No One Asked For This: Anthony Weiner Is Back And Hosting A Radio Show With Red Beret Guy Curtis Sliwa
WABC radio in New York City announced today that it will soon be debuting a new show called “The Left vs. The Right,” starring disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, ostensibly because there were absolutely no other people in all of New York City to choose from.
Sliwa, who once faked his own kidnapping and several subway "rescues" in order to gin up public support for his vigilante crime-fighting gang, is coming off of a failed bid for New York City mayor. Weiner, however, has largely stayed out of the public eye since serving a prison stint for "sexting" with a 15-year-old girl after his own circus of a mayor's race.
Weiner also says that he is not planning on using the radio gig to become a public figure again, although some might say that is literally what a radio host is.
Via Page Six:
“I am not going back into public life, I am doing a radio show with a friend of mine,” [Weiner] exclusively tells Page Six. He added, “It’s not a conscious decision,” before joking to us, “I have a face for radio, but I don’t know if I have a place in radio as a career. Sometimes it is what it is.”
We’re told the new show — which will focus on topics affecting New York City — will give equal time to the conservative and liberal perspectives, and will also not shy away from Weiner’s past. [...]
His new co-host, Sliwa, tells us, “People are entitled to a second chance. He is trying to get his life back … We don’t want to just exile these people. We want to give them redemption, but they have to earn their way back. I think being on the radio he can become a role model for other people who have had major issues in their life.”
Sliwa is a Republican and thus can only benefit from reminding people of Weiner's existence.
I am a firm believer that people can and should change. I hope very much that Anthony Weiner has learned his lesson and will no longer be asking 15-year-old girls to send him nude pictures, not so much for his own sake as for the sake of 15-year-old girls everywhere. That being said, there is absolutely no reason for Anthony Weiner to resume being a famous person. Where is the demand? Who is saying, "Boy, I wish we could get Anthony Weiner's take on this?" No one that I'm aware of. Perhaps no one that anyone is aware of.
A famous person not being famous anymore isn't "exile," it's the basis for VH1's Where Are They Now? Not everyone gets to be famous forever. Paul from The Wonder Years is a lawyer now (and is not, in fact, Marilyn Manson), as is Chunk from The Goonies, and Jake Ryan was ideal for sure in Sixteen Candles, but now he builds furniture from his home in Wilkes-Barre. Sometimes it happens because one-hit wonders exist or because child stars are done with acting, and sometimes it's because someone sexually harassed a teenage girl and people are just no longer interested in hearing from them.
Sliwa explained that the gist of the show was to put out both sides of any given issue and let the listeners make their own decisions, a concept which has actually existed since the dawn of opinion journalism:
“When it comes to knowledge of New York and how things operate and how bad things are now, between the both of us you will get information and we will balance one another,” Sliwa says. “You get the yin-and-yang. There are very few places where you get two points of view anymore. The listeners can make their own decisions based on all the information we are sharing with them.”
There are two possible reasons to do a show like this. One, because one wants to have a platform and be a public person — which we have established Weiner just absolutely does not want to do — and two, because one wants to give particular ideas a platform. If that is what Weiner wants to do, he shouldn't. Because whether he likes it or not, a person who sexually harasses 15-year-old girls is not an ideal spokesman for any cause — for the same reason Hertz stopped putting OJ Simpson in its commercials.
Weiner could give the most elegant and persuasive argument for an important cause ever, and it would be tainted by who he is. Maybe that's not fair, but neither is having to attend years of therapy after your congressman sent you pictures of his junk.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse