Video: Hannity Holds Anthony Weiner's Feet to the Fire in Brutal On-Air Takedown: 'Have You Changed?'
There’s an old saying among actors, salesmen, and other performers: The most important thing is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner didn’t learn that lesson.
Weiner had a new radio program to promote, so he appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox broadcast on Monday. During the show, Weiner remained noncommittal regarding whether he was genuinely reformed after a series of sex scandals ended his political career.
Hannity expressed his disbelief at this lack of candor.
There was a time when Weiner was a rising star. He went from being the youngest person elected to the New York City Council to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. He married Hillary Clinton’s trusted aide Huma Abedin, forming a formidable power couple.
Weiner had the resume and connections to go far in politics. Instead, he wound up a registered sex offender.
In 2011, Weiner resigned from Congress after he was exposed, literally, in revealing photos he sent through Twitter. Then, during his unsuccessful 2013 campaign for New York City mayor, more compromising texts were discovered.
Weiner was arrested in 2016 after a minor revealed she too had received inappropriate material from him. He served 18 months in prison for texting explicit messages and images to the 15-year-old girl.
The repeated offenses proved Weiner had a real problem. He is still associated with the embarrassing names he used during his sexting escapades: “Carlos Danger” and “T-Dog.” It’s difficult to restart a career with that reputation.
But talk radio is a welcoming venue for controversial ocharacters. Weiner joined a new WABC radio show, “The Left Versus the Right,” with co-host is Curtis Sliwa, founder of the crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels.
Even Sliwa admitted Weiner’s problematic past was an elephant in the room for the program.
According to the Daily Mail, this was Weiner’s first interview since he was released from prison in 2019. The “Hannity” appearance was a chance for Weiner to open up and demonstrate some sense of remorse.
Instead, Weiner defaulted to vague and sometimes combative answers during the train wreck of an appearance.
Hannity presented a summary of Weiner’s past. He asked Weiner: “You pled guilty, you served jail time. Have you changed? Are you a different person?”
Weiner’s reply was guarded. ‘Well, um, I think so.” He spoke in generalities about “people” and “going through other types of adversity.”
“That’s an obscure answer,” Hannity said. “Either you know in your heart if you’ve changed, or you know in your heart if you didn’t change.” He pointed out the importance to Weiner’s potential new audience to know the answer.
“They, they can judge for themselves,” Weiner replied.
Hannity, who has built large and loyal fan bases in television, radio and print, couldn’t believe the response. “I’m sorry?” he asked, surprised.
Weiner didn’t budge. “I said they can judge for themselves. I’m not out to persuade you or anyone else that I’ve changed. I mean, I’m doing a radio show, people can call in and ask me questions.”
“I’m not terribly interested in trying to make them feel any differently about me,” Weiner said.
Weiner seemed bitter that he even had to discuss it. He showed no remorse. He wanted to promote his show, not talk about his feelings. He didn’t even seem to understand what an obstacle his past issues were.
Hannity gave good advice, saying talk radio was a “heart medium. In other words, you have to connect with somebody on a visceral level, because they can’t see you … I would want to convince people I am a different person.”
Weiner appeared incapable of that sort of empathy. Decide for yourself:
In a way, Weiner may have answered Hannity’s question after all. Honestly, we’d love to see this story end in some sort of redemptive way.
But, at least outwardly, Weiner was still cold and detached, as if he still couldn’t understand the repentance others want to see in him. In that way, perhaps he hasn’t changed.
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