There’s several proven tactics to conducting a press conference with humiliating personal admissions and one of them is exhausting everyone, which was pretty successful with Anthony Weiner’s confession of sharing “personal photos” with women he did not know (six in three years, most before his marriage) online. Everyone was exhausted, except maybe the New York Post‘s Andrea Peyser, who really, really wanted to know where his wife Huma was. (At least that’s what she kept screaming.)
But the press conference also ran counter to many of the prevailing ideas about crisis PR: one is to keep it short; another is have your wife with you. (The Spitzer event did both these things, and it may have been smart but it was also unsatisfying.) In any event, the press conference went something like this.
• “At the outset I’d like to make clear I’ve made terrible mistakes.”
• Says: I have not been honest with myself, my family, constituents, friends, media, etc.
• Confirms the underwear photo.
• Says he made a “hugely regrettable mistake” after panicking.
• Apologizes to Huma.
• “I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations… and exchanged photos with six women over the last three years.”
• “Some took place after” his marriage.
• “I haven’t told the truth and I’ve done things I deeply regret. I brought pain to people I cared about the most.”
• “This was a very dumb thing to do.” (He was well-prepared by a professional; he returned to these talking points over and over.)
• Notably, he did not bring up the choice to not resign until the Q&A.
And then it went on and on.
I’d like to think it doesn’t affect my ability to get bills passed, he said near what seemed like the end, but was nowhere near the end. One should note that Congressman Weiner has still not sponsored a single piece of successful legislation.
“Were you fully erect” is what someone at the press conference was screaming (likely suspect: Benjy Bronk, of the Howard Stern show) as Weiner left the podium, which sort of seems like both the most and the least important question of the day.
But how did local women take it?
I see. And?
Good to know that if you marry someone less smart and less attractive than you it’s still no guarantee of fidelity.
Perhaps not so well.