Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Breitbart's conspiracy fantasy falls apart

Over the past few days, Andrew Breitbart has hopped in front of various cameras and microphones to spin a paranoid fantasy about a "Get Breitbart" conspiracy allegedly involving -- or masterminded by -- congressman Anthony Weiner. He told Sean Hannity the following:
But I certainly did not like that he [Weiner] double-downed on the "this is about Breitbart" problem. I mean, if he's going to come up here and take some form of culpability here, he was party to a campaign for 72 hours that weekend to allow for the left-wing blogosphere including the DailyKos to accuse me of being the hacker.
If Weiner made any reference to Breitbart during this time period, I've not been able to discover it. I've spoken to two writers for The Daily Kos who, during this period, wrote stories about Breitbart's shady sources. Neither of them had ever communicated with Weiner.

(As for your truly: I've never knowingly communicated with anyone connected with Anthony Weiner.)

The Kos stories about Breitbart's sources were motivated in large measure by Breitbart's own "tweets" expressing doubt about his main informant, whose real name he did not know. For some time, the informants had been involved in a concerted group effort to cyberstalk and harass various individuals who followed Weiner's twitter feed.

It is worth noting that one of the Kos writers was previously the subject of false stories run on Breitbart's site.

Before Weinergate occurred, Andrew Breitbart rarely appeared on my radar. (As readers know, the "new media" figures I most despise are Arianna Huffington and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, pictured here as Carmen Miranda.) Although Breitbart's name showed up in several previous posts, his hijinx rarely seemed very interesting.

Frankly, I should have paid more attention to Andrew Breitbart. I did not appreciate the depth of his belief in outlandish conspiracy theories; at times, he makes Alex Jones seem rational. Example:
America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but simply shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.
Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television. For decades the left understood the importance of education, art, and messaging. Oprah Winfrey gets it. David Geffen gets it. President Barack Obama gets it. Bono gets it. Even Corey Feldman gets it. But the right doesn't. For decades the right felt the Pentagon and the political class and simple common sense could win the day. They were wrong.
Thus, if Oprah Winfrey ever says anything Breitbart finds disagreeable, we should blame godless Bolshevism.

Alex Pareene, in Salon, paints a picture of a dangerous man:
He gets defensive about his drinking, the review copies of his new book revealed that he's signed on to the idiotic conspiracy theory about Bill Ayers ghostwriting "Dreams From My Father," his sites are still smearing innocent people with deceptive videos as of a month ago...
Let's take a closer look at the Bill Ayers conspiracy theory:
In a chapter titled, "Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Revolutionaries," Breitbart discusses the rise of conservative "citizen journalists" and purports to enumerate their various accomplishments. Apparently unfamiliar with the words "proved" and "reasonable," Brietbart lists among citizen journalist accomplishments that they "proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Barack Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father, was ghostwritten by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers."
This blog has looked into the Ayers allegation before and found it to be based on nonsense. (Lord knows I wanted it to be true.) The Ayers-as-ghostwriter conspiracy theory originated with one Jack Cashill: has already offered this rebuttal to Cashill's earlier work. Cashill had attempted to use a piece of software called the Signature Stylometric System, designed to inquire into long-running authorship controversies, such as the ones involving William Shakespeare. The author of that program countered by noting that the same tool, used in the same way, found an even closer "match" between a text by Ayers and a text by Bill Clinton.
Greg Gelembiuk, the student who discovered the career-ending serial plagiarisms of Gerry Posner, determined that the same person wrote Obama's two books; in both works, the punctuation pattern does not match that found in Ayers' texts.

Breitbart's recklessness, narcissism, rages, paranoia, and sheer hubris are evident to all. He is not like Rush Limbaugh, an obnoxious individual who nevertheless knows when to control himself. Breitbart is destined to bring himself down; the overconfidence he now radiates will prove to be his undoing.

Breitbart, Moulitsas, Huffington: Meet the New Media. It's worse than the old media.

