Nightly News   |  July 26, 2013

‘Egotism’ to blame in male politician sex scandals

In the latest sex scandals involving male politicians, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has announced he will undergo therapy to “address my behavior” and New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner – who is accused of private sexual misconduct – is being parodied on the cover of the New Yorker .NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> tonight we have a story about two big city politicians -- one with improper contact with women on the web, the other with improperer contact at the office. in the middle here, the people looking on, getting angry, wonderering what's become of our politics and one variety of politician in particular. our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell .

>> reporter: resisting pressure to resign over sexual harassment accusations today san diego 's mayor said he's taking time out to get help.

>> i will enter a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy to begin the process of addressing my behavior.

>> reporter: seven women have come forward.

>> i was placed in a headlock and moved around as a rag doll while he whispered sexual comments in my ear.

>> reporter: their accounts are graphic.

>> he came up, gave me a hug and groped me on my backside inappropriately.

>> he came close to me and ran his finger up my coach and whispered to me, do you have a man in your life?

>> reporter: he served 20 years in congress. now party leaders wish he and others would go away.

>> the conduct of some of the people we are talking about here is reprehensible. it is so disptful of oh women. what's stunning about it is they don't realize it. they don't have a clue.

>> reporter: what filner is accused of is different from private consensual sexual contact . as with anthony weiner online.

>> it's not dozens and dozens. it's six to ten i suppose. i can't tell you absolutely what someone else is going to to consider inappropriate or not.

>> reporter: why are male politicians always getting in trouble over sex or to pa are a phrase henry higgins , why can't a man be more like a woman?

>> we reward girls who are rule followers. we reward boys who are rule breakers.

>> all of the politicians i have watched have gotten themselves into sexual trouble, it's had to do with egotism. i'm not sure i see that as much among women politicians that i cover.

>> reporter: the new yorker cover artist said he was inspired by the iconic image of king kong astride the empire state building . john edwards , petraeus, the list keeps growing and so far it's all the same sex. andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.