It's clearly not a surprise to Anthony Weiner that he's the focus of a silly prank. After 43 years of bearing the surname "Weiner," the Democratic congressman from New York is used to it.
"You know, when you're named Weiner, that happens a lot," Weiner told Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. With a name like Wolf Blitzer, the CNN correspondent likely understands.
If you haven't followed this one (no matter how hard it is to ignore) a photo showing a man's underwear covering a man's privates was sent out to his Twitter followers. He told Blitzer – and other reporters as he made the rounds – that he didn't send it out.
"This seems like it's a prank to make fun of my name. You know, when you're named Weiner, that happens a lot. I've got 45,000-some-odd Twitter followers, hundreds of people that I follow. This seems like a prank that has gotten an enormous amount of attention."
But this prank – it's not a scandal, it's not really anything – has stretched on for days, powered by TV news channels. Part of the lifespan of this "story" can be blamed by the Memorial Day weekend news vacuum, when this was pushed by Andrew Breitbart, a professional troublemaker on the right.
Weiner's first attempts to brush off the story, without directly addressing it, also helped prolong things.
Even in addressing it, he sounded like a lawyer (or Bill Clinton) in not directly denying that it's his privates under that underwear.
"It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth," he said. It was one of those silly and maddening sentences that only makes Weiner look like he's hiding something.
But, again, this isn't a scandal.
If Weiner is hiding something, it's something about nothing, lending a "Seinfeld" quality to this bit of early summer silliness.
That sitcom flavor is reinforced by the connection of Weiner's old college roommate, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (yes, really, his roommate), who came back from a vacation Tuesday night to take on Weinergate.
Here's his take:
Stewart in Milwaukee: Speaking of Jon Stewart, the Riverside this morning announced an appearance by the comedian on Saturday, Oct. 1. Tickets, priced between $45.50 and $65.50, go on sale Friday, June 10 at noon.
- Speaking of NBC, EW.com reports it's bringing back "Fear Factor," suggesting it could return to the network by next summer.
- FX is moving the final season of "Rescue Me" from Tuesdays to Wednesday nights. That farewell season starts July 13 at 9 p.m.
- NBC's failed sci-fi series, "The Event," could be revived by NBC-owned Syfy.
- Time Warner Cable's "Sports32 Roundtable" is looking for a viewer to be a guest with Dennis Krause and be featured on a new show "Talking the Talk." If you're at least 18, you can send an email to email@example.com explaining – in 150 words or less – why you'd be a good guest on Time Warner's Channel 32.
The new "Teen Wolf": MTV has high hopes for its reboot of "Teen Wolf," launching it at 10 p.m. Sunday, after the "2011 MTV Movie Awards."
It's even posted the first eight minutes of the show – targeting "Twilight" fans – to pump up the interest. Here's the video:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.