Anthony Weiner is a crafty and worthy adversary — an unrepentant lefty who is usually a savvy media player. Today, however, he’s his own worst enemy as he tries to both deflect attention and avoid committing a crime — something my colleagues should have learned how to do before Watergate sunk our greatest president in 1974. If I can borrow from SNL’s music video, Weiner’s [email protected]#k is in a box. I’ve been there too and there’s a way out if he moves quickly to embrace Stone’s Rules.
Fifteen years before Gawker published photos of Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner allegedly tweeted photos of himself, a photo of my taut pecs, six-pack abs and, well, bulge was splashed across the cover of the National Enquirer with a breathless story that my wife and I were “secret swingers.” The Enquirer asserted I was a hypocrite because they contended I was a “family-values” Republican (which I never was). Then, as now, I was a small-government Republican with a strong belief in personal freedom. I believe the GOP should pitch its big-top tent around fiscal conservatism and a muscular foreign policy rather than carnival bark outside the sideshow tents of gay marriage and reproductive choice. The media coverage was intense and my many frenemies finally had their chance to settle old scores. Maybe this is also the case with Weiner.
If Weiner had followed Stone’s Rule #1 — “Admit nothing, deny everything and launch counter-attacks” — he wouldn’t be in this box. When the National Enquirer published its story about me, I issued a blanket denial and explained that the photo actually came from a body-building contest and had been leaked by a pissed-off employee. Then I shut up since I was not standing for public office and there was no inconsistency between my public stance as a libertine and my private behavior. I believed then as I do now that this wasn’t anyone’s business. But Weiner is a walking violation of Stone’s Rules. He hasn’t admitted nothing, denied everything or launched any counter-attacks. He’s paralyzed the media in their focus on him and hopes, perhaps, to starve them out. It won’t work because this isn’t 1974 or even 1996 — unless he acts quickly, page one of every online search for “Anthony Weiner” anyone will ever do will yield this scandal front and center.
Stone’s Rules exist because sometimes the truth is too painful and the lies will land you in prison.
Roger Stone is a well-known Republican political consultant and is a veteran of eight national Republican presidential campaigns. He’s also the men’s fashion correspondent for The Daily Caller and editor of Stonezone.com.