Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.
As I said last week in this space, liars get caught, and now the Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) scandal just took another, and hopefully final, turn as a teachable moment for our kids. After lying for over a week about a lewd photo sent from the congressman’s own Twitter account to a co-ed, he finally came out and told the truth that the photo was indeed of himself and that he sent it.
But he refused to resign, dodging the logical consequence of his actions.
Finally, the congressman has decided not only to own up to his many mistakes but also face the consequences and step down from office. This story has gone on for an unprecedented nearly three weeks as women have been coming out almost daily with new information and embarrassing photos of Rep. Weiner.
Instead of admitting wrongdoing, he wove a mish-mashed web of lies to protect himself. As a parent, it is important to teach our children that liars not only get caught, but people of character own up to their mistakes and accept the consequences.
The other important lesson in the Weinergate saga is that social media isn’t all fun and games, and what you do on the Internet will follow you. I love social media and all the good opportunities it offers. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids spend 53 hours per week using some form of media. That number includes chatting with their friends online and scanning Facebook photos and status updates. The line between public and private has all but faded, and just because their friends (or leaders of our nation) post inappropriate photos, it certainly does not give them the leeway to do the same.
Now that this debacle is over and Rep. Weiner has tearfully faced the penalties of disgracing himself and his office, I hope we can use this moment to teach our kids about the right way to accept the consequences of their choices.
Penny Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.