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On Anthony Weiner's Hobbies

POSTED:
Congressman Anthony Weiner
Congressman Anthony Weiner
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Six years ago, congressman Anthony Weiner led a campaign to throw copies of the New York Press in the trash because of my silly column about the death of the Pope. Back then, I thought that was a pretty odd take on the First Amendment, coming from an ostensibly left-leaning New York liberal Democrat.

Now I read that Weiner called the Capitol police on WCBS reporter Marcia Kramer for showing up at his office to ask questions about Weinergate. Incredible! I love how all of these ACLU all-stars turn into little Pinochets the instant the heat on their beloved careers moves up past room temperature.

As for the actual story ... Jesus, a congressman tweeting dong shots to co-eds? I get Brett Favre doing that, because Brett Favre is an NFL football player. He's supposed to be stupid! But how does a U.S. congressman do something like that and expect it not to come out?

I’ve also been fascinated by the editorials blaming the media for their unjust treatment of Weiner – like it's none of our business whether or not this guy is sending pictures of his boner to young women around the country. Take this line from Susan Milligan's column in U.S. News and World Report:

Weiner – perhaps too honestly – rhetorically shrugged, saying he could not say with "certitude" that it was not a photo of him. That was the congressman’s mistake, although it was an understandable one in our YouTube, tweet-crazy, cell phone camera-stalking world.

“Camera-stalking world”? Is Milligan suggesting someone stalked Weiner – and furtively took a picture of his erection from a foot and a half away?

The truth is, if you're worth the congressional office at all, your automatic answer to any question about pictures like that has to be, "No, that can't be me in that picture, because I'm a United States Congressman and I don't take digital pictures of my hard-ons." The fact that Weiner had to hedge his answer at all tells us everything we need to know about that picture.

I don’t want to gloat too much about Weiner. Milligan is right, it’s not like the guy is a serial killer. But as the Monday Night Football crew would say, C’mon, Man! If you want to be a national political figure, run for high office, and also have a family at the same time, you can’t be playing Russian roulette with your wife’s reputation every time you log on to your basement computer.

In other words, when you’re a certain kind of famous, there are a few things you’ve just got to give up in life – like uploading pictures of your dick, for instance, or tweet-herding hot twentysomething women by the hundreds. Is it really that hard to find other hobbies? Why do I feel like this kind of thing isn’t a problem for someone like Bernie Sanders? Politicians never cease to amaze.

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Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary. Please direct all media requests to taibbimedia@yahoo.com.

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