Keller @ Large: O.K. To Lie To The Media?

BOSTON (CBS) – Just when you thought exhibitionist Congressman Anthony Weiner couldn’t get any more ridiculous, new photographs from the apparently extensive archive on which he drew to share with female Twitter followers have surfaced, showing Weiner strutting his stuff in a towel in the House gym and capturing his exquisiteness on a cell phone camera.

If the sight of this sap pursuing his juvenile fantasies right there in the workplace, under the Capitol dome that is a symbol of our democracy, doesn’t accelerate the already-growing clamor for his resignation, it’s hard to imagine what will.

(Unfortunately, imagination doesn’t really seem to be necessary when it comes to tracking the congressman’s exploits, now does it?)

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

The calls for Weiner to step down seem to be coming mostly from his Democratic colleagues, suggesting they feel his continued presence beside them tarnishes their cause and distracts from their agenda.

Since he must work with them closely to get anything done on behalf of his constituents, this would seem to be the most compelling argument so far for him to get out now.

But what about the fact that he also repeatedly lied to the press?

Does that strike you as a serious offense in any way?

It does to syndicated columnist Ruben Navarette, who writes:

“No matter how much distrust the public has for the media, it is still unacceptable when politicians lie to the Fourth Estate. A reporter is the person an elected official calls when he wants to get a story out to the public. So, when you lie to a reporter, you’re lying to the people who elected you and put their trust in you. Anyone who does that — and gets caught doing it — should not remain in office.”

On the one hand, I agree with that.

No one is obligated to talk to the press if they don’t want to.

But if you do and you lie you deserve whatever the fallout might be.

On the other hand, if we applied Navarette’s rule across the board, almost no one would be able to hold public office because they lie to us all the time – lies of commission and of omission, little white lies, you name it.

I’ve got a new name for the practice: Weiner-speak.

And I can’t imagine why anyone would want to encourage its proliferation.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • taxedout

    Ok to lie to the press, I’ve yet to see a pol who told the Truth, so I guess it’s OK as most people believe Anything!!!

  • tsal

    Do you mean lie to the press as in lying to the same media that blows things so far out of proportion and adds its own twisted truths even when you don’t lie??? I’d rather ask if it’s all right for the press to focus on something like Weiner rather than on issues that truly affect all of us.

  • tsal

    First of all it was the republicans who in their very blind eye demanded Weiner be forced to step down by Pelosi and all her democratic colleagues. Because of the press and of the rhetoric by the republican party (secondary), the issue has taken the public’s (even more the presses) focus from where it should be and sadly I do not think the democrats have any choice but to urge him to resign. It’s in the best interest at this point of our country only because we seem to have chosen to focus more on scandal than real issues.

    • brian

      Rep or Dem the guy can’t be trusted, deficient in character a moral flaw and a liar he is compromised as a Representative. Get him out.
      If any focusing isn’t being done on important issues .. its because a lot of Rep and Dem are NOT demanding to regain our manufacturing strength back..
      Or , Which both parties do not intend to demand the United States working again.. Which maybe the intent… Anyway you don’t build wealth by producing nothing ! having more federal jobs You bury us deeper. So if you have no or little morality and think its not an issue one will see your point .
      Again a real man who is married and elected in a responsible position of state government do not send pictures of their junk to other people unless you are skewed in your thinking and have no self worth or morality and people you put in important positions of decisions that effect others i wish not to be dictated to by a defective individual..

      • Tsal

        Brian we draw a very fine line when we decide who is defective and who is not. Who is to set the bar? I’d rather see voting record and agenda used. Judgment belongs to a far greater power than I.

  • Brighton Guy

    The press has been know to lie too.
    How about a story that is missing facts or a biased story that is slanted to promote a position? Please John! The press is about as credible as a “used car salesman”!

  • Paul Kempley

    Politicians have lied to people for centuries and so has the press. It’s part of both jobs. Selling points of view. Please stop the self-righteousness.

  • Robert

    seriously John? who cares!! stop the bs and right about something that matters. like the economy stupid!! My god, what is wrong with you? The article should be is the media lying to itself? You are so out of touch with what matters.

  • BostonIrish

    People love to take the article out of context, Jon. I agree with you, Weiner and his “act” on Blitzer was so darn low. The DNC did the right thing to call for him to resign. Had it been a republican I’m pretty sure the President would have weighed in a long time ago. I don’t believe I’m writing it, but Kudos to Harry Reid. He turned his back on the guy immediately. The right thing to do. Bald-faced lying should never be tolerated. You reap what you sow.

