The allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and San Diego mayor (and 20-year congressman) Bob Filner have resulted in three days of no comment from the White House. Thursday, the Associated Press ripped the White House over the hypocrisy:
When President Barack Obama ran for re-election last year, he and his advisers were quick to condemn comments from Republicans that were deemed offensive or demeaning to women.
But now, with two prominent members of Obama’s Democratic Party admitting to lewd online behavior and facing allegations of sexual harassment, the White House is conspicuously silent.
The AP notes that the White House defense is “Obama’s comments last year were in response to the policy implications of the controversial views espoused by the two Republicans [Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock] who were, at the time, running for Senate.”
The AP counters with…
While the controversies surrounding Akin and Murdock focused on words, the spectacles involving Weiner and Filner center on actions.
The “policy implication” canard isn’t just being used by the White House. The national media is working overtime to ensure the Weiner/Filner/Spitzer scandals remain compartmentalized. The coverage surrounding all three is being contained as “individual scandals.”
But when it came to Murdock and Akin, the media went into hyperdrive to ensure both men’s words were hung around the necks of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the GOP as a whole. This, despite the fact that both Romney and the GOP immediately distanced themselves from the comments and the “policy.”
Yes, Weiner and Filner are getting plenty of press attention, but as of now the media are bending over backwards to ensure it doesn’t leave a mark on the Democrat Party or Barack Obama — you know, the same Barack Obama who comments on policy matters like how the police “acted stupid” arresting a friend of his.
To arrive at some kind of policy threshold before the Weiner/Filner scandals attach themselves to the larger Democratic Party is still hypocritical. In 2006, there were no policy issues at stake when the media joined Democrats in trashing the GOP over the “culture of corruption,” which included individual sex scandals.
In early 2007, the media also found a way to turn Larry Craig’s “wide stance” scandal into a national conversation about Republicans and gays.
Bottom line: when the media want to, they can always find a way to make anything “relevant” to the “bigger picture.”
There is also the question of when and how much Democrats knew about Filner’s behavior. Wednesday on CNN, Democrat operative Hilary Rosen told Jake Tapper, “I had dinner over the weekend with some female members and former members who said that this guy has kinda been this way all along. Everybody thought that he was a little creepy.”
Townhall’s Guy Benson writes:
In 2006, Democrats beat the drum on Rep. Mark Foley’s egregious sexual advances on an underage Congressional page, harping on the question of what Republican leadership knew, and when they knew it. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even demanded that GOP leaders testify under oath about the issue; Democrats rode their narrative all the way to victory that fall. Similar questions now apply to the actions of Democrat Bob Filner. Did Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and company turn a blind eye toward terrible conduct from a male colleague because he was on Team Blue?
If the media wants it, there is one helluva juicy story just waiting to be told.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC