The Washington Post

White House refuses to take media’s Weiner-bait

It’s already being reported as “White House won’t say Weiner should resign.” But judging by the pool report on White House press secretary Jay Carney’s comments on Weinergate during the gaggle on Air Force One this morning, perhaps the real story is that the White House is refusing to take the media’s Weiner-bait:

Is his service in Congress in the nation’s best interest?

“The president feels, we feel at the White House, this is a distraction, as Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, dishonesty was inappropriate. But the president is focused on his job which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs and ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

Were top aides involved in the calls for resignation?

“Not that I’m aware of.”

Should he resign?

“I answered that question. We think it’s a distraction from the important business that this president needs to conduct and congress need to conduct. Beyond that I don’t have any comment.”

Multiple Dem leaders in Congress have already called on Weiner to resign. At this point the decision as to whether he will step down permanently is really up to Weiner and his constituents. Yet reporters are still looking for ways to keep the story alive.

The real story here is that the White House is wholly uninterested in giving the media a way to keep this going. Whether it will work, of course, is another question entirely. Looks like we’re well on our way into Weinergate’s third week.

UPDATE: Obviously if the White House did call for Weiner’s resignation, it would prompt a whole new round of stories; hence the White House’s refusal to do so openly. Of course, there will now be a new round of stories in any case. Week three!

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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