Anthony Weiner is a toxic poison to himself and everyone around him. After destroying the life of a teenaged victim, putting his estranged wife’s career in jeopardy and mistaking New Yorkers for fools, the disgraced former politician and egomaniac has reportedly entered a rehab facility that specializes in cybersex addiction. Aside from the obvious “is it too little too late?” question, I want to know if Weiner is hiding behind a so-called cybersex addiction and portraying himself as a victim to avoid facing the fact that he is a deeply flawed individual who should be labeled a criminal.
Of course, we know that there is concrete data on Internet sex addiction which includes pornography, and that our growing dependence on technology is helping to fuel a crisis. At the alleged in-patient facility that Weiner is reportedly holed up in, all electronic devices are banned. The unidentified facility reportedly separates patients by gender, and offers treatment for anonymous sex, pornography and exhibitionism in addition to cybersex. What bothers me, is that Weiner has chosen such a specific label for himself rather than simply admitting to a sex addition.
Let’s recall the first time Weiner got caught sexting back in 2011. He took two weeks paid leave and sought “treatment” with a therapist in Texas where he said he was going to work on becoming a better husband and person. It’s safe to say that the handful of sessions he attended didn’t work, as during his 2013 mayoral bid as he pleaded to New Yorkers to trust him, his sexting alter ego “Carlos Danger” sank his campaign. You would think that after two humiliating scandals, Weiner or someone in his inner circle – like, say, his then-devoted wife -- would urge him to seek treatment for his so-called cybersex addiction. While we don’t know what was said behind closed doors between the two of them, we now know that he continued in his demonic ways, and that he had no moral objections to snapping a nearly-nude photo of himself next to his sleeping son, nor did he have any issues with striking up a sexting relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
It’s the latter that has sent his wife’s career into a tailspin and could possibly play a role in the outcome of our presidential election. How could someone so deeply flawed simply skate by undetected for all these years? With Weiner hidden away seeking treatment for his “addiction,” he avoids being labeled as a criminal pedophile and a morally flawed individual. Do you see what the problem is here? The truth is, I have a very difficult time believing that he is addicted to cybersex, because if he was, it should have come out during his treatment at the time of the 2011 scandal, and no quality licensed medical professional would have allowed him to return to work after a mere few sessions of counseling.
Addiction is a serious disease, and not one that should be tossed around cavalierly by larger-than-life personalities who are simply seeking an excuse for their morally wrong behavior, or are possibly trying to escape criminal persecution. If Average Joe was caught sexting an underage girl or exchanging explicit images with her, you can bet there would be charges levied against him. If Weiner is truly sick with an addiction, then I wish him nothing but the best and hope that the alleged treatment center he has chosen can help him in his journey toward better health. But should he come out the same morally flawed sexter, I’m going to hate to have to say “I told you so.”
It reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange.” Remember how despite forcing the lead character Alex to face the horrors of his crimes with his eyes peeled open, at the end of the day, he was still a lunatic? I’m afraid that the same will be found with Weiner, and that the true victim(s) here will be ignored.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.