After ignoring the blogs for three days last holiday weekend the mainstreamers finally woke up and noticed Weinergate and put on a full court press, questioning his story aggressively. It was refreshing to see them carry the same journalistic skepticism they usually reserve for people like Bush, Cheney, Craig, Foley, Vitter, the "Craigslist Congressman" and of course Sarah Palin, to name but a few.
In response to the surprising flurry of real journalism Weiner circled his wagons, lawyered up, and claimed his Twitter account was "hacked" but would not waste taxpayer money asking for an investigation because it was only a "prank" (his legal advice, no doubt). No further comment--important work to be done for the children and old folks. The four-corners rope-a-dope basically shut down the story for another weekend.
A quick check of mainstream websites this morning produces only this story from ABC about the pitfalls of sexting, and one in the WaPo condemning the NY Post and Politico for shoddy journalism. Nothing about Yfrog's announcement last week that their system had not been compromised, or the obvious conclusion to this whole thing--have someone check the access of his Twitter account to see if any foreign IPs logged in around the time of the tweet. So simple. After all, the ABC story noted:
"Gossip Girl" actress Lively is the latest Hollywood starlet to get caught up in a nude photo scandal. She said the iPhone pictures that surfaced last week are 100 percent fake. The FBI is investigating a ring of hackers accused of releasing photos of young celebrities including Vanessa Hudges, Scarlett Johansson and Miley Cyrus.Doesn't a congressman rate anymore?
But then comes Breitbart. He's teasing out a story this morning involving another woman and even racier pictures. In doing so the story will re-emerge, but he may actually be giving the media a way to divert from Weiner to Brietbart himself. The poster who first noticed the tweet and retweeted it--Patriot76--had been tweeting about a coming sex scandal involving a congressman well before the Weiner story broke and claimed it was a rumor going around the web coming from a big right wing blogger. But his story doesn't jibe with his online friend "Goatsred". Enterprising mainstreamers may see this as a conspiracy even if there's no evidence thereof, giving them an opening to write stories questioning his role.
Maybe it needs to be questioned, but the photo release today should leave little doubt about the congressman, and little doubt about his eventual fate if he wore the dreaded (R) beside his title.
Weiner comes clean, exonerates Breitbart and PatriotUSA76. Good for him, we all have our sins and they're all the same in the eyes of God. His political sin was the cover-up and trying to blame the messengers but he says he won't resign. We'll see. His rep is going to be diminished and it'll be hard to throw him up as the TV attack dog role anymore. As to the media handling of the event, it's likely they would have never noticed if not for the blogs and especially Breitbart. And 'never noticed' doesn't mean they didn't know, only that they were forced to cover it.
CNN--who cut away from the Breitbart presser hijack--is now asking in their international edition whether it's "time for introspection in US Politics?" Er, were they asking the same after the "congressman from Craigslist" resigned? No CNN, the introspection should be directed at places like the Daily Kos for allowing stuff like this on their site:
NEW DETAILS: Weiner's Press Conference was FAKE!!And....if as some commenters are saying it's a 'prank diary' the same logic applies. Yeah, and they said the right was wacky for questioning a birth cert. Keep in mind this is the same Daily Kos that hosts the Yearly Kos convention featuring past visits from Hillary and Barack, to name two. The real introspection should be focused on how we can get better people to represent congressional districts.