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Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta


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|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri | Weinergate

Weiner Refuses to Deny Lewd Photo

Rep. Anthony Weiner just had what one tweeter/Weekly Standard editor called “the Hindenberg of press conferences.”

As Dana Bash of CNN tweeted and which I have added to and annotated, here are a few questions that @RepWeiner refuses to answer:

1) Is the tweeted picture of you? Is that you in the photo, regardless of whether you tweeted it?
Who would not immediately answer “NO!” unless it was them? Weiner must realize that by refusing to say “No,” it tells the world the answer is “Yes,” right?

2) Why not let law enforcement handle this? It has been three days. Why not report this? Are you not concerned about evidence being destroyed or lost?
Dana Bash says the FBI told her they had not been asked to investigate, and that the Capitol Police have said they are not investigating. Two semantical differences. When pressed by John King on Sunday night [note: cannot find the video of this exchange on CNN’s website], Bash said that based on her knowledge of Capitol Police protocol, if they had been asked to investigate, they would be doing it. So in essence, Weiner has not reported the hacking or pranking or whatever he wishes to call it to any law enforcement agency.

Weiner has previously been involved in the formulation of cyber-security legislation, but suddenly, he doesn’t think hacking a congressman’s account and sending lewd photos from it (not to mention viewing all the private information inside the congressman’s account) to be anything to be concerned with.

These positions are inconsistent, and logically lead to a conclusion that Weiner knows who is responsible for the photo and the tweet and does not wish to have them investigated, publicized or prosecuted. With his resistance to reporting the crime (if he was not personally responsible for the photo’s transmission through his accounts), Weiner is protecting the perpetrator. In the meantime, aspersions are being cast on innocent persons, particularly right-wing tweets and bloggers. Weiner needs to allow their names to be cleared—either through an admission that he knows the perpetrator or by getting law enforcement on the case.

3) Why did you hire a lawyer?
If Weiner is not going to report this to the authorities, then has he hired a lawyer to protect himself? Is he concerned that Ms. Cordova will come after him for harassment? Or is he concerned that the high school girl that claims she “talked” with him will have her parents come after him? Or are there other Twitter problems lurking out there for him?

I have to wonder whether Weiner knows that as the “victim” of a crime, that the district attorney would be his free lawyer as well. Someone, please tell Mr. Weiner that they’ll do all the criminal prosecuting for him.

4) Why are you following 21-year-old college student [across the country from you]?
Indeed. It’s not as if he follows everyone of his 45,000-plus followers. He follows less than one half of one percent of his followers. Why her and not 44,800 others?

+) Did you send the photo or not?
He will not say no. Instead he called Ted Barrett, the CNN producer who asked him this question several times, a “jackass.” As the producer says, “All you have to say is ‘no.'” If the answer is no, does he know who did? This goes back to question number 2.

+) Did you follow Ms. Cordova on Twitter? If so, how did you find her?
All of the above are questions that Mr. Weiner has been asked directly and plainly by the media, but he has refused to answer. If he did not follow Ms. Cordova, he should say so to end the speculation and insinuations to her reputation that they were involved in a Twitter affair. (Perhaps she only followed him, which would still allow him to send the lewd photo to her by private Direct Message, but would have left her unable to privately tell him to stop it.)

He has tried to claim that he does not know her. Does this mean he did not ever meet her in person (likely) or he has never interacted with her at all, beyond clicking her follow button but never having sent or received a tweet or private message to or from her?

The big question not asked in this contentious exchange: Did you privately tweet with Ms. Cordova at any time? Not necessarily sending her any photos, but even the most innocent exchange.

Another question no one has bothered to ask: Do you customarily, or even occasionally, send private messages to your fan followers (not just professional acquaintances or media or governmental persons)?

+) Another reporter or producer there asked why he follows so many women in his account. But he doesn’t really follow an excessive ratio of women to men. It’s more who these women are. Most appear to have no connection to his district or legislation or committees. Going back to my elaboration of question 4, my question would be, why did you choose to follow this select group of women out of your 47,000+ followers? What made you decide to include them in your very small, select Twitter inner circle?

Unfortunately in Mr. Weiner’s Weinerburg press conference, he behaved like the most despicable of politicians. The only “new fact” he would give in the interview was when he took a moment to mock a fellow congressman, a woman, whom he has been obsessed with on Twitter in trying to have more followers than she has. That woman is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), whom he derisively has nicknamed “Crazy” on Twitter. This also fits in Mr. Weiner’s pattern of having low regard for treating women in a gentlemanly fashion on Twitter.