Weiner campaign continues its implosion

And a communications director who lets fly a series of expletives about a former intern, on the record to a reporter, is perhaps the best chapter yet. Unladylike language below the fold!

Tuesday was an angry day in Weinerland.

The campaign staff awoke to see their former intern, Olivia Nuzzi, on the front cover of the Daily News. Inside the paper was an article bylined by Nuzzi in which she told a rather unflattering tale of her experience working on Anthony Weiner’s mayoral bid.

Now, Team Weiner is firing back. TPM called Weiner’s communications director Barbara Morgan to discuss an unrelated story Tuesday and she went off on a curse-filled rant about Nuzzi, describing her as a fame hungry “bitch” who “sucked” at her job. Morgan also called Nuzzi a “slutbag,” “twat,” and “cunt” while threatening to sue her.

“I’m dealing with like stupid fucking interns who make it on to the cover of the Daily News even though they signed NDAs and/or they proceeded to trash me,” Morgan told TPM, referring to a non-disclosure agreement. “And by the way, I tried to fire her, but she begged to come back and I gave her a second chance.”

Morgan went on to suggest Nuzzi would be unable to get a job in New York City’s political scene as a result of her actions.

“Fucking slutbag. Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again,” said Morgan.


“It’s all bullshit,” she said. “I mean, it’s such bullshit. She could fucking — fucking twat.”

“I mean, it’s such bullshit. She could fucking — fucking twat.” Quote of the day.

There is even more(!) at TPM.

At this point, I’m unclear on who in New York is still supporting Weiner. It’s not like there aren’t other great candidates in the race; Weiner is not the only Democrat and he’s not the only liberal. And it’s not as if Weiner was any political prize to begin with — his time in Congress was essentially an exercise in self-promotion, and he didn’t get anything done. I don’t care if he has a sexting fetish, but I do care that the mayor of New York exercise some semblance of good judgment. And when you had to resign your Congressional seat because you were using social media (and your position of power as an elected official) to engage in sexualized conversations with women on the internet (which you would eventually escalate into unsolicited dick pics) and then you go on a broad PR campaign to rehabilitate your image so you can run for another elected office and then you do that same troublesome thing again I think you either have a serious problem or you demonstrate awful judgment. You are maybe not fit for political office. So who, given the other options on the table, is still supporting Weiner?


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76 comments for “Weiner campaign continues its implosion

  1. Kat
    July 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I think we can safely add “hiring someone who describes former employees as ‘cunts’ and ‘fucking slutbags’ as your damn director of communications” to the list of Weiner’s bad choices.

    • July 31, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I KNOW, RIGHT? Holy shit. And then the, “Oh. I am so sorry. I thought it was off the record. I used ~inappropriate language.” What a tool.

  2. Revolver
    July 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Apparently the communications director thought she was off the record. While she was being interviewed. By a reporter. For a news article. Shit that juicy is never off the record.

    • July 31, 2013 at 10:48 am

      I wonder why she thought she was off the record. Did she say, “This is off the record”?

      • Revolver
        July 31, 2013 at 11:12 am

        This all she said:

        “In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation. It was wrong and I am very sorry, which is what I said tonight when I called and emailed Olivia to apologize.”

        Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of TPM, said, however, that the conversation “definitely” came on the record. He said it came during an interview for an unrelated story about Weiner’s fundraising numbers.

        “During that discussion, Morgan launched into a very animated series of comments about Nuzzi, which we quote in the piece,” Marshall said in an email.

        Source

      • Revolver
        July 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

        That should be mostly in block quotes…sorry.

      • Wendy
        August 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

        Nothing is ever “off the record” when you talk to a reporter whether they claim it is or not. I have to wonder how someone who works in politics doesn’t know that.

      • Wendy
        August 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

        I’m refering to Barbara Morgan of course, not Jill.

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        This is simplistic, and it sounds like you’re saying all reporters are liars. If you tell a reporter, “there’s more I can tell you, but it would have to be off the record” and the reporter says, “okay, we’re off,” they won’t print your name. If they violate that, in tight political communities, it will get around fast and nobody will talk to them. Reporters actually rarely burn sources — in my view, too rarely because one of the typical conditions of OTR is that the information be true, and reporters often talk a good game about being willing to burn a source who lies to them while OTR but almost never do it. Tim Russert testified at the Libby trial that when political figures called him, he BLANKET allowed them to be OTR unless they agreed otherwise, which shocked a lot of people.

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        That said, (1) she had no reason to believe it was off the record; and (2) she surely knows that even OTR, the exact words can still be attributed to a source, just not a named one. That language would haunt the campaign even if the reporter had agreed to and did attribute it to a “person within the campaign.”

