Gallant Defuses A Crisis By Swiftly Picking A Coherent Narrative And Sticking To It.

Politics & Current Events, WTF?

Goofus pursues a public relations strategy guided by a room of sugared-up ADHD ten-year-olds.

This week, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner went all Goofus on us, lurching from one odd stance to another in what almost seems like a deliberate attempt to publicize as widely as possible allegations that he tweeted a picture of his dick. He's not an NFL quarterback, so the picture (which I refuse to post) features an underwear-clad male in what the old obscenity laws refer to as "a discernibly turgid state" (which does not, I learned in law school, refer to Florida). Weiner has gone from asserting that his Twitter account was hacked, to refusing to talk about whether it was hacked, to lashing out at journalists, to answering questions in a thunderously inane manner:

NBC’s LUKE RUSSERT: “That’s not a picture of you?”

REP. ANTHONY WEINER: “You know, I can’t say with certitude. My system was hacked. Pictures can be manipulated, pictures can be dropped in and inserted.”

Shwaaaaaaa?

Weiner appears to be taking a wide stance here, maintaining the ability to argue that maybe it's a picture of him, maybe it's not, maybe it's a picture of him that's been altered.

It's funny, because I think most of us know right away, off [pardon me] the top of our head, whether or not we have a picture of our own boner. I know I don't. I'm almost 42 and tired and overweight and by the time the medication kicks in my vision is too blurry to use the camera function on my iPhone.

Some smart people I respect have argued that this ought not be a story at all, because what a government actor does in their private life isn't news. I have to agree in part and disagree in part. I don't care if Rep. Weiner and his wife have an understanding involving social media, his genitals, and third-party coeds with handles like @gullibleforDems. This isn't a morals issue. This is a intelligence/judgment/self-control issue. If a politician's Gary-Hart sexual antics suggest that he lacks sufficient self-control to avoid engaging in activities highly likely to get him caught and publicly humiliated, there's reason to question whether he has the self-control necessary to deal with more politically substantive temptations. If a politician can't address a personal crisis without flopping all over the networks like a dying fish on a dock, then there's reason to question whether he can manage crises of leadership. Hell, even if a politician is falsely accused of sexual impropriety, if he adopts a strategy that makes him look like he's being controlled by that alien who wore Vincent D'Onofrio for half of Men in Black, then it's reasonable to question whether he can hack the big jobs.

I want our leaders to be able to grasp the most basic principles of crisis management, like shut up until you have your story straight and don't go off all half-cocked.

So, Goofus, if news stories about your erection persist for more than four news cycles, consult a public relations professional. Right now, your strategy is so very, very bad that I'm beginning to suspect that you came up short when the Democrats drew straws to see who'd be the guy to create a diversion while they carried a dead hooker out the back of the Capitol building.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. TJIC  •  Jun 1, 2011 @12:23 pm

    > This week, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner went all Goofus on us, lurching from one odd stance

    Suspiciously wide, if you ask me.

    The stance that is. Not the image.

    …and also, "Shopped! LOLLLL!"

    (Did I spell that correctly).

  2. TJIC  •  Jun 1, 2011 @12:25 pm

    > you came up short when the Democrats drew straws to see who’d be the guy to create a diversion while they carried a dead hooker out the back of the Capitol building.

    A literal LOL here.

  3. PeeDub  •  Jun 1, 2011 @1:29 pm

    "wide stance" – heh

  4. Piper  •  Jun 1, 2011 @1:53 pm

    Would I be remiss in calling him a tool? The Daily Show last night had him listed as "Member of Congress" …

  5. Don  •  Jun 1, 2011 @2:03 pm

    I'd say it's a non-story unless the guy has made a political career out of telling other men to keep it in their pants.

  6. Javert Freeman  •  Jun 1, 2011 @6:26 pm

    Weiner is a little putz, but a big schmuck. Almost as smart as the love child of Col. Klink and Sgt. Schultz, you know Debbie (they failed their Wassermann test) Schultz.

