Remember that nearly 8,300-word paean to Anthony Weiner in the New York Times Magazine last April in which they tried to present him as a changed man?
Of course, now Weiner has confessed he continued his practice of flirting with strangers long after his sexting episodes came to light and he apologized, then resigned. In July of 2012, he was still pursuing cybersex with a 22 year-old girl.
So, let’s take a trip through the lollipops and gumdrops of the New York Times puff piece in search of some laughs:
The Times, tearfully: “This is what happens after a scandal: Ranks are closed and the world shrinks to a tiny dot. It is a life in retreat.”
The Times, breathlessly: “Could anyone survive such an ignominious end to a Congressional career? Much less someone whose attack-dog tendencies made him so many enemies? The two of them had seemed to be a power couple on the cusp of a Clintonian rise. Now what?”
Weiner: “We have been in a defensive crouch for so long. We are ready to clear the decks on this thing.”
Oh, it wasn’t a whole series of sexting problems, according to Weiner. The Times wrote:
So they have agreed to talk — and talk and talk — for the first time about what happened and why and what it looks like from the inside when your world comes crashing down because of, as Weiner puts it, “one fateful Tweet.”
And then there was the Times dig at the late Andrew Breitbart:
“I’ve never been on Twitter,” Abedin says. “I couldn’t tell you the first thing about how it works. And Anthony had told me in the past that there were these sort of trolls on the Internet who were trying to damage him, take him down. And so, that’s the mind-set I came with to this conversation.” It wasn’t such an implausible theory; after all, it was the not entirely reputable right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart who broke the story.
After claiming he lied to Abedin about the sexting, Weiner said:
“Listen, I can’t… I don’t want to lie… I just didn’t want to lie anymore to her.” Here, his voice cracks and tears well up in his eyes. “I have a choppy memory of it, but she was devastated. She immediately said, ‘Well you’ve got to stop lying to everyone else too.'”
That obviously didn’t last long.
How about the Times quoting Jon Stewart, saying:
… you never expect the person you know to be the guy on TV in the middle of the quagmire, but it didn’t surprise me in that we’re all human. So it’s not like, “My God, I can’t believe the depravity!” First of all, in terms of these types of scandals, the depravity was on a very low scale.
“I love Huma a great deal. I live with a lot of guilt about what I put her through. She’s this amazing woman who did nothing wrong, who, to some degree, has people staring at her now on the subway because of what an idiot her husband was. And I feel bad about that. A lot… It’s not behind us. It kind of bubbles around and comes up in different ways. But she’s, um…” Here, he paused and took a deep breath and started to cry. “She’s given…” He stopped again, could barely get the words out. “She’s given me another chance. And I am very grateful for that. And I’m trying to make sure I get it right.”
Deeply moving stuff.
Weiner’s brother Jason: “No one has been harder on him than he has been on himself.”
He seemed to be in a particularly good mood, going on unbidden about how so many of his acquaintances couldn’t quite get their minds around the new Weiner. “Some people just don’t buy it,” he said.
“Also, I want to ask people to give me a second chance. I do want to have that conversation with people whom I let down and with people who put their faith in me and who wanted to support me. I think to some degree I do want to say to them, ‘Give me another chance.'”
In his Tuesday press conference, Weiner asked New Yorkers a second time for “another chance.”