The past few weeks of reality-tv journalism coming out of Canada involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has certainly been captivating. Late night comics, especially Jon Stewart, are caught up in one of those rare situations wherein the jokes seemingly write themselves. One of those punchlines was the news that Ford’s approval rating ticked upwards by five points after he announced that he had indeed smoked crack cocaine possibly during a “drunken stupor.”
According to a report from The Toronto Star, the president of the polling agency said the uptick “could be a sampling, margin-of-error thing, or it could be just some sympathy.” Although, I would speculate that it might something more than that.
Consider the politician who had a similar sort of moral meltdown, former Congressman and New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. Like Ford, there was hard evidence of Weiner’s misdeeds and in spite of it he persisted in the public eye. Also like Ford, Weiner was aggressive in the face these accusations, and denied them repeatedly before admitting them. Yet where Weiner and Ford diverge is in the tone of their admissions and apologies.
Ford has been almost comedically blunt in the way in which he addresses both the press and his political opponents. Whereas Weiner’s admissions and policies were stiff, practiced statements full of political double-talk and with so much spin he could have taken orbit. The fact that Ford faced up to his mistake as unapologetically did resonates with people. As Lady Gaga put it after hosting Saturday Night Live, “at least he’s honest.” President George W. Bush was similarly unapologetic during his stint in office—though his alleged cocaine-abusing days were well behind him—and while his approval numbers fell, his supporters remained steadfast and loyal.
However, also worth considering is if politicians like Ford and Weiner are addicts hungry for political power or dedicated public servants who do their jobs well in spite of their tendencies for excess? Most of the reports about Mayor Ford’s tenure as a fiscal conservative are favorable. In a Washington Post article a former Ford opponent says, “What’s really maddening for me as a taxpayer is that he really is good at saving people money.”
Perhaps if the electorate (and the news media) were less judgmental about these kind of moral errors in judgment, the quality of potential leaders we’d have to choose from would increase. Friday, we remember the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a man who would have never been able to stand up to the modern-day media scrutiny. The press corps in the 1960s knew full well that President Kennedy had a weakness for women; they simply chose not to report it. It wasn’t seen as anyone’s business.
I am not suggesting that we turn a completely blind eye to the moral character of our elected officials. In fact, I am suggesting the opposite. Affairs, struggles with addiction, or even illness are private matters and there is no clear line about when and if they matter with respect to an elected official’s ability to do his or her job. However, by resisting a knee-jerk mentality these scandals need not be political death-sentences. Otherwise, we risk only attracting sadists or automatons to the hyper-scrutiny we demand of those who choose to run for elected office.
What happens when you get an egomaniacal airhead whose declining ratings resulted in his network bumping his show to a different timeslot and an egomaniacal pervert who prioritizes his own ambitions above the reputation and dignity of his wife in one room? Viewers found out the answer to that question during a cringeworthy, stupid interview on Wednesday night.
For reasons unknown, Sean Hannity invited serial sexter and failed NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to be his guest last night. The interview opened with Hannity pressing Weiner about his sex scandal, a topic that that everyone stopped giving a you-know-what about months ago. Weiner replied that he’s there to talk about the issues, not his personal life – conveniently side-stepping the fact that his opinion ‘on the issues’ doesn’t matter anymore.
Almost immediately, the interview took a turn for the chaotic with Hannity accusing Weiner of angling for an MSNBC gig, and Weiner accusing Hannity of only having ‘patsies’ on his show. Both accusations are true, by the way.
You can view this entire trainwreck from start to finish in the video below.
The 2013 New York primaries probably would have received more national attention on Tuesday night had it not been for President Barack Obama’s address on Syria. Despite that, given all of the tabloid-esque coverage that had been devoted to following around disgraced former governor, Eliot Spitzer, and disgraced former congressman, Anthony Weiner, in the lead up, yesterday’s spectacle still got a considerable amount of fanfare on the various news networks.
Putting aside the egomaniacal nymphos who turned the election into a circus, the biggest storylines from Tuesday night are as follows:
- Bill de Blasio getting the nod from voters by such an overwhelming margin speaks to how much Democrats wanted an anti-Bloomberg candidate. This shouldn’t be seen as anything other than what it is: Liberals rebuking everything the current mayor stands for.
- Christine Quinn’s collapse is far more embarrassing than Anthony Weiner’s. Everyone knew that Weiner’s campaign was a joke from the very beginning. Quinn, on the other hand, was supposed to pick up from where Bloomberg left off. Unfortunately, that proved to be her undoing.
- John Catsimatidis won’t be the next mayor of New York, but he’s still an amazingly entertaining character. Put him and Weiner together in a buddy cop show, pronto.
Check out the results from Tuesday’s election below.