      • Wendy
        August 2, 2013 at 8:43 am

        I didn’t say reporters were liars I said nothing you say to them is off the record. They may not name you as a source but if you talk to a reporter you better not say anything you don’t want to see in print. I deal with reporters in my work constantly. Anyone who deals with reporters regularly and doesn’t know that “simplistic” rule of thumb is going to learn it quick.

    • July 31, 2013 at 10:50 am

      If there were literal political graveyards, “I thought that was off the record” would be the most common inscription on the tombstones.

  3. July 31, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Weiner’s paramount sin is simply: He doesn’t do what he says he will do. That is the least adaptive trait for a politician trying to get elected.

    Leave aside the whole issue of whether Weiner’s past behaviour was innately problematic or not. It’s an interesting discussion to have on its own merits, but in terms of the political future of one Msr Weiner, it’s irrelevant. Because Weiner clearly decided that it was harmful to his goals, and it had to stop.

    Except, having made that decision, having weighed up the pros and cons and consulted with his family and advisors and made a decision, he was back to doing exactly the same thing only a few months later. The first time, at least, he could claim ignorance for the consequences or the chances of being found out. But it was a simple, inevitable fact that people would be looking for signs that he was continuing, so the chances of him getting away with it were tiny.

    I am hesitant to use words like ‘addiction’ when discussing sexual behaviour but I do admit that the pattern of behaviour here does remind me of a recidivist alcoholic. You know, the one who makes a big show of renouncing drink, seeks out congratulations (and issues a few to themselves), perhaps even ostentatiously talks about how different they are and the world seems, and then hits the bottle again.

    Somebody with that little ability to avoid the blitheringly obvious is unlikely to be an effectual administrator, especially of an institution as big and complex as New York City.

  4. DouglasG
    July 31, 2013 at 11:28 am

    The only support I see isn’t personal. It comes from those strongly devoted to the idea that sexting is the new marijuana. I suppose their worst-case scenario is not entirely implausible. If, for some reason, sexting were to remain a political career killer for the next several decades, there might conceivably be nobody left to run for office but homeschooled Christianists (just a vague stab at a sort of person likely to avoid objectionable conduct on the internet, not a knock on home education or a comment on religious veracity – although that group would likely contain a high proportion of both abstainers and worst offenders). But trying to make this the breakthrough case feels like learning to swim by being thrown into the twelve-foot-deep portion of the pool. Some of this support I suspect to be based on having loved ones in the mid-teens to mid-twenties who are presumably sexting at present (or have at least appeared in a compromising photo in this age of no privacy) and might have particular doors closed on them in ten or fifteen years or so, but I try not to look too hard for that.

  5. July 31, 2013 at 11:43 am

    What astonishes me is that in interviews he gives the impression that he still thinks this is a ‘private matter.’ Ummmm, no, you’ve publicly humiliated your wife again, key words being PUBLICLY and AGAIN.

    I actually had a strange experience yesterday, I rode in an elevator with a whole group of people who appeared to be some sort of entourage. Turns out it was Sydney Leathers (the woman in the scandal) and her people. I learned who it was because every news outlet I saw that day mentioned her interview with Howard Stern (it was the McGraw Hill building where SIRIUSXM is located.) I wish I could give a good story about it, but I did that thing you do in elevators where you don’t look directly at people. in fact I didn’t recognize her in the video from the news, I first recognized the building, then recognized one of the guys she was with, and realized it was her.

  6. July 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

    And as for the comments by Ms. Morgan, yeah, they are pretty hideous, but I don’t like the way that all of a sudden a woman is now painted as the villain of the piece.

    • July 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

      P.S. That accusation of painting a woman as the villain of the piece was a criticism of TPM, not Jill.

      • Tim
        July 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        I’m not all that huge a fan of TPM in general or Josh Marshall in particular, but I reread that piece and I don’t see how they are “painting” Morgan as anything. It’s pretty factual. She made the comments and most of it is just quoting her, so she pretty much did the painting herself.

    • PrettyAmiable
      July 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      … is there a reason we can’t acknowledge her sexist language? I don’t think Weiner made his PR director sexist.

      • July 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        … is there a reason we can’t acknowledge her sexist language? I don’t think Weiner made his PR director sexist.

        Is she sexist? Her language is, but you think she picked that up in a vacuum? Or is it an acceptable way of talking ‘off the record’ in politics? If so, then she is not the story.

      • PrettyAmiable
        July 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        Yes. Why discuss when women hurt each other. If a woman says shitty things but she knows a possibly shittier man, obviously the discussion should be centered on the dude.

