Tricky dick

A real-life political tragedy unfolds before the camera in the funny-sad documentary ‘Weiner’


The mayoral candidate marching in a Pride parade, flanked by folks who’ve probably sent a dick pic or two.

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Executive Editor

What is it about the heroes of progressive Democrats that they can’t keep their junk in their boxer-briefs? Bill Clinton’s horndoggery is legendary; Gary Hart’s literally signaled a sea-change in how the political press covers politicians’ private lives.

And then there was Anthony Weiner.

Clinton and Hart were “victims” of investigative journalists and chatty conquests, surprised that their secrets were revealed. Weiner’s downfall resulted from him own thumb, when he tweeted his erect… ummm… wiener to a woman he was flirting with online. There’s no evidence the then- congressman from New York ever physically cheated on his wife Huma Abedin (remarkably, one of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisors) but he botched the handling of the scandal — claiming he was hacked, then quibbling about what really happened, and how much, and with whom. It cost him his congressional seat. But he thought he could ride it out, and two years later looked to be the frontrunner in the race for mayor of New York City. He even allowed two documentarians to make a film of his comeback campaign.

And then he fucked up again.

Screen shot 2016-06-09 at 9.48.23 AMWeiner — the tightly-focused, virtually all-access chronicle of Weiner’s fall-rise-fall in American politics — feels slightly obscene due to its insiders’ look at a man coming apart. We see Anthony Weiner as the firebrand representative, excoriating Republicans in vituperative screeds on the floor of the House, fearlessly taking on opponents in pundit-filled talk shows, gladhanding his constituents during cheer-filled gay Pride marches. He is a Noo Yawkuh, through and through, the kind who brings a gun to a knife fight, who isn’t afraid of a little dirt. You wanna root for the guy. And you wanna throttle him.

Weiner could be screened for those practicing crisis management, although I’m not sure if it’s best seen as a case study or an abject lesson. It’s never fully clear to viewers when Weiner lapsed and sent more incriminating tweets (apparently after the congressional scandal, but how long before the mayoral campaign?).

That’s when his supporters turned on him. A second chance is one thing… but a third? (I think most of us lost our respect for Weiner when we learned his online screenname was “Carlos Danger.”) Yet what, exactly, had changed in the intervening years? The gay community — long ardent fans — would probably be the most forgiving; after all, we are probably, well… more “familiar” with the concept of sending dick pix to strangers and not thinking much of it. (Don’t judge.) But how has such provincialism survived from the Mayflower, when universal marriage is now the norm.

There’s a lot of armchair psychologizing (“Do you have a sex addiction?” an aide queries, although considering he never even meets his online paramours, it makes you Clintonize “It depends on what the definition of ‘sex’ is”) and we get to read it all on the faces of Anthony and Huma, who takes a backseat for most of the campaign as well as the movie, but emerges, in a strange way, as its protagonist. But a large part of you wants to rewrite history: Yes, Anthony Weiner ended up being a flawed narcissistic jackass … are we shocked? He’s a politician … the same politician, by the way, who believes in raising the minimum wage, in securing abortion rights, in expanding Medicare and advocating on behalf of LGBT issues. Weiner suggests that despite his shortcomings, his public shaming — even if earned — shouldn’t be a bar to good works. Twenty-five years after Clarence Thomas coined the phrase, we may finally have proof of what a high-tech lynching looks like. And it’s not pretty.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Anthony Weiner and America’s closet


When Anthony Weiner was exposed for showing his “Little Oscar” in a text message, the press had a field day.

Granted, a lot of it was because of his name and the all-too-obvious puns, but a lot of it has to do with our double standard we have in this country. We live by one standard and are incensed by the invasion of privacy when someone talks about our sexual adventures, but for politicians, it’s open season!

Now let me clarify something. I am not talking about closeted public servants who actively work to suppress the rights of one sexual minority while secretly engaging in the same practice. Because of their hypocrisy I think that makes them fair game. The same holds true for candidates who claim high moral ground, opining about the “sanctity of marriage” and parade under the banners of “family values,” only to engage in serial affairs and get caught with their pants down, sometimes literally!

I am talking about this illusion we have that our politicians are somehow above sex. We as a country seem to believe that sex is some sort of dirty activity and politicians should be chaste. We treat them like priests, but if recent news shows anything, even priests are not chaste.

The whole thing boils down to our country’s strange attitude toward sex in general. We can’t seem to talk about it like adults and we treat the subject with snide remarks or adolescent humor rather than take it seriously. The truth is we are all engaging in sex one way or another, so what is the big deal?

—  Hardy Haberman

Anthony, your weiner isn’t that big a deal

The original Weiner photo (above) has been followed by an X-rated one that can be viewed here (NSFW).

After days of hearing about U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, tweeting a picture of his underwear-clad erect penis to a female Seattle college student, I was delighted to finally see what had stirred up all the commotion.

I’m disappointed to report that my reaction to the picture was decidedly anti-climatic as it frankly requires a lot of imagination to visualize anything remotely stimulating about the picture. No offense intended, Anthony, but I’m surprised you would send anything that unimpressive out into the electronic stratosphere. Frankly, I was more interested in looking for a label to determine what brand of underwear you buy.

It would of course been better if Weiner had initially owned up to the picture being one of him rather than suggesting he had somehow been framed, but maybe he was embarrassed to acknowledge that he makes a rather less-than-spectacular impact. I’ve seen more exciting pictures in the International Male clothing catalog.

The truth is that I’ve also seen far sexier images posted on Facebook by some muscular straight men I know. And as far as I what I’ve seen of gay men’s photos on the electronic media, I won’t even go there. I don’t pay quite as close attention to what my straight female and lesbian friends are posting so I won’t comment on that either.

In the end, the ultimate deal is that it’s just not that big of an event. There are a lot of people out there who think it’s just a harmless diversion. I don’t engage in it because at my age I suffer from no illusions about whether anyone wants to see provocative pictures of me.

Weiner, a married man, has confessed now to engaging in inappropriate electronic relationships with six women over three years. This has sparked a debate about whether these type of relationships that involve no physical contact amount to cheating. I’d say that’s between Weiner and his wife, and not really the business of anyone else.

Now a photo is circulating on the Internet that purportedly is one of Weiner’s manhood fully exposed and standing at attention, providing a little more for critics to sink their teeth in, so to speak. Again, I’ve seen more scintillating images in my time, and I don’t know how anyone is going to prove it is him. That is unless of course he goes to confession again. The truth is that literally no one tells the whole truth about their sex lives.

If Weiner was a Bible-thumping conservative preaching against such activities and condemning any type of relations outside of heterosexual marriage, then he would need to be exposed for being a fraud. As it is, I think he’s just doing what millions of other people are doing who are not suffering any repercussions from their activities.

Sometimes people can become obsessed with electronic relationships, including texting, phone sex and viewing porn. I think it only becomes a problem when those activities began to interfere with people enjoying personal relationships with other people. But again, that’s a personal decision that each person must make for themselves.

The bottom line is that I don’t think Weiner should resign. Believe me, Anthony, the image of your you-know-what is going to fade from the scene in a pretty big hurry. It’s just not that memorable.

—  admin