Weinergate - Latest Controversy Has The Junior Senator in a Pickle
By Victor Thorn
No pun intended, but Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) latest controversy has the junior senator in a pickle. The long and the short of Weinergate can be summarized as such: On May 27, the seven-term congressman sent a lewd photograph over the Internet via Twitter to a 21-year-old Seattle college student named Gennette Cordova.
Twitter refers to the online social media network whereby users can post messages called “tweets” to the Internet. The messages can either be private or they can be public for anyone who chooses to be on a particular mailing list.
Instead of being transmitted as a private message sent solely to this young woman, Weiner’s provocative picture went to everyone on Weiner’s “Twitter” list. Four minutes later, the provocative picture was removed, but not before being captured for posterity and posted on the Internet.
That’s when Weiner began backpedaling. Initially, the congressman claimed that his account had been hacked. Such an offense is a federal crime, and if this obvious breach of security had occurred, Weiner should have filed a complaint with the FBI or Capitol Hill’s own police force.
Rather, Weiner backtracked, dismissing the affair as a prank used to “distract him from doing the people’s work.”
To further arouse suspicions, on May 31 Weiner engaged in a contentious, argumentative press conference where he called one reporter a “jackass” and refused to answer whether he sent the tweet, if the picture in question was him, or if any legal action had been taken. Humiliated, on June 1 Weiner continued his smokescreen by telling CNN that he “couldn’t say with certitude” if the “Crotchgate” photo was of him or not.
Considering the number of high-profile hacking incidents that have recently taken place, one would assume that an elected representative would immediately want this matter handled in a judicious manner.
A DOJ computer crimes prosecutor stated that one phone call to the FBI would have allowed them to subpoena Twitter’s records within five minutes and identify the hacker’s location. But such a move would require the authorities to inspect Weiner’s computer. Obviously, the embroiled congressman balked at such a notion, explaining that he didn’t want to “make a federal case” out of this sticky situation.
Ironically, Weiner—one of the most vocal proponents of big government in the House of Representatives—hinted at wanting to save the taxpayers money, so he said he hired a private Internet firm to investigate this alleged act of sabotage.
Researchers have since discovered a predominance of attractive young women on Weiner’s Twitter account, including a porn star named Ginger Lee. After Lee posted that she wanted to engage in relations with Weiner, she began receiving personal messages from the congressman.
On June 3, the recipient of Weiner’s original lewd photo, Miss Cordova, stated that she didn’t believe Weiner’s account had been hacked, but that he intended to send the photo and got confused because their names were similar.
“Her name is Ginger. It makes sense he might have mixed us up,” Miss Cordova surmised.
Also on June 3, Weiner—who refused to call Capitol Hill police to report his alleged “mystery hacker”—did in fact call the police to remove veteran reporter Marcia Kramer from the hallway outside his office after she tried to interview him.
Eventually, on June 6—some 11 days after the incident had occurred—Weiner finally admitted that the picture was of himself after repeatedly hedging and lying, saying he owed an apology to his wife, Huma Abedin, who is a practicing Muslim.
Amid all the jokes, wisecracks and doubts regarding Weiner’s preposterous story, the Jewish congressman from New York is squandering his time flirting with a bevy of sycophants and texting photos of his “namesake” instead of fixing our nation’s financial problems.
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(Issue # 24 & 25, June 13 & 20, 2011)