Networks Play Promotional Video of 'Comeback Kid' Anthony Weiner Fighting for a 'Second Chance'
All three networks on Wednesday played a promotional video of Anthony Weiner, hyping the mayoral run of the "comeback kid." On Good Morning America, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos showed an extended clip of the campaign video. [MP3 audio here.] But Stephanopoulos (who in his previous career defended Bill Clinton's against sexual scandals) didn't get into much detail over the Weiner's failings. Reporter Jon Karl simply explained that the ex-Congressman tweeted out "lewd pictures" of himself.
CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both, briefly, featured blurred pictures of the aforementioned photos. But the Today segment included a network graphic that speculated, "Comeback kid?" Journalist Maria Schiavocampo offered more details than ABC. She described Weiner's fall as a "sexting scandal," but parroted, "but now he says he's ready to put the controversy behind him and get back into politics."
Schiavocampo, like the reporters on ABC, highlighted Weiner's wife Huma Abedin asserting, "We love this city and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony."
On CBS, reporter Jim Axelrod suggested that Abedin's endorsement "may carry more weight than those of other political spouses." He featured a clip of Iona College political science professor Jeanne Zaino lecturing, "I think she's really got to be there to support him and say, "Look, if I can forgive him, so can you.'"
Axelrod did close with some skepticism, wondering, "The question is, Charlie, while Anthony Weiner has certainly made the race more interesting, has he made it any closer."
Only CBS mentioned that Weiner is a Democrat. ABC and NBC skipped this fact.
A transcript of the May 22 GMA segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about Anthony Weiner. We saw that video come out overnight announcing his, officially, formally getting into the race for mayor of New York City. Let's show a little bit of it.
[Clip of Weiner's announcement video]
ANTHONY WEINER: Every day starts right here. And it's the best part of my day. Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down but I also learned some tough lessons.
HUMA ABEDIN: We love this city and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony.
WEINER: I will fight for you every single day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: His wife, of course, Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin. This is an uphill fight for Weiner but he has a big war chest.
KARL: George, this would be one of the most improbable political comebacks ever. He left Congress in disgrace just two years ago. But he does have $4.3 million left in his campaign war chest which gives him a big head start and, of course, nobody has more name recognition than Anthony Weiner.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.