Opinion: Rep. Anthony Weiner denies he sent link to photo of a man in underpants
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Anthony Weiner cannot confirm nor deny that the crotch shot is of him, but the New York congressman has finally gone on the record to say that he did not send the link of the image to a 21-year-old female student via Twitter.
‘I did not send that photo. My system was hacked. I was pranked,’ Weiner told ABC News on Wednesday.
‘Somebody sent a picture of a wiener from Weiner’s account. I’ve been hearing that joke since I was 5,’ the Democrat said, acknowledging the endless barrage of puns levied against him in what is being deemed Weiner-gate.
The controversy began Friday when a lewd photo of a man in gray underwear appeared on Weiner’s Twitter page directed to Gennette Cordova, a student at Western Washington University [Correction: a previous version of this story said Cordova attended Washington State]. Cordova is one of the 198 people that the congressman follows on the social network. She has since deleted her original Twitter account and relaunched a new one.
The tweet in question was quickly deleted from Weiner’s page but not before Dan Wolfe (who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a ‘Conservative Reagan Republican’) retweeted the message adding ‘Anthony Weiner tweets X RATED PIC TO FOLLOWER!’
Weiner’s defenders have gone to great lengths to discredit Wolfe using a several screen shots from a variety of websites to track the curious history of this tempest in a tweet. Others have noted that Wolfe has been obsessively tweeting about the congressman, 287 times since April.
Meanwhile, some bloggers have noticed that Weiner, who is married, recently made reference to an appearance he was going to make on television and tweeted what time it would air in Seattle -- the city Cordova is from. Of note is the fact that she retweeted that message before she deleted her original Twitter account, making Dan Riehl ask, ‘Why would Weiner be mindful of the time in Seattle'? Will America finally get to the bottom of the mystery of who the man in the underpants is? Perhaps, but right now the representative is keeping his mouth zipped on whether the photo is of his... you know.
‘I’m reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don’t know to what extent our system was hacked,’ Weiner said.
She also released a statement Sunday, soon after the scandal began to spread. An excerpt:
I have seen myself labeled as the “Femme Fatale of Weinergate,” “Anthony Weiner’s 21-year-old coed mistress” and “the self-proclaimed girlfriend of Anthony Weiner.”
All of this is so outlandish that I don’t know whether to be pissed off or amused, quite frankly. This is the reality of sharing information online in the 21st century. Things that I never imagined people would care about are now being plastered all over blog sites, including pictures of me from when I was 17 and tweets that have been taken completely out of context. I tweeted once (it was reported that I said it twice) that “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepWeiner is up to.”
I am a 21-year-old college student from Seattle. I have never met Congressman Weiner, though I am a fan. I go to school in Bellingham where I spend all of my time; I’ve never been to New York or to DC. The point I am trying to make is that, contrary to the impression that I apparently gave from my tweet, I am not his girlfriend. Nor am I the wife, girlfriend or mistress of Barack Obama, Ray Allen or Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the fact that I have made similar assertions about them via Twitter.
-- Tony Pierce