Thursday, June 02, 2011

Have You Seen Breitbart's Weiner?

For some reason it's often in the medicine cabinet

So, heard the one about the Representative's missing weiner?

A day after doing at least six television interviews, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is reverting to his initial pledge not to dwell on what he calls a "prank."

Weiner informed the journalists camped outside his office this morning that "After almost 11 hours of answering questions, any that anyone wanted to put, today I'm going to have to get back to work doing the job that I'm paid to do."

But Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated the matter is far from settled. "My advice would be to come clean and clear it up," Cantor said this morning on Fox and Friends this morning. "Again, perhaps he's trying, but I know there's a lot of explaining going on but without a lot of clarity."

Truer words were never spoken, Mr. Cantor. And while your friends at FOX News would like to take this time to warn us about internet safety, all the while getting in one more partisan jab at Rep. Weiner's electronic misfortunes, we at the rANT Farm would like to make a plea for some clarity.

And maybe some other questions, besides.

Thanks to excellent reporting from Daily Kos and others -- an effort notably NOT mirrored by the mainstream press, I might add -- we have a timeline of how this happened. Note the progression.

About a month ago: College student Jeanette Nicole Cordova (Seattle, WA) is followed by Rep. Weiner after he sends out an all-call for people to follow. She's not the only one to be followed by him in this fashion. Unlike others, however, she starts getting harassing tweets about Rep. Weiner and young girls.

Her harrasser "started posting about me, saying, 'Oh, the congressman is following school girls,' tweeting it over and over. It was very annoying," Cordova told the Daily News. When the crotch shot appeared online, she said the same Twitter user was the first to comment on it.

Who is that twitter user? That would be Patriotusa76, who, on May 11th, tweets the following:

(Note that he was also asking the same question of Charlie Rangel.)

May 12th: Patriotusa76 sweetens the pot, mentioning "young girls."

Two weeks go by. A lot can happen in two weeks.

May 27th: Entities as yet unknown hack into Rep. Weiner's facebook account, according to him. At some point a link is sent to a questionable picture, supposedly from his Yfrog account, out to one person in particular (one of those young girls Patriotusa76 was on about) but visible to Weiner's entire twitter list.

However, it is possible to place and post images from someone's Yfrog, without knowing their password, as Cannonfire was kind enough to allow someone to do with his own account.

The only way to create a URL-free header is to have someone else send a pic to one's Yfrog address. Milowent did just that. You can see the result: The header now has a blank space beneath Dowson's name.

Why does Yfrog work that way? I don't know. Ask their programmers.

The important point is this: The anomaly in the header indicates that the image was not sent by Weiner. It had to have been sent by someone else.

Not only that. Believe it or not, when an outsider sends a pic to someone else's Yfrog account in this fashion, the action creates a message in the "twitterstream." The message seems to originate with the Twitter account holder -- but it doesn't. It comes from somewhere else -- from someone mailing a picture to the account holder.

May 27th: Patriotusa76 goes into overdrive announcing that Rep. Weiner has tweeted "X-RATED PIC TO FOLLOWER"

May 27th: Rep. Weiner announces over twitter that his Tivo is busted and his Facebook was hacked.

May 28th: One of Breitbart's flying monkeys from Biggovernment asks if it's possible to create a Yfrog account with the exact name as someone else.

May 28th: Seemingly not waiting for his underling's sensible question to be answered, Breitbart goes on the attack.

And writes an article on the situation, replete with clever puns he obviously took the time to carefully compose. (/sarcasm)

Since then, Breitbart has decided to ride this issue for all it's worth, while Rep. Weiner has been both engaging and disengaging the matter with his trademark humor. The wisdom of the latter can be debated.

The presence of the former, however, remains intriguing. Let's look at Andrew Breitbart, shall we?

This is the same person who took Shirley Sherrod's words out of context to make her sound like a racist.

This is the same person whose disciple, James O'Keefe, messed around with footage from ACORN and made them look really bad. Breitbart not only gave him space on Biggovernment to defend himself (now 404ed, hmmmm) and went out of his way to defend O'Keefe, on FOX News, when the boy got his pimp feet held to the fire.

