It’s seemingly impossible to avoid joining the chorus of accusers and lamenters expressing outrage at the parade of powerful men – presently led by Congressman Anthony Weiner – who destroyed their careers and credibility by engaging in sexual conduct they hoped to keep secret and then compounding the problem by lying to cover it up.
Serial sexter Mr. Weiner added still another dimension to his bad judgment by refusing to resign – something he probably will do eventually and should do now to save himself and all those entwined with him ongoing and escalating humiliation.
Surely he knew his confession would unleash an army of voracious journalists and bloggers dedicated to uncovering and publishing every lewd picture, note, or letter they could find.
What can we learn from this?
First, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” Everything the Congressman has done in the past few days has made things worse. The only way to stop or at least slow down the barrage is to withdraw from public life.
Second, “Never get into a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” In the Internet Age, this is a metaphor for “don’t taunt the media.” In effect, Mr. Weiner dared every journalist and blogger to hunt down and reveal every tawdry detail of his X-rated journey to his private jungle of obsessive foolishness.
The final lesson: “When you mess up fess up,” and where tenacity simply invites more degrading attacks, it’s okay to give up.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.