      • tinfoil hattie
        July 31, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        No, Steve. It’s not an acceptable way to talk, ever. For heaven’s sake!

      • July 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        Is she sexist? Her language is, but you think she picked that up in a vacuum?

        Okay, so if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, are you going to conclude it`s just a frog with a groin injury and a foreign accent?

      • Donna L
        July 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        is it an acceptable way of talking ‘off the record’ in politics?

        No. First of all, any “communications director” of a political campaign who talks like that to a reporter and simply assumes that it’s off the record (because she hasn’t claimed that anyone actually said it was) is a complete fool who should never have gotten the job in the first place. It sounds like something you’d see in the Onion.

        But even leaving that aside, it’s still horrible. I’ve known lots of people in New York politics, and yes there are some (including women) who use the “f” word a lot because they think it makes them sound tough and savvy and streetwise, but I’ve never heard anyone talk quite like that. And even if they did? It’s still unacceptable. Completely. And she doesn’t get a pass because she’s a woman.

      • amblingalong
        August 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        /cosign Donna’s point. Having worked in NYC politics for a few years, I can certainly attest that there’s plenty of swearing (though I disagree that it’s an affectation- this could be a generational divide, but responding with “ah, fuck” when something goes wrong on a campaign is pretty much just how a lot of people talk naturally) but anyone who uses this type of language would have been seriously disciplined, if not fired, from any of the campaigns I worked on. Partially because it creates a hostile environment for other staffers, but mostly because if it leaked it would be a nightmare in the press.

        And that’s not even touching saying such things to a reporter.

      • Donna L
        August 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

        I disagree that it’s an affectation- this could be a generational divide, but responding with “ah, fuck” when something goes wrong on a campaign is pretty much just how a lot of people talk naturally

        That’s not what I’m talking about; I’m talking about the kind of person (and I’m sure there are people like that in all occupations, usually men but not always) who can hardly say a sentence without inserting “fuck” between almost every word and, of course, sometimes in the middle of words. And I think that that can be an affectation, designed to communicate something like “I’m tough and know what’s what; I grew up on the streets and was educated in the school of hard knocks, not like you lily-livered pantywaisted [whatever that means] Ivy League pointy-headed intellectuals.”

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        That’s not what I’m talking about; I’m talking about the kind of person (and I’m sure there are people like that in all occupations, usually men but not always) who can hardly say a sentence without inserting “fuck” between almost every word and, of course, sometimes in the middle of words.

        eh, I picked up that habit after dating a boy who used the F word like that. Hard habit to break. I am reminded of A Christmas Story (my favorite movie)-

        My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.

      • khw
        August 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        There are plenty of us who curse like troopers. I know I do. I live bilingually, so I curse like a sailor (please pick preferred metaphor) in both languages.

        My cursing has more to do with the fact that I quite like curse-words than because I’m trying to sound tough. I love words of all kinds, and curse-words, due to their taboo-status have a certain power that simply cannot be expressed in other more “refined” choices.

        Trust me, it would be hard for me to hide my middle-class Irish education and the fact that I went to one of the top UK universities (not Ox-bridge, but getting there) behind a barrage of “fucks” and “bloody hells”. I have no intention of even trying to sound all “working-class-hero”.

        Notwithstanding the above, I hardly ever curse in professional environments or when I am trying to sound relatively intelligent, precisely, due to that nice, middle-class education I received.

        I would certainly question the common-sense of any communications director who chooses to use such an impressive (even by Dublin standards!) barrage of curse-words while talking with a reporter. I would expect a communications director to be able to express themselves with an appropriate vocabulary, especially when speaking with a member of the press. For heaven’s sakes, she wasn’t out drinking with her mates, she was supposedly trying to protect her employer.

        It also would make me question the common-sense of whoever appointed that particular communications director.

    • tinfoil hattie
      July 31, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      It’s pretty villainous, in my opinion, to use misogynist slurs against anyone – but especially in this case!

  7. Henry
    July 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

    You can read the texts between these two in all their glory on various internet sites. The pics were mutually exchanged, as were the texts. Weiner’s privacy has been violated and no one seems to care about that, I wonder why? Posting the marital sexual indiscretions of male politicians has become a right of passage for American yellow journalism these days. It plays well to our Puritanical values.

    Apparently it’s sexist (according to NOW) to have an affair too, where the woman was asking him for an apartment in Chicago and he broke it off and she sent off all the private details to the press as revenge and hoping for a book deal. (See CNN coverage for the details).

    Weiner’s an idiot for believing his on-line girlfriend was out for anything more than cash and he’s an idiot for hiring such a foul mouthed campaign comm. director.

