The Other McCain

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#WeinerGate Victim Gennette Cordova Issues Statement: ‘I Cannot Answer the Questions That I Do Not Have the Answers To’; Describes Her Reaction

Posted on | May 29, 2011 | 104 Comments

Posted at the New York Daily News:

Friday evening I logged onto Twitter to find that I had about a dozen new mentions in less than an hour, which is a rare occurrence. When I checked one of the posts that I had been tagged in I saw that it was a picture that had supposedly been tweeted to me by Congressman Anthony Weiner.

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 a month or so ago. Since I had dealt with this person and his cohorts before I assumed that the tweet and the picture were their latest attempts at defaming the Congressman and harassing his supporters.

Annoyed, I responded with something along the lines of “are you f***ing kidding me?” and “I’ve never seen this. You people are sick.” I blocked their accounts, made my page private, and let the matter drop, expecting them to eventually do the same.

Within about an hour, however, I realized that I had grossly underestimated the severity of the situation that I had somehow become a part of.

The last 36 hours have been the most confusing, anxiety-ridden hours of my life. I’ve watched in sheer disbelief as my name, age, location, links to any social networking site I’ve ever used, my old phone numbers and pictures have been passed along from stranger to stranger.

My friends have received phone calls from people claiming to be old friends of mine, attempting to obtain my contact information. My siblings have received tweets that are similar in nature. I began taking steps, though not quickly enough, to remove as much personal information from the Internet as possible.

Not because I “was exposed as Weiner’s mistress” or because I “was responsible for the hack,” as Gawker has suggested. I removed my information because I, believe it or not, do not enjoy being harassed or being the reason that my loved ones are targets of harassment.

I have seen myself labeled as the “Femme Fatale of Weinergate,” “Anthony Weiner’s 21-year-old coed mistress” and “the self-proclaimed girlfriend of Anthony Weiner.”

All of this is so outlandish that I don’t know whether to be pissed off or amused, quite frankly. This is the reality of sharing information online in the 21st century. Things that I never imagined people would care about are now being plastered all over blog sites, including pictures of me from when I was 17 and tweets that have been taken completely out of context. I tweeted once (it was reported that I said it twice) that “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepWeiner is up to.”

I am a 21-year-old college student from Seattle. I have never met Congressman Weiner, though I am a fan. I go to school in Bellingham where I spend all of my time; I’ve never been to New York or to DC. The point I am trying to make is that, contrary to the impression that I apparently gave from my tweet, I am not his girlfriend. Nor am I the wife, girlfriend or mistress of Barack Obama, Ray Allen or Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the fact that I have made similar assertions about them via Twitter.

There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me. I cannot answer the questions that I do not have the answers to. I am not sure whether or not this letter will alleviate any future harassment. I also do not have a clear understanding as to how or why exactly I am involved in this fiasco. I do know that my life has been seriously impacted by speculation and faulty allegations. My reputation has been called into question by those who lack the character to report the facts.

UPDATE: In its story about Cordova’s statement, The Daily News says she “backed his contention they’re both victims of online pranksters.” But she doesn’t say that at all. In fact, she seems to be agnostic as to how or why the photo was sent.

One of my Twitter friends noted that Cordova’s statement was released “36 hours after the fact and with plenty of time for a congressional staff to get to her.” There is also no adequate explanation of why Cordova (or someone else?) spent a lot of effort trying to scrub her name off the Internet.

UPDATE II: The “Femme Fatale” label that Cordova finds objectionable? That was applied by Velvet Hammer of Ironic Surrealism, who updates.

UPDATE III: Some people are understandably confused by Cordova’s statement, which begins with her logging on to Twitter on Friday to find herself mentioned in a bunch of hostile Tweets from someone who she says had previously harassed her.

She is not — not — describing someone who “hacked” Weiner’s Twitter account, a subject about which she expresses no special knowledge.

Also, this: “There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself.”

All righty then: Define “inappropriate,” Ms. Cordova.

By your own admission, you publicly described a married congressman as your “boyfriend,” which some people might consider inappropriate.

We have no idea what sort of DM “exchanges” took place between you and Weiner, Ms. Cordova. What we do know is that a penis photo was sent to you from Weiner’s Twitter account. And that still requires an explanation more plausible than Weiner’s dubious claim that his accounts were “hacked.”

Please feel free to clarify in the comments, Ms. Cordova. It was I who, in my first post on this story, suggested that Weiner needed to clarify this before the media scrum descended on you.

UPDATE IV: Dan Collins has a “Memorial Day Big Wiener Round-Up and Roast.”

UPDATE V: Now a Memeorandum thread, and John at Verum Serum comments:

Her entire statement avoids all of the incriminating facts. No mention of the fact that Weiner followed her on Twitter or that she noticed and retweeted his tweet about the time in Seattle just 30 minutes before the underwear photo appeared. Was that directed at her? Of course not. It’s not even worth mentioning. Fuggetabout it.

Similar skepticism, as expressed in Ace’s headline:

The Comely Coed: I’m Not His Mistress (I Didn’t Suspect You Were), We Never Met (I Didn’t Say You Had), And I Am The Victim of a Prank (Yeah, Aren’t We All?)

UPDATE VI: It’s now past 2 a.m. Monday, and I ought to be in bed, but I’d promised “futher updates,” and must provide them.

Doug Ross poses some questions for Ms. Cordova and Rep. Weiner.

This New York Times story about the scandal contains an unusually large number of laughable errors, even by New York Times standards.

Ben Smith observes that Ms. Cordova’s “statement doesn’t say whether she’s been in touch with Weiner amid the recent fuss.” Good question.

Donald Douglas at American Power rounds up recent developments.

RightKlik decides to ‘fess up as the mysterious Tweet-hacker. But more seriously, the person actually accused of the hacking, has denied it.

And, at last, we’ve found the real victim in this scandal: Would-be black farmer Dan Collins.

Sunday, my son Bob graduated from high school — the third graduation in my family in the past week – and I still haven’t had time to post Bob’s graduation photos. The extra traffic has been great, but you really should hit my tip jar, you know.

UPDATE VII: Oh, Lord, help me! Gennette Cordova is going to be the death of me. These two Tweets are game-changers:


It’s now nearly 3 a.m., and Ms. Cordova has just rebutted the erroneous interpretation that both the NY Daily News and NY Times made of her statement. And here’s a new Ace of Spades headline:

Number One “Suspect” In Hacking Says No Police Have Contacted Him In “Hacking” Case

So now the story has taken another turn, and I’m so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open. Remember, I’m still recovering from pneumonia. Please, dear readers: Hit the freaking tip jar!

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