Enough time has gone by that I feel that I have to restate the criteria for the Weiner Comps.
This will be based on several criteria:
1) Seriousness of the scandal.
2) Degree of embarrassment he caused to himself and others.
3) Whether or not an actual crime was committed.
4) Whether or not the scandal caused him to resign from his job.
5) Nature of the sexual indiscretion.
6) The extent to which lying was involved.
7) The likelihood of his recovering from the effects of the scandal.
See? That last one is what makes this a scientific endeavor.
The closest comp will be the best indicator of what will become of
So I'm not just frittering away my time and yours.
Along the way, we will visit the usual suspects.
And maybe some we've all forgotten about.
Grades will be handed out.
Much like report card grades.
Grades of comparability.
The one with the highest grade is the closest match to Anthony Weiner.
The one thing I can't quite recall clearly about all of these instances is which ones of these, for lack of a better word, scoundrels, actually had their wives up on stage next to them as they were apologizing to America as a whole.
But I don't think that this is a major factor.
I think it's more of a reflection on their spouses than on the apologists.
If I do remember specifically about certain cases, I will certainly make note of it.
Again, as with other lists of this type, I pretty much have an idea of where I'm heading with this.
But in many cases, I will be flying by the seat of my pants in making the judgements.
And they will not be in any particular order, because I really for the most part don't know what the order is.
Let's begin with David Letterman:
1) Seriousness of the scandal---not nearly as serious as Weiner's.
Dave was able to make jokes about it as soon as the smoke was just starting to clear.
2) Degree of embarrassment he caused to himself and others--
The guy who was blackmailing him caused the embarrassment.
All Letterman did was have the affairs.
Lots of men have affairs.
Very few send pictures of their privates on the Internet.
Dave isn't a politician, nor has he set himself up as a paragon of virtue.
It's almost the opposite.
3) Whether or not an actual crime was committed--
There was, but not by Dave. Nor was there one committed by Weiner.
4) Whether or not the scandal caused him to resign from his job--
For Dave, no. He handled the whole thing with aplomb.
For Weiner, yes. He really botched the whole thing, P.R. wise.
5) Nature of the creepiness of the sexual indiscretion--
One was overtly sexual, the other was apparently just creepy.
Actually, considering how young Letterman's internes were, that was pretty creepy too.
6) The extent to which lying was involved:
We didn't even know about Dave's situation until he openly made a clean breast of things. With Weiner, it was deny, deny, deny, until he was pinned to the wall.
7) The likelihood of his recovering from the effects of the scandal:
Dave recovered from Day 1.
We have no idea at this point with Weiner.
The only other thing they both have in common is that I've never seen either of their wives.
Overall Grade: C-.
I think we'll be able to do much better than this.
Well, this is your first taste of the Weiner Comps.
Hope you're looking forward to more.
My new book, "Mark Rothman's Essays", ones that were culled from the blog and are no longer there, along with a surprise bonus, is available for purchase.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."