    • July 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Weiner’s an idiot for believing his on-line girlfriend was out for anything more than cash and he’s an idiot for hiring such a foul mouthed campaign comm. director.

      Yes, when will these idiotic men stop falling for these horrible manipulative women? (sarcasm)

      Only took 12 minutes after my comment about painting a woman as the villain of the piece for someone to come along and not only do that, but double up on it by blaming both women.

    • Tim
      July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      What Fat Steve said, and also: It’s not only about Sydney Leathers (and I am NOT accepting the “villain” framing of her, only leaving her aside for the moment for the sake of argument). At least one of the women who got the dick pics previously did not consent before getting it. That makes it problematic at the very least, and more like harassing and even predatory behavior.

      • July 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

        Well, the round of dick pics that got him tossed out of Congress was non-consensual, but is it possible that he has mended his ways and started only sending dick pics to consensual receivers?

    • August 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      He sent pics of his penis to women who did not expect or want them. He pressed Lisa Weiss, the blackjack dealer, over and over to turn conversations about policy into sexual exchanges. That’s not just infidelity. But while we’re at it, if a politician promises monogamy and then doesn’t keep the promise, to the person he owes the greatest duty of loyalty, why would I expect that politician to keep campaign promises to me?

      • August 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        But while we’re at it, if a politician promises monogamy and then doesn’t keep the promise, to the person he owes the greatest duty of loyalty, why would I expect that politician to keep campaign promises to me?

        I think unsolicited sexual come-ons are far worse than having a mutual affair, which plenty of men and women do. Technically Weiner was, at least physically, monogamous as far as we know, but that doesn’t excuse him.

      • Lolagirl
        August 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        I dunno, Steve, worse for whom?

        Which is to say that setting these things up as bad behavior that can be ranked into a hierarchy of badness is a vast oversimplification. I’m certainly not going to second guess the SO of the cheater feeling victimized by the infidelity as opposed to the person victimized by the unsolicited sexual come-on.

        Nuance, a complicated thing.

      • August 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        I dunno, Steve, worse for whom?

        I meant as a representation of a politician, ie, whether or not one would keep their campaign promises. I was responding to that specific bit I blockquoted. I wasn’t saying I had the definitive answer by any means, just saying IMO that Weiner’s behavior seems to show more contempt for his constituents than, say, if we found out that Bill Thomson had a year long affair early on in his marriage.

        I agree with what you say about the SO in each matter being entitled to be react however they want. I’m also not naive enough to assume that the SO is okay with the affair just because she does not publicly express her hurt and outrage.

      • The Last Selina
        August 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        I dunno, Steve, worse for whom?

        Worse for the people he is working for, ie, his constituents. A mutual affair is between him and his wife. It breaks the vows he made to her specifically. It’s not like he’s vowing to be sexually monogamous to the people of NYC in his campaign promises. His second wife might need that information but I’m not so sure the voters do.
        Unsolicited sexual come-ons speaks to how he views and treats women generally, something that someone who was voting for him might want to know in terms of whether that is someone they want as a representative.

  8. pheenobarbidoll
    July 31, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    If you can’t manage your own life, you’re in no position to make decisions that affect my life.

    I don’t expect perfection, but if I can’t trust you any farther than I can kick you down the street, it’s just not worth my time. When the people closest to you have to watch their back, you’re not going to get an opportunity to shove a knife in mine.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      July 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      And- if that hateful woman is the type of person he chooses to surround himself with…says a whole lot too. She went straight to the bottom of the barrel and picked the worst filth to sling at that intern.

      • July 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        She went straight to the bottom of the barrel and picked the worst filth to sling at that intern.

        Having read the transcripts of the Weiner texts, it’s hard for me to pinpoint what I feel is the ‘worst’ filth spewed out over this matter.

      • July 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

        And- if that hateful woman is the type of person he chooses to surround himself with…says a whole lot too. She went straight to the bottom of the barrel and picked the worst filth to sling at that intern.

        I really don’t think it’s fair to to tar her as any ‘type of person.’ She reacted badly to something which seriously affected her livelihood and spoke out of anger. Pheeno, you spoke in another thread how you would fight like hell if someone took $150 from you, how would you feel if someone was threatening your job? (I don’t know what a comm director makes, but I would imagine it’s close to 6 figures.)

        This woman saw her whole future for 4 years completely disappearing and spoke out of anger, I don’t think that makes her any ‘type of person.’ Anthony Wiener on the other hand, clearly is, a rather nasty one indeed.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        July 31, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        The “type” of person she is is clearly one who believes calling other women the C word is acceptable, in private when you think it’s ok because no one will hear.

