We know what Anthony Weiner's been up to lately: trying to mount his comeback campaign. But what have the women with whom he engaged in inappropriate communications with been doing with their time? As you may have guessed, not having a lot of fun.
On Monday morning, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski published a post that claimed to show the gist of a piece accidentally published on the New York Times website two weeks ago. Entitled "For Women in Weiner Scandal, Indignity Lingers," the early publication and then immediate removal of that unfinished article prompted the Times to say that they "don’t discuss stories in advance of publication" and left many wondering if we'd ever see this article that was already bound to be pretty interesting. (Of the mistake, the Times' public editor, Margret Sullivan remarked, "Such are the hazards of digital misdirection, as Mr. Weiner found out. It couldn’t have happened to a more appropriate story.")
So how is this article that we've been eagerly waiting for? Really good. Reporter Michael Barbaro talks to all of the women that were fingered for texting or tweeting – inappropriately or not – with Weiner, and paints a rather bleak portrait of how hard their lives have been since the scandal broke, while Weiner has been able to move on, partially through what some have billed as overly-sympathetic profiles.
In Kaczynski's story, he conjectured that Barbaro was going to report that despite everything they'd been through, two of the women still fully supported Weiner's run for Mayor of New York:
"Weiss and Traci Nobles, a Georgia fitness instructor, both say in the story that they support his mayoral campaign.
'I think third time is going to be the charm,' Nobles told the Times. 'A perfect comeback story, ya know?'"
The published piece does not state so as unequivocally. Lisa Weiss' feelings are described as "complex, unsettled and somewhat counterintuitive, " though she is "rooting for him to win, despite her travails." Traci Nobles "did not express outright support" for Weiner, though Barbaro includes her "comeback story" quote.
Barbaro doesn't shy away from describing the emotions that the women have been going through, which have a Lewinsky-like quality to them, though the new article seems to slightly less dramatic language about it. Weiss has apparently taken to drinking too much, and describes crying while watching Jane Lynch and Bill Maher read her texts aloud on television. She says her co-workers harass her and Barbaro quotes her as saying, "I cannot tell you the devastation." Nobles was fired from her job, "which sort of broke my heart." Gennette Cordova left school and moved to the west coast. In a statement, Ginger Lee says she's sick of hearing jokes about herself every time Weiner is back in the news.
For his part, Weiner told the Times:
“I am deeply sorry that my behavior caused so much upheaval in the lives of those who were unwittingly involved."
In an on-camera interview on Monday, he elaborated:
“One of the reasons I had been so reluctant to speak about them is that they’re entitled to their privacy and I want to reiterate that sense of apology, and I’ve never talked about the private exchanges that we’ve had and I never will, because I think that they’ve already been put through enough.”
There's some mild credit being thrown BuzzFeed's way for pushing the final story to come back – which the Times has denied – prompting Michael Roston, the Staff Editor of Social Media at the Times, to argue that that simply wasn't the case:
Hope BuzzFeed can catch their breath before they write another headline.— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) June 24, 2013
Who wants to bet Weiner didn't?
Image via the New York Times & Mario Tama/Getty