Let's be upfront: the latest Anthony Weiner Sexting scandal is none of your business.
By now, everyone with eyes and ears has heard the story of the former US representative sending provocative photos of himself to another women who wasn't his wife, Huma Abedin. Yes, they were slightly disturbing given his four year old son was in the background, and yes, he's an idiot for getting caught again, but the fact remains that Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin's personal life is none of your business.
Have you ever cheated on your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend? Have you ever flirted with someone you shouldn't have? Is your marriage/relationship perfect? Have you ever been in a bad relationship where you loved each other but couldn't make it work? Do you feel lonely sometimes and go on the internet to look at porn? What would your own private text messages, emails and internet search history reveal if they were plastered all over the internet?
I'm not going to play armchair psychologist and tell you why Anthony Weiner felt the need to send racy photos of himself to another woman. Perhaps it's because he's a narcissistic, cheating asshole. Perhaps his marriage was essentially over and he was lonely. Perhaps Huma Abedin is an unpleasant person. Perhaps Huma Abedin has cheated on Weiner herself. Perhaps it's a little bit of everything, or perhaps it's none of the above and it's just very, very complicated, as most human relationships are.
The point is, no one knows exactly what happens between two people in a relationship other than the two people in that relationship. And even then, it isn't that simple, as anyone who has been in an actual relationship knows all too well.
Through his actions, Anthony Weiner has destroyed his career and now his marriage for what is, again, none of your business.
America's obsession with sex scandals is indicative of a society that has no real understanding of itself, and no clue how to prioritize what is important. As my colleague Bob Cesca pointed out yesterday in a must read piece:
In spite of our Puritanical origins and hopeless contradictions regarding sexuality, Americans love sex scandals more than we love our big cars, our big guns, our bubble-gum reality television and our competing doses of beef and Lipitor. I’m not breaking any news when I write that sex scandals sell more papers, and they attract more viewers to the internet and television, regardless of whether they originate in Hollywood, Washington, D.C., or the supermarket checkout line.
Anthony Weiner's latest sexting episode, therefore, successfully knocked Donald Trump out of the headlines.
Donald Trump, if you will remember, is a bonafide fascist running for President on a platform that would deport millions of immigrants, bar muslims from the country, ignore climate change, and actively promote the cruel and unusual punishment of America's suspected enemies.
On the same day Weiner was caught flashing his weiner to a Donald Trump supporter, it was announced that due to human activity, the earth has officially transitioned into a new geological epoch -- a revelation so worrying it is a miracle people are not out in the streets demanding action on climate change.
Of course it isn't really a miracle given the media has been busy promoting the Anthony Weiner story.
As Bob writes, the only real way to combat the media's obsession with sex stories is to stop reading them, stop sharing them and prioritize real news. This is easier said than done of course, because everyone loves a good scandal. However, if you take the time to really think about what you are doing by reading and sharing Anthony Weiner like stories with accompanying moral condemnations, it gets a little harder to do so. Because with every harsh judgment we pass on others, we are explicitly condoning our own sins. And given none of us are perfect, this makes us hypocrites.
So when you see a headline for a new sex scandal, try to think about how you would feel if it was your personal life in the news. You'd rightly think that it was no one's business but your own. So perhaps it's best to remember that while Anthony Weiner may well be a cheating scumbag, it really isn't any of your damn business.