Weiner Ducks for Rehab Cover as Baldwin Eyes Mayoral Run

Wednesday, 15 Jun 2011 12:35 AM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

A Newsmax Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Weiner Ducks for Cover With Rehab Ploy
2. Alec Baldwin Spurred by Weinergate Toward Mayoral Bid
3. Media Digs in Vain for Sarah Palin Email Dirt
4. Chris Rock Flips on Tracy Morgan Defense
5. Jon Stewart, Bill Maher Use Race to Rip Herman Cain
 

1. Weiner Ducks for Cover With Rehab Ploy

Following a formula that celebrities use whenever they have gotten into trouble and need to polish up their tarnished images, Anthony Weiner has announced that he's headed to rehab.

No reports yet of any calls out to Dr. Drew or Dr. Phil.

The pressure that had been building intensified after Weiner admitted that he had sent private Twitter messages to a Delaware teen. Even though the disgraced politician denied he had any inappropriate online contact with the 17-year-old, nervous Democratic Party leaders worried that more damaging revelations were yet to come, and calls for Weiner to step down started rolling in.

Adding to the Democrats' trepidation were new lewd photos posted by TMZ, reportedly taken in the House gym. According to the website, the photos had been sent digitally to at least one woman.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, have joined the chorus of Dems calling for a Weiner resignation.

Wasserman Schultz correctly labeled the congressman's behavior "indefensible" and said that his "continued service in Congress is untenable." She added, "This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction."

The sexting politician has initiated his own form of misdirection via the "celebrity rehab" gambit, a tactic that may buy him some time.

Weiner's spokesperson, Risa Heller, announced that the New York congressman would take a short leave of absence "to seek professional treatment." However, Heller did not indicate what kind of treatment the wayward representative would seek.

Weiner likely hopes that he can stay out of the tabloids for a while and follow the pattern of another scandal-plagued member of the House of Representatives, Barney Frank. While Frank's flap concerned a male prostitute who had allegedly set up shop in Barney's basement, the Massachusetts congressman evidently didn't feel it necessary to opt for the "celebrity rehab" strategy.

Whether Weiner's rehab ploy works or not, the saga of his online escapades, his attempts to manipulate the news, and his multimedia meltdown will fill the pages of future communications textbooks across the globe.


2. Alec Baldwin Spurred by Weinergate Toward Mayoral Bid

Anthony Weiner's implosion is causing Democrats to reconsider their options.

One individual who is taking a new look at the political landscape is none other than Alec Baldwin, who is considering a run for New York City mayor now that front-runner Weiner is likely out of the race.

A source close to the actor told The Daily that Baldwin said, "Hey, maybe this changes the race. The dynamics have shifted."

When asked about the rumored candidacy, a Baldwin spokesperson said, "I wouldn't rule it out."

Baldwin, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat, has mulled his political possibilities for a while now.

He spoke about changing professions in 1997, telling New York magazine, "The men and women that run the world are in their 50s. It takes time to build that kind of thing. I'm 39."

He has now reached the self-imposed age stipulation.

During a 2008 interview on "60 Minutes," Baldwin indicated that when he was done acting he might venture into politics.

"There's no age limit on running for office, to a degree . . . [It's] something I might do, one day," he said.

In January 2011, the actor told CNN he was "very interested" in becoming a politician but would only run for office in New York City.

"I do believe that people want to believe that someone who deeply cares about the middle class — would like to seek public office," he said.

Baldwin recently announced that the next season of "30 Rock" would be his last.

The sitcom's next season happens to be in 2012, and production coincidentally wraps just in time for the New York mayoral elections.


3. Media Digs in Vain for Sarah Palin Email Dirt

In light of the incessant hounding of Sarah Palin, it is clear that the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate has actually shown a lot of restraint in merely labeling the press "the lamestream media."

These are the same major news outlets that ignored the background of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Now they have marshaled their resources to comb through 24,000 pages of Palin's old gubernatorial emails.

The swarms that descended on Alaska were totally out of proportion for the circumstances. Rather than striving to attain the journalistic ideal of satisfying the public's right to know, the teams of reporters and database experts testify to the liberal obsession with finding anything that can be used to personally harm Palin.

Nothing damaging or especially newsworthy has been found thus far.

Interestingly, Palin has her defenders, and one in particular is rather unexpected.

Actor Ashton Kutcher commented on the whole media fishing expedition via his Twitter account, writing, "As much as I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin I find sifting through her emails repulsive and over reaching media."


4. Chris Rock Flips on Tracy Morgan Defense

In one day's time, Hollywood peer pressure and gay advocacy organizations caused Chris Rock to rethink a Twitter post.

It all began when actor, comic and "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Tracy Morgan was quoted making numerous anti-gay remarks during a stand-up comedy performance in Tennessee.

Morgan apologized for going "too far," but the apology seemed to have little effect. Rock was the only major celebrity that had Morgan's back.

After the news story had spread throughout the web, Rock posted on his Twitter account, "I dont know about you, but I dont want to live in world where Tracy Morgan cant say foul inappropriate s---."

The "foul inappropriate" is strewn throughout most of today's live stand-up routines. Young comedians frequently consider vile content a vocational necessity.

Gay advocacy groups, most notably GLAAD, blasted the "30 Rock" star. A host of celebrities condemned Morgan's jokes, and the Hollywood trades aggressively went after him. A Variety headline read: "Can Tracy Morgan save his career?"

Rock apparently felt the heat and issued a new tweet: "Tracy morgan is a tad off we all know that so when tracy says something i usually don't take it anymore serious than i would a statement from gary busey or flavor flav. when i first heard the statement i thought it was offensive but it also reminded me of my father saying ill kill you if you ever bring home a white girl but after reading everything tracy said. wow i get it that s--- wasn't called for and i don't support it at all."

Perhaps concerned about his standing in the showbiz community, Rock wrote, "Now can i please go to the tony awards without getting my a-- kicked?"


5. Jon Stewart, Bill Maher Use Race to Rip Herman Cain

Those on the left routinely twist the words of their opponents and lodge the accusation of "coded racism," a technique mainly employed to generate controversy.

The racist accusations seem to fly in one direction only, however. They are generally lobbed according to political ideology and/or party affiliation, i.e., liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans.

Racist material may sometimes go unnoticed when hidden within comedic remarks, with an implicit cover of "it's only a joke," as if things said in a humorous manner or within the context of a parody don't really count.

Recently, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart made Herman Cain the butt of his unimaginative jokes, and his patter about the GOP presidential contender turned out to be not so coded.

Stewart aired video footage of Cain. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO and current GOP presidential candidate was addressing the issue of the thousands of pages of Democrat legislation that admittedly they did not read prior to passage. Cain said that bills should be limited to three pages.

After showing the footage, the Comedy Central star displayed a billboard: "Herman Cain 2012 — I Don't Like to Read."

The racist threads woven into this comedic sketch are that the black man has difficulty reading and lacks intelligence. Neither Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton saw fit to call a press conference.

Bill Maher also used Cain as comedy fodder for the "New Rules" segment of his HBO show.

While giving mock advice to GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, Maher said, "Let me put your unpopularity in context for you — you're a Republican and you're polling behind a black guy."

The not-so-coded racism in Maher's skit is that Republicans are hated, but if the Republican individual is also black, he or she deserves even more scorn because of his or her skin color.

There have been volumes written on liberal hypocrisy, but sadly it seems that we have indeed reached a new low.

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