NY press urges Weiner to quit mayoral bid, mocks new lewd chats

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - New York City newspapers called for mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to bow out of the race on Wednesday after fresh revelations that he had continued sexually charged online chats for more than a year after his resignation from Congress.

Mr Weiner, among the front-runners in the race for New York mayor, admitted on Tuesday he had continued sending lewd images of himself to women online - the very behaviour that forced him out of office in 2011 - until at least last summer.

"The serially evasive Mr Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City," the New York Times wrote in its lead editorial, adding he had "disqualified himself" for public service.

The New York Post, known for its outrageous headlines, went with "Meet Carlos Danger" - a reference to Mr Weiner's reported pseudonym in the online chats with a woman he met over the Internet.

The Daily News joined the Times in calling for Mr Weiner to get out of the race, saying on its cover: "Beat it! Enough of all the lies and salacious revelations. Weiner is not fit to lead America's premier city." Mr Weiner insists he isn't going anywhere.

On Tuesday, after a gossip website published a series of sexually explicit online chats an unnamed 22-year-old woman said she had with Mr Weiner, including pictures of his penis. Mr Weiner acknowledged the messages were authentic.

The candidate, who has been leading polls along with Mr Christine Quinn, another Democrat, said he would continue his campaign to succeed Mr Michael Bloomberg as mayor later this year.

The website, TheDirty.com, began publishing screen shots on Monday of what it said were chats on Facebook and another social media website in which Mr Weiner described the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the unnamed woman.

"You are a walking fantasy," Mr Weiner reportedly said, in one of the chat's less explicit exchanges, which took place after the pair began communicating in July 2012.

"I'm amazed he came back to begin with, but I think people's tolerance is up," said Ms Bernadette Mirro, 30, a New York librarian.

One of his rivals in the Democratic primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who ranks at the back of the crowded race, urged Mr Weiner to withdraw on Tuesday. Another, Mr Bill Thompson, who often appears in third place in the polls, said the news was "deeply disturbing". Mr Weiner, who has often gamely conceded that his name is ready-made for late-night comedians' jokes, was ribbed on Tuesday night by David Letterman, who suggested other pseudonyms for Mr Weiner to consider: Carlos Dangler, Throb Reiner and Eliot Spitzer.

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