  • tsal

    Hmmmmm – I’m a bit confused. Isn’t lying, lying?? There seems to be a bit of a double standard or short term memory. That is what bothers me most of all about this entire incident. Weiner has a serious moral problem but did not (to our knowledge yet) have any physical relationship outside of his marriage. It seems odd to me that a person who did have a physical relationship with a woman while married – while also attacking Clinton for what he did – is now a 2012 GOP Presidential nominee. Seems to me that he did a fair amount of bald faced lying and yet here we are considering him a president. Or does Newt get a free pass because he had an affair because of his tremendous love for his country?

    I’m not saying one is any worse than the other because immoral is immoral. There are no gray areas.

  • BostonIrish

    I think Newt’s a pig. By the way, when Newt was preparing to announce his “run” didn’t most of his staff resign? I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin’s got a much better shot than him, and I don’t think she’ll get past the primary.

  • mikey

    Weiner has reduced himself to a pathetic, perverted, lying sideshow act – time to go.

  • tsal

    BostonIrish I agree with you that he is a pig. It’s that one pig is being forced out and another has been chosen as a presidential candidate that I just don’t understand. His staff resigned I believe because for one he decided to declare and then went on vacation with his wife instead of working his campaign. If he ever won (and he won’t) I wonder who would make the decisions?

  • Oh Well

    Ah the joys of civil discourse or is it civic adolescence? I mean how dare an elected public official convey an un-truth to the Fourth Estate. Or perhaps, how dare Ruben Navarette and the Fourth Estate take such a self-aggrandizing position. As to the morally benighted public servants we have no one to blame but ourselves. It would be nice if the same efforts we afford them with our dissatisfaction were put into vetting who they really are not what they say. Now there is a pipe dream for you.

  • tsal

    I’d say it would also be good if we stay out of their personal business. In all honestly, when we start dictating what is morally acceptable, we draw a very fine line. It’s a person’s job I am interested in and not what he does to amuse him/herself – however tasteless I might find it.

    Perhaps another question should be – does the media have a right to ask anyone about his or her personal life?

  • BostonIrish

    Newt wasn’t chosen. Anyone can run in the primary.

  • Tsal

    So the GOP isn’t supporting him? Darn I’d hate to have someone representing me that I dont approve of. I’m sure the party will be calling for him to step down soon also since Weiner was so offensive to them ;)

  • massman

    I first made this post in a different article on Mr. Weiner.:

    First, I will preface my comment by saying, I personally am a big supporter of Weiner’s politics. I also, initially, thought he should resign. But I’ve changed my mind. Mr. Weiner represents the voters of New York’s 9th congressional district. Those voters support this man’s politics. They have numerous times. They have the opportunity to initiate a recall, or they can just not vote for him in the next election. What he did was horrible as a person, but as of yet, not a crime. But he’s paid to be a legislator. There’s been quite a bit of voter remorse since the November mid-terms. And that is because of how these elected officials are performing their jobs, not their personal lives.If this is a democracy, then let the voters decide. Not his colleagues and his critics, but his constituents.

    This is I believe the fourth article on Anthony Weiner, since the scandal. I’d say we have much bigger problems. Here are some lies (or issues) that I would find much more important to the average American citizen than lying about sending naked photos.
    Tax breaks for the wealthy. Although this is more general knowledge than a lie, it is unbelievable that the GOP continues to preach that tax cuts for the wealthy creates jobs. Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy should have expired. In two years, they’ll need to.
    Climate change. Didn’t Sarah Palin say she, “loves those emissions”? The rest of the GOP has basically followed suit.
    Health Care. House Speaker John Boehner literally said we have the best healthcare system in the world. For some reason the WHO ranks us 37th, but first in spending.
    Jobs, jobs, jobs – Wasn’t that the GOP’s campaign message to sweep the Nov. midterms? Has there even been one jobs bill proposed by the house?
    Oil. I read Mr. Kellher’s article on rising gas prices, but I missed the article on tax subsidies the GOP supports for big Oil.

    I know there are more, but the point is, this Weiner scandal received four articles. I doubt the execution of Bin Laden got that many. So while you continue to look for Weiner pics, I’ll watch the GOP debate, to see if any of them have finally received a brain in their head, or if it will just be more GOP lies.

  • FireGuyFrank

    It all depends on the context. If a reporter asks something and revealing the truth would harm the situation (secret missions, sensitive negotiations, etc.), then telling a lie is the thing to do.

    When you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar and your pants down, then telling the truth makes it go away. (See Rick Pitino, who told the truth about his infidelity and no one mentions it anymore. Except me in this example.)

  • roger

    Weiner should go. But if his only “transgression” is lying to the media, I’m all for it. Print, Radio, TV, they sensationalize, pontificate, and shade every story for their own purposes. Why not @&%* the media, they’re @&%*ing us.

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