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Anthony Weiner: No photographic memory of his underwear drawer

WeinerI shouldn't go back to the Weiner well, but I ... can't ... stop ... myself.

As readers of this space know, I went out on a limb Tuesday and declared that I was inclined to believe the assertion by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) that he didn't post the link on Twitter to a photo of an underwear-clad man's crotch. Most of the folks who commented said I was in the tank for Weiner and that he must have uploaded the link himself -- probably in a botched attempt to send a private message to a young female follower in Washington state -- because his explanation simply didn't hold up. I disagreed then, and still do. Mostly. But his efforts Wednesday to clear the air still left one troubling bit of murkiness.

That would be his apparent inability to recognize whether the crotch in the photo is his own.

Here's what Weiner told ABC News:

"I did not send that photo. My system was hacked. I was pranked," Weiner said. "Somebody sent a picture of a weiner from Weiner's account. I've been hearing that joke since I was 5."

But is the photograph -- a close-up of a man's underwear -- a photograph of Anthony Weiner?

"I'm reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don't know to what extent our system was hacked," he said.

And here's a partial transcript of his interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: This is the picture -- I'm sure you've seen it by now. Is this you?

WEINER: I can tell you this. We have a firm that we've hired -- I've seen it, it's -- I've seen it -- a firm that we've hired to get to the bottom of it.

I can tell you this, that photos can manipulated. Photos can be of one thing changed to look like something else. We're going to try to get the bottom of what happened....

BLITZER: Well, we just want to resolve it once and for all.  You would know if this is your underpants, for example.

WEINER: The question is -- I appreciate you continuing to flash that at me.

Look, I've said the best I can, that we're going to try to get to the bottom of what happened here. But you know, I just want to caution you -- and you understand this, you're a pro -- that photographs can be manipulated. Photographs can be taken up from one place and put in another place, photos they can be doctored. And I want to make sure that we know for sure what happened here.

It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth....

BLITZER: Have you ever taken a picture of yourself like this?

WEINER: I can tell you this, that there are -- I have photographs. I don't know what photographs are out there in the world of me. I don't know what things have been manipulated and doctored, and we're going to try to find out what happened.

There are only a couple good ways to answer questions like the ones Blitzer posed. One is: "I rarely wear underwear, and when I do it's usually something unusual," as Bill Murray so memorably said in "Stripes." Another is: "That's a pose I've never been caught in. Besides, it's not my good side."

Weiner's hesitation suggests that he has been caught in that particular pose, which means we've learned something about the congressman that we didn't need to know. Would the mere existence of such a photo make him a bad person? Unfit for office? Not if the context is two consenting adults, neither of whom is the other's supervisor. Commenter Mitchell Young correctly made that point on my last post. The only scenario that's problematic is if he were sexually harassing the 21-year-old female mentioned in the tweet, but she says that wasn't the case.

For what it's worth, Weiner offered answers to many of the other questions raised about the incident, including why he would follow and exchange messages with a female college student and a porn star. Blitzer's interview covers more ground, but it's worth reading both takes.

Related:

Rep. Anthony Weiner, tweeting with fire

-- Jon Healey

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

 

Comments () | Archives (26)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mthom

How about the fact that if he did Tweet the pic and still continues to stoke the "hoax, hack, photoshop" conspiracy theories then Dan Wolfe the guy called the hacker by left-wing websites will continue to be harassed?

Tom

He called a lawyer for advice, and has not reported this officially to either the Capitol Police or FBI. If any of us got our computer "attacked" from any outside source we would not call a lawyer.

Guillermo

Uh huh. So the evidence is there, and by your own admission is difficult to refute, but...but...you still just...can't...stop...yourself...from declaring that he couldn't have done it anyway. It was...um...a hacker! An evil, devious, mysterious hacker who dunnit! Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket!

"Would the mere existence of such a photo make him a bad person? Unfit for office? Not if the context is two consenting adults, neither of whom is the other's supervisor --- "AND the guy holding the office (among other unsavory things, apparently) has a (D) after his name. But if a Republican tries the same thing, there's gonna be hell to pay!" There, fixed that for you.

Carolyn14

Uh, this citizen is not yet convinced that Weiner is telling the truth about the events surrounding his alleged "briefs."

Apparantly Weiner wants to keep everything "brief" about that incident too. It doesn't look like Weiner's going to just get to rise and walk away from those "briefs" yet.

Perhaps the PD should "initiate" an investigation to find out whether or not those "briefs" belong to Weiner. At least the PD could possible find out whose "briefs" were not contained and why.

I vote for filing his alleged hacked "briefs/account" in the interest of public safety.

Dallas

Wow - republicans are just drooling over this. Literally. Not only do they get to stir up a fake controversy (via the master of deceit, Brietbart himself, as if he has a shred of credibility left), but all you repressed gay conservatives have an excuse to stare at a boner in the name of indignation. I bet you cannot WAIT for the Edwards sex tape to come out so you can cluck in disgust as you watch it over and over and over and over.

Better do whatever you can to keep the story alive. Because after it fades away you'll have to go back to getting your pron on the down low.

Carolyn14

@Dallas,
Just fyi, what "party" Weiner belongs to is irrelevant to me.
I don't party.
Yet, allegedly there may have been a questionable "party" going viral in a public official's briefs.

Zadoc Paet

I love this news cycle, even though I hate this crap. The dude's name is actually Wiener! lol Hacked or not, this dude is winning.
POLL: Do you think that Rep. Wiener really got hacked, or forgot to make a private tweet?
Link: http://www.wepolls.com/p/601701

Mitchell Young

Are we talking a low-rise bikini? Possibly mesh?

