Here is what everyone knows about Weinergate: A picture of bulging underwear, which Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner won’t deny is his, exists, and a link to it appeared in his Twitter stream.
Weiner says he didn’t send it out himself, but was “hacked” or “pranked,” depending, and he has been strenuous, indeed strained, in his defense of this proposition.
A normal person may be forgiven for disbelieving Weiner, and for assuming that he is embarrassed about doing something embarrassing with the embarrassing photo.
Clinton-Lewinsky it’s not. Unless you’re a rightblogger. Then, it’s a Tripp down memory lane, with a liberal Lothario, undercover investigators, and girls, girls, girls.
Take the alleged intended recipient of the image, Gennette Cordova. So far there’s no evidence Weiner had sex with her, even of the “finish in the sink” variety. But for several days she kept rightbloggers in a near-constant state of arousal.
Ace of Spades took to calling Cordova “The Comely Coed” (no “Portly Pepper pot” but it’ll have to do) who “confirms Congressman Half-a-Boner did in fact follow her.” He also pointed out that Cordova’s boyfriend was “a white guy, just to note who she’s attracted to.”
In the New York Daily News Cordova denied that she ever got the underwear pic, claimed harassment by anti-Weiner types online, and said that there had never been “any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself.”
velvethammer of Ironic Surrealism, who had previously referred to Cordova as a “Femme Fatale,” didn’t like Cordova’s statement. “Whatever,” he sniffed. “So you say. Play with fire… much? Shoot the messenger much? Heck, hit the talk show circuit, cut a book deal. May as well make the most out of your distress. /snark”
When it was discovered that porn star Ginger Lee was in Weiner’s Twitter community, rightbloggers rose to the occasion. Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism created a Ginger Lee tag, and its correspondent RB a-ha’d that while Weiner claimed he’d only sent Lee a “pro-forma” Twitter message, Lee tweeted that Weiner had “thanked me for my shout-outs and said he likes my blog.” “That really sounded a lot more personal than a bland thank you tweet,” said RB. “Was the Congressman being truthful? Was Ginger Lee embellishing the details?” Questions Remain!
“She is a fan of Weiner,” italicized Robert Stacy McCain, “and raved that getting this private communication from the Democratic congressman was ‘like a DM from Buddha.’ This is what I believe lawyers would call ‘pattern evidence’…”
In the New York Post, Cordova said, “I just want this to be over,” and suggested that maybe Weiner’s tweet had been meant for Ginger Lee in the first place. Rightbloggers seized on this, though we wouldn’t say gratefully.
“Weiner’s Tweet-Heart Says Lewd Penis Pic Was Meant for His Porn Star Friend,” responded Jim Hoft, adding, “It looks like Gennette needs to spend more time studying and less time online.”
“The co-ed has a pretty good theory,” said I Hate the Media, though they still referred to Cordova as “Weiner’s college sweetie.”
“Genette’s 15 minutes of fame is apparently a little more than she bargained for!” said Proof Positive.
Ann Althouse didn’t know what Cordova was complaining about. “Is anyone interested in this person?” she asked. “…I am not hearing anyone saying anything negative about her.”
After one of her commenters noted that other readers had been making cracks about Cordova in her own comments section, Althouse responded, “What you are doing is transparent. You are trying to protect Weiner by saying if we talk about Weiner, we are necessarily dragging this woman through everything. Sorry, I won’t give Weiner that cover. It would be like saying leave DSK alone to protect the maid he allegedly raped.”
Some rightbloggers felt it noteworthy that other Weiner correspondents were attractive young women. “Gennette Was Not Alone… Weiner’s Twitter Friends Include Pages of Young Luscious Fans,” wrote Jim Hoft. “Gennette was not the only young attractive woman who made it on Rep. Weiner’s select list,” said The Last Tradition. “On Twitter, Gennette Nicole Was One of Many,” wrote Donald Douglas.
Liberal Media Bias went above and beyond with their photo gallery: “A young brown-haired girl is seen walking with Rep. Weiner in this video. Who is she? An aide?… A young brown-haired girl stands near Weiner at a speech in this video… all young pretty ladies who Weiner might have had connections with.” What the hell, it was worth a shot.
Weiner, by the way, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to former celebrity-scandal wife Hillary Clinton. A few rightbloggers, like Donald Douglas, affected to “feel bad” for Abedin. Others took a different tack:
“Weiner’s Woman: Is His Wife A Saudi Agent?” asked Right, Wing-Nut.
If Abedin had “nothing to say” publicly about the case, RW-N theorized, “Could it be that because in Huma’s culture – Saudi Arabian culture – this is fairly common male behavior?” Also, “her parents spent her formative years in a Saudi Arabian (largest export: terror) college, where radicals taught terrorists. How much of this rubbed of on Huma’s parents, and on Huma herself?”
Pamela Geller explained that Weiner’s and Abedin’s marriage was a sham, and ran a bunch of old gossip about Abedin and Hillary Clinton being lovers. “The rumor mill was rife for years,” he said. “Huma and Hillary were closerthanthis. Everybody knew… Clearly, [Weiner] was happy to be the beard.”
