician needs that story told,” he said. “It’s a magnificent ecosystem.”

To listen to Host Richard Hake’s full conversation with Andrea Bernstein and Bob Garfield, click on the audio above.