Ever since he first accidentally sent a picture of his undercarriage to a random woman on Twitter in 2011, I’ve been endlessly entertained by Anthony Weiner.
The errors of the former congressman from New York City were large and repeated — he resigned from Congress in the wake of that first sexting scandal and watched his 2013 candidacy for mayor of New York City blow up amid a second sexting episode. But he was also sorry and not really sorry in compelling ways. He expressed regret on social media and any other venue he could gets his hands on but also never totally went away. The documentary about his disastrous run for mayor — titled “Weiner” — drew rave reviews, including from The Fix’s Philip Bump.
Weiner was, for all of his flaws or maybe because of them, impossible to take your eyes off. He was totally and completely watchable.
No more. At least not for me.
That’s because Weiner has done it again. This from the New York Post, which broke the story:
While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton, the disgraced ex-congressman has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a lurid crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture, The Post has learned.
There are pictures — including one with Weiner lying in bed with his son. I'm not going to put them into this post. You can find them.
Here’s the thing: Weiner and Abedin are adults. No one really knows what goes on in marriages. I’ll not stand in judgment on the dynamic of their relationship -- although it appears that relationship is now over. Abedin tweeted out Monday morning that she is separating from Weiner.
Unfortunately, their child is involved in this sordid mess. (He already was, of course, but not this directly. Just go look at the photos if you don’t understand my point.) When you inflict that on a child, I can’t be entertained anymore. Maybe that’s because I am, as a dad of two young children, acutely aware of how much even the smallest things you do influence them and that the best thing about kids is their innocence. I am pretty sure you do not need to be a parent to get that. But I know for sure that when you are a parent, you are reminded of it constantly.
That’s why I have to hope this is the final chapter in the Weiner saga — or at least the last one we splash on front pages and talk about endlessly on cable TV. It’s now clear that there is something wrong with Weiner — something obsessive and reckless that drives him to this sort of behavior despite being married and having a son. That’s for him to deal with. What we should not — or at least I won’t — do anymore is give him the attention that he clearly craves.
He can do whatever he wants to himself. Don’t allow Weiner to drag his son into this thing. That should be a move too far. Or at least it is for me.