Before you say it: I argued -- and still argue -- that Weiner confessed falsely to the events of May 27th because he wanted to put the scandal behind him quickly, and he wanted to forestall Breitbart's threatened release of a very explicit photograph (which came out anyways). Am I guilty of pushing a conspiracy theory (as the National Review avers)?

No. Breitbart's threat, which is a matter of record (see the post below), does not constitute a conspiracy of any kind. Let's accord that much-abused word a reasonable exactitude of definition.
dickhead Weiner broke the LAW DumbF*ck! What part of "he broke the law" don't you understand?
I think we all expected that "insurance" photo would eventually come out anyway. I didn't think it would be so soon, however. It'll be interesting to see what happens next, now that Breitbart no longer holds that power over Weiner.
While I am curious about the asterisk instead of a 'u' what is more telling is that both Dumb and Fuck are capitalized (even when made into OneWord for added zest) while dickhead is not Dickhead nor DickHead.

Lastly the quote "he broke the law," forget about which part is hard to understand.. what I don't understand is who Anon11:24 is quoting.

If this is the best that the new sock puppet softwares can produce, I want my HB Grey money back!!!
oh wait he broke the LAW

...I thought he broke the law
(photographing one's junk is against the law?) or didn't, but see, that puts it all in perspective. Wow have I been a dumbF*ck! In fact you can say that I w*s o*t *f my fucking m*nd wh*n l**king at th*se tea-bagging psychopathic l**sers who c*nt tell a fucking c*nt from a c*nt

I will also bet anyone that Breitbart is no fan of the c*nt.
He has a lot more experience with republican closeted log cabin don't-ask'don't-tel-my-wife dick.

Wow you really want to parse words to protect Rep. Weiner.

Rep. Weiner was party to a campaign for 72 hours that weekend to allow for the left-wing blogosphere including the DailyKos to accuse Brietbart of being the hacker.

Rep. Weiner knew the truth, he tried to cover it up within minutes of sending the tweet wit the link to the image!

He began a pattern of lies to the public and the media. All he had to do was tell the truth on May 27, 28, 29, 30, 31... you get the pattern.

So YES, that makes Rep. Weiner a party to the campaign of conspiracy fantasy againt Breitbart.

You may have talked to two bloggers there but did you read the Diaries? Those folks are just crazy bat nuts. Many just stopped mid-rant when the facts began to drip out last Sunday.

So, what are we up to 4 or 5 women that have been victims of Rep. Weiner? There are more to follow.

"So, what are we up to 4 or 5 women that have been victims of Rep. Weiner? There are more to follow."

VICTIMS??? Joe (Anon1202 joe not real Joe), blow it out your ass as soon as you can unplug that giant stuck.

where were all these self-righteous fucks when Lewis Libby admitted what he liked to do with little girls (not women like these twitter VictimS... but girls)

so Wiener too some pics of his wiener. BFD. did he take pics of 6 year old girls?? did he fuck men in airport bathrooms? where all these self righteous fucks when Dr. W. David Hager sodomized the nation over & over again? Maybe Guckert if for rent again these days and some of the more closeted (and shocked by wiener) GOP secret fags can fuck it out of their system with Gannon's Talons and all... hypocritical greedy smarmy fucks. And the dupes who fall for it every time, ought to be lobotomized for the sake of the nation.
Weiner did complain about Breitbart during the Wolf Blitzer interview. He said "CNN's putting this Breitbart guy on and he's saying the most outlandish things." It was hardly a "get Breitbart" campaign. I'm no fan of Breitbart and his persecution complex but I have to point this out because Weiner was not telling the truth and was shifting the blame in that interview.
Weiner was a party to no "get Brietbart" campaign. To suggest otherwise is pure fantasy.

"Victims" of Weiner? I expect that sort of talk from ultra-feminists of the "vagina=good, penis=evil" school of thought -- the kind of women who equate heterosexual sex with rape. (I had a run-in with one of those creatures the other day. Infuriating -- as always.) But this statement is unreal. NO WOMAN IN HUMAN HISTORY ever has been or ever will be a "victim" of consensual cyberchat or phonesex.

You don't like the phonesex? Hang up the phone. You don't like sexualized cyber chat? Log off.

There is no hint that any of these women said "How DARE you!" before hanging up. Instead, they played their own parts in this.

If a man texts a woman "Wanna fuck?" and the woman texts back "Yeah, let's fuck" -- and then the woman and man describe the desired act in detail -- is the woman a VICTIM?

Anyone who answers "Yes" is either nuts or living in the 19th century.

Let's not get into the wording of chats. I've known both men and women who are turned on by very rough and even degrading sexual fantasies. That is THEIR business. And it remains their business even if they act out rough, degrading, violent scenarios. The only things that matter are 1. mutual consent and 2. respect for the age of consent.

I am a little surprised that three women have come out with all the gory details. But then again, this is a new generation that believes that getting on television is the ultimate virtue.

The porn actress particularly surprised me. They used to be discreet. Most porn stars and highly-paid hookers have "celebrity" stories which they could tell, but don't.
I'm really surprised at the number of commenters who have stopped by here to gloat as if they somehow had some part in the "Taking Down of the Congressman." And I'm beginning to think that perhaps they did; we had the gotcha, now we have the echo chamber. I mean think about it. When it became clear, as any sensible person knew from the get go, that there were no weapons of mass destruction did we few Cassandras run from blog to conservative blog, trumpeting our superlative acumen, staying up late at night to closely monitor the opinions of those who did not share our beliefs, then leaping in to scream, "naNAnanaNA" like some kind of two year old. Or did we just hang our head at the sorrowful, God awful future that lay before us all and get on wearily with our lives. But here we have a set of people who's lives seem to be empty enough to climb down into this odd corner of the blogosphere and spend hours of valuable time arguing about dickshots--Dickshots! of all things. Where were they when the real sorrows of this age occurred.

I'm beginning to think comments here is even more telling than the circus that has gone before. These guys seem to be part of a coordinated campaign and it's beginning to have a whiff of Karl Rove about it... Not the blackmaiiling part, after all blackmailing politicians and their hangers on (the mafia's rumored shots a crossdressing J. Edgar Hoover for example) has a long and illustrious career. Previously, though, with rare exceptions (Parnell comes to mind) most of the blackmailing was behind the scenes, leaving the public out of the dirty dealings.

Why go public in this case? Well, a universal warning, I suppose, to any Democrat who would dare consider taking Clarence Thomas's name in vain. In addition it has that touch of Rovian sadism that makes me think that this is not only an effective political tool but a private source of delight. Other than that I'm at a loss other than to imagine that the apparatus of the State might not be available to the conspirators. But the guys behind this are seasoned pros. They can access the media (who would run something single sourced unless a very good insider told you that there was a golden story here.) Think about it. No one seem to bother with the fact that the girl denied any personal acquaintance with the Representative. They knew they could go with the story because they had already been assured there was, so to speak, a money shot.

A word of warning to the midnight typing brigade, however. I have now seen Representative Weiner's package and it is, I suspect unlike your own, quite impressive.
Hey Joseph, hold on! What Joe did was a laughable imitation of what you guys think is feminism. At least I was lmao at his attempt (to Joe-Anonymous---nice whipstitch on that hand sewn to forehead).

As for the women coming out with the bridezilla/housewives/realityshowfreaks generation. Ugh. totally agree. Where were all these F*ckHeads (note fashionable Anon-styling) when Gannon was having sleepovers in the White House? Not to mention, why is Vitter still in office when he, in fact, did break the law hiring hookers to dress him up in diapers? The DC Madam he used to procure his illegal activities was convicted and is dead now! What do you Anonymo*s Breitbart fanboys have to say about dickhead scofflaw Vitter still being in office? What part of that do you not understand?
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For what it is worth, I've never wanted any politician to resign over a sex scandal. Not even Foley. I suppose the airport bathroom thing went over the line, because that was a public place.

Guys, don't worry about the commenters. This has been the most sheer fun I've had in ages.

Usually, high traffic attracts asshole commenters. The result is really depressing. Some years back, what seemed like several trillion 911 "CD nuts" came here to convert me to their gospel. For some reason, they thought it was important to have me on their side, and they decided that insult was the best conversion method. My stats were great, but the blog was a chore to do.

This is what a lot of people don't understand. If you're an unpaid blogger, you usually don't want TOO much traffic. A blog is a cabaret act, not a football game -- you want an intimate setting.

In past times, when traffic spiked up, the results were miserable. On this occasion, though, things were great. People got SO pissed off, and they jumped to all sorts of conclusions about my motives.

Look, do you expect me to write about Sarah Palin's "Paul Revere" gaffe, the way hundreds of others have done? Jeez, that's no fun. Now, if I could think of a way to DEFEND her view of history -- THAT would be a kick.

Imagine a bygone century: A torch-wielding mob is screaming "Burn the witch! Burn the witch!" If you have the blogging spirit, you want to be the little guy marching the other way who shouts "DON'T burn the witch." If a crowd joins your side, that's your cue to turn around and say: "Folks, let's rethink this witch thing..."

The witch is incidental. The mob is the important factor. Always oppose the mob.

God, this has been fun.
idea that the RW focused on BREITBART as the source of the allegedly faked tweet is just ridiculous - now I am SURE some random people suggested that, but saying it could have been faked does not mean it was faked, and does not mean it was faked by ANDREW BREITBART.

based on the evidence disclosed since monday, i don't think one can continue to suggest it was hoaxed. in fact, you'd be insane to do so. you'd have to ignore way too much compelling evidence (1) he took the picture himself and sent it to someone else before, (2) he was exchanging risque DMs with other females on twitter, (3) AW's story is consistent with wolfe's claim that the tweet was only up for a few seconds, (4) the other photos that are confirmed that AW sent to other women have identical EXIF data as the dickpic, its just from a different blackberry than the government-issued one, likely a personal one.

the right wingers now intend to prove that AW did dirty talking with girls under age 18. if that happened, i think that has to be it for weiner. everything up to now was not illegal, just incredibly stupid.
milowent, let's look at your compelling evidence:

"(1) he took the picture himself and sent it to someone else before..."

I'm not denying that. But so? It just proves that he had sent the shot out before.

We know that one of the women had already given up the goods (at least some of the goods) to the conspirators, because Dan Wolfe said that photos were made available to a "top5" blogger on May 12, and Mike confirmed this, saying that the blogger was Drudge.

We may also fairly infer that they had formed a plan as to how best to use the photos. How can we infer this? Because Drudge did not publish.

All told, I think point 1 backs up my argument.

"(2) he was exchanging risque DMs with other females on twitter,"

Words are private. Images are not. Furthermore, Weiner knew that political enemies had targeted Gennette. Gennette herself said this, in her most recent interview. She also confirmed -- and I trust her absolutely -- that she had never had an inappropriate exchange with Weiner.

So point 2 amounts to nothing.

(3) AW's story is consistent with wolfe's claim that the tweet was only up for a few seconds,

But not consistent with the screen cap, which says that it had been up for 27 minutes.

The fact that Weiner stipulated what Breitbart wanted him to say -- in the face of Breitbart's own evidence! -- goes a long ways toward proving my basic point.

"(4) the other photos that are confirmed that AW sent to other women have identical EXIF data as the dickpic, its just from a different blackberry than the government-issued one, likely a personal one."

With the "dickpic" as you call it, the only data indicating a blackberry is one reference to RIM. So this is evidence of exactly nothing.

It is clear that they were trying to get Weiner on the underaged charge. But that was always a lie, as the Mediaite post about "Betty" and "Veronica" demonstrates.

