Elections | Nation

NYC Tabloids Go Gaga Over Naughty Pols

NPR | July 26, 2013 1:38 p.m.

Contributed By:

Hannah Meisel

Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer have been very good to the New York tabloids.

First, they delivered lurid scandals for cheeky newspaper headline writers to work with. That’s like rocket fuel for the tabs, which thrive on conflict and scandal, and aren’t nearly as cautious and measured as the broadsheets.

Then, after resigning from office — Weiner from Congress, Spitzer from the governorship — each decided to make an against-all-odds return to elected politics this year.

On Tuesday, the pun-loving tabs got even luckier: Weiner admitted that his lewd message exchanges with other women — the behavior that led to his 2011 resignation from the House — had, in fact, continued more than a year after his initial confession.

Here’s a quick recap of the rough treatment Weiner and Spitzer have received, courtesy of two of the best-known tabloids, the New York Daily News and the New York Post:

In the beginning, there was Spitzer. The ex-governor resigned in March 2008 after The New York Times reported that Spitzer had been a client of an escort service. The day after the revelation, the tabs were off and running.

Three years later, it was Weiner who got embroiled in a sensational sex scandal. Naturally, given his unique surname, the puns were over-the-top — and gleefully juvenile.

Weiner initially sought to hold onto his job, even after more women came forward. The Post wasn’t helping his cause: it tagged any content related to the scandal as “Battle of the Bulge,” signaling the paper’s snickering approach.

Weiner’s return to the arena in April, when he began hinting at a run for mayor, only revved up the sexually suggestive headlines.

As if that wasn’t enough, more manna from heaven: Earlier this month, the disgraced Spitzer suddenly announced a run for New York City comptroller, giving the tabs another chance to pile on.

Then came the latest revelations in the Weiner scandal: more sexting than the ex-congressman had previously acknowledged, followed by a dramatic press conference. The ex-congressman’s porn star-like online nickname — Carlos Danger — proved irresistible.

The tabs’ fun won’t end there. The Democratic primary for both offices isn’t until Sept. 10.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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