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Dan Wolfe Becomes Collateral Damage in Weinergate; New York Times Turns Over

The Twitter user at the center of the Anthony Weiner penis picture Internet scandal is @patriotusa76, also known as Dan Wolfe, who happens to be the only man who caught the now-notorious tweet from the Congressman live. Wolfe then got the photo to Andrew Breitbart's conservative blog BigGovernment, who went wild with it. But questions soon came up about Wolfe's connection to the confusing case of the bulging dick pic because, in part, Wolfe tweeted weeks ago teasing a sex scandal for Anthony Weiner, who Wolfe seems to be obsessed with. But as the story grew, thanks in part to Weiner's own idiocy, the media attention got to be too much for Wolfe, who has some issues of his own and appears to have broken down. More on the source's crumbling inside Press Clips, our daily media column, plus a round-up of reactions on this morning's big New York Times news.

Bully Breitbart?: Back on May 11, Wolfe tweeted, "Rumor that top rightwing blog has sexscandal pics of high profile Dem congressman, NE region. @RepWeiner, Frank, or @cbrangel," which now looks pretty suspicious considering Weiner's been claiming he was hacked. That, added to the fact that Wolfe appears to be the only person who actually saw the Weiner tweet before it was deleted.

But when the questions started coming at Wolfe from the press, including from his ally Andrew Breitbart, who hoped "to arrange a conference call to discuss how to further exploit and advance 'Weinergate,'" Wolfe retreated. Now the Smoking Gun has emails explaining why. Here's Wolfe, sounding scared, afraid and way stressed:

I have an en exwife suing me for custody of our 2 kids and for lots of other stuff right now. Her attorneys are after everything I own.

I have an ex girlfriend who has mental problems causing issues for me at work . My business is suffering as a result.

If my exwife's attorney's got a hold of a call recorded with me on it they'd have a field day with that. I want to try to avoid.

She had recorded me twice before. She worked with my exgirlfriend and had two calls recorded.

It has gotten me in a lot of legal trouble.

I am screwed. If this comes out along with everything I'm dealing with here -- I don't know what to do.

Salon's War Room blog thinks Breitbart might have leaked the Smoking Gun Wolfe's emails in an attempt to distance himself from Wolfe, who promised in other now-public correspondence, "We have more," referring to Anthony Weiner, but then stopped responding to anyone.

Today, Breitbart tweets, "Lookin' for some clarifying data from @patriotusa76. Call me. I'm listed." And Wolfe, like Weiner's alleged hacker, appears to still be in hiding.

Regime Change: As we noted earlier, the New York Times is being taken over by a woman, current managing editor Jill Abramson, who will assume executive editor duties in September from Bill Keller.

Keller, who has written publicly about his distaste for Twitter, Julian Assange and Arianna Huffington in recent months, will write for the paper's magazine, as he has been doing this year so far, as well as the revamped Sunday Review section. After the news broke this morning, Esquire published an interview transcript with Keller, in which he admitted his editor job is pretty hard:

There's a lot of stuff they don't teach you in the mythical editors' school. They don't teach you that you're going to have to spend a lot of your life in crisis management. It's been a fair amount of that -- every kind of crisis you can imagine, starting with a crisis of morale and credibility that I inherited, then going through one motherfucker of a recession.

Also, he does not, if you wondered, have any secrets on picking up chicks. (Keller's wife dated John Kerry and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd before him, apparently.) "The Bill Keller Guide to Getting Chicks? I'm afraid not," he said.

Meanwhile, Times columnist Gail Collins was thrilled by the news that she's going to have a new boss. "In this one great paper, maybe we've reached the ultimate goal of the entire women's movement," she explained, "which is to make it utterly normal for women to be everywhere, including the top." The words "reach the ultimate goal" ring curiously loud, but perspective is hard on an exciting day and via email.

As for Abramson, some next-to useless details about her, as published by Adweek, include the fact that she has a "tattoo of a New York City subway token on her right shoulder" and will release The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout in October. Remember the puppy?

For a smarter take on Abramson's appointment, Tom McGeveran of Capital New York remembers her role in the Times' disastrous handling of the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Abramson, he writes, "really understands what the Times is and what it can do for good or evil."

Paranoid Android: The cops have been called from the home of Fox News boss Roger Ailes 36 times since 2006, half in the form of phone calls from the Ailes family and half by his oversensitive alarm system, and at least once because Roger locked his keys inside his car.

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jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com

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@joecoscarelli

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