As Congressman Anthony Weiner conducts a clinic on how not to handle a media crisis, the media outlets in New York–and beyond–are all over it.
Indeed, Christmas came early this year for the tabloid headline writers when news broke of a photo depicting either the New York City-based Congressman’s crotch, or some other guy’s, being sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a young lady on the West Coast. (A not very prolific Twitter-er, Weiner may not be as social media savvy as one might think; the last “news” item on Anthonyweiner.com is from September.)
Definitely NOT Congressman Weiner’s drawers
Weiner has inadvertently stoked the “Weiner-gate” controversy by saying he doesn’t know for sure if the crotch behind the boxer briefs in the photo belongs to him. (By the way, Media Types, can we put a moratorium on adding the suffix “-gate” to our news controversies? It’s just plain lazy.) In one press conference after the issue surfaced, he testily refused to answer questions about it. But in a subsequent one, he made a handful of groin-related puns.
WCBS New York reporter Marcia Kramer ventured to Washington to get Congressman Weiner’s take on it. Weiner’s camp called the cops on her, she says, after she left the congressman’s office. Here’s her exchange with press secretary David Arnold on CBNewYork.com.
Kramer: “All I want is for him to say something to his constituents, the people who have to vote for him.”
Arnold: “I don’t think you can say he hasn’t said anything to his constituents. He spoke for nine hours yesterday.
Kramer: “But not to anyone in New York. You know, this is the sort of in-the-bunker in the capitol, not to anyone in New York.”
After Kramer left Weiner’s office, his staff called the Capitol Police.
Police officers asked for identification. One cop told Kramer that if she went into Weiner’s office and didn’t leave if she was asked, she could be arrested.
“If you go to an office and are asked to leave, you can be placed under arrest,” Officer Michael Miller said.
Kramer responded, “But I wasn’t refusing to leave.”
Kramer was never asked to leave Weiner’s office, but the fact that the cops were called is a clear sign that the stress of this so-called “Weinergate” controversy is taking its toll. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became the first member of House leadership to go after Weiner.
The Kramer-Weiner story is, fittingly, a big hit on Twitter, tweeted over 720 times by Friday morning.
Weiner is a favorite to succeed Michael Bloomberg as New York mayor. At least he was before he–or maybe another dude–got caught with his pants down.
[undies image from 123rf.com]