Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Weiners

We've already seen far too much of Congressman Anthony Weiner and have left it to the rest of the world to make mountains out of his mole hill.  For us, it has been a predictable non-story from the beginning, not requiring too much imagination to know what was really going on:
Weiner: "I didn't do it."
Us: "Yes you did."
Weiner:  "I won't resign."
Us: "Yes you will."
Weiner: "I am so sorry."
Us: "Yes you are."
As we were waiting patiently for the scandal du jour to dry up and blow away, we couldn't help noticing the vas deferens vastly different treatment this story got from the left and right rings of the political circus.

Here is The Huffington Post synopsis of the scandal:
Weiner, who mistakenly tweeted a photo of his underwear-clad erection last month and then lied to cover it up, has been under escalating pressure to quit as one embarrassing revelation after another came to light.
HuffPo seems to have swallowed Weiner's story that it was all a big mistake and that he Tweeted the troublesome image that set this whole thing off by mistake.  Come on Adrianna (actually the author was Michael McAuliff, but we know who runs the show), isn't there some reason why we should approach the congressman's explanation with just a smidgen of skepticism?  Aren't days of bad, but persistent lying about his involvement enough to cause you to raise a little journalistic brow?

On the same day, Fox News summarized it this way:
For three weeks now, Weiner has been embroiled in a scandal over lewd pictures and messages that he sent to at least six women on Twitter and Facebook over three years. 
True to form, Fox News did their thing with typical cynical transparency.  Let's break it down:
"For three weeks now..."  Translation: "This has been going on a long time."
"...embroiled in a scandal..."  Translation: "It is a scandal, and it is hot hot hot!"
"...lewd..."  Translation: "It is okay to use pejorative langauge in a news story if you really aren't a news organization."
" least six women..."  Translation: "We think that there are a lot more, or at least we hope so."
"... over three years."  Translation:  "Did we mention that this thing has been going on a long time?"
Famous for our centrism and a viciously independent voting record, we are often entertained by the contortions some media outlets achieve to spin their stories.  But it got even better when we noticed that even the web addresses for each story toed the line of their respective publisher's editorial agenda:


-- Translation: "The Congressman has decided to leave the House of Representatives."


-- Translation: "He's getting the boot booooy, and don't forget he is a Democrat!"

Clearly, both organizations are terrible card players and tip their hands constantly while giving lip-service in the back seat to the notion that their reportage contains a respectable level of journalistic objectivity.  

As the 2012 American presidential election nears, we look forward to watching these two media predicticats adopt ever more painfully tortured contortions.

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