Thursday, June 9, 2011

Media Now After Wiener (Good!!)

The career of Rep Anthony Wiener continues to unravel. Not only are his colleagues calling for him to step down, but now members of the media are voicing their displeasure at being lied to.  A former girlfriend and Fox News contributor Kristen Powers has suggested that now is the time for him to step down. She feels that what he says can no longer be trusted. At The Daily Beast, Ms Powers writes the following:

This is my general view of sex scandals (earlier she had written everyone lies is sex scandals). But there is lying and then there is what Wiener did. Due to nonstop meetings, I had not had time to watch his media blitz prior to my Greta interview (On-The-Record, a Fox News show) and was slack-jawed when I saw clips of him the next day sneering and pointing fingers at other people for what he knew he had done.  I am of the general view that politicians are not the most honest group of people, but, even using that very low standard, what I saw in those interviews was deeply disturbing.  There is no way anyone can ever believe anything Wiener says again after that.  In fact, I highly doubt that what he said in his press conference is even true.

Narcissism doesn’t even begin to describe this kind of behavior.  It seems there was nobody he didn’t lie to.  The New York Times reported this morning that he told donors a week ago that the scandal was the result of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and that “everything [would] be fine.  We also learned after his press conference that he coached a former porn star with whom he had communicated online oh how to lie to the media. (Source: The Daily Beast)

It is surprising how quickly his co-members in the House have distanced themselves from Wiener. Even Senate Leader Harry Reid has said, “I know Congressman Wiener – I wish there was some way I can defend him.”

Further along in her article Ms Powers brings up a more disturbing point and that is Wiener treatment (or possible view) of women in general. The democrat party has boosted they are the champion of women’s rights and equality but Powers goes on to say Wiener did nothing to help bolster this.

But even if I could see past the lying and extreme narcissism that is noteworthy even by Washington standards, there is the issue of his attitude toward women.  What has emerged is a picture of a predator trolling the Internet for women – some half his age – with which to engage in cybersex.  We know only about the women who were responsive to his overtures.  The odds are very high that he struck out with many, and other women were his victims to his unsolicited sex talk.  Women should be able to “friend” a married – or unmarried – congressman on Facebook or follow him on Twitter without fear of being the recipient of lewd talk of behavior.  Just because a woman “likes” your video on Facebook doesn’t mean you can send her a picture of you penis.  This is textbook sexual harassment. It may not be illegal, but it’s definitely unethical. He is in a position of influence, and many women – especially a 21-year-old – would be afraid to report a congressman doing that to them because he holds so much power.  Also, he claims none of the women he contacted were underage, but how could he possibly know that? (Source: The Daily Beast)

It is good to see a woman in a position of influence call out rep Wiener on his behavior towards women. Wiener’s behavior was like that of a predator and someone who felt he was above those he had contacted.  Whether you are a member of the party that is supposedly the champions of women rights or the party that wants to keep them barefoot and pregnant (heavy sarcasm), this is not the behavior of a true man. A true man treats the women in his life (and all women) with dignity and respect. Rep Wiener did not treat the women he contacted with this level of respect.

I guess I should go on the record to say that the issue of his online relationships should not necessarily be his downfall. We are all aware of the sex scandals that have brought down other politicians, most often Republicans because of their stances on "family values" have been used against them by both the media and deomcratic politicians. But other than Foley's page and email scandal, none of the scandals have crossed the line into illegal. These issues fell under the category of questionable ethics. But for those who would judge people who have ethical troubles, I remind you what Jesus once said. Parapharsing here; "those without sin, let them be the one to cast the first stone".  We do and should hold those we elect to represent us to a higher standard, to the standard we would like to live our lives by since these men and women do "represent" us. But should we hold them so accountable that they should be fired? The answer to that question is one only each individual can provide.

But the lying is a compeletly different matter. Wiener lied to us. He lied to the people he works with. He lied to the Media (although I am sure they were willing participants). He lied to his donors. Most importantly, he lied to the people of New York City, the folks that elected him. For this transgression he should be fired. If there is one thing that I have tried to instill in my boys is that honesty is the one thing you should ALWAYS strive for. Once honesty (or trust) is gone, all else is lost. Because of the lies and loss of trust, Wiener will never be able to be an effective leader. For this reason, he shold resign.

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