What’s Obscene?

Anthony Weiner, Aaron Hernandez, and a Tale of Two Selfies

Anthony Weiner took a picture of his johnson. Aaron Hernandez took one of his gun. Guess which wasn't blurred out by the media? Hint: the one that can take life, not give it.

07.25.13 8:45 AM ET

Genitalia or gunitalia?

Weiner jeopardized any chance for a comeback and once again hurt his wife. But he ended neither his marriage nor his candidacy, so far anyway.

Hernandez was subsequently charged with murdering a man, possibly with this same gun. He also is suspected of shooting three others, killing two.

Yet nobody was blurring out the gun in Hernandez’s selfie, while the supposedly dirty website The Dirty was blurring out the picture of Weiner’s wee-wee.

Even as Hernandez was appearing in court on the murder charge Wednesday afternoon, nobody was suggesting he had crossed some moral boundary with his selfie.

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Hey, it was just a pistol, not a phallus. It was just something designed to take life, not something evolved to help make life.

Weiner stepped outside his apartment building on Wednesday morning to face a mob of reporters asking if his latest selfie-destruction would cause him to drop out of the race. He suggested that the only people who wanted him out were the ones who already did not want him in it for other reasons. He gave every impression that he was in the race to stay.

“This is about the city and about the aspirations of people to make things better,” he told reporters.

He said he would be spending much of the day preparing for a mayoral candidates’ forum in the Bronx that night.

“People want to talk about how they can find jobs that have benefits,” he insisted. “They can't find housing they can afford, jobs with benefits. The education system isn't what it should be.”

He was speaking as the candidate who has been at the top of the polls thanks in large part to considerable support among the city’s black voters. He is not some centrist who speaks as if everything is essentially OK and only needs to be managed better. Just consider what he had to say about the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies when he addressed the largely black crowd at the First Central Baptist Church on Staten Island on Sunday.

“Last year, more than 700,000 in New York were stopped. The overwhelming majority of them were young men of color,” Weiner said. “Ninety-seven percent of them did nothing wrong.”

He went on, “And the mayor stood up and said, ‘Wait a minute, statistically this’ and ‘statistically that.’ Well, you can have 100 percent statistical reduction in crime if you stop everybody.”

He then ventured so far as to say, “You could have 1938 Germany, because everyone has to show their papers.”

His opponents, along with many others, rightly howled that it was outrageous to suggest any similarity between the Nazis and the NYPD under the Bloomberg administration. He was accused of the worst kind of pandering, not for the first time.

But some in the black community felt he was speaking truth to power, and they might be willing to forgive his latest lies about sex.

Actually, it was not really sex in any usual sense, but for many people in all communities, Weiner’s troubles arise from lying. The question remains why sex is something he and so many others feel compelled to lie about.

Hey, Bill Clinton lied about sex.

So has just about everybody.

In truth, only Weiner’s wife and the women who received his selfies can rightly call his conduct shameful. He was not some subway perv flashing his junk.

He also was not some angry and tormented soul like Aaron Hernandez, who chose to send out a selfie of himself holding a gun.

If Hernandez had stuck to his wee-wee, he might have been home with his fiancée and child on Wednesday afternoon rather than appearing on a murder charge in an Attleboro, Massachusetts, courtroom.

There was to have been a probable-cause hearing, but the judge granted the prosecution’s request for time to present the case to a grand jury. Hernandez was returned to jail, where he is being held without bail.

Down in New York, Weiner was heading to a hearing on the city’s public housing, which is in disrepair but has an eight-year waiting list for 27,000 people in shelters because they have no alternative. He then proceeded to the forum in the Bronx with the other mayoral candidates, all of whom have been trailing him in the polls.

Weiner seems certain to take a big drop, but he seems truly determined to stay in the race. And what else is he going to do, anyway?

His magnificent wife, Huma Abedin, is sticking by him, And he still has some long-term supporters who remember that he handed out cookies when he first ran for office, a City Council spot back in 1991.

"They were good cookies,” one original Weiner booster said the other night at a forum in Brooklyn. “I think they were Entenmann’s."

Meanwhile, if The Dirty can blur out Weiner’s genitalia, maybe TMZ can do the same with Hernandez’s gunitalia.

If nothing else, what we should take from this tale of two selfies is a new definition of obscene. It should start with this tenet: one thing that is always pornographic is a bullet wound. And no wee-wee can do that.