Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York is having a hard time. You may have seen this photo:
Here’s The Daily Caller’s recent update on the scandal known as Weinergate:
Rep. Anthony Weiner refused to answer questions outside his Capitol Hill office about how a photo of an erect penis covered by boxer briefs ended up on his Twitter account over the weekend.
In a brief gaggle with reporters Tuesday, Weiner was asked directly if the photo was of him, but he refused to say.
“I’m not going to talk about this anymore,” the New York Democrat said. “I think if I was giving a speech to 45,000 people, and someone stood up and heckled in the back, I wouldn’t spend three days talking to him. I’m going to get back to the conversation I care about.”
The tweet, directed at a Washington State woman, was removed from Weiner’s Twitter account shortly after it was posted Friday. He later said his account was hacked.
Weiner, wearing a coat but no tie, gave a variation of the same answer to multiple questions, including why he hired a lawyer and hasn’t asked law enforcement to investigate his allegations of fraudulent access to his account.
“I’ve put out a couple statements over the last couple days. I would refer you to those to answer these questions. I understand you’re doing your job, but I’m going to go back to work,” Weiner said.
Asked by The Daily Caller if he’s concerned about the seriousness of someone hacking into his account, as has been alleged, Weiner only said: “I’m going to return to working on the things I care about.”
According to TheDC, Capitol Hill police “currently [have] no active investigation into claims by New York congressman Anthony Weiner that his Twitter and Facebook accounts were “hacked” this past Friday night.”
And meanwhile, fellow NYer Chuckie Schumer thinks Weiner is innocent, so I’m guessing he’s guilty.
If this really is a case of hacking, Rep. Weiner should welcome a Congressional investigation. But so far, he hasn’t.
Does that make him guilty? No, but there are a lot of coincidences in Weiner’s tale, as Peter Ingemi points out in the NY Post :
By now, you’ve heard about the Tweet picture sent from Weiner’s account to a young lady named Gennette Nicole Cordova. The congressman has insisted his accounts were “hacked.” Cordova, in a statement released late Sunday night (36 hours after the tweet in question), says, “The account that these tweets were sent from was familiar to me. This person had harassed me many times after the congressman followed me on Twitter.” She also said that her previous tweet, “I wonder what my boyfriend @repweiner is up to,” was a joke.Such statements notwithstanding, those on the left trying to paint this as a conspiracy must deal with an array of odd elements that an increasingly tech-savvy public may find suspicious:
* Not just the offending picture but most of the congressman’s pictures were removed from the site.
* Not only did the young lady’s Facebook and Twitter accounts disappear from the ’Net (she’s apparently since started a new Twitter account, and may go back on Facebook), but also her bylines on articles in her college paper.
* The congressman made it a point to tweet what time an East Coast interview would be shown in Seattle, where the young lady’s from.
* Cordova reportedly wrote in the college paper in March about Twitter’s verifiable accounts giving access to celebrities.
Coincidences all, but there’s one more that millions of Twitter users will understand best:
On Twitter, famous people tend to have tens of thousands to millions of followers — but they themselves follow only a fraction of that amount.
Rep. Weiner is a man of national prominence, a rising star in the Democratic Party, frequently on TV, a past and likely future candidate for mayor. He knows and is known by thousands of movers, shakers, members of the press and politicians on the city, state and national levels.
Yet, as of yesterday, he was following fewer than 200 others — and, with all those famous folks to choose from, one of the few he followed was Cordova, a 21-year-old college student who lives nearly 3,000 miles away in Bellingham,Wash.
Run that though your head for a second and at the same time remember two important facts about Twitter:
1. If two people follow each other on Twitter, they can send private messages unseen by others.
2. The difference between a direct message, seen by only the recipient, and a public tweet, seen by the world, is a single character.
The biggest problem for Weiner and his defenders on the left is not bloggers from the right. It’s the details of “#weinergate” [which] can be understood by millions of ordinary people in 140 characters or less.
I’m not convinced that Weiner sent the photo himself, but I’m also not buying the hacking story either. When it comes to the hacking story, it’s been thoroughly questioned by Neil Stevens on RedState:
First, he posted three hours before the alleged hack post, and four minutes after. This means he somehow wrested control back from the hackers quickly. How is this possible? That would be quite a feat, either through password guessing or some sort of Twitter security hole. If it happened, why didn’t we hear about how?
Second, if he lost control of the account, standard Twitter practice is to remove the “Verified Account” status until Twitter can confirm the account is back under the control of the named person. Yet, the @RepWeiner account as of this writing is still Verified.
Third, as pointed out the recipient of the photo is somewhere between Seattle and Vancouver, but that evening Weiner posted on Twitter a note about Seattle time. Funny coincidence, that.
Fourth, such hacks these days are crimes, and are especially serious when directed at Members of Congress. If his Twitter account has been compromised, what else would the attackers have access to? Instead of reporting the attack to the FBI though, Weiner has made jokes, and in fact keeps joking about it. This is unreasonable behavior in the face of an actual attack, however if it weren’t hack, then to report one would probably be a crime in itself.
The only one who can make this right is Congressman Weiner. If he really got hacked, he should allow a formal criminal investigation, or at least a Congressional investigation, to take place. If he actually sent the photo, he should apologize, resign, and become an MSNBC host.
Look, cyber security is a big deal, as evidenced by the recent attacks on Sony, Lockheed Martin, and other big organizations. These attacks have the potential hurt our economic well-being and our national security. This is no laughing matter. In fact, the Pentagon now says that a cyber attack can be considered an act of war. Soon, there will even be a war between men and the machines! (I actually just stole that idea from The Terminator. But to be fair, Schwarzenegger has been in the news lately.)
In the meantime, before computers kill us all, we might as well have some fun at Anthony Weiner’s expense. If you’ve seen the offending photo, you know why he leans to the left, and why he’s so desperate to make this story go away.
Let’s keep this in the news cycle for awhile and see how long it takes before Weiner admits it’s his wiener or allows a full investigation to take place.