For those of you jonesing for some new Weinergate tidbit, here’s some screenshots of a couple of Starchild111 things I’ve located: a new profile cache from May 14, this one showing tweets. Plus, I have a shot of what possibly was her last public tweet as Starchild111, and it’s not on May 18. It’s much later.
I tried to post much of this information as a comment on a post over at Patterico’s Pontifications, but unfortunately, it kept getting caught in their spam filter. As a result, my lucky readers get a new Weinergate post to wet their whistles.
Early, two mornings ago, a reader sent me and another blogger a link to something I hadn’t seen before: an internet cached page showing the state of Starchld111′s Twitter account on April 6, 2011. It added insight into how that account evolved, coming in between the two caches of whole Twitter profile pages from January 1, 2011 and April 16, 2011 (as opposed to screenshots and other records of various groups of and individual tweets) that we Weinergate addicts have had. The new cache was posted last night to Patterico for public perusal.
But it goes further in providing clues as to who originally set up and continued to use the account, whether it is operated by the same person throughout, why the account was set up and used, and how the account was used.
Let’s take a look. Click below to see all the caches and follow me down the rabbit hole.
Your humble correspondent is a bit under the weather, so I’ll be brief. (Hey, no jokes about how I should always be under the weather then.)
News broke last night when tweeter @JoeBrooks brought us evidence that the photo-search website Tineye.com could not provide: proof that the Weinergate Starchild111 avatar was not of a 16-year-old California high school girl…unless she commutes from Melborne, Australia…and unless she’s only 11 years old in the photo. Brooks found a Facebook page that uses the very same photo as our Starchild111, but this supposedly Aussie person goes by the name (or pseudonym) of Missy Mazz. [Note: I say supposedly Aussie, because at this point, with so many fake accounts involved in this corner of Weinergate, who can say for certain this isn't a sockpuppet Facebook account?]
Since then, Dan Riehl has found another matching Starchild111 avatar photo, seemingly the original photo, which was posted in a Flickr account in 2006. (The owner of the Flickr account calls the girl in the photo her best friend, Angela.) Plus I have found the photo on a beauty and makeup information bulletin board, in which the commenter has made only one post to the site under the name of RichWoman.
Lastly, Dan has found yet another person going by the nom de guerre of Starchild111. Let’s see if you can identify that person in a little game of “Which One Does Not Belong?”
Much more devastingly, @JoeBrooks found that the girl pictured in the Twitter photo avatar for Nikki’s supposed friend Marianela Alicea is actually a successful Spanish model, Claudia Albons. (Patterico shows the “Marianela”/”Veronica”‘s Twitter avatar next to Albons’ real photos.) Her website contains page after page of modeling shots, a treasure trove from which to draw not only a photo suitable for a staid school ID, but also candid shots with friends, all of which could be compiled into a teen scrapbook for a sockpuppet.
So I’m still wondering where did the puppetmaster get a school-ID-appropriate shot for Starchild111? There doesn’t seem to be a trove of photos of this girl from which to have chosen. In all the sites where she has so far been found depicted, there is just this one.
Other recommended reading for you home-gamers to stay fully abreast of the twists and turns in the ongoing Weiner saga: see AceOfSpades, and VerumSerum.
It’s time for Tommy Christopher to release the faked photo IDs. The girls featured in the avatars are in no way underage any longer. Show us what the hoaxers used to fool you into believing them. There’s nothing left that’s truthful to protect on the IDs. There once was a point where it was prudent to withhold the faked IDs from public view. But now, they’ve been fully exposed as liars and thieves. Protecting them now is akin to abetting them.
UPDATE 6/22/11 4:30pm
To clarify, I don’t think the male Starchild111 shown here has anything to do with the Weinergate saga. In fact, I’m 97.5% sure the girls pictured in the Starchild111 and MarinelaAlicea avatars have absolutely nothing to do with Weinergate other than someone stole their photos and put them on Twitter accounts because they are beautiful girls.