And now, in case you haven't been paying attention, Breitbart's been busted again. He edited a bunch of videos that purport to show that liberals on the street are in favor of having the government shut down the free speech rights of right-leaning media venues. Only, as with O'Keefe's works, the whole story wound up on the cutting room floor.

Now, of course, that may all be just coincidences. Just because the CIA tried to kill Castro doesn't mean every dead dictator America doesn't like was done in by the CIA, too. That's a logical fallacy.

But something I didn't know about Mr. Breitbart: did you know that he changed from liberal to conservative while having an "epiphany" during the Clarence Thomas hearings?

And you do know what Rep. Weiner was doing before all this blew up, right? A little something about Clarence Thomas, his wife, and what she does?

Here are the facts. Thomas' wife earned $700,000 from half the radical right-wing ideologues in Washington. Opposing health care reform was her specialty.

For 13 years, Clarence Thomas didn't disclose a penny of that income, even though he was legally and ethically obligated.

Thomas is trying to conceal a blatant conflict of interest. His family is getting rich off an issue that's very likely to come before the Supreme Court.


Clarence Thomas shouldn't hide the truth behind stalling tactics. Stand with me today and demand he publicly release his financial disclosure immediately.

As my colleague at op-ed news, Dennis Kaiser, points out, the pressure on Thomas -- and support of healthcare -- could explain why the mass media seems to be going after the poor Rep. and his namesake with such, ahem, vigor. Who can forget how excited Wolf Blitzer seemed while asking Weiner if that photo was of him, or not?

But a better question might be what precipitated this attack on Rep. Weiner's integrity and honor? And, better yet, who did it?

I'd ask Patriotusa76, but since being exposed on Dailykos his twitter account seems to have vanished.

And now, just as I'm writing this, a number of emails between Breitbart and Patriotusa76 have come to light, via the Smoking Gun. (h/t Justin Elliot at Salon) No word on who leaked them, yet, but it would appear that Mr. Wolfe has some explaining to do -- especially to Mr. Breitbart, who seems to be demanding an explanation for this bullshit.

Come out, come out wherever you are 'Dan Wolfe' @patriotUSA76! Stop hiding behind anonymity! Own up to your role & motivation.

Is there a real 'Dan Wolfe' @PatriotUSA76 or has someone for months elaborately pretended to be? #Weinergate gets more confusing!

Lookin' for some clarifying data from @patriotusa76. Call me. I'm listed. Article coming by 2pm EDT @BigGovt

Unless, of course, Dan Wolfe is just a smokescreen, cobbled together as a Fire And Forget Missile for the purposes of embarrassing someone, given a fake motivation for doing so, and then cut loose by way of a leaked email or two to The Smoking Gun while his creator (or someone in on the joke) publicly fumes that the goose that laid the golden egg seems to have flown the pond.

Or maybe this is what it seems to be. As TSG notes:

As the Weiner story began to spread over the weekend--and detractors started accusing him of somehow hacking Weiner’s accounts--Wolfe balked when Breitbart sought to arrange a conference call to discuss how to further exploit and advance “Weinergate.” In e-mails sent from his Yahoo account, Wolfe asked, “Why does he need to speak with me for this?” and “I’m just not sure why he needs to talk to me. Why is talking necessary?”

Now, if you had, as explained above, sent a fake photo post to Rep. Weiner's twitter by way of the Yfrog backdoor, or actually hacked into his facebook, would you want to get any further involved than just sending forward the info to someone who would use it (Breitbart) and then asking if he could use the goods or not? Especially if, as he said, there were "more"?

Either way, money's good that we're looking for real dick, here. The question is who, and why.

But what should no longer be a question is whether Rep. Weiner sent this picture to a young lady so she could marvel at his magnificent, if covered, penis. The mass media needs to explain, in no uncertain terms, that the story is a different one than what they've been presenting. It's not a question of the Rep's guilt, but a question of why Yfrog hasn't fixed this backdoor, and why they let a serial hoaxer like Breitbart come on their programs to push a fishy story with a clear trail of questionability.

But then, I guess we have the Birther model, and a slow news day, to thank for that.


Blogger J. Edward Tremlett said...

Of interest

It is just possible that Breitbart is playing a really cunning game here. It is also possible, as this blogger suggests, that he was just the middleman in a scandal that wasn't. But will be get on the television and rescind his suspicions about Weiner?

4:25 PM  

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