Anthony Weiner Scandal: Congressman Seeks Treatment Following Media Firestorm
Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner is entering treatment and will request a leave of absence from the House of Representatives in the wake of a media-fueled cybersex scandal.
Weiner spokeswoman Risa Heller said in a statement posted by the New York Times Saturday, "Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person. In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.
"Congressmam Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents."
Earlier Saturday, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and several top Democrats called for the New York representative's resignation. Pelosi said in a statement, "Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a member of Congress."
Media coverage of the so-called "Weinergate" intensified exponentially on Wednesday when Andrew Breitbart shared an X-rated photo of the Congressman's private parts with XM radio hosts Opie (Gregg Hughes) and Anthony (Anthony Cumia) whose staff used footage from their in-studio surveillance camera to grab a still photo off of Breitbart’s cell phone screen.
Weiner eventually confirmed that the photo was of him, opening the floodgates for criticism and support in Washington, D.C. and Hollywood from personalities like Alec Baldwin, Bill Maher, Janeane Garofalo, Ann Coulter and even, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
Baldwin, a potential New York City mayoral candidate, said in a Huffington Post editorial that he's sad for Weiner, "his family, his district and his colleagues," and that the Rep. is essentially a product of technology. Baldwin wrote, "We tell ourselves that these devices help us communicate more effectively. What they actually do is allow us to bypass the person lying right next to us, across the room from us or at an airport heading home to us, in order to meet our immediate, even inconvenient, needs. Weiner is a modern human being. So he ensnared himself in things that modern humans do," i.e., engage in "sexting."
Garofalo said, "He is a Democrat [who] actually fights for the things liberals and progressive and rational people care about. I don't know why he's being thrown under the bus. He hasn't done any -- he hasn't broke[n] any laws."
And finally, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- Robert Smigel's crass Rottweiler puppet character -- joked, "I was shocked to see a Democrat with a set of balls,"