Anthony Weiner case: the cover-up is always worse than the initial misdeed.

Congressman Anthony Weiner has been all over the news the past couple weeks, and it’s turning into its own sad joke.

You probably know the story: Congressman Weiner was using online media to flirt with women who were not his wife. He had done this for several years, and apparently kept it up even after he married his current wife last year. (President Clinton officiated at the ceremony.)

The pictures that were sent across the net were “R” rated—in fact, the whole thing sounds a little R rated, but others say that there is more out there.

What this scandal stands for is that it’s probably the first politician sex scandal where the guy (notice how it’s always a guy) gets zapped in reality for something that he did in virtual reality.

Had Anthony Weiner simply come out in the beginning, and said that he didn’t know that the “@” sign in Twitter did not assure that the message was private, this would all be about 20% of what it is now.

It’s the fact that he lied about it for a couple weeks.

I think people forgive goofy sex scandals, but what they don’t like is to be lied to or treated like a fool. So when Weiner was going around and telling the press people things that were obviously not true–and doing this with the expectation that the public would also believe the lies–he was greasing the skids.

I am convinced that the lie was what did Nixon in. Not that he probably knew about the burglary at the Watergate Hotel very early on. But the fact that he ran around like he didn’t, and made everyone who believed him out for fools.

You can tell this when even the Congressman’s media allies, like Rachel Maddow, show that they are particularly disappointed about being misled.

In fairness to Weiner, he has attempted to come clean. Hopefully, the story will just pass, and the New York state legislature will get on with the business of redistricting him out of a seat at the end of 2012 anyway.