Weinergate: How Various Papers, Websites And Networks Served Us Weiner


In the usual absence of any real, meaty (not a pun, thank you) political stories each summer, it’s usually something completely absurd, wild and/or scandalous that captures the attention of the media and the general public. Summer of ’11 has, so far, been a Summer of Weiner.

The so-called “Weinergate” scandal has been the gift that keeps on giving, as far as many media outlets have been concerned, and it’s interesting to see how each has managed to put its own spin on the story.

Let’s take a look at how they (and, yes, we) managed it, shall we?

New York Post

This kind story was, basically, tailor-made for New York’s most notorious rag. If The New York Times is the (wonkily left-leaning) crown jewel in this city’s media crown, then the New York Post is its jester’s hat. Entertaining, shocking, unabashedly vulgar and, despite it all, begrudgingly beloved. I mean, come on! The puns, people! His name is Weiner:

Disgusted Democrats letting Weiner shrivel

Weiner likely to endure a rough sex probe

NYers: You’ll never be Mayor ‘Crotch’

New York Times

The NYT has approached the Weiner scandal with its typical mix of straightforward reporting and op-ed pieces, all with the sort of florid prose we’ve come to expect from the Lady Most Gray:

Those elders must be hoping to heaven that Mr. Weiner departs before the machinery of investigation is gassed up and rumbles toward the Internet Protocol addresses where he composed his epistles.

They even had a characteristically classy take on the fact that the man’s name is, you know. “Penis:”

We Weiners, though, are eminently adaptable. It’s a survival thing. At some point, my father, Seymour, changed the pronunciation of our family name from WEEN-er to WHINE-er because, really, who wants to be known as Seymour WEEN-er? It was a Faustian bargain, to be sure, but a wise one. At least that’s what I thought until “Saturday Night Live” aired a popular skit about a couple named Doug and Wendy WHINE-er. They would speak, of course, in grating, whining voices that my classmates parroted whenever they pronounced my last name, which was often. Those were difficult years.

It’s hard, sometimes, being a Weiner.

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