Has Weinergate Coverage Been FAIR? Is Rehab PR Stunt? Alyona Minkovski Interview

Uploaded by MidweekPolitics on 14.06.2011

David Pakman: Joining us is Alyona Minkovski, host of RT's "The Alyona Show". Alyona, I've
been calling every single piece of this Anthony Weiner thing, not to pat myself on the back.
I thought that what he meant to do was send a direct message, he accidentally Tweeted
it out publicly, it's what happened. I'm saying he's going to end up resigning, not that he
necessarily should, I think that he will.
My question to you is do you think that the media coverage of this has been fair in the
sense of putting it into context, I mean, David Vitter, for example, and many others.
Has the media coverage been fair on Anthony Weiner?
Alyona Minkovski: Well, you know, I think where you and I may differ on this one is
I think the media coverage has just been ridiculous and ludicrous and over the top all around,
because to me, this is... I mean, it's really a non-story, right? Of course the media always
obsesses whenever there's any kind of a sex scandal, and you could easily make the argument
that they're being unfair in the sense that we've seen the David Vitters and the Larry
Craigs of the world, and we've seen a lot of those real family values politicians that
never had to resign, and they got off just fine. So sure, there's been a lot of scrutiny
surrounding Anthony Weiner here. Maybe he shouldn't have been making all the rounds
on the networks, going around doing interviews, which he then had to walk back and correct
himself, but I don't know. I've been railing for the last week or two on my show about
how this has just been so stupid, so over the top. There are so many other stories out
there that are worth covering rather than Weinergate, but because it has a catchy name,
because there are a few interesting photos, I guess you can say, to say the least, then
everybody is covering it non-stop.
But you know, I think what we always see with the media coverage of these events is that
the media has a lot of power. The media is what makes the story, because this beast needs
to be fed. And so if they want somebody to resign, if they want to keep on covering this,
then it's not going to go away, and so we're going to start hearing more calls for resignation
because you see it on every single TV screen that you turn on.
But can you imagine if the media actually had the same tenacity for stories like, I
don't know, Wall Street? If they went after the same crooks there who brought down our
entire economy, then maybe we would see some investigations. Maybe we would actually see
some criminal prosecutions if they kept harping about these things in the same way. Or you
could even talk about the Bush administration and war crimes and their torture record, but
instead, they just want to talk about Anthony Weiner.
David: Yeah, see, the thing is, if I want to put this kind of in context and say well,
hold on a second, not one of the banksters has gone to jail, we have private mercenaries
that are committing murder overseas, many of them are just, it's not even getting brought
up, there's never even a question about what on Earth did you do over there, and Anthony
Weiner sent out, you know, pictures to six different... at least six different women
that we know of, in context, it's not a big deal.
But then I say let me just look at the Anthony Weiner thing and think about it piece by piece.
There is kind of this sociopathic nature to the lying, claiming an FBI investigation was
going on, that's a federal agency, it wasn't going on, because he knew he sent out these
Tweets. Manipulating-- you know, not manipulating, but in other words, giving the run-around,
just flat-out lies to the mainstream media all over the place. Looking at it individually,
is this a guy that we want representing anybody? He's not... I'm not a constituent of his,
I guess it's up to his own constituents, but do you see where I'm coming from here?
Minkovski: I see where you're coming from, and actually, I think that there are a lot
of his constituents that would be OK with Anthony Weiner actually staying in office.
And sure, I think that there are some things to be looked at, like I said, the fact that
he was going on every network talking about it, like you mentioned, said that there was
an FBI investigation.
And so he lied, but to me, you know what? This was probably one of those things that,
compared to the other stuff that politicians lie about when it comes to their voting record,
when it comes to all the money that they get from lobbyists and how that's reflected in
their voting record, those are the lies that I actually care about, because to me, that
actually reflects on the type of lawmaker you are, the type of politician you are, the
type of representative that you are.
