The Washington Post has a quick reaction to the latest Anthony Weiner scandal titled, “Anthony Weiner is gross. Let’s stop paying attention to him.” Chris Cillizza writes:
Ever since he first accidentally sent a picture of his undercarriage to a random woman on Twitter in 2011, I’ve been endlessly entertained by Anthony Weiner.
I remember the first Weiner scandal well. What I recall is a long weekend when it seemed pretty clear what had happened and that Weiner was lying about his account being hacked, but the media seemed to be waiting to see if he would get away with it. In any case, Cillizza goes on to say that now that Weiner’s child is involved (he’s seen in one of the pictures) it’s not so amusing anymore. I agree with him on that but then we get to this paragraph:
That’s why I have to hope this is the final chapter in the Weiner saga — or at least the last one we splash on front pages and talk about endlessly on cable TV. It’s now clear that there is something wrong with Weiner — something obsessive and reckless that drives him to this sort of behavior despite being married and having a son. That’s for him to deal with. What we should not — or at least I won’t — do anymore is give him the attention that he clearly craves.
My problem isn’t with what Cillizza has written it’s with what he hasn’t. Can you think of anyone else in politics who has an obsessive and reckless drive that has negatively impacted his political and family life. Someone with a personal connection to Huma Abedin…someone who could be headed to the White House? Did you guess?
How do you write a story about the ruinous sexual compulsion of the husband of Hillary’s top aide and not mention the obvious parallels to Bill Clinton? Both are politicians. Both were caught multiple times. Both faced serious political consequences. Both had wives that stood by them, at least until now. The parallels are hard to miss.
Bill Clinton is the pre-internet Anthony Weiner. They are the same guy. The same compulsion. One of them just channeled it through the latest technology. Weiner sent some nasty texts and photos while Bill did all his sexting in person. Bill was swiping right before Tinder was a gleam in the internet’s eye.
But as disturbing as Weiner’s behavior has been, it’s almost quaint compared to what Bill Clinton has been accused of doing. So far as I know, no one has credibly accused Anthony Weiner of rape. But someone has credibly accused Bill Clinton. Her name is Juanita Broaddrick. As the link shows, a few outlets have discussed this story, but many continue to sidestep it even when it would be completely natural to bring it up.
If it’s time to judge Weiner “gross” and stop treating him as a joke, maybe it’s time to do the same for Bill Clinton. The man who could become America’s first First Gentleman has been accused of doing much worse than embarrassing himself online. At what point does the media decide it’s time to stop snickering behind Bill’s back and start confronting him to his face?