The New Yorker published a glowing mini-profile of disgraced former Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner this week, less than two months after the magazine fired its preeminent legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Weiner, 56, is doing well, The New Yorker reports. After clearing a 21-month prison sentence for sexting with a minor, the former representative and mayoral candidate has embarked on a new post-political career selling countertops.
“The retail politician comes alive in the warehouse,” the author wrote after visiting Weiner at his production site in a Brooklyn Navy Yard. The headline: “Anthony Weiner’s Comeback Gig.”
The once-rising Democratic star who failed to rehabilitate a shattered reputation following a series of repeated sex scandals now appears to be enjoying the media coverage he so desperately craved for much as the past decade. Weiner has been caught in embarrassing episodes of sexual misconduct since 2011 when the seven-term incumbent resigned after tweeting a photo of his bulging crotch and admitted to inappropriately engaging with women online.
Weiner tried running for New York mayor two years later. During the campaign, Weiner became plagued by a second sexting scandal. A woman released explicit photos he sent her. Weiner’s wife stood behind him through his first round of public scandal that prompted a departure from Congress, but not through the second.
In 2016, Weiner was caught again sending provocative images to a woman featuring his child beside him in bed. The only Weiner scandal given passing mention in the brief New Yorker article, however, was the latest episode of misconduct leading to a stint in prison.
The Weiner essay follows the magazine’s decision to fire Toobin this month. In October, Toobin was first suspended for masturbating on a Zoom call where colleagues were apparently participating in an election simulation. While Toobin remains out of a job at The New Yorker, his future remains uncertain at CNN, where he is currently on leave as the network’s chief legal analyst.
Other outlets have been quick to defend Toobin. The New York Daily News published an opinion article from writer Jonathan Zimmerman characterizing Toobin’s scandal as emblematic of society’s “collective unease with masturbation.” BuzzFeed ran a story headlined, “Jeffrey Toobin Can’t Be The Only Person Masturbating On Work Zoom Calls.”
While media signal willingness to forgive the sexual misconduct of its favorite allies in what appears to be a growing trend, The New York Times relished its role in ruining the life of an 18-year-old girl in Virginia for employing a rap-like slur caught in a three-second video four years ago, when she was 15. Mimi Groves, captured on a tape held until the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, has since lost her admission to the University of Tennessee along with her spot on the school cheerleading team. Groves is now attending a local community college.