Weinergate is for weenies

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus. Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multimillion-dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

It’s high time we add some formality to the process of determining when a political pool of cess achieves “gate” status. Of course, the granddaddy of them all, Watergate, opened the floodgates, so to speak, in this dubious discourse, but does an incident like Weinergate qualify for this lofty, or lowly, status?

After all, in the U.K., Anthony Weiner’s Twitter expose of his expose wouldn’t even make Page 7 in the London Times. It could, however, make the front section of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, where chef Gordon Ramsay is filleted for his acting, or Amy Winehouse is acting like a fillet. In any event, where Parliamentarians are routinely shagging their aides, in addition to having a side of mistress, that becomes news over there, but here, does Weinergate deserve the “gate”?

Watergate it ain’t; sick, yes – he’s now the man who put the ick in icky and took the face out of Facebook. Who could forget the Watergate group of characters, Liddy, Jeb Magruder, John Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman, Sam Erwin, and of course, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and Deep Throat; although I’ll always remember the last four guys as Redford, Hoffman, Robards, and Holbrook.

Weinergate isn’t big enough, yikes, to warrant gate status. Neither were Troopergate, Travelgate, Nannygate, Whitewatergate, Billygate, Deavergate, and the like. Although Contragate and Zippergate did have some intrigue. The amusing part of this is that the whole gate thing isn’t even ours; not surprisingly, the Irish outgated us over 300 years before we knew what hit us. Apparently, Richard Barry, also known as the Seventh Earl of Barrymore when he wasn’t known as Hellgate, was so scandalous, as were his siblings, that they were all gated rather than knighted.

But if we’re figuring out what’s worthy of gatedom, then determining why someone wasn’t gated should be equally important. Dude, you shot your friend in the face and we never really heard much about it-gate – for Dick Cheney. Or, hello loser, you were the most powerful man in New York and you had to pay for itgate – for Eliot Spitzer.

As long as politicians behave badly, and they will, and their aides are too busy brown-nosing to get an outwardly view of right from wrong, we’ll continue our need to navigate the gate. The smoke-filled backrooms where plans went haywire now give way to social media platforms where stupidity is magnified as what it really is – hey stupid, how could you do something so completely stupid? Well, it’s called social media for a reason, but for people of prominence, here’s a little bit of cheap advice. If you’re going to tell someone what you want to do to them, and you don’t want anyone else knowing about it, grab a rotary phone.

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