        It makes her the type of person who will use horrible, filthy slurs because, ANGER.

        That’s a crap excuse when white people use racial slurs because they’re pissed, it’s a crap excuse when people use homophobic slurs when they’re pissed and it’s a crap excuse to use gender slurs because you’re pissed.

      • July 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        The “type” of person she is is clearly one who believes calling other women the C word is acceptable, in private when you think it’s ok because no one will hear.

        Well, the woman I love has used that word in private to describe other women who’ve been really exceptionally shitty to her, including occasionally her mother.

        Remarkably, when she does, I never criticize her language, I just do what I can to make her less stressed about the situation. Based on the comments here, I guess some of you would think I’m married to a horrible person, but what can I say….I happen to love her.

      • All Cats Are Beautiful
        July 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        She reacted badly to something which seriously affected her livelihood and spoke out of anger. Pheeno, you spoke in another thread how you would fight like hell if someone took $150 from you, how would you feel if someone was threatening your job?

        She should have trashed her boss then instead of this former intern. I do find it misogynistic to blame and use gendered insults against a woman who had a shitty job at this campaign and complained about it when the real problem is Weiner, the guy responsible for these working conditions and all the other stupid stuff that gives his campaign bad press.

      • Alara Rogers
        August 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        Gendered slurs do not work the way anti-black slurs or anti-Hispanic slurs or anti-gay slurs work, because 51% of the population is too large for there to be solidarity.

        The whole reason male oppression of women *exists* is that women collaborate. We are HALF OF HUMANITY. How could half of humanity control the other half so completely if the controlled half didn’t contain many, many people who are complicit and even assist the controlling half in maintaining that control? A black person using the n-word is part of an in-group with internal solidarity where their culture has decided that it is okay for them to reclaim that word by using it with each other. Likewise the reclamation of the word “queer”. But women do not *have* a culture; we are 51% of the population, we can’t have just one culture. We have a subset of everyone’s culture. There’s a black women’s culture and an Irish women’s culture and a rich New Yorker women’s culture and a middle class Southerner women’s culture and they are all as distinct from each other as the cultures they stem from are. There is no solidarity among women.

        So when women use gendered slurs, they are not using a reclaimed, in-group acceptable term that women, as a whole, have decided it is not offensive for women to use about other women. They are using them the exact same way men use them, as a tool of psychological violence against women. And that makes them collaborators. You don’t get a free pass for being a collaborator because you are oppressed. It makes you a *worse* person to collaborate with the oppressor.

        When I am angry I say “fuck” a lot. I call people asshats, assholes, fuckwads, shitheads, and various other non-gendered slurs. I have *never* called anyone a cunt, a twat or a slutbag no matter how much I hated her, and there have been women and girls who set out to deliberately ruin my life that I have hated more profoundly than I’ve hated anyone else, and I never called them anything that depended for its power to insult on the idea of female sexuality being inherently disgusting. I have, on occasion in the past, called someone a bitch, but I have purged that particular insult from my repertoire in the past 10 years because it doesn’t mean what it ought to mean (bitch should be the feminine of dog. “Morgan is Weiner’s bitch” would be an accurate use because it implies that she is stupidly, slavishly, doggishly loyal to someone who does not deserve it. “Nuzzi is a bitch” would be inaccurate because her behavior in no way resembles a stereotypical dog– she is not demonstrating loyalty, even stupid levels of loyalty, she is not foaming at the mouth attacking someone, nothing about her behavior is doglike and therefore she is not a bitch. We use bitch to mean “woman I don’t like” rather than “woman who acts like a dog”, which is insulting both to women and to dogs.) I’m from New York, where fuck is an adjective, but this kind of extremely gendered nastiness is not a New York thing, and a woman using this language about another woman does not get a free pass for being a woman, anymore than a traitor who sells out his country gets a free pass for being a citizen of that country.

        Calling Nuzzi a “stupid fucking intern” is exactly what I expect an angry New Yorker in Morgan’s position to do, and I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same in her shoes. But “slutbag”, “twat”, “cunt” — those terms are only insulting because they draw on a sense that women are disgusting. And if you’re a woman who thinks women are disgusting, I think *less* of you than I do of men who think women are disgusting. Because you’re a collaborator and a traitor to your own kind. And if all it takes to make you reveal how much you hate your fellow woman is that you’re mad at one, you’re someone I despise, because while I am fighting to protect you you are a fifth column seeking to knock me down, and if I could kick you off the island and take away your woman card for your hatefulness to other women I would.