I have also linked Tommy Christopher’s name above to his last “Betty and Veronica” story at Mediaite, in case you are unfamiliar with the tale of the ultra-pro-Weiner statements and faked photo IDs used to authenticate them. Also tweeter @ikeonic reminded me to mention that the Flickr photo comes from a young woman’s account who appears to have lived in Detroit around the time she posted the photo that has since been stolen for the Starchild111 Twitter avatar, making the photo quite a world traveler, supposedly going from Detroit to Melborne to Hollywood High—all while staying the same (or regressing in) age. The Fountain of Youth does exist….in the form of poached Twitter avatars.
Forget speculation on honey mustard in the Weiner affair. It’s now moved on to whether there has been a honey pot. Two teen girls and one of their mothers submitted false ID to a member of the media when they were trying to get their pro-Weiner message out. Now no one is sure who they are, or what they were up to. But some evidence still does exist proving there was a real person somehow involved: photos.
The Teens Come to Light
Back when Weinergate was bursting at the seams with new daily revelations, one issue that cropped up early was the teenage girls that Rep. Anthony Weiner (a Democrat formerly representing the 9th US House district of New York, located in Brooklyn-Queens) had followed through his Twitter account. One of those girls (who went by the Twitter name of @Starchild111 but had closed her account and had left no threads that enabled me to find her real identity) was included in my post breaking the news that Weiner had also followed and privately messaged a porn actress. The teen had hurriedly contacted Ginger Lee when the actress-turned-stripper tweeted that Weiner had sent her a DM (a private tweet known as a Direct Message).
In his report, Christopher sought to protect the identity of the girls, who claimed to be minors, by obscuring their real names through use of pseudonyms. He dubbed Starchild111 “Betty” and called her friend “Veronica.” Henceforth, they became known on the Internet and in other media venues as “Betty and Veronica.”
The Starchild111 Photo
For a period of time, the Starchild Twitter account used a photo of a real girl. [I have found that the account also temporarily used the Twitter Egg (a starter avatar for those who haven't uploaded any image) at the beginning, and then eventually settled on a graphic image of white falling stars on a black background.]
When the story broke late Friday night that the photo IDs were fake, I wondered about that photo on the Twitter account and whether the girl in it matched the one in the faked school photo ID.
The Twitter avatar photo that I had was not an easy photo to find. I initially stumbled across it on an Albanian social media website the Saturday the Weiner scandal was first breaking. I was then able to locate the same photo on the Twitter servers in association with the former Starchild111 account.
This is the Starchild111 that I found. I have pixelated her face, because while the school ID of a person claiming to be Starchild has been faked, I don’t know for sure who this girl is, and therefore, I don’t know her age or the extent of her innocence in the duplicity. [I should also state that there is another woman on the vast World Wide Web that goes by the name of Starchild111. But in my cursory looks at the bulletin boards and sites where she comments, she appears to be much older, possibly living in the United Kingdom and seems to have no relation at all to the @Starchild111 Twitter account.]
So this girl at one point was affiliated in some fashion with Starchild111 tweets. [I also ran the photo through an internet website that will compare photos with nearly two billion others online to see whether it's a photo that was simply grabbed from another site and therefore not unique. That site, TinEye, found no matches for the Starchild111 photo, greatly increasing the likelihood that it was indeed Starchild111, whatever her real name is.]
Other proof that we have is that someone affiliated with the Starchild111 account, which used this photo for a while:
started the account by at least August 2010;
used the account for tweeting with celebrities and friends
then started about Weiner in Spring 2011 and went on a tweet campaign to get Weiner to take her to the prom;
tended to pop up within hours of any woman appearing to have contact with Weiner on Twitter and made an effort to become ongoing friends with them and learn what Weiner was saying to them;
became disillusioned with Weiner when he unfollowed her after a very brief follow;
deleted her account once the Weiner scandal broke (or according to her statement to Mediaite, prior to the scandal);
and only reemerged through her supposed mother by making contact with Christopher at Mediaite, providing fake proof of ID in their (ultimately successful) attempt to get a wildly pro-Weiner statement published at his website.
Did this one girl do all that?