Bill de Blasio 40.2 %
William Thompson 26 %
Christine Quinn 15.5 %
John Liu 7 %
Anthony Weiner 4.9 %
Joe Lhota 52.6 %
John Catsimatidis 40.6 %
George McDonald 6.8 %
Scott Stringer 52.2 %
Eliot Spitzer 47.8 %
Anyone who thought Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign had nowhere to go but up was sorely mistaken. The shamed candidate got into a heated argument with a voter in Boro Park, Brooklyn on Wednesday, essentially melting down in an angry confrontation.
The verbal battle began when an Orthodox Jewish man called Weiner a “scumbag” as he was walking out of a bakery. A blogger named Jacob Kornbluh was on the scene, and recorded the event.
Upon receiving the insult, Weiner responded, “Takes one to know one, jackass. What’s that? You wait till I walk out to say anything — that’s courage.”
The man took the bait, walked back into the bakery to confront Weiner face to face and said, “You have the nerve to even walk around in public? You’re disgusting.”
Weiner replied, “You’re my judge? What rabbi taught you that you’re my judge?”
The man came back, “You talk to God and work out your problems, but stay out of the public eye. You’re a bad example for the people ... Your behavior’s deviant; it’s not normal behavior.”
The back-and-forth continued for almost two minutes before Weiner finally left the building. Explaining the incident to the press, he boasted, “I don’t back down.”
That statement could explain much of Weiner’s campaign strategy, as the candidate has decided to tough it out through the race despite revelations of numerous “sexting” incidents. While his poll numbers have plummeted to a distant fourth, Weiner has vowed not to drop out, despite public scorn.
On Tuesday, Weiner participated in the final mayoral debate until the Democratic primary on Sept. 10. Although he was polite for much of the discussion, his machismo came out briefly when he said “I took Peter King and beat him like a rented mule.”
Ed. Note: As noted by Gawker, the man appears to have said “You’re married to an Arab.” Check it out for yourselves.
An adult industry performer tested positive for HIV earlier this week, sending shockwaves through the porn community and ceasing production on many projects.
Cameron Bay has appeared in adult films since 2010 under various names and shot her most recent sex scene with Xander Corvus — the man who starred as Anthony Weiner in Sydney Leathers' just released porn debut "Weiner and Me." Bay tested positive for HIV on Tuesday and will soon have an additional test to confirm the result. She last received a clean bill of health on July 27.
After that test, she appeared in a scene with Corvus for the notoriously brutal Kink.com series “Public Disgrace.” She sustained an injury on the set and has not performed in anything else since.
"When I got the call, I was obviously extremely distraught and in disbelief because there's no way that it's possible in my eyes," Bay said. "I don't sleep around, I don't do anything crazy, and I keep track of the people that I've worked with."
She continued, "If it is [positive] I will of course do everything I can to spread awareness and take care of myself and do the things that are necessary or in my power to do. But it is unconfirmed. They're doing more tests, and when I spoke with the doctor, I asked him, 'Is it absolutely, positively HIV?' and he said, 'No, there's a possibility it's not, because there's no such thing as an actual HIV test, they just search for the antibodies that they associate with HIV.'"
Leathers said both she and Corvus received “healthy” test results prior to shooting their scene, Gawker reported. Leathers is best well-known for “sexting” with NYC mayoral hopeful Weiner.
Weiner TV Ad Says ‘Powerful Voices’ Are Against Campaign, Two-Thirds of New Yorkers Say It Embarrasses Them (Video)
In his first television ad for his mayoral campaign, Anthony Weiner claims “powerful voices” have been against his campaign from the start. A new poll from Sienna College, however, found that 62 percent of New York City voters find Weiner’s campaign – and Eliot Spitzer’s campaign for city controller – embarrassing.
The Sienna poll found 80 percent of New Yorker’s disapprove of Weiner.
"Look, powerful voices have made it clear from the very beginning that they didn't want me to win,” Weiner says in the ad. “But this isn't about what they want. They've gotten their way for far too long. If you give me the chance, I will fight for you and your family every single day."
The recent discovery of a second sexting scandal – one that occurred since Weiner’s resignation as a Representative two years ago – had a strong impact on his campaign funding, the Daily News reported.
The 30-second spot is meant to make the most of what money he has left, about $6 million.
Originally a frontrunner, Weiner is now the fourth place contender for the democratic nomination for mayor.
New York City Mayoral hopeful, Anthony Weiner, or perhaps more commonly known as ‘Carlos Danger,’ has proposed some rather interesting ideas for city laws. It is unclear, however, if any of these ideas will be given serious consideration after the campaign scandals that have clouded the Weiner campaign.
One of the more controversial and dramatic proposals is his suggestion to equip beat police officers with video cameras. This, Weiner argues, serves as protection both for and against police officers.
It protects civilians from police brutality and police from false accusations. Weiner points to the success of the law implemented in Rialto, California where use of force dropped by 60% and complaints against officers dropped by 88% when only half the officers were wearing cameras. On the opposing side, however, video coverage may compromise police operations; it may prove expensive, or inconvenient. Furthermore, civilians may find this surveillance an undue obtrusion into their personal privacy.
