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Are Weiner's women blameless?

By LZ Granderson, Special to CNN
  • LZ Granderson says many people think Rep. Weiner is a pig for his illicit online behavior
  • But, he asks, are those women who outed him for apparent fame and gain blameless?
  • He says some of them not innocent victims; sought out contact with the married Weiner
  • Granderson: There's a way to blow whistle on people like Weiner and still avoid limelight

Editor's note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and, he has contributed to ESPN's "Sports Center," "Outside the Lines" and "First Take." He is a 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

(CNN) -- I get it: A lot of people think Anthony Weiner's a pig.

While I usually take the position of a politician's personal life being his or her own business, even I had to throw that stance out the window once the picture of what is purportedly Weiner's penis in his gray underwear hit the Web. Resigning is (was) the only sensible choice.

End of his story.

Now time for hers.

If Weiner is a bad guy for his indiscretions, what about the women who see this saga as their time to shine?

Not the women the media found, but the ones who ran to the cameras. The women who knew Weiner was a married congressman, but chose to initiate or at least continue illicit communication with him anyway, and, now that "Entertainment Tonight" is involved, want to talk.

If Weiner's a bad guy, if Arnold Schwarzenegger's a bad guy, if John Edwards and Newt Gingrich are bad guys, then why aren't we calling out these willing accomplices as "bad girls" with the same fervor? Why do they seem to be catching a break in the realm of public opinion?

Yes, the men in these scandals all made stupid mistakes and deserve what they got.

Source: Weiner debating resignation
Weiner's downward spiral
Chanting 'Weiner'

But their girlfriends -- cyber or real -- are not all innocent victims. Particularly the ones now coming out of hiding, seeking cameras in the wake of their playmate's public demise. Those are the ones I really wish would shut up. The way I see it, their time to sit down in front of a camera was when the unfaithful culprit sent them the first photo.

That's what the woman who was involved in exposing the double life of former U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, R-New York, did. She quickly figured out the man who responded to her Craigslist posting under "Women Seeking Men" was not a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist but rather a 46-year-old married congressman.

From there, she didn't need Andrew Breitbart's to prompt her to come clean. She outed Lee herself. Immediately.

What bothers me is that in the midst of all this men-behaving-badly chatter is the lack of criticism directed at the women who knew exactly who Weiner was and did not stop the interaction. As someone who has covered sports and politics for years, I have seen how women have to delicately manage situations involving unwanted advances and inappropriate comments in the workplace. I know that sexual harassment and misogyny are still a problem.

But the Weiner scandal -- and I feel somewhat silly calling it a scandal -- does not appear to be an example of that. This appears to be some horny adults getting freaky over the Internet, illustrated by this e-mail exchange shared by Lisa Weiss, one of the six women Weiner was involved with:

Weiner: ridiculous bulge in my shorts now. wanna see?

Weiss: "Yea! can u send a pic? I want to sit on your ..."

OK -- I think we get the picture.

Doesn't seem as if Weiss is being forced into anything. Especially when you consider on June 3 Weiss tweeted "@maddow have a juicy political story I wnt to give y!how do I contact ur show?"

It's pretty clear she didn't want to just clear her conscience. She wanted a national audience. She wanted a little fame.

Meagan Broussard, another woman who corresponded with Weiner, has been making the media rounds this week talking about the dozens of photos and e-mails between herself and Weiner. ABC News reportedly paid her between $10,000 and $15,000 to license examples of her correspondence with Weiner.

She said she found Weiner on Facebook after hearing him deliver a speech, so she knew he was a congressman. She said Weiner accepted her "friend" request, meaning she pushed the "add as friend" button, which is millimeters above the statement "married to Huma Abedin" on his Facebook page.

None of that stopped her from flirting or sending pictures of herself to Weiner. And then she had the audacity to end her post on Breitbart's with "I just hope to be left in peace." Reeeeaalllly?

I have yet to see an interview with the mother of Schwarzenegger's love child, and we don't even know the name of the woman who exposed Lee.

It is possible to be the "other woman" and not sit across from Sean Hannity. Or do an interview with US Weekly, the way Jaimee Grubbs, one of Tiger Woods' mistresses, did. Or go on Oprah the way John Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, did.

It seems that if you didn't want people to know you were involved with a married man before TMZ came knocking at the door, revealing explicit pictures and e-mails and text messages after the fact makes you just as questionable as the Weiners and Woodses and Edwardses.

If cheating men don't deserve a break, why are we giving their camera-chasing mistresses one?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

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