“Cape. Tights. Looking for my sidekick.”
Nearly every step of the way, it seems, clinging-to-remain-a-Rep. Anthony Weiner took a cartoonishly narcissistic tone to his attributed social-media shenanigans. So it seems as fitting as snug undertrunks that so much of the #Weinergate scandal has unfolded comically.
It is now being reported that in his electronic messages, Weiner was fond of superhero allusions, writing to a middle-aged blackjack dealer in Vegas: “Yep. Cape. Tights. Looking for my sidekick.” He also reportedly wrote to a 17-year-old Delaware girl: “I came back strong. Large. Tights and cape.” (And to be clear: There’s nothing remotely comic about his e-contact with the teenager if his messages prove to have been illicit; as it is, they register as vaguely creepy and distinctly irresponsible.)
Yesterday, Comic Riffs wondered whether the media’s preoccupation would pivot momentarily from Weiner’s trunks to Superman’s new-blue Speedo-snuggies — having no idea at the time that the yep-still-a-Congressman Weiner himself was such a fan of such superheroic self-delusion. Right down to Tales of the Caped Evader.
Ultimately, of course, his own social-media doings are proving his undoing — Twitpic as Kryptonite. (And how long till we see someone Photoshop or otherwise render Weiner’s noggin on the Man of Steel’s sculpted frame?)
Or perhaps Weiner’s true Kryptonite is the Unsatiable News Cycle. His story keeps offering such salacious twists, not even Palin e-mails and Bostonian bus rides, or the Newt-onian physics of a campaign meltdown, could fully derail the Great Weinergate Express.
Armed with such predictable satiric ammo, the nation’s humorists will continue to comment. But here are three noteworthy cartoons that spotlight how we got here:
The extent of Weiner’s reported Twitfoolery and feckless recklessness on Facebook has left such online scandals as that of Chris Lee’s in the political-pop-culture dust. Wethinks Adam Zyglis’s “self-destruct” cartoon should be kept on handy file by all op-ed editors, ready art for each time these online political scandals inevitably occur.
Up until his full-on apology, Weiner’s comments to the media reeked of wave-of-the-hand arrogance and even smirky sexual wordplay. That, of course, did nothing to throw reporters — or the public — off the scent, prompting them to sniff it out only more intensely. Cartoonist Jack Ohman captures the smug punning just right.
Even after Weiner confessed this week to his randy social-media messages, details continued to surface in the media about how baldly he shared his online pathologies. Mike Luckovich says it all with one image: The ego that may have launched a thousand slip-ups.
.And that’s just two weeks of sordid discovery — perhaps not even Andy Breitbart knows what next week could bring.
Many readers may have reached Weinergate fatigue. Yet until either (a) his scandal reaches some kind of resolution, or (b) a Much Bigger News Story breaks, this will continue to play out on America’s mainstage.
And so far, for so many, the piece of work remains a comic tale.