Anthony Weiner Should Have Had the Balls To Pull a Krystal Ball

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
June 6 2011 3:56 PM

Anthony Weiner Should Have Had the Balls To Pull a Krystal Ball

Jessica Grose Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

More shirtless photos have emerged that are allegedly of Rep. Anthony Weiner . If you'll recall, last week a photo of Weiner's crotch was sent to a college co-ed via Twitter. Weiner said he did not send those photos but did not deny (or affirm) that the photos were of him. Weiner is holding a press conference in five minutes to address this scandal, and possibly to resign.


First of all, I don't think that Weiner should resign ( more on that front from Matt Yglesias ). But more importantly, Weiner's been handling the entire scandal all wrong. He's been combative with press and answering the question of whether he took those crotch shots with evasive nonanswers. Instead of dodging, he should have pulled a Krystal Ball.

Ball (and good lord, these politicians could not have better names for these scandals) was a long-shot congressional candidate in Virginia last fall . There were embarrassing photos of her that hit the Internet, showing her fellating a reindeer nose. Instead of dropping out, or crawling under a rock, Ball said: "Society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere. Sooner or later, this is a reality that has to be faced, or many young women in my generation will not be able to run for office."

The parallel is not perfect-Ball's photos were taken with her then-husband, and they didn't imply cheating as Weiner's alleged photos do. But as Ball pointed out (and as I argued back in September), so many people in the digital age have some potentially career-ending photos out there. Like Ball, Weiner should have said, yes, those salacious photos are mine and, no, it's none of your business.

Update, 4:47 p.m.: In his press conference Weiner has admitted to having inappropriate contact with women across many social media platforms ! A colleague says: This is what they used to call the full hang out. He is not resigning. His wife, Huma Abedin, was not at his side. On the age of the women with whom he has had Internet contact, Weiner says: "All I know is what they publish about themselves in social media."

My advice about pulling the Krystal Ball still stands: If he had just 'fessed up and stood strong in the first place, he would have saved a lot of face.

Photograph of Anthony Weiner by Amy Sussman/Getty Images the New Yorker.



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.