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.