Media Enabled Anthony Weiner’s Present Scandal with 15-Year-Old by Burying His Past

Anthony Weiner
Richard Drew/AP

The alleged crimes and messy online peccadilloes of Anthony Weiner have spilled over into the 2016 presidential campaign at the worst possible time for Hillary Clinton.

As Breitbart News reported in “FBI Agents to Examine 650,000 Emails on Anthony Weiner’s Computer,” a probe into Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email account during her tenure as secretary of state has reemerged, just as other reports are emerging that the FBI is also investigating the Clinton Foundation. With the election less than a week away, the Clinton campaign has become a juggler running out of hands, attempting to defend themselves, as explained in “Clinton Right Hand Woman Huma Abedin Takes the Stage at Center of Email Scandal,” at the same time WikiLeaks continues to perform Chinese water torture on Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

While the progressive news media have shunned Anthony Weiner and make no attempt whatsoever to defend him as the FBI investigates his sending sexually explicit texts and photos to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, it’s worth remembering that this same media complex enabled his behavior by conveniently memory holing the story of the 17-year-old girl with whom it was revealed he had a relationship in 2011. The story was broken by conservative blogger Patterico, briefly picked up, then quickly dropped by a few mainstream media outlets.

As the Christian Science Monitor reported five years ago:

The latest news is that Mr. Weiner, under scrutiny after admitting sexually charged communications with several women, has also exchanged messages via Twitter with a 17-year-old high school girl in Delaware.

But through a spokeswoman, the New York Democrat said the contacts with the young woman were “neither explicit nor indecent.” And apparently the girl has a similar view.

That claim that the relationship between middle-aged Anthony Weiner and a 17-year-old girl was simply innocent online chatter is certainly worth questioning in the light of current events, but the mainstream media have maintained complete radio silence on it.

The quiet sound of enabling was also heard in the award-winning documentary Weiner, which wowed audiences and won awards at January’s prestigious and elitist Sundance Film Festival. The film also played on Showtime during the past weekend.

In a question-and-answer session at a Sundance screening in January, I asked the film’s director—a former Weiner aide— why the film included no reference whatsoever to Weiner’s communications with a 17-year-old girl.

It’s worth noting that as soon as the subject was brought up, an audience member attempted to shut it down, showing the positive propaganda affect that the film had on an audience who had just viewed it:

STRANAHAN: Because of what you just said, the film is going to sort of be the record of this scandal because this is what people are going to see. And the film left out a couple of things, such as that Anthony Weiner was talking to a 17-year-old girl in the first sexting scandal.

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: Okay, you can stop.

STRANAHAN: Well that’s accurate. And that he told Sydney Leathers that he loved her. He told her he was gonna buy her a condo. He told her he was going to get her a job with Politico. So do you think that you diminished the scandal at all by leaving out some of those things? You kind of dehumanized Sydney Leathers to a certain extent.

The filmmaker who left that information out of the film then declared that it was up to viewers to make up their own minds about facts they were never told about:

KRIEGMAN: Look, I think it’s gonna be up to the audience and the viewers to form their own opinions about that. And the goal here is not to rehash all of the details of the scandal necessarily or what was reported about it–just to really tell this human story of the campaign as it unfolded.

It’s fairly obvious that the details about the 17-year-old might have hurt the “human story” of Weiner:

The film is entertaining, although some parts of it are sure to leave one cringing in the light of current events. Despite its entertainment value, however, at the end of the day, Weiner is a finely crafted piece of propaganda that was designed to promote the film’s two central characters, Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin.

For the casual viewer, the film appears at first glance to skewer Anthony Weiner with details about his embarrassing online trysts. However, the filmmakers skillfully end up (slightly) redeeming Weiner, while making his wife Huma Abedin into the film’s heroine.

The problem for Weiner, of course, is that as he says in the film that “he did the thing.” The fact that he kept doing it obviously shows that he has no self-control, so the film does not set out to do the impossible and create a wholly sympathetic portrait of the former Congressman. The modest goal is to elevate Anthony Weiner a wee bit, if not for a political career, at least enough to maybe allow him to become a pundit on a liberal network like MSNBC. Over and over, the film makes the point that Anthony Weiner wasn’t unflinching and a strong advocate for progressive values, and that while he may have made a few mistakes, he is not wholly unredeemable.

As we now know, however, Weiner kept “doing the thing” and also seems to have done it with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. Viewers of the film would be less shocked if they were told about the 17-year-old girl in Delaware.

The film’s other clear political agenda was to bring Huma Abedin out of the shadows and sketch out a portrait of her as a likable, hard-working sympathetic figure – a political wife done wrong by her horny husband. Obviously, this is a narrative that plays right into the Clinton campaign, and the film does its job effectively.

That means the film’s backers got their money’s worth because, as Breitbart News was the first to report this year, the award-winning documentary Weiner, which premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, was funded in part by Hillary Clinton supporter and multibillionaire George Soros:

The most important thing you need to know about the documentary Weiner doesn’t come until the very end, in the movie’s credits: it was financed in part with a grant from the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute.

Soros and the Sundance Film Festival had a documentary fund for twenty years.

The reality is that Anthony Weiner got a pass because he is a Democrat, a liberal, and his estranged wife has been Hillary Clinton’s top aide for the past 20 years. Had he been held accountable for his actions in 2011, none of the current disaster for the Democrats may have happened.

That’s a story twist truly worthy of Hollywood.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.