True, disgraced New York congressman turned mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner does a lot to call attention to himself–both in his public life, and in his not-so-private private life. But what does our fascination with his scandal-prone ways say about us?
“There’s something about gawking at this story and allowing yourself to think, ‘Well, I may have lots of problems in my own life, but at least I’m not doing the creepy things that Anthony Weiner is doing,” said Think Progress’ Judd Legum on msnbc Wednesday. “It’s interesting if you look at the attention paid to this story versus the governor of Virginia, who just essentially admitted he improperly accepted over $150,000 in gifts and loans, and gave it all back yesterday.”
Legum is exaggerating, but only just. According to a statement Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell put out Tuesday, the repayments consisted of over $120,000–not over $150,000–worth of loans made by Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams to McDonnell’s wife and to a real estate business owned jointly by the governor and his sister. McDonnell is currently under investigation over the gifts.
But we’re not as interested in that story, said Legum, “because it doesn’t speak directly to our own selves as much.”
“In short,” said host Craig Melvin, “Sex sells.”