Or did the person controlling the Starchild111 account change over time? Once the account was closed, virtually anyone could step up and claim to be Starchild111. And someone did. How do we know it was the same girl? That is what Christopher attempted to get at partially in collecting the photo IDs.
The Moment Someone Could Get Tripped Up
Consider this: If the account had been taken over by people intending to protect Weiner and issue a ridiculously over-the-top statement of support for him, did they know that there was a previous photo out there of Starchild111 that they would have to match if required to provide proof of identity? If they knew about the photo but didn’t know the girl in it, would they be simply out of luck if they had to get a new photo of her that would be an appropriate pose for an ID shot?
I wondered, did the fake school photo ID (which obviously could not include a dog as the primary foreground figure) show the same girl, of the same race and general appearance as in the Twitter photo? Or would the statement-writers have complicated matters further by providing a photo of a girl that looked nothing like the Starchild111 avatar photo?
I contacted everyone that I knew had seen the school ID. Preston of the New York Times has yet to respond to my two requests made on Saturday. However, Christopher confirms, via email, that this picture is the one that he compared Betty’s student ID with, and concluded that both photos were of the same person.
Therefore, with the match, the person or group of people that contacted Christopher after the scandal either includes the young woman portrayed in the Starchild Twitter avatar photo or knows her and was able to obtain a photo of her with a school ID pose.
Using the Photo as an Assist to Solving the Mystery Ace has outlined three theories of the mystery of Betty and Veronica. Before I had confirmation that the Starchild avatar and school ID depict the same girl, I was in Ace’s Theory Three camp: the girls were real teens to start, but later when the Weiner scandal was breaking and they shut their accounts, others—Weiner operatives—began posing as them.
(Ace has also posited some thoughts that perhaps there were Anthony Pellicano enforcer-type tactics used to coerce the accounts away from the girls. I hate to think of politics as being that sick and thuggish in this day and age, but it would be hard to fully deny the sad, yet unlikely possibility. Other theorists suggest it was Democratic political operatives seeking to harm Weiner’s chances in a New York mayoral run. Or that it was a spurned girlfriend or just a jealous sexter that realized she wasn’t the only one. It could fill an entire lengthy post to sketch out all the theories and conspiracies tossed around in the past 48 hours.)
However, with the Starchild111 photos showing the same girl, it’s possible that Ace’s Theory One could be correct: the accounts were always complete fakes (as in purporting to be normal teenage girls with no political motives when in essence they were plotting to either help or hurt Weiner, and they were really high-paid sophisticated operatives that merely carried out their plan in a strangely Three Stooges fashion) from the very beginning. That they intentionally set up these girlie accounts to…do what? To behave in very pro-Weiner manners to pry damaging Weiner info from anti-Weiner conservative tweeters in order to harm the person they wish to protect?
It doesn’t make sense. What did they accomplish? Dampening criticism of Weiner in a scandal they could not have know would occur?
And if they were fake from the git-go, why would they have ever used Starchild111′s photo and locked themselves in on having to keep that girl involved? Names and addresses and details are quite easy to fake and maneuver around to fit the situation. (Take a look at anyone’s resume.) But a photo, even in the days of Photoshop, that’s making a commitment that is hard to back off of or change later.
Oddly enough, it seems that’s one thing that still matches up with the fake IDs.
[NOTE: Ginger Lee's statement on Congressman Anthony Weiner's resignation can be found in the update at the bottom of this post.]
Ginger Lee gave a press conference today, with her new lawyer, media-crazed Gloria Allred. (I don’t typically read celebrity gossip sites or watch breathy “entertainment” shows such as Extra! or Inside Hollywood [I think that's a name of one, isn't it?], so I just about missed the news entirely.)
Ginger supposedly felt the need to hire an attorney because some man was threatening her. That sounds horrible, awful—until we learn it was not a threat to harm her physical safety. No, it was a threat to release a statement that she had not authorized. What? Is there any man that would want to release a statement for her other than Rep. Anthony Weiner (or one of his staff on his behalf)? Yet, at the press conference called to address this very issue, Allred refused to name the man. She would only say that he knows who he is, and they (Allred and Ginger) have the proof of it.
