Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weiner's "Bonergate"

For those who don't follow such things, Representative Anthony Weiner (D, Crazy) is emmeshed in a maybe scandal involving a 21 year old co-ed and twitter message with a picture of an engorged member safely set behind jockey shorts.  The facts as they seem to be:

1) On Friday night, a 21 year old coed from Washington State received a twitter message from Rep. Weiner's account with said picture.  The girl was one of only 91 of his ~45,000 "Twitter followers" that he also followed.

2) Weiner deleted the tweet with the link to the photo four minutes after it went out on his public twitter feeds, and claimed he was hacked, blaming the lewd photo on the hacker. The link that appeared in Weiner’s public twitter feed led to the photo on Weiner’s yfrog account. The photo has also been removed.

3) Friday night, 3 hrs 28 minutes after his last public tweet, Weiner begins an hour of tweets saying that his facebook account had been hacked, that his DVR had malfunctioned while recording a hockey game, and speculating that his blender might attack him next. His facebook and twitter accounts are not linked.

4)  After the tweets in step three, which spanned about an hour, Weiner tweets that his twitter feed had also been hacked, and salutes “Mr. Moriarty” for getting one over on him (Mr. Moriarty is the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes). Here, the recently married Weiner is apparently saluting the person who he claims hacked his twitter feed and sent a lewd photo to a young woman in Seattle in Weiner’s name on his public twitter feed.

5) Both hacking and impersonating a congressman are criminal acts. Weiner makes no mention of referring the hacking or the impersonation of himself to any authorities, and as of this writing, no such referral appears to have been made. Most people do not report hacks of their personal online accounts to the police, but Weiner is a public figure and in this case the hacking, if it occurred, has allowed a person or persons unknown to impersonate a federal official in a way that threatens his reputation and his marriage, making it a more serious matter than your usual run-of-the-mill hacking of a personal twitter account.

6) The recipient of the lewd photo, Gennette Cordova, issued a statement about the incident on Sunday, denying any “inappropriate” direct messages between herself and Weiner, and denying being in a relationship with him. Some media took her statement to be an accusation against another twitter user as being the person who hacked Weiner’s twitter account and posted the photo. She has denied making that allegation. Her statement does not address several critical facts, including how it came to be that she and Weiner mutually followed each other. She also does not explain the tweet in step 7; she merely denies an allegation the she tweeted it twice. She denies having ever met Weiner in person, though no one has alleged that they have ever met in person. She also denies having ever visited New York or Washington, DC, though no one has alleged otherwise.

7) Cordova did, however, tweet “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepWeiner is up to,” on April 9, 2011. It is an open question whether she considers such a tweet about a recently married public figure to be appropriate or not.

8)  As of this point, as far as can be determined Rep. Weiner has not contacted any law enforcement authorities to investigate whether anyone of actually hacked his twitter and yfrog accounts.

9) He has, however, retained council to advise him “what civil or criminal actions should be taken”

Reaction from the right side of the blogosphere has been immediate and mocking.  Instapundit has made several such posts:
Too Many Coincidences In Weiner’s Tale.

Related: Is America Ready for ‘WeinerGate’?

UPDATE: Weiner’s office refuses to say if lewd photo is of congressman. No police investigation underway. Meanwhile the press is covering for him like it did for John Edwards, and Mickey Kaus is mocking them for it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Weiner from Kaus. Alibi one has collapsed already.

MORE: Bryan Preston: How Long Before Weiner Blames, Fires A Staffer?
Ace was nearly beside himself with anger that the Main Stream Media and even the Main Conservative Media seem to be giving Weiner a pass, and then got aroused as they began to ask skeptical questions.  Start here and work back...

Iowahawk has a usual trenchant parody, offering $1,000 for hacker's ID:
Help Me Bring the Weiner Hacker to Justice. “As much as I admire Congressman Weiner’s Gandhi-like forgiving attitude toward his assailant – as well as his world class ninja programming skills – I’m afraid this incident doesn’t just involve him. For, after all, what Internet user is safe when the person who hacked this unsuspecting Weiner remains at large? Okay, maybe not ‘large,’ but still, come on man.”
Ann Althouse, the Obama voting centroid, wondered what would have it been like if Weiner was a Republican. Answer, of course would be double barreled condemnation from the media without waiting for any facts.

It would seem to me that determining whether the tweets in question originated with machines in his or his offices possession should be a simple task for the FBI or NSA (they may already know...).  Until those machines and accounts are examined, everything remains speculation, but, his actions, not calling the the authorities, and engaging the lawyer first, do not look good.

More popcorn please!

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