The proposal has attracted some attention not only for its unconventionality but also for its irony. Of all people to propose greater surveillance and to fend off public concerns over personal privacy, it is highly ironic that Anthony Weiner should be that man. Not to mention Mr. Weiner’s experience with cameras and ‘photography.’
Weiner proposed other interesting laws in a pamphlet entitled, “Keys to the City,” and a subsequent pamphlet, “Even More Keys to the City.” Weiner suggested removing the income tax from those receiving an income of less than $40,000 a year. He also recommends freeing up 100,000 more parking spaces by decreasing the non parking space around fire hydrants from 15 feet to ten.
Sources: New York Magazine,
In one of the more memorable rants in recent political history, a top aide to sexting-scandal-plagued New York mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner, unleashed a potty-mouthed tirade against a former intern who had published a tell-all article about Weiner’s dysfunctional campaign.
Speaking to the blog "Talking Points Memo," in a conversation she now claims was intended to be off-the-record, Weiner’s Communcations Director Barbara Morgan described ex-campaign intern Olivia Nuzzi as a “slutbag,” and a “twat,” also employing an even-less-polite term for the female anatomy in her characterization of her erstwhile underling. Morgan also asserted that Nuzzi “sucked” at her job. Morgan said she had attempted to fire Nuzzi but was persuaded to give the intern a “second chance” when Nuzzi “begged” her.
Weiner resigned his congressional seat after admitting in 2011 that he sent sexually explicit pictures of himself to women he met online. His mayoral campaign took a major hit when it was revealed recently that he continued to send digital photographs of his penis to young women online even after his resignation when he told the public he had stopped.
The source of Morgan’s ire was a New York Daily News article under Nuzzi’s byline in which Nuzzi claimed that Weiner would refer to female interns incorrectly as “Monica” while paying staffers considerabley less than the salaries they had been promised. The article was accompanied by a photograph of the blonde, pouty-lipped Nuzzi, which prompted Morgan to sneer, “Nice f---ing glamor shot ... see if you ever get a job in this town again.”
On Tuesday evening, Morgan issued a statement apologizing for her “inappropriate language” and saying that she had telephoned Nuzzi to apologize. Morgan also said in the statement that she had believed her conversation with Talking Points Memo, whose reporter called Morgan to ask about an unrelated subject, was off the record.
Even as his campaign falls apart around him, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner continues to evade questions about whether he is still sexting women. During an interview with the New York Daily News on Monday night, Weiner was asked a direct question about whether he was still sending dirty messages to women online.
This is the exact Q&A, according to The Daily Caller:
Q: There is no one you are sexting now?
A: You can quibble about beginnings, middles and ends but what we’re talking about is over a year ago.
Weiner, 48, added there still could be more dirt to come out.
“I have no idea," Weiner said. "These are people who I thought were friends, people I trusted when I communicated with them. But who knows what they might do now. But none of it is new. It’s all old stuff.”
Despite a surprising early lead, Weiner has fallen sharply in the polls since new revelations about his sexting habits became public. He has said that he will stay in the race despite calls from other Democratic candidates to drop out.
The former congressman also addressed allegations that he had hired a private investigator to look into various parts of his situation.
“After I’d left Congress, after I had admitted I had sent the texts, we needed to hire lawyers," he said. "We needed to hire other professionals to gather up information. Remember, the House speaker had initiated an Ethics Committee investigation. We needed to secure all our hard drives and everything else.”
Weiner said his lawyers were responsible for hiring the private investigator.
Out on the campaign trail, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner traveled to Staten Island Friday to meet with victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The mayoral hopeful is eager to place something else in the spotlight after new allegations of sexting emerged last week, but retired school teacher Peg Brunda was not having it.
Weiner toured the destroyed, beachfront home of Joseph Cardinale. Neighbors also shared their harrowing Sandy stories.
“One of the reasons why we’re here today is that I knew that now, you’re gonna come with me. And you should see this,” Weiner told a hoard of reporters who followed him around. “There is this notion because the cameras had left, because some of the headlines changed, that the problem was solved. But for many, many people, they are still dealing with the challenge.”
When asked if homeowner Cardinale would vote for Weiner, he said he did not know who he would support for mayor.
Brunda did not warm up to Weiner either. She was a school teacher for 21 years and an assistant principal for nine.
“I don’t quite understand how you would feel you’d have the moral authority, as the head administrator in this city, to oversee employees, when your standard of conduct is so much lower than the standard of conduct that is expected of us,” Brunda said.
Weiner asked if she would vote for him and she refused.
“I want to let your neighbors make their decisions for themselves,” Weiner said.
Staten Islander Fran Lagana said she could not vote for Weiner either.
“Any political entity, we should be able to look up to them,” Lagana told the NY Daily News.