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.

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