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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weiner’s Weinergate

“Politics have no relation to morals.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

Congressman Anthony Weiner, the abrasive Representative of the New York’s 9th Congressional District claims his Twitter account was hacked when a photo of Mr. Wiener’s underpants was sent to one of his followers in the State of Washington.

This story first appeared over the Memorial Day week on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government Web Site. The post on the Breitbart site claims:

“Hacked or hung?

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY 9″) finds himself in a late night online pickle.

This evening a photo surfaced on Congressman Weiner’s yfrog account and inObama State of Union his verified Twitter timeline of a man in his underwear with an erection. The photo was reportedly sent to a woman on Twitter. We’ve protected her name and her account, which was at one time verified to be active but has since been deleted after the photo in question, was deleted. Coincidentally, the rest of the photos in the congressman’s alleged yfrog account were also deleted around 11 p.m. eastern.

Weiner, who married Hillary Clinton’s longtime assistant, Huma Abedin, last year, has been Tweeting about hockey this evening. Confusion reigns online as puzzled Weiner followers wonder what occurred to Weiner’s timeline.

The photo, stored at Weiner’s alleged yfrog account, is connected to his verified Twitter account. Were his yfrog and Twitter accounts hacked as well?”

This was the first report of a picture of Wiener’s covered wiener being sent over his Tweeter account. After the Memorial Day weekend when everyone in Washington and New York got back to work Weinergate began to explode in the media and all over the blogosphere. POLITICO reported:

“New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has retained an attorney to advise him “what civil or criminal actions should be taken” after a lewd picture was sent from his Twitter account.

Weiner, who has represented part of New York City since 1998, says online hacking led to a close-up shot of a man’s underwear being sent from his official Twitter account Saturday night.

Dave Arnold, a spokesman for Weiner, said the Congressman’s staff is “loathe to treat” this incident as more than a prank “but we are relying on professional advice.”

“At a time when the GOP is playing games with the debt limit, a member of the Supreme Court is refusing to recuse himself from matters he has a financial interest in, and middle class incomes are stagnant, many want to change the subject,” Weiner said in a statement emailed to POLITICO by his office. “I don’t. This was a prank, and a silly one. I’m focused on my work.”

Weiner’s office did not answer specific questions about the photograph, whether he has contacted authorities or the Seattle woman who received the photograph. He has said that his Facebook was hacked and if his Twitter had the same password, that too could be vulnerable.

Gennette Nicole Cordova, a college student in Washington State who was allegedly the intended recipient of the photograph, said in a statement to the New York Daily News that she has “never been to New York or to D.C.”

It seems there are two big stories in the media this after Memorial Day weekend — Sarah Palin’s bus and Anthony Weiner’s weiner. Jenifer Rubin writes in the Washington Post in her opinion piece “Hacked, but still tweeting away:”

“You need a lawyer to call the Capitol police or the D.C. cops? Weiner is not exactly being responsive to the press. (“Weiner’s office did not answer specific questions about the photograph, about whether he has contacted authorities or about the Seattle woman who received the photograph. He has said that his Facebook account was hacked and that if his Twitter had the same password, that too could be vulnerable.”) And if you care to follow the investigative blogging on this, there is a good argument that his excuse has some problems, starting with a basic question: Why would a “hacker” delete his own handiwork four minutes after it posted?

“I have just a few observations. First, if he lied he’s toast. As embarrassing as a raunchy tweet might have been, the recipient isn’t a minor, and the requisite “allow my wife and I privacy” would probably have been sufficient to quell the storm for a liberal Democrat in a safe seat. It’s a truism that voters will put up with a lot, unless you lie to them.

Second, conservatives are complaining that a scandal that would have been front-page news for an indiscreet Republican is largely a non-story in the mainstream press. (It took the National Enquirer, if you recall, to get the mainstream media going in the John Edwards scandal.) Well, it was a holiday weekend, but if there is some excuse for continued indifference to story that, if true, could bring down a prominent congressman, I haven’t heard it.

Third, if as Weiner claims, it is some nefarious plot orchestrated by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart (who was at the center of the ACORN prostitution sting and the Shirley Sherrod incidents), isn’t that a story as well? The lack of curiosity about a figure reviled by the liberal punditocracy is rather odd.”

And finally, there is a certain political karma here, as the New York Times points out (although the reporter doesn’t much bother with looking into whether Weiner’s excuse makes sense):”

“Mr. Weiner’s Twitter tone is strikingly punchy and personal, and sometimes juvenile. In an acknowledgment that their names can be used for double entendres, Mr. Weiner once challenged Mr. Boehner, via Twitter, to “Meet me at Dyckman Street.”

Come to think of it, isn’t it odd in all that tweeting, there was a single “hack” — sent to one of the 90 people Weiner “follows” on Twitter — and nearly immediately deleted? And after the incident, not a care in the world. The tweets go on. You’d think something in there might spark the media’s attention.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Anthony Weiner sent a college co-ed a picture of his — well I’m not sure which word I should use on twitter.

CNN Reporter Dana Bash has the four questions Congressman Weiner needs to answer:

  1. Is the picture of the Congressman?
  2. Why did the Congressman hire a lawyer?
  3. Why won’t the Congressman let law enforcement handle the matter?
  4. Why is Congressman Weiner following a 21 year old college student on twitter?

For those of you unfamiliar with twitter, you have the ability to follow other people on Twitter. It is not automatic. You must opt to do it. And Congressman Weiner had, prior to this incident, opted to follow the Seattle college student to whom the picture was sent.

He will not call for an investigation. He has not reported it to the FBI orenhanced-buzz-9786-1306699395-0 police. He has instead lawyered up. In a very awkward interview yesterday, he refused to answer Dana Bash’s simple question of whether or not it was his pornographic picture that he sent. Weiner instead wanted to talk about pies and called a CNN producer a jackass for trying to get him to answer.

The married Congressman Weiner, on twitter, sent an inappropriate picture to a 21 year old college co-ed in Washington State. He did so publicly and is now lying.

Either this statement is true, or Anthony Weiner would be demanding an investigation into who hacked his twitter account — or was it his Facebook account? The Congressman has given mixed answers on that.

Last night Bill O’Reilly got into the act by calling on he FBI to either say they are investigating Weiner’s claim of hacking or not. It is a federal crime to hack a cyber-account of a Congressman or government official. Sarah Palin had no problem getting the FBI involved when her e-mail account on AOL was hacked in 2010. The hacker was found in a few days, arrested, tried and convicted. Case closed.

On the other hand Weiner knows it’s a serious federal crime to falsely reportweiner a crime to the FBI. He knows it would take the FBI cybercrimes unit about ten minutes to locate the hacker and if there is no hacker and Weiner is the sender he would be in big trouble. This is probably why he has hired a lawyer and not gone to the FBI. He wants to bury this incident to save his political career.

No doubt the late night comedians will have a field day with Weiner’s weiner twit. I have already heard one quip that goes “ If the photo of Weiner’s underpants shows him in a state of excitement and he walks into a wall his nose will hit the wall first. Weiner will now get a taste of his snarky comments he has been dealing out to others for so long. It’s Karma.

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