Weiner comes clean

Last week, things didn’t go well for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), with his evasive answers about his online activities. Today, he acknowledged that he lied about his actions and came clean.

Rep. Anthony Weiner said Monday that he had lied about the origins of a lewd photo sent from his personal Twitter account nine days ago although he added that he would not resign from office because of the scandal.

“I have not been honest with myself,” Weiner said at a press conference in New York City Monday afternoon. “I am deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment.”

Weiner had previously refused to answer about the episode in which a picture of an underwear-clad groin was sent to a college student in Seattle. He said at the press conference that he had meant to send a direct message to the woman and “panicked” when he realized he had sent it out to all of his Twitter followers.

As Weiner described it, he never committed adultery or even met any of the women with whom he had “inappropriate online interactions.” Over the course of three years, however, the congressman had “consensual” communications with women he met through social media.

It’s not altogether clear exactly what else Weiner sent to these women, and he would only say the content was “inappropriate.”

On the Political Sex Scandal Richter Scale, I’m still not altogether sure why this even registers at all. Given what we know, Weiner shared adult content with women he met online. They were adults and the interactions were consensual. He didn’t commit adultery (Ensign), he didn’t hire prostitutes (Vitter, Spitzer), he didn’t solicit anyone in an airport bathroom (Craig), he didn’t pretend to be someone else in order to try to pick up women (Lee), he didn’t abandon his office for a rendezvous with his lover (Sanford), he didn’t leave his first two wives after they got sick (Gingrich), he didn’t have a child with his housekeeper (Schwarzenegger), there’s no sex tape (Edwards), and no interns were involved (Clinton). He’s not even a hypocrite — Weiner has never championed conservative “family values,” condemning others for their “moral failings.”*

Major media outlets clearly disagree with me, but Anthony Weiner’s controversy is rather dull by comparison. It’s possible more information will come out, some of it damaging, but for now, I’m still not sure why anyone would care about this.

Maybe now we can talk about unemployment? Please? Anyone?

* updated