• With: Judy Miller, Kirsten Powers, Andrea Tantaros, Jim Pinkerton



    SCOTT: Well, the story is a late-night comedian's dream. It is also one that has the media enthralled, trying to get Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner to explain how a lewd picture of a below-the-waist bulge was sent via his Twitter account, and whether or not that picture is of him.

    Even Fox's Bret Baier took a shot at trying to get to the bottom of Weiner-gate.


    BAIER: My Twitter feed says this, from one guy, just put this in. I said –

    WEINER: Right.

    BAIER: I put it out that I was having this interview with you. And here’s what he said. Quote, "Seriously, how does @RepWeiner not know what his own drawers look like?" That was the question.

    WEINER: Fair enough.


    SCOTT: Well, so that was Bret trying to get some answers out of the congressman. Everybody tried. He was evasive. Is that fair to say?

    MILLER: I think "evasive" is a very clear description of what happened there. He has just made this scandal worst by being his own worst PR person. Get a story out there and stick with it. And at least MTV won't be able to ask him "boxers or briefs"? We don't have to anymore.

    SCOTT: Pretty impossible to cover a story without Congressman Weiner -- without, you know some unpleasant jokes. He said he’s heard them all growing up with that name.

    But, the New York papers have gone over the top with the headlines. I guess given his past history and his combative media appearances, maybe you can't blame them.

    PINKERTON: Well, I think it made Washington papers, too. It made all the papers.


    I mean, I thought reading the piece in the Washington Post on Thursday, by Karen Tumulty and Felicia Sonmez it hit me that Weiner is actually enjoying this, even now. And I'll tell you why. Because on -- he told Paul Ryan, the congressman, he said -- he came up to him at a meeting in Washington and said, Ryan, I have more Twitter followers than you do, and bragging about this in the middle of all of this. And then he says, at the end, after all these nine hours of interviewers, he said, but now I have to get back to tweeting again. He tweeted that out.

    I think that the frenzy of renown, to borrow a phrase from an author named Leo Brody from 15 years ago, is so endemic now in our culture, that Weiner knows the rule of the press and knows if you give a lousy interview, means you get more mention and more bad press. I don't think it makes any difference to him. I think he enjoys this.

    SCOTT: Who is playing who here?

    POWERS: Well, I think that he is probably just trying to make lemonade out of lemons in that situation. I think he‘s just somebody who -- he knows he is in a bad situation, but he won't let it totally get him down. He will make jokes about it and he is going to, you know, just kind of try to make light of it. What else is he going to do?


    TANTAROS: Come out and say the truth, I guess.


    I mean, he has made a lot of lemonade this week.


    And then he stops making it and then he keeps making it again.

    I mean, Judy talked about him being evasive. He was evasive but then he came out and asked for interviews with all the major news networks. I think he does know how to handle the media. But, this was a case study in really what not to do when you get caught literally with your pants down.


    You can't lawyer the media. You don't bring them in to parse words. He knows you also can't lie to the media. Why would he bring them in if he’s not going say that is him or not him?

    SCOTT: Well, I thought the approach was a little absurd to do those interviews with Bret Baier and lots of news anchors; you know, endure a day of it and then say, OK, I'm done talking about it. The story is over. I didn't think that would work. But maybe it will.

    MILLER: Maybe it will, but I don't think it will, because that’s not the media today. Maybe it was 10 years ago but not now.

    The other thing, this is a man who is rumored to be a candidate for mayor. And he --

    SCOTT: For the city of New York.

    MILLER: Of the city of New York. He is 18 percent, which is ahead of all the other five or six candidates at this point. He has a $5 million war chest. If he’s serious about this, what is the impact of this event on that?


    POWERS: Well, I mean a lot of people have speculated this will harm his chances. I think, maybe, Ed Koch came out and said this will harm his run for the mayoral – nobody’s going to remember this by that time. I mean, come on, really. I mean, what is this in the end?

    SCOTT: His wife might.



    POWERS: I don't think he did anything wrong here. There’s a lot of speculation. His wife seems to be fine, standing by him. I don't think we should suggest there’s infidelity here, when I don't think there is evidence of infidelity.