Today’s big Anthony Weiner/media story is that Van Meter, the reporter behind the April New York Times Magazine cover profile credited with giving the disgraced ex-Congressman a real chance at a political comeback, is quoted as saying that, although he had 15 hours of audio-taped interviews with Weiner, it ” [n]ever even occurred to me to ask” when Weiner had stopped sexting.
Well, let he in media without sin cast the first stone. Weiner spent weeks covered in swarms of reporters, and apparently not a single one managed to ask that same obvious question.
Once Weiner officially announced his run for New York City mayor, much of the media — most notably Politico and BuzzFeed — jumped on the bandwagon with both feet, covering Weiner like he was a bad-boy rock star. The media excitement around Weiner’s candidacy was electric; the polls said the comeback was real, and then it all fell apart.
Not because of dogged investigative journalism courtesy of our mainstream media, but due to a salacious gossip site most of us had never heard of.
How much energy did the MSM put into covering Weiner’s comeback run? We’ve all seen those photos of hordes of cameras and microphones. But even with all that media and all those resources, it was a site called Dirty.com that scooped everyone.
This pattern, wherein the American MSM are as caught off guard by Democrat scandals as the rest of us, was already embarrassing, but it is only getting worse.
Back in June I pointed out that of the four major scandals pounding against the White House, the American media did not break even one of them.
Monday, a local political reporter admitted that everyone in San Diego knew what Democrat Mayor Bob Filner had been up to, but that they didn’t bother to do anything about it.
And now, after dozens of reporters from major news outlets swarmed Weiner for weeks, not a single outlet — not Politico, not BuzzFeed, not the New York Times — has audio or even a quote they can shove in Anthony Weiner’s face of him responding to a question about when the sexting stopped.
Because. No. One. Bothered. To. Ask.
And had someone bothered to ask, any evasiveness might have led to the biggest political scoop of the season. At the very least, as the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple points out, “Had he pushed the politico on just when he gave up his lewd relationships with other women on the Internet, Van Meter’s recorder would have scored some precious words from Weiner. Or perhaps even a prolonged period of silence.”
That, however, is true for the herds of reporters who followed Weiner in the first days of his campaign, not just Meter.
It is just a fact that when it comes to Democrats, our media appear to be psychologically and morally incapable of scrutiny, skepticism, and the turning over of rocks — the most basic part of their job.
Oh, when it comes to Republicans, this has never been a problem for our media. We know all about Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s finances, that Mitt Romney gave some kid a haircut a half-century ago, and that Sarah Palin might have once owned a tanning bed. We even know that Joe the Plumber had a small tax lien, what Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’s staffers once blogged about, and that a couple of generations ago someone painted a rock on a Texas ranch that isn’t owned by Rick Perry.
But not a single reporter could bring themselves to ask Weiner when the sexting ended.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC