What I still haven’t learned from Weinergate

I didn't accuse Breitbart of hacking or naming the photo recipient. And I still don't regret defending her

Topics: Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., Andrew Breitbart,

What I still haven't learned from WeinergateAnthony Weiner and Andrew Breitbart

The news that Rep. Anthony Weiner now admits sending a crotch shot to a 21-year-old college student via Twitter, as well as having cybersexual relationships with five other women over the last three years, shouldn’t surprise me. But it did. As I wrote last week, I now promise never to again give a male politician the benefit of the doubt when he’s accused of sexual idiocy, not merely messing around, but in a particularly reckless way.

I’ve heard that Andrew Breitbart mentioned me when he took over Weiner’s press conference today. But Weiner’s confession doesn’t change anything I wrote here: I always acknowledged Weiner could be lying about the story, but when the tweet’s intended recipient denied having any kind of sexual relationship with him, I believed her, and I said so (I did this on Twitter, by the way). Despite what Breitbart claims, I never accused him or his journalistic empire of “hacking,” fabricating the Tweet, or naming the woman in question. You can read my Twitter stream here. But given Breitbart’s role in propagating the Shirley Sherrod is a racist story (when the speech in question showed her to be profoundly anti-racist) as well as James O’Keefe’s ACORN “sting,” (which featured “highly selective editing,” according to attorneys general in California and Brooklyn, N.Y.), I thought it was right to give a 21-year-old college student the benefit of the doubt. The smear job conservative bloggers engaged in, publishing her name, photos and details of her personal and academic life, was disgusting, and I don’t apologize for saying so. Weiner said today he sent the lewd photo as a “joke,” and that she was not one of the six women he’d had cyber-I-don’t-know-what with, and the young woman continues to deny knowing, let alone having any kind of cybersexual relationship, with Weiner.



There are still oddities about Breitbart’s original story. He distanced himself from the Twitter informant said to be his original source, @patriotusa76, who Big Journalism blogger Lee Stranahan formally pronounced “a liar and a manipulator.” Then @patriotusa76 gave a paranoid interview and deleted his account with Twitter.

In the end, though, Breitbart was right about Weiner. Since he appears to need my validation, I will say one thing: Maybe this means he learned from the Sherrod mess, and got his facts straight before publishing this time. 

Video shot by Salon’s Teresa Cotsirilos of Breitbart talking about Salon and Joan Walsh at Monday’s press conference:

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>