Only Person Anthony Weiner Owes an Explanation to is His Wife

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

WASHINGTON – This is not a Brett Favre situation or a John Ensign, David Vitter, Larry Craig, John Edwards, William Jefferson Clinton moment.

But the amateur sleuth contest goes on, with no signs of abating yet, at least if you look at Memeorandum. It’s a Left versus Right battle, which leaves what matters out.

By now you likely know Rep. Anthony Weiner has retained a private security firm to investigate what he’s calling a “prank.” Weiner gets points for originality when he points to not wanting to use taxpayer dollars it would cost to involve the Capitol Police.

“There are photographs of me in the world. Yes,” he said. “We don’t know where the photograph came from. We don’t know for sure what’s on it, we don’t know for sure if its been manipulated, if it was taken out of one place and dropped in something else. And I’m going to let this firm try to get to the bottom of all that.” He said he for sure did not SEND the photo. – Weiner ‘can’t say with certitude’ that lewd photo isn’t of him

So, we have a “lewd” picture passed over technology that is allegedly Anthony Weiner rising, pun intended, which he adamantly says he did not send.

We know the college student who received the lewd shot, Gennette Cordova, says she is not having an affair with Rep. Weiner. We also know there are other female Twitter followers of Weiner who raised people’s curiosity, including “Miss Ginger Lee,” an adult actress. Pictures of these women are now plastered across the world.

In the background is Huma Abedin, who is married to Weiner and also happens to be an aide for Hillary Clinton.

The Right wants to humiliate Anthony Weiner any way they can, but there was no affair that we know of and no woman is claiming so. The questions remaining start with whether these Twitter associations and flirtations are cheating, then who passed the “lewd” photo to Miss Cordova and how it was obtained in the first place.

Weiner’s credibility hangs in that balance, as does his reputation, but neither means he can’t do his job, which is what the amateur blog sleuths are working to prove, while destroying his career.

Voyeurism and non-physical connection is powerful. It goes back a long way, but technology blasted it wide in the ’90s with personal ads. That’s when I was at the LA Weekly as “relationship consultant,” my whole job in the classified ad department revolving around teaching women and men how to connect through words and voicemail messages to attract the right person for what they desired, which was usually marriage; there were those times when arrangements were sought, which I also helped people navigate. It’s where I learned about the politics of sex through talking to many people over several years, including in the adult industry. If I had a dime for the number of men wanting to be a pen pal with a famous stripper I’d have retired in ’98.

Now Rep. Anthony Weiner’s dating past is also being chummed. There’s nothing wrong with being a “playboy” when you’re single, though the definition in this MSNBC article is laugh out loud hilarious. He’s also being called a “womanizer,” but enjoying the ladies doesn’t make that label stick. Why wouldn’t a man enjoy us? We’re fabulous. Weiner’s married not dead.

Right now Anthony Weiner is alleging he’s the “victim” of a “prank.” Perhaps it’s even a malicious political dirty trick akin to what made famous by Republicans back in the days of Richard Nixon, championed by Donald Segretti. But if Mr. Weiner is a “victim” of anything it’s his own ego.

That’s certainly not a crime. It’s not even political malpractice, but it’s proving very embarrassing.

Ask anyone who’s been caught reaching out over technology to flirt with someone. The thrill is the secret and the distance, not consummation. Your worst nightmare is someone finding out, let alone having it blasted across the new media world we live in and being asked if that engorged package in the picture is you.

Taylor Marsh is a Washington based political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her blog.

         

15 Comments

  1. Indeed, we may find later than Weiner is associated with similar stuff being sent to other young women. (The contemporary equivalent of the Clinton groupies and the even more silly Obama groupies? They apparently may prefer someone still solidly known to be farther left.)

    Good bathroom-kitchen implication example, G.C.

    Would Weiner have held one or more hearings in the House had it been a GOP member of Congress who was the subject of the story?

  2. I completely disagree. This is a question of judgement. If a guy can’t be counted on to not do something this monumentally stupid, he shouldn’t be anywhere a leadership position in government.

  3. Vera — Well that would be a quick way to get more women in government…

    :)

  4. gcotharn says:
    June 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I could not disagree more on “the voters” being owed an explanation.

    Rep. Weiner did absolutely nothing that impacts voters. There is no proof of an affair, not even any proof he sent the photo, which he denied doing. There is no one wronged, though he embarrassed himself & his wife, with voters not being harmed in any way for whom he follows on Twitter.

    Weiner’s good at his job. That’s all that should matter to New Yorkers and I bet that’s all that does.

