Notoriety Pays In America: Anthony Weiner Gets Business Insider Political Column

Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune. Cartoon published last July.

Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune. Cartoon published last July.

Notoriety pays off in 21st century America. Business Insider has proudly announced that former Representative and unsuccessful New York Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is their newest political columnist. Despite the official announcements, it’s clear Weiner is getting the column because he’s a controversial personality.

He’ll let it all hang out in a column titled “Weiner!” — and yes they will put an exclamation point on it. If he’s hired because he’s a terrific analyst, why the exclamation? Why haven’t we seen publications run columns called “Kristol!…Kurgman!…Robinson!”

Could it because they lack the kind of history Weiner has?

Which begs the question:

Does the title refer to his name or the subject of his sexting that made him a national punchline, a Godsend to cartoonists (see above), a laughingtock, an embarrassment to the Democratic Party, a disappointment to liberals who considered him a leading voice and great political warrior on cable — in short someone who was no longer taken seriously as a political figure.

But he got lots of publicity, became famous. His name was in the news, on cable, uttered among comedians.

If Sarah Palin has caused fact checkers to apply for workmen’s compensation, Weiner has given many comedy writers carpel tunnel syndrome.

He will be a DRAW as a political columnist — because of his cell phone and his notoriety. That’s really why you’ll see “Weiner!” — wait, why not make it better: “WEINER!!!” — at Business Insider.

Business Insider’s column announcing it reads like something out of The Onion.

Perhaps someone mistakenly published what they planned to run on April 1.

Here is a chunk of it:

Business Insider is very pleased to announce former New York City mayoral candidate and Congressman Anthony Weiner will be contributing a new monthly column to our politics page.

The new column, which will be titled “Weiner!,” will run on the last Friday of each month beginning this week. It will feature Weiner’s thoughts on the top political issues of the day imbued with his unique insider’s perspective.

As long as Business Insider doesn’t let him choose the photos to run with it, they’ll be OK. Wait! Wouldn’t that get more readership for the column?

As a native New Yorker, Weiner isn’t afraid to throw elbows. However, Weiner isn’t all about histrionics and political brawls. In his recent mayoral race, Weiner’s platform included 125 “Keys To The City,” a datacentric pair of books filled with policy ideas aimed at keeping New York “the Capital of the Middle Class.”

Fair enough, he has lots of ideas. And, in fact, Weiner has reportedly written some good pieces for the New York Daily News.

We believe the unique combination of brashness and wonkiness that made Weiner one of last year’s most memorable candidates and one of the most high-profile advocates for health care reform during his time in Congress will make him a perfect fit for Business Insider.

That’s what he’s most famous for? His being a big name — perhaps bigger in name than the chosen subject of so many of his world famous selfies — is why he was hired?

And the announcement had this:

For his part, Weiner is excited to engage with the site’s readership.

Hopefully not too excited if he has his camera out.
Go to the link to read his statement about his new column.

In all honesty, perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps he will deliver exceptionally thoughtful, issue-oriented content-heavy columns. Perhaps readers will want to read his column because they know he’s such an expert on health care and other issues — not because they think they might get something over the top that’s beyond brash.

Weiner will likely find that the announcement that he’s been annointed a columnist will be met by many who think he needs to quit before he starts. But he is persistent: I’m sure he’ll want to stick it out for a while.

SOME OTHER REACTION:
The Huffington Post:

In a move that had wags everywhere digging into their past to find their best 2012-era genital puns, Business Insider announced on Monday that it has hired Anthony Weiner as a political columnist.

Weiner’s column—which will be called “Weiner!”—will appear the last Friday of every month, and will discuss “the top political issues of the day imbued with his unique insider’s perspective,” Business Insider said.

The Daily Caller:

The married politician famously had his career twice derailed by sexting scandals — the first forced him to resign from Congress and the second imploded his high-profile bid for New York City mayor. But Weiner seems to have calculated that the time is now right to arouse public interest in his political opinions.

The former congressman is clearly excited to be back in the limelight. “Maybe this’ll get me mentioned on the interwebs,” he wrote on Twitter, linking to the Business Insider announcement.

Weiner already writes occasionally for the New York Daily News. His Business Insider column is set to run on the last Friday of every month, with the first coming March 28

Vodka Pundit:

Writing for BA, you know Weiner will be all about the listicles