Ginger also reiterated her charge that Weiner had asked her to lie for him, and Allred creepily read from three emails in which Weiner tried to engage Ginger in a discussion of his “package.” That’s where I felt a bit sorry for her. If that’s the most brazen of Weiner’s sexy talk with her, I suspect it was rather bland communications. She was emphatic that no photos had been exchanged (although Weiner had apparently perused the numerous photos of her on her Tumblr blog).
This was Ginger’s opportunity to cash in on the scandal. If she had any super racy messages or obscene photos from Weiner, this was her one shot to release them. (Otherwise, it will be her later having to say that she was lying as well.) However, it seems that having Gloria Allred as her attorney is far more sensational than the actual communications with the congressman. Good for Ginger if she denied him the pleasure he was seeking. I don’t doubt her statements that he wanted what she wasn’t giving.
Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller said he wouldn’t live-blog the press conference, but couldn’t help himself. See his quick outline of the sideshow, which concludes with a few Catskills-worthy jokes about the media-loving attorney and her porn star client.
Unfortunately, only a few short video clips from the press conference are currently available online; I can find no full unedited video of the show.) Here’s TMZ’s typically raunchy juvenile edit, which features a couple of typical Allred awkward public relations moment:
Here’s a more mature edit by some guy with a pleasant accent:
Here’s Ginger’s full, unedited statement:
Lastly, here’s the most complete version, with both Gloria Allred’s and Ginger’s statements, along with a few questions from the media at the end:
I hope someone will please upload the full press conference portion. The Q&A session was the most illuminating, and Allred made several misstatements…or untruths.
Allred concluded the press conference saying that her client would not be able to do interviews after the press conference due to her heavy schedule. We now see that schedule involved flying off to Atlanta to begin capitalizing on her increased name recognition due to her Weiner connection.
The poster for her two-night appearance at the Pink Pony is quite amusing, reading: “Exclusive engagement” “The Pink Pony has done it again!!! We present Ginger Lee, the pornstar connected with the “peter tweeter” in Weinergate. June 15th & 16th. 2 shows a nite. 8:30pm & 11:30pm.” “She’s here for 48 hours only!!!”
Gotta love the little Weinergate Seal with a bust of Weiner amidst stars and jackasses (okay, okay, Democrat donkey logos).
TMZ notes that Ginger’s new gig was booked last week. They report that:
Sources at the Pink Pony strip club tell TMZ, the place will be selling super-sized hot dogs during Ginger’s 20-minute performance tonight — in which she’ll strip completely naked in a room full of dudes.
And it really pays to be at the center of a national controversy — we’re told Ginger is getting THREE TIMES her normal stripping rate to appear tonight.
And so the slow-speed trainwreck that is Weiner’s career continues, and Democrats desperately try to just move on with the Weiner albatross around their neck. As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air said of the Democrats’ PR strategy after taking note of the Ginger Lee/Gloria Allred press conference in which the porn star called on the congressman to resign: “Gloria Allred? Yeah, that strategy of ignoring the story is totally going to work now.”
UPDATE 6/16/11 1:30am
Well, boys and girls, you missed your opportunity to see Ginger Lee in the flesh (literally) at her post-Weiner Atlanta engagement. But she’s heading to South Carolina for the weekend, y’all. However, if you want to go, you’ll have to at least do some work to find the clubs by going to her schedule yourself. I’m out of the Ginger Lee performance promoter business. (Well…unless another club does a really fabulous Weiner poster, then we’ll see how newsworthy it would be.)
Earlier today Ginger put out a statement regarding Weiner’s resignation that even MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell called more dignified than Weiner’s own press conference. I had a hard time finding a complete copy of it anywhere in the major newspapers, magazines or blogs. The first place it finally popped up in full was at ExtraTV’s website—showing Miss Ginger to be smart again in going after the glitzy, fawning celebrity press instead of the rumpled, gruff political press:
I am glad that he has resigned. After the past three weeks and everything that transpired before that I think that he is making the wisest decision for himself, for his family, for everyone else drawn into this scandal and for the Democratic Party. I wish him the best and hope that the treatment that he is receiving will help him to control his impulses and make better judgments in the future.
