In February of this year it came to light that Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) had sent a photo of himself to a woman on Craigslist in the hopes for a liaison. Gossip site Gawker got a hold of the story and the embarrassing picture and ran with it.
Naturally, the Gawker commentariat was ruthless and had no shortage of unpleasant things to say about Lee, yet another "values" Republican caught with his pants 'round the ankles. Any commenter who dared offer up even the tiniest defense of Lee was set upon by the majority who had determined that the man was guilty of hypocrisy and wholly unfit for public office. Lee apparently agreed and in short order had resigned from Congress.
On one hand it was unfortunate - what he does in his private life isn't our business. On the other hand, if you're going to be the standard-bearer for the sanctity of marriage and whatnot, don't be a raging hypocrite. So, Congress lost another raging hypocrite. Unfortunately they have plenty. And Newt Gingrich is running for the presidency.
Several months later, here we are again. Another Congressman (from New York, no less) stands accused of, at the very least, toying with marital infidelity. But Anthony Weiner is a Democrat and a scrappy, partisan one at that so the Gawker commentariat is more... forgiving. In fact, one commenter declared the whole thing a "crap non-news story" because [Weiner] "already stated, unequivocally, that he was hacked and that the picture was posed by the hacker."
In other words - the noble Congressman said he didn't do it, so let's just move on.
That sentiment continues there, with various and sundry folk opining that the story is not important, that Weiner "didn't do anything illegal" or is a victim, that we shouldn't care, we should stay out of private lives and so on and so forth. One person even states "I don't see a problem with it - if anything, it makes me more likely to vote for him when he runs for higher office."
For its continuing reportage on Weinergate Gawker is suffering a firestorm of criticism from its commentariat. Wade through it all and you come to realize that there are myriad folks willing to defend someone to the point of absurdity, as long as that person is on their team, politically speaking. Make no mistake though: If this story was about Boehner and not Weiner they'd be reacting to the story very differently - presumably demanding his head.
And should we care anyway? I actually didn't care until I saw this CNN clip of Weiner behaving in a most arrogant and evasive manner to reporters. That piqued my curiosity and certainly that of others. I don't care if he's a philanderer, or follows porn stars on Twitter, or might be dumb enough to accidentally "tweet" a crotch shot. But, I do care if he's yet another elected official who thinks we're all dumb and that the story should go away because he wants it to.
In fact, guilty or not, he's handling the whole thing very poorly. If anything, perhaps it will make people less likely to vote for him when he runs for higher office.