The Mirror

Has The Art Of The Weiner Headline Gone Limp?

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger

Is the Weiner headline dying?

With ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Schlongsville) getting out of the jug early for good behavior, newspapers around the nation have been reporting on his relocation to a halfway house. Almost none joked about it.

In its heyday, the Weiner headline was something of an art form. From one outlet to the next, it seemed that editors were like hornets trying to outdo each other. They relished coming up with the perfect pun.

Could it be with all the whacked out news of the past two years that Weiner has become boring? Or is the reality (that he sexted with a minor and said and wrote some pretty vile things) just too gruesome?

“Yeah, probably just that it’s stale. Bigger d*cks to fry,” a media journalist told The Mirror. “It’s kinda like pun-based weed news headlines. People eventually start to roll their eyes at it.”

“Weiner Out” was the most obvious, splashy headline for his recent news. The Daily Caller nabbed it: “Weiner Out: Disgraced Ex-Pol Leaves Jail For Halfway House.”

The iconic New York Post, meanwhile, went serious and bland this time around: “Anthony Weiner released from prison, will register as sex offender.”

The overall picture is grim: Weiner ruined the fun for all journalists and readers by behaving like such a d*ck.

“Oh that’s probably true, too,” my journo-source said. “It’s a lot more sensitive now that he’s an actual sex criminal instead of just a sex pest.”

There’s also the issue of Weiner fatigue. Are we just done with this guy? Operating on Weiner fumes? In other Weiner-related news, his ex-mistress recently defended the honor of New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Even so, Weiner may officially be the gift that stops giving.

“I think that it was funny because he was so hapless at sexting, but once he started actually texting with minors it got a lot harder (pardon the pun) to make jokes about it,” a longtime member of the Washington media surmised.

A Washington media industry expert said penile jokes are probably inappropriate at this point. “I suspect now that it involves a minor it would be in poor taste to make dick jokes,” the individual said. “Though combining him with ‘halfway house’ has limitless possibilities.”

Mike Cernovich, a documentary filmmaker, author and conservative online presence, agreed. “Weiner was funny when his antics involved consenting adult women,” he told The Mirror. “Who knows — maybe he and Huma had an open relationship? Once he started hitting up kids, it became hard to laugh.”

USA Today attached a morale judgment to the latest news: “Disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison, must register as sex offender.” The editors achieved being boring and too long.

The truth about the state of the Weiner headline may be hard to hear.

“For one thing, there have been so many of them over the years!” a big city reporter told The Mirror. “As a headline subject, the press may simply have beaten the Weiner to death. Another possible reason that Weiner may have gone limp for headline writers is that he’s rarely in the news these days: Weiner’s been inserted into the news cycle over the last week or so, but he’s been quiet for the last few months for obvious reasons.”

The writer added, “I think to have really good heds, you have to have lots of stories so that there are more opportunities for the circumstances and the language to match up perfectly. So if he really returns to the public eye, there may be a rush of new blood to Weiner as a headline red meat.”

There may also be an even bigger dick in town.

“Oh, and [AMI’s David] Pecker may now be bigger than Weiner for copy editors,” the writer said.

Another Weiner headline from the New York Post was only slightly more whimsical: “Anthony Weiner pops up outside Bronx halfway house after prison release.”

And there was this headline, newsy and suggestive, but still not comical: “Anthony Weiner is still texting away — inside his halfway house.” The dirt there is that he’s using an old flip phone. “He was on his phone, texting somebody,” a fellow inmate told the Post.

Which is absolutely crushing considering this is the very newspaper that once gave us these gems. Simultaneously immature and clever, many journalists could only guess and salivate at how good they’d be:

“Stroking Gun”

“Obama Beats Weiner”

“Beat It!”

“Weiner Exposed”

“Weiner’s Second Coming”

“Weiner’s Rise And Fall”

“Hide The Weiner”

And “Too Hard To Quit.”

TMZ, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone. No one is being funny this time around.

TMZ: “Anthony Weiner Out of Prison Early, Enters Pre-Release Program”

Vanity Fair: “Anthony Weiner Will Officially Register As A Sex Offender”

Rolling Stone: “Anthony Weiner Released From Prison, Must Register As Sex Offender”

In a word: distressing. But we are where we are.

Moving on.