THAT said, it is true -- as I stipulated -- that we never really know about the person on the other end of a cyber chat. Women (and girls) (and men and boys) lie about their ages.

What is happening here, milo, is what happened to Bill Clinton after Monica. The righties went into a frenzy: "We were right about THIS, and that means we were right about EVERYTHING! Clinton really does smuggle drugs! He killed those boys on the train tracks..."

People see through that.
Oh, milo -- about your EXIF point. I forgot to mention that if the conspirators got the photo evidence as early as May 12 (perhaps because one of Weiner's online dalliances was a ringer all along) -- then the EXIF argument is immaterial.
I agree with milo on this one. It seems that we're now in confirmation bias territory.
re the screecap - i'm told the twitter timing automatically updates, so it was on his screen for a while (or a tab) before he took the screencap. this is consistent with fact that if it was up for 27 minutes, others would have seen it. but tweets within 27 minutes noted it had been deleted.

re exif data - it matches a blackberry torch 9800 exactly.

i agree that the RW won't stop until they claim to have proved the underage stuff.

they don't want him to resign out of outrage - its about political victory only.
milo, I wonder if you're talking about different EXIF data than I've seen. Perhaps a link...?

More importantly, I fail to see how the metadata matters in the slightest.

If Dan and/or Mike had the pics from one of the women -- the Vegas lady, say -- on May 12, then THERE's your EXIF data.

As for the 27 minutes -- are you gonna force me to fire up Twitter AGAIN? Have a heart, dude. You know I hate Twitter.

Then again, it just doesn't matter. If Dan pounced on it right away, that could also be taken in exactly the same way we took it before -- an indication of hinkeyness.

My argument is simple. Yet no matter how many times I state it, people misconstrue it. Once again:

Yes, people send erotic photos to other people all the time. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, are doing that very thing right now.

It has been established that Weiner had practiced that appalling habit. But he did so via email, to women he had gotten to know and whom he thought he could trust.

The record is clear that he (wisely) used email (which is private). The record is also clear that before the interaction became sexualized, there were days (or at least hours) of non-sexual communication between him and those other women. The horniness factor crept in as the trust factor rose. That's how these matters usually proceed.

The photos themselves, sent over time, functioned as a sort of striptease, going from the nondescript to the naughty to...YIKES.

This process is all perfectly believable, especially when we realize that he was home alone a lot while Huma was traveling the world. A lot.

So THAT part I buy. Hell, I suspected that something like that was the case all along -- as the record shows. (The erection shot did come as a surprise, admittedly.)

But I have never met anyone -- ANYONE -- who would send a dick shot out of the blue to someone he did not know and whose reaction he could not gauge, using Twitter (which is NOT private, at least where images are concerned.) And he did this knowing that enemies were watching -- and had, in fact, been keeping an eagle eye on Gennette Cordova.

(I trust her absolutely. Everything she said in her most recent interview conforms with what I am saying here.)

Sorry, but I've never met anyone who would flash the dickpic under THOSE circumstances.

And my experience is not so very cloistered, you know. Hell, I've met Ron Jeremy. Even HE wouldn't be that crazy. And he's the kind of guy who, if he met Moses, would introduce himself with the words: "Hi! I'm Ron Jeremy and I've got a huge dick!"

(By weird coincidence, he (Ron, not Moses) and I ran into each other and talked for around ten minutes. This was, what, maybe twelve years ago. One of the funniest guys who ever lived. However, I ended up kind of angry at him. Long story, that.)

So yeah, I still refuse to believe a proposition that is entirely contrary to my not-inconsiderable experience. People are acting as though this stance is unfathomably weird. Meanwhile, Andrew Breitbart -- who apparently thinks that Oprah Winfrey is part of a Bolshevik plot -- is now considered a responsible part of the media establishment.

Moral of the story: If you're on the right, you are ALLOWED to say weird things.
There's no way Weiner's lying when he says he sent the pic and was telling the truth when he said he was hacked:

1. Weiner wouldn't have much to lose if there actually was a hack and he decided to prosecute at this point. I can't believe there could be anything worse that could come out. He could do what Letterman did when he was being blackmailed over an affair.

