After failing to deep six New York Democrat Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign on the heels of yet another dirty messaging scandal, the New York tabloid press has set its sights on his wife, Huma Abedin, with the cover of Thursday's New York Post (referring to her by her husband's sexting moniker) asking, "Señora Danger… What's Wrong With You?"
In the wake of Anthony Weiner's bizarre press conference Tuesday announcing he will not pull out of the New York mayoral race despite a new cache of illicit Internet messages he sent to a female admirer, scrutiny has shifted to Abedin, who also spoke at the press conference. Politico said her appearance "tested Gotham's gag reflex" and quoted a political scientist saying, "But she's complicit too, an enabler or whatever you want to call it. … It's the Twilight Zone. It's Oz. It's f—-ng crazy."
Vanity Fair questioned her involvement in the political spin surrounding Weiner's sexting scandals, particularly her role in the "utter bulls--t about the couple's emotional rehabilitation unwittingly peddled by People magazine back in July."
Even the New York Times posted an anecdotal story, chatting with women over their picnic lunches about their thoughts on her decision to stand by her husband. A number of outlets have also highlighted a ill-timed preview of an essay Abedin wrote for September's Harper's Bazaar (presumably written before the latest round of revelations) about supporting Weiner. Not all the attention has been negative, with writers from Time, CNN, and Huffington Post defending her.
Though the question of whether or not a wife should leave her politician husband after a sex scandal has always been of interest to the media (and to pop culture at large, with TV shows like "The Good Wife" and "Scandal" dealing with such topics), the criticism of Abedin's decision to act as her husband's booster is even more pronounced today.
"Traditionally women had stood by their husbands, and traditionally the media didn't really cover them, and they didn't cover the private dimension of the scandal – like how the scandal is impacting the children or the wives or the community," says Lara Brown, a political analyst who has studied political scandals. "The media focus was on how it was impacting the election and the voters."