        Weiner is the ultimate villain of the Weiner campaign, yes. But Weiner didn’t make Morgan unload a shit-ton of misogynistic language on Nuzzi. Morgan did that all on her own. Which, yes, makes Morgan the villain of the story about “Weiner’s campaign director trashing former intern”. Weiner is not the villain of *that* story, even though it’s a sub-story of the one he is the villain of. And it reflects badly on Weiner that Morgan used such egregious misogynistic language, but it doesn’t reflect so badly on Weiner that we can simply blame him and pretend Morgan isn’t herself culpable for being a misogynist ass.

      • July 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm

        Also: I am giving her a bit of a pass because she is female and I am not, so I feel she is entitled to her opinion about those words because they affect her a lot more than me, but totally get why women would not feel obliged to give her the same pass as I do.

      • Revolver
        July 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        By “giving her a pass” because she’s a woman, aren’t you taking away her agency? (Granted, her agency to be a terrible person, but regardless.) Aren’t you doing what MRAs so often do, by assuming we can’t be responsible for ourselves, and some man has to be the cause/fault of our behavior?

      • tinfoil hattie
        July 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        I don’t think any woman who uses these kinds of words against another woman deserves a “pass” from anyone. She’s not joking around with friends, wherein they’re all ironically calling one another “sluts” or something. This was hateful, misogynist language that she chose on purpose to denigrate another woman. I am a foul-mouthed person, but I do NOT use gendered slurs nor racist ones. I have SOME standards.

      • Donna L
        July 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        I agree. Being angry is no excuse any more than being intoxicated is an excuse for that kind of thing. Those words have to be in there somewhere to come out like that, just like they were inside Michael Richards when he used the “n” word with a heckler. I’ve been angry plenty of times, but I’ve never used a single one of those words, just like there are a lot of other words I’ve never used. I can’t even imagine. “Asshole” and “shithead” and words like that? Sure. These words? No.

      • July 31, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        That’s a crap excuse when white people use racial slurs because they’re pissed

        Those words have to be in there somewhere to come out like that, just like they were inside Michael Richards when he used the “n” word with a heckler.

        I don’t think a white person using the n-word/a racial slur is analogous. A POC using the n-word is an analogous situation. I’m not saying it’s right, but as a white person, I’m not going to comment on how a POC feels about that word.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 1, 2013 at 12:06 am

        You just did. And the point is that it’s not excusable for anyone to ever use slurs like that. No reason is justifiable. Being mad just means you’ve stopped censoring the thoughts already there. Sharing the same skin color/gender/sexuality does not make those words less offensive. Or wrong. We are not talking about power/ privilege differences. We are talking about using the language of oppression against someone because the speaker is mad and thinks it’s off the record. As if being off the record magically makes those words less bad. As if anger is an excuse to use oppressive words. It is still wrong.

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:20 am

        A POC using the n-word is an analogous situation.

        Not if they’re not black. Just saying.

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:23 am

        Not if they’re not black. Just saying.

        Quite. Bad wording on my part, thanks for pointing that out (though I feel stupid that I undermined my analogy, I appreciate it.)

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:27 am

        No worries, and sorry for breaking in on the conversation; I’ve just seen too many non-black POC use the “POC argument” for why they want to be hatefully anti-black use the N-word.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

        Steve’s analogy is still missing the point though. If that language isn’t in your head, if you don’t think there are situations that call for that language- then you don’t use that language.

        Like Liberal men who will call Conservative women gendered slurs. I loathe Anne Coulter too, but I have not and will not ever call her the C word. Because I don’t believe that’s appropriate “punishment” for her being a “bad” woman.

        None of those words had to do with her being a bad intern, or employee. They were all about her being a bad woman. Having so called negative female traits or negative female character.

      • bleh
        August 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        Sadly, while I do not use the c word, I have used misogynistic slurs against other women in private (in front of my [male] spouse). In anger and extreme pain, those words from your childhood (in my case b***ch and s**t) come out. Super not proud of those moments, and clear that they display internalized misogyny. However, I would hate to be kicked out the the feminist club for doing so, because it is kinda my life’s work. Perhaps these situations are too different to compare, and I am not interested in giving anyone a pass either. Just admitting to some pretty nasty use of language.

      • trees
        August 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm

        It’s worth mentioning that I have witnessed black people, who would otherwise never use the term, hurling the slur in anger.

  9. July 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I have been informed by the reliable sources at Fox News that this is indeed Huma’s fault, because, y’know….Muslim…

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 1, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Saw that. There are no words.

