In a remarkably candid moment Monday, New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner admitted that he had, in fact, “tweeted” a semi-lewd photo of himself to a Seattle-area woman that set off a political firestorm last week after he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.
Saying that the photo had been posted as “a hack” was, Weiner said, “a dumb thing to do to try to tell lies about it because it just led to more lies.” The 13-year member of the U.S. House of Representatives admitted the photo, which he said he had intended as a “private message,” was just the tip of the iceberg. As Weiner confessed at his hastily called press conference, there were other photos and other women.
Let that be the end of it.
Weiner apologized to his family, to his friends, to his constituents, and to everyone he has misled—including conservative investigative journalist Andrew Breitbart, who some liberal defenders of Weiner had accused of being behind the whole thing. The apology, which included the admission that the incident represented “a deep personal failing,” was heartfelt and truthful. Weiner made no excuses, saying again and again that he “had done a dumb thing and then lied about it.”
His candor, in my judgment, while overdue, is nonetheless refreshing. Unlike too many in the public eye in both parties, he took responsibility for his actions and admitted that he had been wrong, while making no effort to shade, mediate, or otherwise deflect responsibility “for some very bad decisions.” Weiner’s statement is a model of contrition, and he should, in a sense, be applauded for it.