Serr8d speculated that Abedin had sent the underwear tweet herself. “‘Huma Weiner’ just looks to me to be the sort of gal who would lash out at a husband’s Twitter girlfriends, who are prettier than she is…a photo is sent via Twitter over the intertubes to Weiner’s ‘girlfriend’ as a pathetic little jealous scream, the intent of which is ‘Just LOOK at what you CAN’T HAVE, you little Seattle HUSSY BITCH!‘”
At Patterico’s Pontifications, Aaron Worthing found something else wrong with Weiner’s marriage: The celebrant at his wedding was Bill Clinton. “It is a bizarre act of disrespect for the institution of marriage to have a man with Bill Clinton’s character to officiate over one,” said Worthing.
As the infamous tweet had been almost instantly discovered and publicized by one @patriotusa76, aka Dan Wolfe, he became a subject of inquiry, as did his cohort, @goatsread, aka Mike Stack.
Both Wolfe and Stack were investigated by the well-known riders-and-rap-sheets site, The Smoking Gun. Rightbloggers declared this dirty pool. “The Smoking Gun is trying to make trouble for a whistleblower, and that’s not good behavior in a democracy,” said Little Miss Attila.
“But this says nothing about the facts of the case in regard to whether Anthony Weiner’s been sending photos of his junk online,” said Robert Stacy McCain, “except perhaps that Weiner’s supporters are obsessed with the two Twitter users who busted Weiner.” Lee Stranahan, a liberal who nonetheless frequently appears on conservative sites talking about conservative causes, and who has been covering this story relentlessly, said, “I’m loathe to link to this piece in The Smoking Gun because it’s ‘personal destruction’ brought to a new low.”
Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher investigated @goatsred’s contact with an underage girl in pursuit of dirt on Weiner.
That kind of dirt would be valuable intelligence if it panned out. On CNN, Andrew Breitbart said that Wolfe had been looking into Weiner’s relationships with “girls that are quite young — younger than the girl in question here.” It seems fair to say that evidence of sexual conduct involving minors would have pleased rightbloggers. In fact some just took it for granted that Weiner is into that.
“U.S. House of Representative Anthony Weiner, (D.NY), has been caught sending a PHOTO of his PENIS to underage girls,” said Free Us Florida. “Can he say with certitude that these pictures have not found their way to the inbox of some underage teen?” said John Paulus.
“In case you’re dying to know, we’re laughing our Imperial Gluteus Maximus off over stud-muffin liberal DemCong Anthony ‘The Bulge’ Weiner having been caught twittering pictures of his limp Junior Weiner to a kid he was apparently obsessing over,” said The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. “Among other kids. He seems to have a certain fondness for underage chicks which, in all fairness, is par for the course for CongressCritters.” The case inspired Lippy McGirk to fantasize about NBC’s Dateline “To Catch a Predator” series.
Christopher learned from parents that @goatsred had been trying to squeeze a young girl for incriminating information about her classmate’s correspondence with Weiner. Christopher also denounced the lefty website Daily Kos and its proprietor, Markos Moulitsas, for running a diary on the subject that failed to redact the young women’s information. (The diarist later removed the post.)
In rightblogger land, the story became “Daily Kos sticks up for Weiner by publishing identities of underage girls” (Daily Caller); “Kos Should be in Jail” (but, that’s just my opinion),”Daily Kos Founder Refused to Protect Identity of Underage Girls” (Big Government), etc.
Christopher followed up, denouncing along with Kos Gateway Pundit proprietor Jim Hoft, who had included an underage girl’s info in the aforementioned “Luscious Fans” post.
In response, Hoft called Christopher a “Far Left Crank,” and asked, “If posting pictures of young girls on the internet is so offensive then why did you splash a ‘big’ photo of Willow Palin in one of your recent posts?… Maybe it’s OK because she’s a Palin, huh Tommy?” Weasel Zippers approved the salvo against “Mediaite’s lefty whiner-in-chief Tommy Christopher.”
“And the questions don’t stop,” said Stranahan, “it’s clear that Anthony Weiner needs to call for an investigation. Pronto. And assuming @RepWeiner keeps stonewalling, someone else needs to call for a real, independent investigation.”
Plenty of someone elses have.
“We need an impartial police investigation of Weiner’s computers to find out the truth,” said Jim Hoft. “Anyway, as a former federal prosecutor who was involved in numerous computer crime cases based on citizen complaints,” said National Review‘s Andrew McCarthy, “I’m happy to try to be of some help to the Congressman during this trying time.”
“Hacking into private accounts, impersonating a federal elected official, and deleting evidence that may be subject to federal investigation are each criminal offenses,” declared Big Government’s Publius. “…The American people deserve to know whether these violations, having been alleged or described, actually occurred.” “There is an obligation for Rep. Weiner to enable the delineation of what happened and how it happened so that we can enhance our cyber security,” said GOP Congressman Cliff Stearns in the same forum. Bill O’Reilly demanded an investigation by the FBI and a “statement” from FBI director Robert Mueller.
It is unlikely that any of these people really believes a Weiner boner pic represents a breach of national security, but the pretense of such concern helps remind readers that Weiner would be serious trouble if he were to involve law enforcement in what turned out to be a false story. Which supports the idea that Weiner is covering up; and, as has become popular to say about all this, the cover-up is worse than the crime.
What crime, though? What we have so far is a Congressman whose bulging underwear pic is probably legit, but none of whose correspondents, of legal age or otherwise, admit to receiving it. If Weiner could be put on the stand, though, and exposed to the risk of perjury, rightbloggers might have something more Clintonesque. And this time they might even get a happy ending.