Forgive me if I'm glossing over some of the fine points here, but let's try to recall a basic timeline of Anthony Weiner's life in the past few years.
Weiner used to be a Congressman from New York, but he sent some ladies some pictures of his junk over social media. After a fashion, he resigned in what we colloquially call "disgrace." At the time of his undoing, Weiner was thought of as a guy who had the aspiration to run for mayor in New York City -- but with his record marred by scandal, those dreams were presumed to be dead.
But a while later, he decided to run for mayor of New York City anyway. To begin that process, Weiner gave a supposedly soul-baring interview with The New York Times' Jonathan Van Meter. Only we come to find out, he didn't really bare his soul -- those sexting shenanigans had actually continued apace, after the period of time he'd claimed to have been a changed man. What amounted to a brief bubble of interest in Weiner's long-shot candidacy got popped, seemingly overnight. Now, New York City is (probably!) getting Bill De Blasio for mayor, and the rest of us are stuck with the memory of Sydney Leathers.
All failing electoral campaigns try to implicate the media in some way. That's just life. But I've never seen a losing candidate get angry at the media for not being more ruthless. And now that Anthony Weiner has done so, I have to imagine that I'll never see this happen again. In the meantime, let us cherish this precious, outlier angel while we have it. From GQ's Marshall Sella:
What people fundamentally misunderstood about Van Meter’s story, and therefore about the entire campaign rollout—according to Weiner—is that it wasn’t the piece he’d hoped for. He wanted something far worse.
“The problem was that the story was completely different from what we thought would be written,” he told me. “I thought there’d be thousands of questions about the sexting. But there wasn’t a lot of conversation about that. We had a guy [Van Meter] who wasn’t tough enough. We needed someone to just tear away at me. And not someone who would do something sympathetic ... He wrote an aftermath story, about two interesting people. Later, I thought, ‘We didn’t get this done. Of the hundred things we wanted to do, the one thing we wanted to accomplish was to get that out there!’”
You see, if only Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada had conducted that interview, Anthony Weiner would be coasting to Gracie Mansion today!
Marshall Sella, who found himself in the position where he had to ask one of the most surreal follow-up questions in the history of journalism, kept his head about him:
“What about bringing it up yourself?” I asked. “Would that have been too hard to do?”
“I should have!” Weiner said. “That’s on the list of the hundred mistakes you make in a campaign."
But surely it's at the top of the list? Like the list begins with, "1. Maybe let everyone know I've still been sexting some strange people all this while." Right?
READ THE WHOLE THING:
Anthony Weiner Blames Journalist for Not Asking Tougher Questions [Daily Intel]
Anthony Weiner vs. The New York Times [GQ]