After a salacious gossip site (not the mainstream media) broke the news that disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner had been sexting with Sydney Leathers, a 23-year-old Democrat operative from Indiana, everything changed. Not just with the fate of Weiner’s potential comeback, but also within a media that had worked so hard to make that comeback possible.
Let us never forget that the same media currently in hyper-drive to push Weiner out of the race is the very same media that played a willing accomplice to Weiner’s comeback strategy. In July 2012, People Magazine ran a fluffy cover profile of Weiner and his family. In April of 2013, the New York Times Magazine ran a very consequential cover story that pretty much did the same.
Moreover, after Weiner officially announced his intent to run for mayor of New York, the national media lapped up the comeback story like it was fat-free, soy-based ice cream.
Back in May, the left-wing Politico’s Maggie Haberman told us, “Puns aside, Anthony Weiner a force in New York City mayor’s race.” In fact, over just a few weeks in May, Haberman filed nearly a dozen Weiner stories. The comeback was on, and in late June Haberman featured a smiling photo of Weiner with the headline, “Anthony Weiner leads in N.Y. mayor poll.”
Apparently, however, none of Haberman’s reportorial energy or the vast resources available at Politico were able to produce the scoop about Weiner’s post-resignation sexting, or even the obvious question about when he stopped the online flashing of his private parts.
Today, though, Haberman is firmly in the camp of using her mighty media-power to push Weiner out of the race. Tuesday’s Politico lead features a Haberman piece that quotes who-knows-how-many unnamed sources within HillaryVille, expressing concern for Weiner’s wife Huma. The subtext, however, is crystal clear: Drop out, Weiner, or become an enemy of the Clintons.
Politico and Haberman certainly aren’t alone. Much of the mainstream media were hoping to resurrect the man who was once an effective fighter for left-wing causes.
But because much of the media simply played stenographer instead of investigative inquisitor, they didn’t know they had created a monster who hadn’t changed and who is now hurting Hillary Clinton and taking attention away from Obama’s 13,475th pivot to the economy.
So now the monster needs to be chased down and destroyed.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC