×

Anthony Weiner’s Latest Scandal Tailor-Made for Media

Sex? New York City Politics? Standing By Your Man? Check, check, and check

Royal-Vision, prepare to make way for Weiner-Vision.

Although the cable networks continue to obsess over the Royal Baby — who knew Wolf Blitzer spent so much time in “The Situation Room” worrying about baby names? — it’s hard to imagine a more heady media cocktail than the fresh allegations of sexting regarding former congressman and New York City Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

Just think about this mix of ingredients: New York, the U.S.’ largest media market, and home base to the major networks; sex, or at least a twisted version of it; politics, with Weiner having waded back into the fray; and a made-for-Oprah, “stand by your man” spouse in the form of the telegenic Huma Abedin, who appeared with him. (Suddenly, Abedin becomes the biggest “get” for TV news bookers, short of Kate Middleton’s obstetrician.)

Frankly, when the story broke, one suspects Weiner wasn’t the only one showing his, er, excitement — from the morning shows to the women’s magazines to writers for “The Daily Show” and other latenight comedy programs who won’t need to embellish a thing, starting with Weiner’s sexting alter ego, “Carlos Danger.”

Oftentimes, your humble correspondent has been critical of the networks for obsessing over trifles, including their wall-to-wall coverage of the Royals.

But the Weiner story is too delicious, too fraught with built-in comedy and schadenfreude, to ignore. Hell, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was hyperventilating even more than usual. And as an added bonus, the story should have almost as much resonance with the casual-news-viewing female audience tuning in for the Royal Baby, albeit by connecting with them on a “That cheating bastard” as opposed to “Aw, isn’t that cute” level.

The one really funny thing, perusing the cable nets on Tuesday, was watching them try to transition from the Royal couple to the Weiner scandal. “Up next, we’re moving to a very, very different story,” Blitzer said, heading into a break.

No need to be so sheepish, Wolf. Weiner might be apologizing for his behavior, but on a story as juicy and teeming with angles as this one, for once, you really don’t have to.

More TV

  • Savannah Sellers and Gadi Schwartz -

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • ET Live

    ET Live, ET Online Cut Nearly 25% of Staff as Streamer Narrows Scope

    When ET Live first launched on Halloween of 2018, the free “Entertainment Tonight”-branded streaming network kicked off with 15 hours of live programming a week, in three daily installments of entertainment news a day at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. But after just a few months, the direct-to-consumer platform — modeled off of [...]

  • Victoria Pedretti and Penn Badgley You

    Victoria Pedretti on How L.A. and Joan Didion Influence 'You' Season 2

    A recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Victoria Pedretti broke out last year with her role as the tragic, youngest Crain sibling in Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House.” Her star has continued to rise with a role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” playing Manson family member Leslie “Lulu” Van [...]

  • The Mandalorian Episode 6

    ‘The Mandalorian’: 5 Burning Questions From Episode 6

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not watched the first six episodes of Disney Plus’ “Star Wars” spinoff series “The Mandalorian.”” Episode 6 of “The Mandalorian” continued the series’ propensity for heavy references to its sister works in the “Star Wars” galaxy. Virtually the entire episode took place inside a high-security prison ship, [...]

  • Sera Gamble You Showrunner

    Inside 'You' Season 2 on Netflix: We're Not in Manhattan (or Lifetime) Anymore

    Stepping into a chocolate brown ranch-style home, Penn Badgley’s broody Joe Goldberg wanders through a pool party being thrown on a Tuesday afternoon, exasperated. Inside are hipsters lazing on unicorn floats, several men in Borat swimsuits and a reporter who’s chasing down a Jared Padalecki rumor. Toto, we’re not in Manhattan anymore. When Season 2 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content