Anthony Weiner photo row: How the Brits got there first

Anthony Weiner speaks to reporters in New York. Photo: 6 June 2011 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Democratic representative also acknowledged "inappropriate" communications with women online

Perhaps it was years of teasing about his name that drove Congressman Weiner to tweet his underpants.

It could be taken by some as a moment in the country's decline. After all, the picture shows no evidence of American exceptionalism, let alone manifest destiny.

But then again, perhaps it is a testament to national purity and moral vigilance.

After all, posting pictures of one's undergarments is the sort of thing you expect 12-year-olds to get up to, not rampant politicos.

Still "lewd" has such a nice ring to it.

And I am rather ashamed to admit, we Brits, got there first. A Labour politician called Chris Bryant once did something similar.

He said it gave him many sleepless nights at the time of his exposure, but he now regards it as a "charming scar" on his career.

It didn't stop him rising to the dizzying heights of minister for Europe. But remember, it's not big , and it's not clever.

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