Bradford Talamon

Is his weiner going to be put in a lineup or something?

Carolyn14

I hope this isn't a publicity stunt/ploy and Weiner is saying in other words, "there's a party in my briefs and I think you're all invited."

Tom

Hacking a Congressman's computer is a serious crime. It may have been a test to see if they could get deeper into computers of federal officials to obtain classified data.

Any Congressman or Congresswoman who calls an attorney rather than the Capitol Police and FBI, at minimum, lacks common sense and judgement. Very suspect.

JFS_PA

If he's being set up, with Breitbart-level skill, he's in trouble no matter what he says. Because if he says "that's not me," and it turns out that it's a cropped, doctored shot from some sort of stupid frat boy picture from 2o years ago, they can call him a liar. Or let's say it is him, and he sent it to his wife, and his computer was hacked to get it. Do you really want that following you through your political career, either? Or let's say it isn't him, in any way, but he wonders if the culprit is a friend's kid, and wants to figure that out--he ends up sounding like a ninny talking about "I don't know if that's me."

Honestly, if he were in the habit of sending underwear shots to people, wouldn't he have a better answer ready? He's a politician, after all.

JD

Oh, brother, Jon. Are you trying to give Weiner a run for his money in the pathetic excuse department? C'mon..."Would the mere existence of the photo make him a bad person?" That's not the issue, and you know it. The question would be, how does a hacker gets access to that photo? Are you seriously trying to say it's plausible that the "hacker" not only found a way into the Congressman's Twitter account but was also fortunate to come across this particular photo of 'ol Anthony?

Since OJ is in jail, perhaps you can help Mr. Weiner find the Real Hackers.

bcullum

The Congressman can settle this once and for all by simply reporting the "hack" to the Capitol Police and/or the FBI. Then they can conduct the investigation and determine, quite quickly, who sent the photo. If he was the victim of hacking, the perp could be prosecuted for the felony. If he was not hacked, the Congressman could be prosecuted for the felony of making a false report.
It seems that the latter might be the reason no investigation is being pursued. Did the Congressman get caught with his hand in the cookie jar?

Jon Healey

@Guillermo -- This episode does seem to be a political Rorschach test. As I said earlier, though, it appeals to me as a geek, not as a political junkie. So if it were John Boehner, I'd say the same thing. With probably the same bad jokes.

Jon Healey

@JD -- Weiner originally said his FB account was hacked. That's hardly uncommon -- people pick passwords that are easy to remember, which makes them easy to guess. That's a possible source of the photo; people store all sorts of things on FB, concealed with the help of the service's privacy settings. But that's assuming the photo was of Weiner. The guy's pathetic response to the question about the source of the photo suggests that it was, indeed, a photo of him, but it's not a definitive statement.

And not to get personal here, is your FB password different from your other online passwords? For many people, the answer is no. That would explain how someone who gained access to Weiner's FB account could use his yfrog account to send out a tweet in Weiner's name.

LEE

Telling the absolute, unequivocal truth would be utterly refreshing by a politician. Where there's smoke there's fire? Congressman Wiener
has some explaining to do and should be upfront about it.

Dallas

It's amazing to me how many conservative idiots think that hacking someone's computer and hacking someone's twitter account are EXACTLY THE SAME THING and thus Weiner's refusal to escalate this must be some sort of admission of guilt. Seriously? Here's a lesson for you from preskool internets: someone can guess a twitter password without being anywhere near your computer, digitally or physically.

Besides, what would happen if he called for an investigation? "Weiner uses government resources to investigate hacking of a private twitter account."

Guillermo

Um, I see only one guy, Tom, who said "computer" when he should have said "Twitter account." Nice job extrapolating that out into "all you conservative idiots." I'm not even conservative and I can see the fallacies in Weiner's ever-shifting line of explanations. Sounds pretty suspect to me. Not that it really impacts my opinion of Weiner one way or another; I never liked the guy anyway. (And now, I see, he's just gone silent about the whole thing.)

timmy fields

Hey Dallas,
You are why the north won. Moron!

Corey Fereday

This entire scandel seems like too big of a deal. All I see is someone wearing men's briefs. I must say it seems strange that they guy won't say it isn't him though.

WM

He's a perv and obviously a spinner....what else is new with the libs?
Cracks me up though that his name is Weiner and he sent a pic of his weiner....hilarious entertainment from the left again...love it!

Mike

I knew there was someone out there who still bought Weiner's story. The guy can't say whether it's a picture of him or not (is there a man in this world who wouldn't recognize a picture of his own junk?). It was tweeted using TweetDeck, which is the program Weiner was using to tweet that night. And he refuses to call the FBI or police to investigate when they could confirm (or refute) his story in about 15 minutes by figuring out which IP address the offending tweet came from.

Bottom line: he did it, and now he's lying about it. As Jon Stewart said, "If you're sending pictures of your penis as bait for young women to follow you on Twitter, you've got to go."

Guillermo

So, Weiner now admits what any intelligent person who is not wearing ideological blinders had to suspect all along: he did it.

Nothing more to see here, move along.

johnny underscore

Well, at least we know for sure now if Anthony Weiner wears boxers or briefs.

Laughing at Dallas

@Jon Healey: It's a test alright - Are you bright enough to see through obvious lies? I'll let you make what you will of the fact that those bright enough to get it right seemed to overwhelmingly come from one side of the political divide.


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