By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Even by the often tawdry state of what often goes on behind the scenes in our nation’s capitol, this was a weird state of affairs. A young, brash Congressman holds a news conference to announce that he lied over charges he earlier disputed regarding using the Internet to send suggestive personal photos and messages to women he did not know.
By now, you’ve read (I pray people still read newspapers) and viewed footage of yesterday’s news conference featuring Representative Anthony Weiner (D-New York).
The pundits continue to weigh in on Mr. Weiner’s fate — can he salvage his political career? will he be forced to resign? how will this impact the Democratic party, especially President Obama’s re-election chances in 2012? — so I’ll go down a different avenue. Here’s what the PRDude thinks about the Weinergate Scandal.
- Bad “PR” for the Democrats. Of course this development does not bode well for Mr. Weiner’s party. But from a textbook perspective, public relations — as least as how I define and practice it — did not figure into the equation. “Public relations” could not have stopped Mr. Weiner from sending out those naughty tweets.
- From the “Who Are These People and Don’t They Have Jobs/Better Things to do Department.” Just did a search on Facebook for “Anthony Weiner.” Came up with around 80 sites, which range from sites that want the Congressman to resign to those that want him to run for President. And, of course, there are those that play games with his last name. I’m afraid to check Twitter.
- Next in Line for a Reality Show. A Texas single mom, Meagan Broussard, is the woman at the forefront of the scandal. She told ABC News that the Congressman initiated an exchange of sexually-charged messages, complete with color images, way back in April of this year. Of course, she played along with the cyber sex game. Reportedly, Ms. Broussard was studying to be a nurse. I predict she’ll be hosting a show on MTV with Snooki Polizzi sometime soon. (Bet you didn’t know Snooki has her own web site! Rest assured: There’s lots of cleavage.)
- In Case You Forgot: There’s a War Going On. This kind of story — full of sex, politics, sex, intrigue, sex and back-room dealings — makes for great headlines (these are found in newspapers and magazines, along with online content). But come on. Some naughty personal dealings by a guy elected by the people of New York should not dominate the news when men and women are being killed in the war in Afghanistan — a war that more than likely will have no decisive end and is costing us billions. Literally, $2 billion every week, according to the Huffington Post.
Finally, I predict Weinergate will fade away by week’s end, if not sooner. This guy was a Congressman, albeit a feisty one, not the President. By next week, we’ll be dicing up news that relates to Sarah Palin’s rewriting of history, or who got knocked off “Dancing with the Stars.”
Ah, what a great country we live in.