  10. NYstater
    July 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Re: Jill’s question:

    I would guess many voters don’t distinguish among types of “sex scandal.” Anything from consenting adults cheating to consensual or non-consensual sexting to verbal or physical assault is covered by the press as a “sex scandal.” And some voters may be so sick of sex scandal coverage that they are willing not only to support scandal candidates but to double-down on them.

    Then there’s the candidates. Looking at the field, I’m not surprised that Rep. Weiner still manages 13-15% (Marist & Quinnipiac, both taken after the story broke but before the round of press focus on Ms. Leathers, so those numbers could be down more.)

    Speaker Quinn has spent the last few years getting cozy with Mayor Bloomberg and his developer friends, and has alienated a lot of the Democratic base. When Weiner entered the race, there was plenty of room to run to her left. And what does anyone know Weiner for besides the scandal? Outspoken advocacy for a public option and a willingness to shout at House troglodytes. It’s not a bad campaign platform if your candidate understands consent…

    The real progressive candidate, Public Advocate DiBlasio, hasn’t been able to get a headline between fawning mainstream profiles of Quinn and tragicomic Weiner stuff (including a soft-focus, frankly embarrassing Sunday Times magazine piece.) Comptroller Thompson polls well among African-Americans, but perhaps not as well as he needs to, and fell off the public radar for 4 years between this election and the last. Comptroller Liu had a campaign finance scandal that got close to the core of his organization.

    This was all a long way of saying, it’s not crazy that he has 13-15% even today. If the election was tomorrow he could do worse than that (since we know more details about the scandal than at the time of the polls), or better (since there’s surely no one SAYING they’d vote for Weiner but actually won’t, whereas the opposite might be true for some voters.)

    • hotpot
      July 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Sex scandal coverage is never going to disappear because it’s human nature to be interested in the dramas of controversial public figures, as all politicians are at a basic level. For politicians, maintaining a favorable persona among the public as a good and trustworthy person is a part of the job. The moment you do something that makes you look like a scum bag you’ve gone beyond the purely personal sphere. Politicians like this aren’t just risking themselves and their families, they’re damaging all the supporters who work for them, all their donors and surrogates, the causes they supposedly support, and their voters and constituents who benefit from the policies they want to adapt. Anyone who is actually serious about being a leader will have the minimum self control to keep a reasonable personal life.

  11. Sid
    July 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Calvin Klein.

  12. July 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Sending unsolicited dick pics makes him a sexual predator. That alone is enough to render him unfit to be in any elected office. The fact that he’s a liar and doesn’t do what he promises is just icing on the poop cake.

    • Power of Choice
      July 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Exactly. I was disgusted even before all these newest allegations emerged a few weeks ago every time I heard someone make arguements along the lines of: “we should judge Weiner only on his politics, because his job is separate from his personal life…. yadda yadda yadda…”

      I’m sorry – since when am I not allowed to pass moral judgement on a narcissistic sexual predator who uses the power he’s entrusted with to betray his family?

      • tinfoil hattie
        July 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm

        Thank you. I concur with both of these points!

  13. Power of Choice
    July 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    The fact that this clown was ever a serious candidate for NYC mayor after leaving congresd in disgrace just solidifies my opinion that, sometimes, the American people get just what they deserve.

    Our nation is horribly mismanaged. Its a tragedy. But no wonder we find ourselves in this situation if such a substatial portion of the electorate is willing back narcissists like Weiner.

    We already knew what this guy was like. ‘Fool me I once, shame on you…’ as they say.

  14. August 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Steve’s analogy is still missing the point though. If that language isn’t in your head, if you don’t think there are situations that call for that language- then you don’t use that language.

    Like Liberal men who will call Conservative women gendered slurs. I loathe Anne Coulter too, but I have not and will not ever call her the C word. Because I don’t believe that’s appropriate “punishment” for her being a “bad” woman.

    None of those words had to do with her being a bad intern, or employee. They were all about her being a bad woman. Having so called negative female traits or negative female character.

    I agree with much of what you say and certainly think you, as a woman who does not use that word, have the right to judge women who do.

    But your point about the language being ‘in your head’ does hit on what I’m trying to say. I do think it makes a difference how the word is put in your head, So I’m going to judge someone less harshly who has the c-word (or the n-word) in her head because she’s been called it than someone who has it in their head any other way. I do think the ‘liberal man’ you describe has less of a right, therefore, than you to use that word against Ann Coulter.

    And pheeno, although I think you have more of a right to use that word than a liberal (or conservative) man, I think your attitude does you great credit and I’m sure in your time on the planet have heard that word used against women, so the fact that you don’t use it is extremely admirable. I’m also glad we can have a nice civil disagreement, and apologize if I’ve taken criticisms from you in the past as a personal attack.

