All the ways the latest Weiner scandal is related to the Hillary Clinton campaign





Right.  Exactly.  Of course, that did not stop all the political press from acting as if this story actually had something to do with the presidential race.  Jim Newell:

As it does roughly every other year, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s penis has returned to fill a summer news vacuum. Weiner is married—though only in the technical sense, now—to Hillary Clinton’s long-time aide, Huma Abedin. Clinton is running for president, against Donald Trump. So it was inevitable that Trump would try to find a way to translate Weiner’s latest indiscretions against his wife into some sort of criticism against Clinton:

I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It’s just another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this.

Trump is fortunate. Because even though there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful connection between Anthony Weiner’s sexts and the merits or actions of Hillary Clinton, he is not alone in trying to draw one. Members of several news organizations have already found themselves unable to resist the urge to find such a connection and pat themselves on the back for their rigorous neutrality in covering the election. But horserace-ifying this story doesn’t add any balance to the Force, because there’s no there there. If this goes much further, it would be nice if those who’ve made the leap from “There goes Weiner again!” to “Can the Clinton campaign distance itself from this?” could please show their work.

The Anthony Weiner story is a terrific one in its own, isolated domain, unrelated to the ongoing presidential campaign. It’s a former congressman engaging in the same behavior that turned him into a pariah years after he’d said he’d concluded that chapter of his life. It’s painful for just about everyone involved, but so are plenty of great tabloid stories. What’s less clear—meaning, not clear at all—is how this great tabloid story distills into a meaningful election story. Here’s the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman skipping that explanation and jumping straight into the second-order horserace handicapping.

Come again? Steve Bannon is the chief executive officer of the Donald Trump presidential campaign. While divorce documents can’t be taken as the unvarnished truth, Bannon’s ex-wife did make some disturbing allegations about the man in them, and it’s worthwhile to explore the sortof people Donald Trump is hiring to run his campaign. Anthony Weiner, meanwhile, does not work for the Clinton campaign. So … that’s that, campaign-story-wise. Whatever point Haberman was trying to make wasn’t at all clarified with this follow-up, either.

I love that if you click on Haberman’s tweet, lots of people let her have it in intelligent ways.  Not that the is willing to admit any wrongdoing other than not being clear enough.  Needless to say, this is from the NYT, so this kind of foolish, simplistic coverage is everywhere.  Yes, sexting and human scandal are great fun to write about.  But the personal (not political or illegal in any way) misbehavior of the spouse of the campaign manager of the campaign should have pretty much nothing to do with actual campaign coverage.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

5 Responses to All the ways the latest Weiner scandal is related to the Hillary Clinton campaign

  1. Jon K says:

    Bill Clinton was out screwing any piece of trailer trash he could find most of the time he has been married to Hillary Clinton. This has pretty much become known and accepted by the public before he became president, and reconfirmed during his administration (Doesn’t everyone remember Flowers, Jones, and Lewinsky?) This didn’t make him a bad or ineffective president.

    Weiner has a tragically embarrassing inability to keep his sexting habit private. It has now cost him his job, reputation, and marriage. The fact that he has been sold out by individuals taking advantage of his embarrassing, but legal, sexual predilections three times now makes me have a bit of sympathy for Weiner. After all is something equivalent to a porn habit really such a damning issue to be concerned about? I think there are many men who wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny if their browsing history were to be made public.

  2. rgbact says:

    Poor poor Hillary. Nevermind that between her and her closest “assistant”…..they have more sleaze bucket rumors than about the rest of major politicians (not name John Edwards) in the last 40 years combined. Can’t we just leave the precious Clintons alone?

    Face it Democrats, you love the Clintons for the drama. So stop whining.

    • Steve Greene says:

      Motivated reasoning much? Huma Abedin made the mistake of marrying a serial sexter. How that is a bunch of “sleaze bucket rumors” is beyond me.

      • Jon K says:

        Hillary not so much, but I have read the Starr Report, and that alone has more embarrassing sleaze in it than Penthouse Forum. I mean there are details about cigars and body cavities for heaven’s sake. I have also read the Jones depositions which were never actually denied by Bill Clinton. I have read rumors of Bill jetting around with known billionare womanizers so much that they renamed ron Beurkele’s plane Air F*** One. He isn’t called Slick Willy for no reason. It just doesn’t seem to be an issue anyone cares about with him. And as much as I respect Clinton as an effective president, his embarrassing sexual issues far outshine anything Weiner ever has been outed for. That is what I don’t get about this interest in Weiner.

  3. R. Jenrette says:

    This is another sexist attack as well as political against Hillary the candidate. After all, “everyone knows” that women cannot keep secrets and Huma will surely have told her husband about all the top secrets she has heard, same for Hillary.
    Stealth vote – that will be the votes of many women voting for Hillary after assuring their husbands that they were voting for Trump.

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