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July 29, 2013

How Anthony Weiner Hurts Politics

Amy Walter: "I'm not naïve. I get that sex sells. I know the Anthony Weiner saga is buzzy and great for ratings. But, in the end, it's terrible for those of us who love covering politics, and for the institution of public service itself. Weiner cheapens the thing that we are trying to convince Americans (and in some cases our bosses at news organizations), is so valuable: the role of government in American life.  At a time when trust in Washington is at an all-time low, Weiner - and guys like Elliot Spitzer and Bob Filner -  are another reminder to Americans about of how incredibly dysfunctional and disconnected government is."

"And, at some point, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone thinks that politics is a freak show, then only the freaks will run. It's already hard enough to get 'good' people to run for office. Few normal people are willing to put their lives on hold and on display for the whole world to judge.  Now, between a Congress that is in total paralysis and a growing perception that politics is only for the narcissistic and self-serving, the good ones have even less incentive to run."


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