Posted on | April 10, 2013 | 18 Comments
In a just world, Jonathan Van Meter of the New York Times — and every editor who signed off on this thoroughly dishonest article — would be fired, and effectively blackballed from the industry like Jason Blair and Stephen Glass, for engaging in such a vicious distortion of facts.
Everyone who knows what actually happened must be outraged by Van Meter’s underhanded attempt to revive the Weiner-Truther “hack” theory, by quoting Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin: “Anthony had told me in the past that there were these sort of trolls on the Internet who were trying to damage him, take him down.” And then this hateful lie:
It wasn’t such an implausible theory; after all, it was the not entirely reputable right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart who broke the story.
“Here Mr. Disgraced Democrat, let me help you blame this on your enemies by smearing the dead man who exposed you.”
Beyond this, Van Meter deliberately misstates the chronology of revelations, denying Breitbart credit for the impact of his reporting on the Texas woman who had also received Weiner’s dirty pictures, a key development that Breitbart gave as an exclusive to ABC News to break the story first. Ace of Spades nails it:
What they’re doing is mixing up the timing of Breitbart’s scoop — that there were other women, and one was talking on the record with ABCNews, and that the case was now entirely proven– by mentioning Breitbart’s scoop and then June 1, as if June 1st followed Breitbart’s scoop.
Nope! Breitbart’s scoop came later — just before Weiner admitted it, hours before he admitted it. The scoop forced Weiner to admit it — but only because he had no other options left to him.
This fact is obscured by the Times’ deliberate misstatement of the chronology because they’re now going to pretend that Weiner chose the honorable course of admitting the cybersex, when in fact Breitbart’s scoop left this as the only remaining option, after all lies were rubbished.
Read the whole thing at AOSHQ, because this is simply heinous: The New York Times smearing a dead man, in a transparent effort to revive the career of this perverted self-destructive disgrace.
UPDATE: To explain why this angers me so much, I remember quite clearly what it was like during the first four or five days of the WeinerGate scandal, which broke over the Memorial Day weekend when Andrew Breitbart had promised his wife and family they’d get a vacation from the news. Instead, of course, he found himself up to his eyeballs in arguably the biggest story of his career.
Breitbart was the first news organization to report it, and Weiner’s office then used the hostility toward Breitbart as a defensive weapon to convince reporters that the infamous meat-tweet was a “distraction” fabricated by a hacker.
For the first 36 hours of this bizarre story, a lot of us — including right-wingers like myself — were treating this as essentially a technology story: Was it possible that Weiner’s account was hacked? Or, as I thought at the time, was it possible that a staffer who had access to Weiner’s Twitter account might have accidentally sent that picture to the Seattle coed? The first thing I was trying to do, in other words, was to figure out if there could be an innocent explanation, simply because the idea of a member of Congress sending dick-pics to a college girl seemed so wildly implausible.
I was scratching my head over this stuff on the afternoon of Sunday, May 30, when I thought, “Hey, I’ll call Andrew.”
Now, calling Breitbart was like using the Bat-signal. Andrew was totally accessible — he actually once gave out his personal cellphone number during a speech at a Tea Party rally — but you didn’t want to waste his time or make a nuisance of yourself by calling him unless it was really important. Over the five years I knew him, I probably only called him about two-dozen times. And on this Sunday before Memorial Day when I called Breitbart, he was supposed to be spending time with his family and we only talked for about three minutes.
So I was trying to figure out if there could be any innocent explanation for Weiner’s meat-tweet and tried to suggest such a possibility when Andrew cut me off: “No, Stacy, trust me — there’s more.”
Well, I didn’t know the backstory at that point, and Breitbart didn’t want to discuss the details, but it was that assurance — Breitbart already had the goods and was just biding his time to let the story play out – that made me understand it was only a matter of time before Weiner would be forced to confess and resign in disgrace.
That’s why, during all the crazy drama that ensued — the press conferences, the silly “Betty and Veronica” nonsense — my own coverage of WeinerGate was based on a confident knowledge of how the story would eventually end.
And now this lying swine, Jonathan Van Meter, is trying to deprive Andrew Breitbart of his due credit.
Like the man said: “Fuck you! War!”
UPDATE II: To help you remember how the deal went down, here’s the Fox News WeinerGate timeline, which is not exhaustive, but which does make clear what it was that led Weiner (who spent the first 10 days of the scandal telling lies) to finally confess the truth on Monday, June 6:
The scandal escalates as Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com website publishes photos purportedly from a second woman who said she received shirtless shots of the congressman. The site says the pictures were in a cache of intimate online photographs, chats and email exchanges the woman claimed to have. The website does not identify the woman.
Responding, a tearful Weiner makes a profuse public apology at a Manhattan news conference. He admits sending a photo of his underwear-clad crotch to a young woman over Twitter and then lying repeatedly to protect himself. . . .
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi calls for a House ethics investigation into whether he broke the rules. Democratic leaders voice disappointment and embarrassment, reflecting an erosion of support for Weiner.
Weiner insists he did nothing wrong, and begins making calls to Democratic colleagues to apologize. He says he has no plans to resign.
Well, Weiner may have had “no plans to resign,” but just as Andrew Breitbart had told me: “There’s more!”