Should we care about Weiner's scandal?

I can’t sign up for this. I don’t think that cheating on your wife, or lesser betrayals like sexting, are minor marital pecadillos, of no more public interest than whether you remembered to pay the gas bill or unload the dishwasher. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to punish infidelity, but that doesn’t imply that society has no interest in whether people keep their vows. Marriage is a valuable social institution. There are good reasons that society should buttress it. So I’m not sure it’s a waste of time, in the face of these sorts of allegations, to use a few of our precious news hours to say, “Hey, not okay!” Moreover, in the age of the internet, you cannot simply decline to report this as a neutral act. Instead, you send an affirmative message: “We don’t really think he did anything wrong.”

I am fighting a powerful urge to point out that virtually all of the people urging us to move on to something more important are men. But obviously, I’m losing the fight.

That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, of course. Maybe they’re right, and it’s pointless. But there’s something a little too fifties about the “All men do it, so why should we care?” approach to this. I’d like to think that enforcing the norms which hold that infidelity is really, actually wrong is worth taking a few hours out of a slow news cycle.

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