As he explores a potential mayoral campaign, Anthony Weiner has become his own one-man press shop, often trading barbs with reporters on the news of the day. And, for a man who was forced to resign from Congress because of inappropriate electronic communications, Mr. Weiner doesn’t appear to expend much effort filtering his speech.
For example, a Politicker reporter shares a name with a famous ice hockey player, and Mr. Weiner, an avid hockey fan himself, focused on that fact during one of many interview requests.
“I totally just noticed your name! you play defense by any chance?” he jokingly asked, displaying both his trademark snark and his disinclination to discus the inquiry’s substance.
Mr. Weiner went on to suggest an interview would occur the next week, something he indicated to many other outlets that day. Ultimately, however, he only granted a single televised interview and has largely shied away from the media since.
Other means have also been attempted in grabbing the former congressman’s attention. As Mr. Weiner is known for using one-word missives, including “TEETH,” to convey messages, Politicker placed that in the subject line of an email asking for comment on recently-released poll numbers.
“do you even know what TEETH means?” he replied incredulously, ending the exchange.
Asked this week about his new Twitter account by another Politicker reporter, Mr. Weiner immediately tried to engage, asking our thoughts on a booklet of policy proposals he released earlier this month, referred to in the account’s first post.
“which is your favorite idea?” he questioned.
When we suggested finally sitting down for a formal interview, he began to joke about the fact that the same reporter had previously made that same request repeatedly while working at DNAinfo.com New York.
“nope I promised that to dna. know anyone who works there?” he asked, adding: “(I crack me up).”
We pressed him on the topic, noting that no formal promise had ever been made.
“you missed the gag. I am NOW doing the first interview there,” he replied.
We tried one last time, following an exchange about why he’d decided to create a new Twitter account when he already had one, suggesting an interview over coffee.
“im drinking coffee at this very minute.” he answered. “doesn’t count?”
This is hardly a new trend. Asked last month about a pricey poll conducted by his campaign account, Mr. Weiner initially wrote, “nothing to report.”
Pressed on what information he’d learned from the pricey poll, he added (in the proper British spelling): “[A]s they might say across the pond, I refer the right honourable gentlewoman to the answer I gave a moment ago.”
Asked if he enjoyed these sorts of back-and-forths, Mr. Weiner naturally offered a witty retort.
“I respect reporters,” he texted from his phone. “Like is a strong word.”