If you happen to be kind of a sleaze, sure, that doesn't look so good on your moral record,
if you're sending out pictures of yourself to young women. He didn't actually fly across
the world, right, to go meet his Argentinian lover somewhere, we didn't actually catch
him in bed with somebody else.
He was being stupid, and I think that that's something that you see more and more in this
media age, where it maybe starts making you question the intelligence of your lawmaker,
but I definitely don't think that it's as big of a deal as those people who might actually
have, you know, see real ethics investigations on, or whether it be for tax evasion, or,
you know, if we look at the case of Charlie Rangel, that concerns me much, much more,
David: Yeah, and the other thing that we're seeing here is something I'm very familiar
with now, which is you do anything, and then you say you're going into a treatment center,
you're going into rehab, whether it's you used the N-word or you penis-tweet pictures
in grey underwear, whatever it is you do. And I'm just thinking what... is he entering
a 12-step program? Because all the 12 steps would be listen, don't send the pictures.
That's step one through 12. What is... is this just a PR thing, you think, so that we,
you and I and everybody else starts reporting he's going into treatment, and maybe it avoids
the resignation? What's the point of it?
Minkovski: Of course it's a PR thing. I mean, you know, I don't think that Anthony Weiner
really has some serious problem. Maybe he does, I don't know, but we've seen Tiger Woods
and we've seen a lot of celebrities do the exact same thing. It's always a distraction,
because then you start trying to make people feel bad for yourself, and you say I'm sorry,
I'm just somebody that needs help, and so I'm going to go seek out that help, and then
you can see that I'm trying to change my ways.
You know, it's PR. I'm actually not going to be covering that or reporting that on my
show because like I said, I think there are bigger fish to fry out there. I'd rather talk
about the war. I'd rather talk about the economy and the fact that Americans are unemployed,
and that's that.
David: Do you think that the... my opinion of the best possible thing that could come
of this is actually taking it and using it to reposition into look at all the things
that are going on that no one is being held accountable for. I think that that's the opportunity
that I see here. Do you agree, or is there something else even bigger?
Minkovski: No, I'm absolutely with you there. And that's something that we've done covering
on our shows, that we start out every day and we talk about the Main Stream Miss, and
we talk about what the mainstream media missed by first showing what it is that they've been
covering non-stop and incessantly.
And those are exactly the things that I think that need to be highlighted, like we said,
when it comes to holding Wall Street accountable, when it comes to holding people that may have
tortured people accountable, when it comes to pointing fingers and actually looking at,
you know, Wikileaks, looking at the fact that it's the 40th anniversary of the Pentagon
Papers being released. But nobody ever wants to go into the deeper story. It's just so
much easier to go for the sensational story rather than to look at actual problems in
our society.
If you want to talk about a drug war that's failing, if you want to talk about SWAT raids
gone wrong where we often see, you know, innocent civilians being killed, those are large, institutional
problems that affect the entire country. The fact that we have a lot of politicians that
make bad mistakes, that can't keep it in their pants, yeah, that's a problem, but that's
also... that's just kind of life. I don't really think that that necessarily reflects
on us as a country as much as some of these other problems do.
But the media is, you know, not only are they going after this, you know, with incredible
tenacity, but they're paying for this. ABC News paid $15,000 to get the exclusive photos
for some of this. So they're really devoting their resources and their time and their energy
and their money on non-stories, and I think that that tells you a lot about what the mainstream
media culture is in this country anymore. They're just incapable and they refuse to
cover anything that actually matters to someone like you or I, and you know, they just want
people not to think, is what I think.
David: Yeah, well, the stories you mentioned only affect our lives and those of probably
the next, I don't know, 10 generations of people to live in this country, why would
the media possibly want to cover that? But that'll be probably something we'll delve
into a different day. Alyona Minkovski, host of RT's "The Alyona Show". We'll be watching,
thanks for joining us.
Minkovski: Thanks, David.
David: OK, talk to you soon.
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