2. If the picture was put up there by a hacker that would have told Weiner that the right wingers probably had more of his secret pics (including the ones that show his face) and I think he would have been less likely to think he could get away with lying. And he was clearly lying in the interviews when it came to Ginger Lee even if you think the hack thing is true.

3. Weiner IS the type of personality who would think it was ok to send a picture of his dick to somebody without warning, like Brett Farve did. Weiner was a rock star and they were his groupies so he thought he had free reign. In the chat logs he brings up sex in a conversation about the fucking Daily Show. It does seem curious that he would send it to the woman while he was already under pursuit by right wingers who were trying to find illicit relationships, but I think he got off on the danger of it.

4. He said the dick pic was "part of a joke". He never got a chance to send his punchline and when you hear it you will suddenly realize you're wrong about still thinking he was hacked.

As far as the time discrepancy you pointed out between the yfrog and the tweet Patriot's tweets suggested that he deleted the pic right away but then it took him a while to delete the yfrog account. I think he didn't understand how yfrog worked.
1. Weiner has already engaged in extensive direct messaging with Cardova. I believe her that she never had sent him suggestive messages, but she reported their online conversations as being very casual. Just because she never sent him suggestive comments does not mean that he didn't (mistakenly) conclude that she might be a receptive.

2. Yes, it was essentially a dick pic, but it was a clothed "gag" (stuffed pants) "dick pic". It clearly has been demonstrated that Weiner can be reckless and show incredibly bad judgement (I find it amazing that after the scandal broke, he apparently e-mailed with Ginger Lee, asking her to lie and offering the services of his PR team - what the hell was he thinking when he sent such texts?). Weiner has said that he thought of the clothed "gag" pic as a joke - and that seems plausible to me. This is someone who pushes boundaries, and that he sent a clothed "gag" pic of this sort, in a moment of bad judgement, is entirely plausible. Plus judgement (in an already reckless individual) can be further impaired by alcohol/drugs, and we don't know if he had anything on board at the time (I'll credit someone else with raising this last point - it's something that hadn't occurred to me previously, but plausible).
Anon: I wish you had not posted anonymously. I was about to delete your comment, even though it was well argued.

1. Weiner would have had a lot to lose. He would have had to tell investigators the truth about the other photos. They would have scoured his laptop -- and might have come across stuff even worse than what has come out so far. (Like his porn stash. Most men have a porn stash.)

Should he have known that the erection shot was going to come out anyways? Perhaps. Perhaps he was waiting for to hear from a blackmailer.
Or he may have sent out the underwear shot to a woman who never received the more explicit shot. So he may have been hoping that the worst of the shots had not fallen into enemy hands.

Any number of possibilities exist. Sheer panic explains much.

2. I've already basically answered this.

As for the interviews with Ginger Lee -- well, what do they come to? A guy who was cyber-sexing told the woman "Keep this private." That's pretty much standard procedure. I mean, married and unmarried people do cybersex all the time, and it is always understood that your partner is supposed to be discreet.

Weiner never asked her to break the law. Reporters were asking about something that was not (and STILL is not) any of their business.

What puzzles me is why she DIDN'T keep it all private. A girl in her world who gets a rep as a tattler -- well, it's not good for business.

But in our present culture, the desire for 15 minutes of fame may outweigh long-range planning.

3. I had to look up Brett Favre, which demonstrates how much of a shit I give when it comes to team sports. But in my initial readings (here:, it seems that a guy hooked on booze and vicodin became convinced that a noted beauty -- someone who was such a superfan of the Jets that she eventually joined the organization -- was "into" him. She clearly was not. He clearly misread her. In this case, there had been a number of communications, and somewhere in his drug-addled noggin, he formed the absurd notion that her heart said "oui oui" even though her mouth said "non non." Basically, we're talking about Pepe le Pew on the 50 yard line with a bottle of pain pills in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other.

