Although you would think that someone like me would be enjoying the Anthony Weiner Show, I am not. Not at all. And I am going to attempt to write this column without any accidentally-on-purpose Going There Humor.
You know where There is. Go there by yourself. I have a tasteful column to write.
I am often asked just how far editorial cartoonists can go with respect to taste, and I have to say that we kind of go wherever the New Border gets moved to. As someone who draws and writes for a family newspaper, I think that border is considerably closer to the edge than I would like. I didn't sign up to be a cartoonist for Playboy.
What Weiner forces everyone else to do is go to his level, instead of him coming to ours. Maybe on some level Weiner assumed that he wouldn't get caught; I don't really care. But I hate it that he gets enabled by the national news media, which loves nothing more (particularly in late summer) than to have this kind of story to bandy about. See also: Rep. Gary Condit, right before 9-11.
I have never seen more tortured facial expressions in my life than I have on the face of Anthony Weiner; his face looks like it's about to consume itself. Maybe this is his way of having some sort of bizarre penance; get caught, again, go through a humiliating media trial, and then bounce back. Whatever it is, I can't stand this kind of story. It's not about public policy, it's about someone's need to show his dark side.
I just checked my copy, and so far, so good: there's nothing that could be considered untoward.
Anyway, in my own work, I prefer allusion to bludgeon, anyway, and when someone like Weiner shows us just how much humiliation someone is willing to undergo to serve in public life, there is very little room for parody.
Last night, I was watching David Letterman, and they were making great sport of Weiner's online nickname, "Carlos Danger." I noted also that Letterman, for his part, wasn't able to muster any empathy considering he had also experienced a national sex scandal, a Worldwide Pantsing, if you will. Oh, well, doesn't matter. Let the sideshow continue.
When we live in an environment where a former New York governor can make a comeback to public life after breaking a prostitution law he signed, and we have a former congressman immolating himself to become mayor of New York, maybe we all deserve this.
And maybe we are secretly enjoying it a bit too much.
I think the real Danger in this story is danger to the credibility of the political process, and I hope these guys lose. I don't want their lives destroyed; I just don't want to have to comment on them anymore.
Okay, I just read this one more time. I think I made it without any unintentional Weiner jokes.
But it was very , very difficult.
You can text me yours.
I won't tell.