Anthony Weiner’s announcement of his long-rumored mayoral campaign sparked a media frenzy, but he managed to avoid seeing his face plastered on the front pages of the two tabloid newspapers that relentlessly lampooned him during the 2011 Twitter photo scandal that ended his congressional career. By launching his bid via a video posted on his website around midnight Wednesday Weiner prevented the New York Daily News and New York Post from featuring him and lewd puns on their covers, leaving staffers at the papers convinced it was a deliberate dodge.Update: May 22, 2013 5:32 PM
When Weiner’s announcement video and revamped campaign site initially hit the web Tuesday night, they appeared to briefly be taken offline for many web users leading to speculation their release was premature. However, a source on the Weiner campaign told TPM the launch was always attended to occur overnight. According to the source, the website went offline multiple times over the course of the evening due to a large amount of web traffic from visitors flocking to the page. The campaign declined to comment about whether avoiding tabloid covers was part of the strategy behind the late night rollout.
Though Weiner’s campaign won’t say whether they purposefully left the Big Apple’s tabloids in the dark, a night editor who works at one of the two papers told TPM staffers there were certain Weiner’s timing was designed to shaft them.
“That’s exactly what he did,” the source said. “Everyone was pissed.”
Rather than Weiner, the cover of this morning’s Post featured a story about a fried chicken comment golfer Sergio Garcia made about Tiger Woods and an article about a threat Mayor Michael Bloomberg allegedly made to a taxi fleet manager who won a court victory against the city. The Daily News ran with a full-page spread on the Oklahoma tornado on its front page. Typically, the Post closes about 30 minutes to an hour after midnight while the News has a later close of approximately 2 a.m. Pages begin printing before those deadlines with the front covers coming last. Any changes close to the final close necessitate content being hastily designed and written and can cause pages throughout the paper to be moved to accomodate them. Running late results in high printer fees. The later close time allowed the Daily News to get its story about Weiner’s announcement onto the tenth page of a late edition.
Though Weiner didn’t make it into Wednesday’s covers of the Post or Daily News, the tabloids’ online coverage proved his launch would have been covered with lewd puns alluding to his scandalous past. The Post’s digital story on Weiner’s announcement was topped with the headline “leaked video bares bid” while the News originally went with the even more over-the-top headline “WEINER’S ALL IN! Disgraced politician officially thrusts his way into NYC mayoral race following weeks of speculation.”
Weiner might have managed to escape nasty newspaper covers on his first official day of campaigning, but our source said they expect the city’s tabloids to unleash plenty more R-rated puns in future coverage of his run.
“Don’t worry, we still have tons of weiner jokes,” they said.