That's not Weiner. Weiner was just a guy who, while his wife was off in god-knows-what-part-of-the-world, wanted a little cyber-romance. In all previous occasions, there was a build-up -- he knew that the woman was interested, and he felt he could trust her. And there was privacy.

Even Favre didn't TWEET the damned picture. There are some (NOT me!) who say it was never him.

4. Gennette herself says that the "joke" remark still confounds her. I nodded and smiled when I first heard that bit. Weiner may have confessed to the event of the 27th, but he can't offer a rationale.

By the way, how come nobody is offering an explanation for the photo or photos privately passed around on May 12? Both Dan and Mike attested to their existence, and on this score I find them believable. They had either hacked Weiner's account or one of the women was a ringer.

The fact that they knew so much about Weiner's private world goes some ways toward justifying the presumption of hacking.
Hmmm - this just occurred to me after reading the prior commenter's note - that Weiner said this was "part of a joke", but that Weiner never had a chance to deliver the punchline. Hypothetical scenario that would explain everything (not necessarily correct - but perhaps plausible).

Cardova and Weiner had direct messaged extensively, and this apparently included commiserating about the RW nuts who were tracking Weiner and harassing Cardova (and scrutinizing for indications of an affair).

The RW nuts who were obsessing about Weiner were constantly making taunting comments about his having a small penis and low sexual prowess. This was a constant motif in their twitter feeds. They had even set up a mock Anthony Weiner twitter feed under the handle RepNeedleDick (the profile description begins with "I have an incredibly small penis"), and were constantly posting taunting tweets under that account. I'm sure Weiner and Cardova had messaged about the RepNeedleDick account.

Weiner was known for not taking guff from anyone - he's known for brash acerbic responses to his enemies, often with a nasty funny twist. Yet here he was - sitting there, taking this harassment from these guys. What better way to say f*ck you to them than a tweet to Cardova with a gag stuffed-pants photo implying huge dick size.
[Hit send. Satisfaction. Intend to soon send a follow-up tweet with a punchline (perhaps referencing the tormenters). Whups! Maybe this was a bad move. Take it back, take it back! Delete photo. send tweet implying hacking of account.]

Besides serving as a "f*ck you" to his tormenters (with their constant "small penis size" taunts), the strategy would even have the secondary benefit of testing Cardova's boundaries with an off-color photo "gag" (referencing something they had probably messaged about), that could be depicted as an off-color but innocent joke if she responded negatively (rather than with words indicating that she might be receptive to sexting).

Just as I'm about to add this - noticed your comment Joseph about Ginger Lee.
>well, what do they come to? A guy who was cyber-sexing told the woman "Keep this private."

He's offering the use of his PR people. Potentially this is a legal violation (if we're talking congressional staff). And Weiner's problems (potentially leading to loss of his position) are more from the lying and cover-up than from the sexting itself. With sexting alone, he wouldn't be in half this much trouble (unless it comes out that minors were involved). Texting Ginger Lee (after the scandal began to break), with the language he used (explicit urging to lie - not just a request to keep it private, instructions on how to do the lying - e.g. add "y'alls" for Southern charm, offer of PR team; and creating a paper trail for all of this), shows incredibly poor judgment.
I'll slightly modify my hypothetical scenario.
Weiner: "Last Friday night I tweeted a photo of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle"
So based on this, he didn't actually intend to tweet it. A lot of people have commented (prior to this) about how frequently they tweeted when they intended to DM (by forgetting to add a prefacing "D" to the message). e.g.
But it's still very likely that this was a "joke" intended to reference his RW tormenters, with all their "small penis size" comments (and taunting RepNeedleDick account), while simultaneously (and with plausible deniability) testing Cordova's boundaries/receptiveness. And there's the context of Cordova, in her NYTimes interview, talking about how she and Weiner were messaging about their shared annoyance with the RW nuts harassing him.
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