It is official: Representative Anthony Weiner has announced that he will resign from Congress amidst pressure from top Democrats including President Barack Obama. Check every major news site throughout the day and you are bound to find extensive coverage of Weinergate. Prepare for the media blizzard at 2:00 p.m. today, when Weiner is expected to go public with his decision in Brooklyn.
But, as good a headline as Weiner makes (My favorite: the New York Post's "Obama Beats Weiner"), this story is not newsworthy. To be sure, Weiner's conduct is reprehensible and lewd. And, his story raises the important question of why public figures seem prone to marital affairs and sexual scandals. But, does Weiner deserve the attention the media has given him?
No. Here are today’s top five stories that matter more than Weiner's sexcapades:
1) White House Defends U.S. Role in Libya — The Obama administration insisted this morning that it does not need approval from Congress to continue the war in Libya. Obama contended that because no American lives are at risk, the Libya war does not fall under the War Powers Resolution passed after the Vietnam War, which requires approval from Congress or an end to fighting after 60 days.
2) CIA Attempted Spying on Iraq War Critic During Bush Years — An ex-spy is alleging Bush administration officials asked the CIA to spy on prominent Iraq war critic Juan Cole in order to discredit him. Cole runs the prominent Middle East blog Informed Comment. If true, the Bush administration will have directly violated a 1981 executive order written in the Watergate-era that prohibits the CIA from spying on American citizens inside the United States.
3) Hackers Take Down CIA and Senate Websites — In the second attack in less than a week, the hactivist group LulzSec broke into the Senate website. The group also managed to take down the CIA website, raising fears about how prepared the U.S. is for cyber-attacks.
4) Wikileaks Cables Show U.S. Intervention in Haiti — New Wikileaks cables show the U.S. intervened in Haiti's domestic affairs after the earthquake, micromanaging the country's economy and politics to align it to U.S. interests. According to the cables, the Obama administration sent in U.S. troops despite reports that no threat existed and sought to limit the minimum wage for Haitian textile workers.
5) New York Nears Passage of Gay Marriage Bill — New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg is headed to Albany today to persuade Republican state senators to legalize same-sex marriage before they adjourn for the year. The bill needs only one more Republican vote in order to pass.
Photo Credit: David Boyle