The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Because I Know What’s News

Posted on | June 3, 2011 | 34 Comments

“Has there ever been more manufactured and phony hype about a certifiable non-issue than so-called WeinerGate?”
John Guardiano, “Weinergate: What’s the Big Deal?” Frum Forum

Few things annoy me more than having my news judgment questioned. Disagree on policy or doubt me on politics — we might argue, but such arguments do not call into question my competence as a professional journalist. And, by God, after 25 years in the news business, I know what’s news.

So I don’t mind the good-natured kidding I get about being all-Weiner, all-the-time for an entire week. While I initially reacted to Anthony Weiner’s apparent Twitter faux-pas as a mere joke, as soon as I began researching the background of last weekend’s incident I realized, Hey, there’s a legit news story here.

What’s more, there was a perfect opportunity to get ahead of the story, because the mainstream media had been initially reluctant to report it. Saturday afternoon, I checked Google News and there was zero, zilch, nada from major news organizations. Yet I anticipated (correctly) how the story would develop, and so began hoovering up every fact I could find online and aggregating every tidbit of information other bloggers were reporting.

Simple fact: Weiner is from New York, home of America’s best tabloid press. If you thought the NY Post and the Daily News weren’t going to make this front-page news, you’re crazy. And while no one could have predicted the spectacular awfulness of Weiner’s Tuesday press-conference meltdown, once it happened, it was blood-in-the-water time.

The story continues to develop. CNN’s Dana Bash reports Democrats are unsatisfied with Weiner’s response to the scandal so far:

Members of the House Democratic leadership have talked repeatedly to Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, to try to get him to end what several Democrats call an unwelcome political distraction, a member of the party’s leadership tells CNN.
“It’s frustrating because we’ll talk to him, and say clean it up, and then he goes out and does stuff,” said the member of the House Democratic leadership, who declined to speak for the record about private discussions with Weiner.
“He’s got to put the period at the end of the sentence,” said the Democratic source, “it’s painful.”

And the story’s the same in the New York Post:

Rep. Anthony Weiner’s onetime Democrat allies were quick to abandon the lawmaker yesterday, just hours after he admitted it certainly could be his bulging crotch shot that was sent to a cute co-ed from his Twitter account.
Party backers in New York and Washington publicly criticized the randy rep’s attempts at damage control and his inability to shake the scandal. . . .
And in a major blow, some pols said outright that Weiner has crushed his dream of becoming the Big Apple’s next mayor — and may even have undermined the next election for his Brooklyn-Queens congressional seat, which he has held for six terms.
“Something like this better be put to rest,” said power broker Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic chairman.
“If it’s left outstanding, it could have damaging impact, even if it means the difference of 3 or 4 percent of the vote in a very competitive four-way or five-way race,” Lopez said about Weiner’s chances in a mayoral contest.

You see what I’m talking about? As silly or as trivial as the whole situation may seem, Weiner has painted himself into a corner and it’s hard to see a good way for him to get out of it. Here’s an Associated Press video:

The one way out is the way Weiner has refused to take — call the cops:

There’s one way Rep. Anthony Weiner could show that he didn’t send a salacious photo to a female college student from his Twitter account: Ask law enforcement to investigate.
The New York congressman has so far declined to ask for an investigation into the photo, saying it’s not a worthy use of government resources. The U.S. Capitol Police said it would not launch an investigation unless requested.
In asking a private security firm to investigate instead, Weiner won’t be able to prove his innocence by obtaining logs from Twitter showing where his account was accessed from. Twitter says it requires a subpoena or court order to hand over such information. A subpoena or court order would have to be initiated by police or the FBI, not private detectives.

And, with hat-tips to Ace of Spades and Iowahawk, here’s the latest viral video sensation:

Finally, all the possibilities surrounding the role of “@PatriotUSA76” in WeinerGate are hashed out by Ace of Spades.

UPDATE: Simple explanation:

I’m a girl. I’ve been on Twitter over two years. I know exactly what happened. . . .

Read the whole thing. What’s up with guys getting drunk and tweeting their junk? Is it really that common?



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