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-securitylegislation, 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.
Ginger Lee—a porn star, stripper and fan of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY9)—was ecstatic on March 13 2011:
Ginger Lee’s tweet said: You know it’s a good day when you wake up to a DM from @RepWeiner. (I’m a fangirl, y’all, he’s my trifecta of win.)
[NOTE: DM is a Twitter abbreviation for Direct Message, in which a tweet is sent privately and only to the one recipient. To send a DM, the person you wish to message must be following you on Twitter. Ginger must have been following @RepWeiner for him to DM her. He would not necessarily have to have been following her to send the DM. However, a tweet was publicly broadcast by @patriotusa76 back on April 12 saying that Weiner only followed 91 people at that time, and it names "PORN star Ginger Lee" as one of them. PatriotUSA76 aka Dan Wolfe appears to have been on Weiner's trail for some time now and has been tweeting his curious finds to various blogs and conservative websites, apparently to no avail.]
Following Ginger’s excited announcement of receiving a DM from Weiner, a few Ginger and/or Weiner fans piped up with questions:
@MilesLord asks @GingerLee: How do u DM people, and why the heck is Congressman Weiner DM-ing u??? To which @GingerLee replies: Because he is one of my heroes, & a DM from him is like a DM from Buddha.
And then there was this:
Ginger Lee tweeted to @starchild111: He thanked me for the shout-outs and said he likes my blog. (I died a little inside…in a good way.)
A couple months ago, around the time of this message, @Starchild111 was a high school girl who was trying to get Weiner to be her prom date. She was overjoyed when he followed her, upset when conservatives laughed that Weiner was trolling the school yard, and dismayed when he unfollowed her. Starchild has deleted her twitter account. I only just found her last night, so I have no knowledge of when she deleted it, but I have found tweets by her as recent as May 18.
Starchild is not the only teenage girl with a crush on Weiner that he has followed. There’s another one that he has apparently had an on-again, off-again following involvement with for a couple months. And he’s currently following her again now.
This pattern of behavior, following and DMing young women that apparently have no relation to his district or his work, fits in with the suspected behavior of him DMing a crotch shot to a college girl in Seattle. Weiner is claiming his Facebook account was hacked, which doesn’t explain how the photo was uploaded to his yfrog account and then tweeted from his twitter account (that he was tweeting on around that time, including after the supposed hacking).
For more coverage on #Weinergate, see these excellent roundups:
I have more that I have found. Still sorting through it to see if there’s anything else to contribute to fleshing out the full extent of #Weinergate.
UPDATE [5/29/11 6:00pm]
Thanks to The Other McCain for the linkage. Welcome, TOMers.
Yukyuk: In a bit of irony, back in May 2004, Rep. Weiner introduced legislation to stop sexual harassment on college campuses:
“Institutions of higher learning have a responsibility to establish clear boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable conduct on campus,” said Rep. Weiner. “That means putting students on notice from day one that sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.”
Perhaps Weiner’s just been conducting online research for some new legislation?
Another yukyuk: The Wall Street Journal has posted a very short little AP story regarding Weinergate. Note the pronunciation key they give in the first sentence. When was the last time you read an AP story that had that?:
NEW YORK — A spokesman for New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (WEE’-nur) says a lewd photograph sent from the Democrat’s Twitter account is just “a distraction” perpetrated by a hacker.
Weiner spokesman Dave Arnold told The Associated Press in an email Sunday the Twitter episode was “a distraction” from the congressman’s “important work representing his constituents.”
The photo showed a man’s bulging underpants.
It first was reported Saturday by BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart. The site said the photo was tweeted to a woman in Seattle.
The photo was quickly deleted.
Weiner later joked about it on Twitter, asking whether his kitchen blender would be next to “attack” him.
“I haven’t met Rep Weiner. I follow him on twitter because I support him & what he stands for,” Lee said in an email to TheDC. “I have been hounded by his political opponents but that hasn’t changed my view of him and what he fights for.”