The Flasher and the Journalist Flash Mobs
I was hoping to avoid discussing the Weiner situation, my inclination being to avoid listening or reading any information at all about other people's sex lives, preferring (as someone whose name I've forgotten said) to just assume everyone has an incredibly rich and fulfilling one. Why ruin that fantasy by reading puerile mash notes and looking at adolescent type pudenda shots, even if they are of political figures?
Weiner didn't let me ignore this nonsense. He continued this sad tale for another week.
The longer this goes on the more media stars he's taking down with him. Salon's editor, Joan Walsh, probably was the most severely wounded of the Weiner journo Special Forces. She stood at the ramparts and fired away at his detractors long after smarter folks ducked for cover.
(You may remember Joan. She made an issue of how stupid G W Bush is and was mortified to learn that the two of them had identical SAT scores.)
I don't think he is stupid, but she finally conceded this week that she looked
"kinda stupid" and then, after this concession, without ruffling her nice, very sophisticated, coiffure continued down the same rickety scaffold of doom. Here's part of the transcript. See for yourself as she steps into air over the chasm of death:
WALSH: But on the other hand, you know, this is, this is private business, you know, I'm not his wife. She has reasons to be upset. But if we really lower the bar as you referred to to this level where you can't accuse him of hypocrisy, he's not a family values moralizer, you can't accuse him yet of breaking the law. I'll get back to that. At this point I'm not going to join a call for him to resign because...
WALSH: ...I don't think we have all the facts. I'm proud of Nancy Pelosi for saying she's going to investigate him. That's where Democrats are different because we take this stuff to the mat.
Yes, indeed, "to the mat." Ask Maxine Waters how "to the mat" a House Ethics investigation is when her party fired the investigator, refused to replace him and continues to allow her to skate despite very obvious and serious ethical violations.
In any event, you might want to save these Walsh words of wisdom, because they are the DNC's (and their media shills') standard spiel when one of theirs is caught with his briefs down: It's all a terrible partisan lie; it's private; it's between him and his wife; because he isn't a "family values moralizer" he isn't a hypocrite. Hypocrite apparently is the only mortal sin in the left's quiver.
Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection finds this last argument less than winning:
The Democrats need to either cut their hypocrisy talk or make it clear that they do not oppose general skeeziness and adultery with aggravating circumstances [snip]. There is a word for those who present themselves as virtuous when it is useful to condemn others, but set aside those virtues when necessary to defend their own misdeeds: Hypocrites.
But Walsh wasn't finished. Just as pressure was mounting to force Weiner's resignation, three "anonymous" sources told the New York Times that his wife, Huma Abedin (Hillary Clinton's Girl Friday) is in the early stages of a pregnancy. Huma was in Africa with Hillary and made no comment on the report, nor did Weiner, who was otherwise occupied when another Weiner crotch shot -- this time sans culottes -- was making its way through the new media.
I was skeptical, thinking it was a convenient ploy to win him time and sympathy. So was Professor Althouse.
Cripes Suzette saw in this a familiar pattern going back to Chappaquiddick and Joan Kennedy's now-you-see -it-now-you-don't just in time pregnancy.
Joan "kinda stupid" Walsh bought it entirely, however. Unfortunately for Huma and Anthony, the news had an opposite effect on her:
If Huma Abedin is pregnant, as the New York Times is reporting, I think Anthony Weiner has to resign -- and I actually expect him to. That news changes everything.
This is probably why I was smart to avoid a career in public relations -- I mean how do you figure out what line works and on whom? Especially with so many kinda stupid people around.
I mean Walsh is not the only dumbbell with a readership. The New York Times fell quite naturally into place, and James Taranto noticed:
The Five Steps of Anthony Weiner Here's a blast from the past, a Sept. 14, 1991, editorial from the New York Times, on the occasion of "the first primary election for the newly enlarged City Council":
Headstrong newcomers like Anthony David Weiner of Brooklyn, a likely winner who stooped to distributing offensive literature in the campaign's closing days, will have to learn restraint.
It's amusing to compare this with what passes for insight at the Times today. Here's the closing line of this past Tuesday's editorial:
If he chooses to run for re-election next year, voters in Brooklyn and Queens will at least have a chance to decide whether they want a man like Mr. Weiner representing their interests in Congress.
We suppose for the guys at the Times, dealing with badly behaved Democratic politicians is a five-step process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, endorsement.
The latest polls show the voters in his District still support him, though the ones I saw counted both registered and non-registered voters and Don Surber warns:
"The difference between registered voters and non-registered ones is the second group watches Jon Stewart and thinks Anthony Weiner is hawt. "
The week closed with the New York Times and the Washington Post, proving once again why the benighted campaign finance reform act which allows these papers to act as unpaid arms of the DNC while restricting what everyone who doesn't own a printing press can say is a monstrous perversion. Also it shows the editors of these papers are at least as stupid as the editor of Salon.
Alaska released 24,000 of Sarah Palin's emails dating from her time as Governor of the State and both papers whipped up flash mobs of unpaid Sarah haters to comb them for dirt the papers could run. If the effort proved successful, it should have persuaded the stockholders to fire all the reporters and follow the Huffington Post model. Who pays for services available elsewhere for nothing? And why not ditch the editors? Just run everything past the DNC before hitting the "print" button.
The Daily Caller captured both papers in the Act:
Help Us Investigate the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records
On Friday, the State of Alaska will release more than 24,000 of Sarah Palin's e-mails covering much of her tenure as governor of Alaska. Times reporters will be in Juneau, the state capital, to begin the process of reviewing the e-mails, which we will be posting on nytimes.com starting on Friday afternoon E.D.T.
We're asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight. Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address so we'll know who should get the credit. Join us here on Friday afternoon and into the weekend to participate.
Help analyze the Palin e-mails
Over 24,000 e-mail messages to and from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska's governor will be released Friday. That's a lot of e-mail for us to review so we're looking for some help from Fix readers to analyze, contextualize, and research those e-mails right alongside Post reporters over the days following the release.
We are limiting this to just 100 spots for people who will work collaboratively in small teams to surface the most important information from the e-mails. Participants can join from anywhere with a computer and an Internet connection. Read more about how it will work.
It didn't take long for outraged readers to respond. On the hot seat, the papers took different approaches.
The NYT denied it had ever made an appeal for readers to investigate the emails, an appeal we have just quoted and cited:
The New York Times has not asked for readers to help with an investigation," NYT spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said in an e-mail to The Daily Caller, pointing TheDC to a specific news story about the Palin e-mails' release.
Perhaps Spokesperson Ha just doesn't read her paper. I mean, who actually does any more?
The Washington Post was also smarting and indicated in its Daily Fix blog it was reconsidering outsourcing this very important investigation to a flash mob. (Maybe they'll use one to look into Obama's missing biographical everything or to help with a detailed look at the 2,000 page ObamaCare which by all reports is going to be held unconstitutional by the Eleventh Circuit. I mean now that it's passed, it would be nice to know what is in this job killing, unconstitutional monstrosity.)
The Post's Ombudsman said the whole mess began because the emails were "irresistible."
It's this kind of professional judgment that separates the professionals from the amateurs I guess.
At the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Heninger says this is Obama's worst week ever. But for those of us who think the mainstream media is so ludicrous it deserves to be unemployed, this week was fabulous.