  5. This is not a Brett Favre situation or a John Ensign, David Vitter, Larry Craig, John Edwards, William Jefferson Clinton moment.

    What does this mean exactly? Do you think all those men owed explanations to someone other than their wives? What about Chris Lee, whose “outing” was held up as an example of responsible journalism in an earlier post by Joe Gandelman?

    I like Anthony Weiner in the same way I like Dennis Kucinich, although I usually disagree with them politically. He’s a scrappy guy who sticks to his guns and isn’t afraid to argue with people who disagree with him. And I agree this should not effect his competence as a congressman.

  6. Taylor, I want to give you some support here, because I totally, 100 percent, agree with you. IF there were any sensible reason to believe that Weiner himself sent that pic (whether it was him or not, that’s irrelevant) to the young woman in question, then MAYBE it would be justified to demand an explanation beyond what he has already given. But there is no such sensible reason to believe he sent the pic, and EVERY reason to believe that the only thing he’s guilty of is stupidity for using the same password for his email and his Twitter accounts.

    Everything else at this point is partisan hysteria, and the media should be ashamed of itself (if it had any shame).

    Kathy

  7. However, voters understand this much, at least, about where Weiner is now: 1) no “certitude” + 2) no FBI investigation. If Weiner stays where he is, then his political viability is shot.

    No g. “Voters” do not understand that. You have proclaimed it to be the truth, which means roughly nothing to “voters”. My guess is that most NYC residents don’t check TMV to see what you have to say about a politician before the vote.

  8. Facts exist.

    Facts do indeed exist, but facts are not the same thing as conclusions. It’s a fact that Weiner has said he cannot say with certitude that it’s not him in the pic, but that fact has more than one possible explanation.

    The fact that you are calling it a fact that Weiner sent a pic of his own crotch to a young lady on Twitter means that you don’t know the difference between a fact and a conclusion, or a fact and an opinion.

    That’s not exactly a surprise to me, but it still needs to be said.

    Kathy

  9. Well gcotharn the truth is you are pushing more Breittbart talking points prior to having facts in a realm where facts exist and are currently being looked into. We will call it a “faith based opinion.”

  10. And where did this story start, who sent it on a bullet around the right wing blogosphere, who continues to spin it prior to investigating the paper trail which exists…yup the Bart man.

  11. Recently there have been articles about whether Sarah Palin is really Trig’s mother. A lively discussion ensued. Now here we are with what’s going on in Congressman Weiner’s boxer shorts. And, another lively discussion.

    If folks cared as much about serious issues as they care about others’ privates, we might have a chance to get somewhere. In their info-tainment driven world Americans are obsessed with two things: a) the sexual inclinations of anyone even remotely noteworthy and b) finding any excuse to engage in the personal butchery of anyone from the “other side”.

    Perhaps we would be better off if we all spent a little less time smelling each others undies.

  12. gcotharn the bottom line is that although Weiner is acting as guilty as all hell that is not proof of anything. Something happened, but what exactly who knows and I don’t know why we should care. If he sent a picture of his willie to the coed and she doesn’t care, that’s their business.

    I will say the lefties argument that Breitbart’s involvement is de facto proof that it’s false is also a weak argument.

  13. I will say the lefties argument that Breitbart’s involvement is de facto proof that it’s false is also a weak argument.

    Those of us making that argument realize it’s not actually an argument. The only stories of his that have gotten national attention have all turned out to be not only entirely fabricated but also pretty much exactly the opposite of what he was saying. However, that does not mean that this time it isn’t true. Boy who cried wolf, stopped watch correct twice a day, and all that.

  14. gcotharn this is the way I see it. I think it’s more likely than not Weiner tried to send the photo to the coed but accidentally made it public. I think I agree with you there.

    But I also agree with Taylor Marsh that this really isn’t our business. One thing most liberals and conservatives agree on is we don’t care what happens between two consenting adults. If Weiner meant to send the photo to the coed, and the coed doesn’t want to make a big deal out it and wasn’t upset by it, then OK. No harm, no foul. After that it’s all just partisan stuff.

    I think Weiner’s a pretty weird dude, but this is America where it’s OK to be weird if you want.

  15. DaGoat,

    You have spoken my thoughts, and I suspect the thoughts of many others. I, for one, don’t care who is the father of Anna Nicole’s baby…or whether Sarah Palin is Trig’s mother…or what tweet one consenting adult sent to another.

    Weiner probably sent the tweet and is probably covering himself, but so what, other than another opportunity for partisan butchery?

    Well put. Better than I just did. Thank you.

    tidbits

Submit a Comment