The news broke late this afternoon that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York), admitted that he did, in fact, send inappropriate pictures of himself and engaged in lewd conversations with at least six women he conversed with via the Internet. In a tearful press conference, Weiner confessed that he’d covered up his initial story about his Twitter being hacked when the underwear photo had leaked, and told reporters on Monday, “I then continued with that story — to stick to that story — which was a hugely regrettable mistake.”
The admission, of course, set off a flurry of opinions and criticism from bloggers, website commenters, journalists, and politicians alike. But we’re especially curious what Jon Stewart’s musings on this revelation will be.
While Stewart, like so many other late night television hosts who got a hold of the story, poked fun at the obvious humor in a decidedly unfunny situation, it was a bit more of a tough balancing act for The Daily Show host, who is an old friend of Weiner’s.
Granted, in his coverage of the scandal up until this point, Stewart by no means has let the troubled Congressman off the hook. Early on, he expressed his hopes that the photo that surfaced wasn’t of his friend; during the May 31 broadcast of The Daily Show he also joked that there was no way it could be Weiner’s because, “His d—‘s just not that big. It can’t be!” And he later cracked, “The only thing [the photo and Weiner] have in common is that they both lean to the extreme left.” But as Weiner stuck with his story that he wasn’t sure if the picture was of himself, Stewart clearly grew discouraged and shared his frustrations with Daily Show viewers. During a June 2nd segment in which they showed Weiner telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was launching an investigation to see who the photo was of, Stewart joked, “I’m no big city detective, but why don’t you just check inside your pants?!”
So how will Stewart cover the story during tonight’s broadcast of The Daily Show? How should he? Do you hope he’ll keep in line with what he’s been doing over the past few days by infusing his blend of humor with the latest details, or would it be better if he went off-script and spoke from the heart about his reaction to the news of his friend? Should he stick up for Weiner or scold him for lying?
I personally hope it’s all of the above. Stewart’s honesty about topics that hold personal relevance to him always makes for an interesting window into his mind and often goes places no other newscaster, fake or otherwise, would dare go. Of course, there has to be the signature Daily Show touch (I wonder who will take on the role of Senior Sexting Weiner Picture Correspondent?) but I hope Stewart, like he so often does, provides the insight, opinion, and yes, d— jokes, we tune in for.
What do you think, PopWatchers? How should Jon Stewart and The Daily Show writers handle the Rep. Anthony Weiner bombshell, if at all? Do you think he’s handled the story fairly thus far?