  7. Linus  •  Jun 1, 2011 @7:36 pm

    Sorry, the "it's not a story unless there is HYPOCRISY!!!" attitude is lame. Since when is stupid, creepy behavior by elected officials not news? Personally, these kind of stories are boring to me in a dog-bites-man kind of way, but to act like there is no sin but hypocrisy…gag me.

  8. Jack Marshall  •  Jun 1, 2011 @8:43 pm

    Thank you, Linus. Well spoke, and spot on.

  9. G Thompson  •  Jun 2, 2011 @12:46 am

    I'm sorry, it might be that Im Australian and coming into this story late..

    But umm.. All I get from this is that some Politician called Weiner posted a picture of his weiner and is now being a complete weiner about it..

    bawahahahahahaha..

  10. marco73  •  Jun 2, 2011 @5:43 am

    Weiner would be best served by the advice I see on this blog constantly: SHUT UP!
    But I think the media chasing down whether that is actually the Congressman in the picture is asking the wrong question: this guy has 45000 followers, but he only follows 91 other people? And those 91 other people include some young, attractive democrat women?
    Instead of asking Weiner embarassing questions and getting stupid answers, why doesn't some intrepid reporter cross reference the Congressman's travel itinerary for the past 12 months with the locations of some of the attractive women? It wouldn't take much research to find a pattern of Weiner introducing himself to some young ladies, then sending a picture to seal the deal.
    I'll bet that is exactly what his attorney and private investigators are doing right now.
    Of course, no one in the media has asked if there are other pictures or other women. That is just the dog that doesn't bark.

  11. Mike  •  Jun 2, 2011 @8:26 am

    Its not just the "certitude" answer that made him look like an idiot. Its the categorical denial to the question "did you tweet that photo" that preceded it.

    Reminds me of the old cross-examination joke:

    "did you hit your wife on tuesday" "no"
    "did you hit your wife on wednesday" "no"
    "did you hit your wife on thursday" "I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me"

    Everybody knows what happened – he tried to dm the photo to her, screwed it up and tweeted it to all his followers. There are entire websites devoted to idiots who accidentally tweeted a direct message.

  12. jb  •  Jun 2, 2011 @11:08 am

    To the other similar admonitions above, I would add: If you are going to lie, don't make your statements internally inconsistent, because although that doesn't prove the allegations true, it makes it impossible for anyone to defend you.

  13. Goober  •  Jun 2, 2011 @11:42 am

    Actually, my main problem with the whole thing is that the MF-er is lying.

    Through his teeth.

    And he's telling lies that are so outright transparent and stupid that a 5-year old can see through them, which sort of illuminates, to me at least, what his opinion is vis a vis the intelligence of his constituency.

    Furthermore, I find it quite shocking that no one seems to see the real big, impotant picture here – it isn't that he sent a dicpic FYI – IT IS THAT HE IS LYING. TO OUR FACES. And he is unabashed and unashamed about it and no one seems to be bothered by that. I don't care if he sent a dicpic. I really don't. That's between him, his wife, and the smokin' hot coed with what i consider to be a really, truly nice rack.

    What I care about is that, as a duly elected representative of his constituency, who has campaigned for their trust to make good decisions for them, HE IS LYING. Have we grown so accustomed to being lied to by our elected officials that it doesn't bother anyone anymore?

    It seems like the only commentary on the web is about the dicpic and the "scandal" associated with it. No one that I've read has actually gone the extra step to point out the real outrage in the whole mess. HE. IS. LYING.

  14. SPQR  •  Jun 2, 2011 @1:31 pm

    Well, Goober a lot of people point out that he is a stupid liar.

  15. Victor Milan  •  Jun 2, 2011 @3:56 pm

    Goofus has struck again, and he's struck hard: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/06/02/weiner-says-hes-done-talking-about-twitter-photo-time-to-get-back-to-work/.

    Either the RNC has a mole on this dude's press staff, or your dead hooker theory is looking ever more viable.

  16. Ken  •  Jun 6, 2011 @10:30 am

    Dear Congressman Weiner:

    See what I mean?

    Luvs,

    Ken