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Is Anthony Weiner Running, For Real?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WNYC
Anthony Weiner (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

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. 

Guests:

Andrea Bernstein and Bob Garfield

Hosted by:

Richard Hake

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Comments [3]

Anthony, PLEASE run!!

Also, I'll second TFM, below.

Like yo' mama used ta tell you, "Other folks sex business ain't NONE of yo' damn business!!"

Apr. 10 2013 10:39 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Bob Garfield inveighing on "what kind of Faustian bargain Huma Abadin had to make" to "let" Weiner consider running was nothing short of ignorant. Stop the comparisons to Hillary, and consider that each couple has a strong relationship with supportive spouses; given that, why does some kind of "bargain" need to be struck?

It's immature and insulting speculation, and Garfield should be above it. But he's part of the aging part of the population who clutch their pearls over others' "behavior," often much ado about nothing. The fact that your summary, above, and Andrea Bernstein refer to a clothed photo-sharing misstep (with a willing recipient, no less) as a "sex scandal" just reduces WNYC and NPR to FOX-level scandal-chasing. Bravo! But not why so many of us make contributions to your upkeep annually.

It would be more revealing to speak to Mr. Weiner's past and potential constituents (and not someone from Keokuk, Iowa), rather than projecting some kind of scrutiny that doesn't exist. Otherwise, stick to the media road you know best, Bob--because your "observations" about the motivations within others' relationships don't make for good listening.

Apr. 10 2013 06:58 PM
DT from Manhattan

Well, OF COURSE he'll throw his hat in: why wouldn't he if it's worth $1.5 million? What I don't get is why your media commentators are so high on Weiner and seem sure the public is just fine with him now. After all, their line goes, his victimless actions didn't break any laws, and anyway people love a comeback story. Let's be honest: Weiner did cause serious damage: his reckless behavior led to a scandal that cost Democrats that Congressional seat. Now his image consultants dress up a picture of his personal life as back in order, and put it on display wherever possible. But so what? No, the public doesn't love these stories. We're bone tired of these hang-dog, "I-used-bad-judgement" tales, especially when they're as transparently self-serving as this one.

Apr. 10 2013 06:56 PM

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