    • August 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      sorry…nesting fail….that was a reply to pheenobarbidoll’s 11:13am comment

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        I’m also glad we can have a nice civil disagreement, and apologize if I’ve taken criticisms from you in the past as a personal attack.

        Here’s a good rule of thumb for my posts- Basically, unless and until I say- Steve, I despise you stop talking to me, then you’re pretty fine on the personal front. I don’t dislike you, Steve. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, you’ve ticked me off, sometimes you’ve made me laugh. Just the same as most everyone here, dealing with everyone else here. By the way- cussing from me is not a sign of anger either. I just have a potty mouth.

    • PrettyAmiable
      August 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      By this logic, Japan should ethically be allowed to drop the atom bomb on someone else. It was used against them, after all.

    • Revolver
      August 2, 2013 at 8:43 am

      I’m sure in your time on the planet have heard that word used against women, so the fact that you don’t use it is extremely admirable

      …it’s not that hard to avoid saying a word just because you’ve heard it before. It doesn’t take a supreme force of will to keep it from popping out of your mouth. That you think it’s admirable that pheeno doesn’t use the c-word because surely it must be rolling around in her head, just looking for a way to escape, is a little condescending.

      • August 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

        …it’s not that hard to avoid saying a word just because you’ve heard it before. It doesn’t take a supreme force of will to keep it from popping out of your mouth. That you think it’s admirable that pheeno doesn’t use the c-word because surely it must be rolling around in her head, just looking for a way to escape, is a little condescending.

        Take a look at pheeno’s comment that I was responding to…she said “If that language isn’t in your head…then you don’t use that language.” I was just saying that she and Ms. Morgan probably both have the word in their head, and she comes out looking better for not using it in anger.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        Steve- you’re kinda missing the point of my words.

        If that language isn’t language you already use, to yourself (in your head), then it doesn’t come out of your mouth. I don’t call women those words in my head, don’t think it’s acceptable language to think or use, and therefore I don’t have provoked outbursts where I use it.

        Have you heard that old saying Sober mans thoughts, drunk mans words? That’s what I mean.

        I don’t say the N word if a Black person happens to piss me off. I don’t think the word, I don’t say the word. Many people think the word, but won’t speak it in public. But not because they don’t secretly think the word is appropriate to describe a Black person, but because they know they’ll be called a racist.

        So when you use a word in anger, it tells me you already use that word, to yourself. Or in private with other people who approve of that word.

        Another example to clarify what I mean- If a woman cuts me off in traffic, I yell and think all sorts of names. Asshole. Douchebag. Shitty driver. etc etc. But I don’t even think ” stupid sl-t” or “cword” or “dumb b–ch”.

        Those words don’t come out of my mouth, because they aren’t in my head to begin with and can’t be provoked out.

        I don’t think them, and don’t believe it’s acceptable to think them, even if no one will ever know. I will know. And that’s enough for me to avoid even thinking that way.

        It’s not easy, because those words are considered normal, appropriate and “some” women are thought to be deserving of them. That’s the narrative we drown in. It takes a conscious effort to drive those words from the brain. But once you have, once you’ve changed your internal dialogue, your speech will fall in line.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        Also I think this by Alara needs to be repeated-

        Weiner is the ultimate villain of the Weiner campaign, yes. But Weiner didn’t make Morgan unload a shit-ton of misogynistic language on Nuzzi. Morgan did that all on her own. Which, yes, makes Morgan the villain of the story about “Weiner’s campaign director trashing former intern”. Weiner is not the villain of *that* story, even though it’s a sub-story of the one he is the villain of. And it reflects badly on Weiner that Morgan used such egregious misogynistic language, but it doesn’t reflect so badly on Weiner that we can simply blame him and pretend Morgan isn’t herself culpable for being a misogynist ass.

        The woman is question isn’t the Top Villain of this whole clusterfuck, but she is in her part of the story.

        And if this is what she said “off record” to a reporter, how the hell do she and Carlos Danger talk about that intern when they’re having discussions about it?

  15. mh
    August 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I think there are aspects of Wiener’s behavior that are problematic not because of the public display of his sexual behavior, but because I find it hard to believe that a public official didn’t understand the risks inherent in this kind of use of social media. Twice.

    I also find it really hard to believe that a competent politician would hire a communications professional who doesn’t understand the consequences of sexist and misogynist name-calling in the extreme.

    I’ve seen articles that suggest that Wiener is a victim of slut-shaming; I’m curious about this community’s take on that (I also thought the initial sexting was non-consensual, in which case I think such a charge is silly.)

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