In June 11 IssueBy John Thompson, Columnist
So let me do my part in giving a total non-story continued legs. Yes, the so called "Weinergate" non-story, non-scandal deserves no more press…. In fact, it deserved about one-one hundredth the amount of press it's already gotten.
But underlying the non-issue is a much, much larger issue, many issues really. A level of a witch hunt that is reminiscent of the McCarthy hearings is currently underway, though this time it's being played out on our television screens instead of a senate hearing. Sure, it won't long have those kind of legs, because we no longer have that much memory or attention span. But while it lasts, the right wing and the so called "liberal media" are going to milk this non-scandal for all it's worth. And that should concern us all.
The number one issue is privacy and this mentality of codification of social norms. The man sent semi-clad photos to someone. Big deal. He may well have sent nude photos of himself to a willing recipient. Big deal. He may have had adult conversation with women via the internet. Big deal. What is a big deal is that it's being made out as a big deal.
So why is this happening? Anthony Weiner was one of the most outspoken liberal voices in congress. I make the distinction between liberal and Democrat, because these days there is quite often a large distinction between liberal and Democrat, being that the Democratic Party is now nothing but another corporate party that has to battle against the other, stronger corporate party (the Republican Party) to win favor of their rich masters.
But within the system there are a few strong liberal voices; Bernie Sanders, Senator from the state of Vermont who filibustered President Obama's support for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts; Dennis Kucinich, Congressman from Ohio who is actually leading a charge to impeach President Obama over our involvement in Libya; and Anthony Weiner, the brash and boisterous congressman from New York who regularly blasts the harmful Republican attempts to further the divide between the haves and the have-nots.
What Weiner did, at best, was stupid on his part. I suppose he should have realized that there is no longer even a pretense that a "sex scandal" must somehow be related to the work that the politician does. Many in the right wing, including myself at the time, blasted Clinton not for his misdeeds regarding Monica Lewinsky, but for lying about it. I didn't realize then like I do now how that was just one arm of the attack on Clinton, the trick being to try to cover all bases when demonizing him. People like me were of the mind that private business is private, and that marital infidelities are a relationship problem, not a media sensation, unless of course the messing around compromised national security in some way. No, people like me were mad because he "lied under oath" and those who were on the political witch hunt purely for political purposes were just fine with that.
Weiner at one time actually had the "McCarthyism" charge tossed at him. He had called for an investigation into the company Goldline and Glenn Beck for creating an alliance with Beck's Fox News program to benefit off of Beck's constant harping that the civilization was crashing, the dollar would be worthless and gold was the only way to go. After every 10 minutes of Beck preaching this, then on would come a commercial for Goldline, who attempted to sell gold coins at an inflated price. Beck later evoked the memory of the McCarthy tactics, saying "this is again another arm of this administration coming out to try to shut me down."
Now the so called liberal media is continuing its role as whipped dog by bowing to pressures to make a story out a congressman's totally legal indiscretions.
When I heard about the so called scandal, my first reaction was like a lot of liberals… Why? Why Weiner would you put yourself in this position when we need you so badly? Quickly though I thought that the coverage of the incident way outweighed the significance, and realized it was just another political hit job.
Now some might claim I'm hypocritical if I've blasted Republicans in the past for sexual scandals but now I refuse to. Well if you know me, you'd know that my anger has always been at hypocrisy. And if that hypocrisy leads to legislation that is supposed to control the populace, while the one sponsoring the measure themselves participate in the behavior, then that's not only hypocrisy writ large, but an attempt to make laws that you and I must follow, but they won't.
If a congressman constantly berates homosexuals, or passes or attempts to pass legislation that seeks to curtail the rights of homosexuals, then that person is found to themselves have had homosexual dalliances, then there's absolutely no reason that should be kept out of the press, because it is news; it is something that affects the populace.
Willing cyber-sexual encounters, or even real life in person sexual encounters otherwise are not, or at least should not be grist for the media mill.
Particularly sickening to me is that this gives an appearance of credibility to the scummiest scum out there: Andrew Breitbart.
Breitbart is the one who broke this massive, earth shattering story that consenting adults may have been talking dirty to each other. And the charge was initially against the media that they wouldn't take the non-story and run with it. But these days CNN and the rest try their hardest to keep up with Fox News, to make sure they don't get that "liberal" moniker, and so after Weiner's rather clumsy initial press conference, they decided that yes, they would run with the non-story, and push other important news like our illegal war in Libya, our war in Iraq, our war in Afghanistan, and our illegal war in Pakistan off the map.
Luckily for anyone who is interested, on Free Speech TV there's a program called Democracy Now. This morning they never mentioned Anthony Weiner, though I did see about five dead Afghani children under the age of five, courtesy of our tax dollars.
Breitbart is the perfect corporate wealth hit man. Is there a progressive out there trying to make people understand that what we have in this world is being unfairly horded by a few? Sic Breitbart on them. He'll doctor a video, he'll twist the words and he'll propagate the lies needed to make sure that sick people like Congressman Paul Ryan are able to continue their policies that destroy society by taking away "entitlements" like Medicare, Social Security, even Veterans Benefits, all for the sake of protecting the rich man's fourth yacht, because you know, they "earned it"… though somehow others work their hind ends off and suffer the anxieties of not being able to provide for their families… somehow they haven't "earned it."
And the rest of the media kowtows to this continued push toward a fascist, corporate police state. Control the media, that's at the top of the list of must-do's if you're going to keep the masses ignorant and compliant.
Why can Breitbart, seemingly with impunity, publicly make a blackmail threat against Anthony Weiner and nothing is said? Breitbart said he was keeping Weiner's nude photos from public sight as "insurance" against Weiner in case Weiner decided to come after him. When did this become not an illegal threat of blackmail? And who knows, I know there are still a few in prominence who actually believe in things like "law" and "justice" and may take that on, but you'll not hear it through that darned ole "liberal" commie pinko media.
My own friends "threw him under the bus," (Weiner) to use a phrase that's becoming nausea inducing by this point. They said his indiscretions are unforgivable; that it shows such poor judgment that he should resign, as if we have an endless stream of progressive advocators in position of power to try to fight for the common man, considering the common man is no longer willing to fight for him/herself, and often actively fights against his or her own interest.
So then is this the beginning of a new McCarthy witch hunt? Must politicians show a purity that now extends to not having sexual discussions with willing partners, or trade pictures with them? If it's good enough for politicians, is it good enough for the rest of us?
If so, you can count on this, and it's something that strikes me occasionally, and again recently when I heard that over 100 laws that were signed into law at the beginning of the year are now going into effect. And that is this; we have tens of thousands of laws, written rules we are supposed to abide by; then there are the unwritten "laws" of morality. Eventually it will become so that no one will be able to be "pure"… no one can help but be a lawbreaker, or do something, even though ostensibly "private", that can't be gotten to and used against you.
The trick will be the selective use of those laws, or the selective holding or releasing of that information that would be damaging; selective application of those laws, or of that information to control us, or control our politicians.
Just another paver in that road to totalitarianism we're building.