NewsBusters Thinks "Weinergate" Not Getting Enough Attention?

Congressman Anthony Weiner
A straw man argument is when you make up a false or tangential argument, disprove it, and then pretend like you made some sort of point. I suppose a lot of political writers--left and right--use straw man arguments, probably often without realizing they're doing it. But it really seems to be NewsBusters' bread and butter. 

The sad saga of Anthony Weiner's "Weinergate" (un-) sex scandal has been wall-to-wall on talk radio and cable news. I've heard snippets from the right-wing squad, some from the mainstream, and quite a bit from left-leaning media, since that is my interest (plus FOX "News" is all but banned in my house!). The story is getting almost universal finger-wagging at Congressman Weiner, a lot of tsk-tsking, and a lot of intentional and unintentional double entendres. One thing it isn't, is under- or downplayed. It's everywhere.

And even in ordinarily friendly territory (Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, even Weiner's friend Jon Stewart), Weiner has been roasted. Rachel put him on a sex-scandal-o-meter. She grouchily mentioned he'd lied to her face. Ed Schultz has called for Weiner to resign. Randi commented that he's a man, and that practically all men by now have sexted/texted/online-videoed, and she's probably right. But she was pissed that he lied, and quite unhappy with the whole situation. Nobody defended Weiner, other than to put his scandal into perspective, namely:

- Weiner was never a holier-than-thou, my morals are better than your morals crusader.
- Weiner didn't apparently have any actual sex.
- Compared to Ahnuld's 10-year "secret" and John Edwards' love child, this is pretty mild stuff.
- Online sexcapades are fairly common these days, sometimes even tolerated within relationships.
- In the future, the chances that any political hopeful has a nekkid pic somewhere are huge.
- Yes, Weiner lied. Having secretive sexual hijinks usually involves lying, particularly when busted and embarrassed. It's unfortunate, and it pissed me off too. As a politician, however, Weiner does not have a track record of being dishonest. I put this exactly in the category of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," which never bothered me like it bothered Republicans.

But to say they've been "soft" (ahem) on him, or trying to sweep this story under the rug is just so not true. It's been practically the only subject on liberal talk radio, MSNBC, and--yes I worked some right-wing world in--The Wall Street Journal Daily Wrap radio show. For two days, in addition to a large chunk of the previous week. NewsBusters must start with a headline, and work from there.


Bozell Column: Media Go Leaner on Weiner

Last July, ABC and NBC highlighted a temper tantrum from Rep. Anthony Weiner, alleging on the House floor that the Republicans were denying health care to the heroes of 9/11. To Diane Sawyer, Weiner spoke for all of America: “Every now and then, someone seems to express the nation's frustration with the endless wrangling and delay in Congress. . .”

Read more (if you must) at: NewsBusters