Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bretibart Blogger Dan Riehl Baselessly Accuses Weiner's Spokesperson of "Lying"

I've already wrote about why I think it's very likely that Representative Anthony Weiner's twitter account was hacked (though, obviously, the facts are still coming out). But here's some further evidence backing up the claim that Breitbart's bloggers are, predictably, doing an incredibly sloppy job covering the story and trying to use it to attack Weiner.

On Big Journalism, Dan Riehl claimed that Anthony Weiner's spokesperson "lied" twice to the New York Post. However, this claim of "lying" was based only on Riehl's preconcieved notions of what happened. Here's the first claim that Riehl says is a "lie:"
Here’s the first [emphasis Riehl's]:
The tech-savvy congressman saw the picture almost immediately. He had been tweeting about a hockey game just a few minutes earlier.
An analysis of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter timeline has already been done here at Big Government that clearly shows Weiner’s Twitter account had been publicly silent for 3 hrs. and 24 mins. prior to the Tweeting of the inappropriate image. Consequently, there was no Tweet about a hockey game “just a few minutes earlier.” Therefore, that statement simply isn’t true.
Riehl's claim is that it was a "lie" because Weiner didn't delete the picture "immediately" and hadn't been posting about hockey a few minutes before the picture was posted. Here's the problem. Riehl assumes that the claim that he had been watching the hockey game shortly beforehand refers to the time that the photo was posted; however, an equally and perhaps better way of reading the comment is that it meant that he had been tweeting about hockey shortly before "seeing" the tweet, since the previous setence was: "The tech-savvy congressman saw the picture almost immediately." So there's no reason to believe, unless one has already made up their mind, that Weiner hadn't been tweeting about hockey shortley before seeing the tweet. Furthermore, the term "immediately" is purely subjective. True, it wasn't deleted within minutes, but it was deleted within a few hours and wasn't allowed to fester in his Twitter stream for days.

The second claim Riehl said was a "lie:"
Rep. Weiner’s spokesman then falsely claims that after removing the image in question, Weiner joked about the incident a mere 15 minutes later. Again, from the Post:
Weiner pulled the shot himself, but not before it had been retweeted and screen-grabbed by several followers. Weiner, a voracious user of Twitter, wrote a humorous response about 15 minutes later.

In fact, on his Twitter account, Weiner appeared to dissemble and bumble about for over an hour before firing off the tweet about his Facebook account being hacked. Here’s a recreation of the timeline, starting with the Tweet Weiner claims was sent by an alleged hacker and ending with the “FB Hacked” tweet.
Again, the claim that it was a "lie" was based on the idea that the reference point was when the photo was posted. Again, an equally plausible reference point was the time that Weiner first saw the photo. In that case, Riehl has no evidence to justify his claim that it was a "lie" that Weiner joked about the tweet 15 minutes after seeing it.

The sloppy schmournalists at Breitbart's sites are always happy to accuse people of "lying" without bothering to look for alternative explanations. If they were actually committed to finding the actual facts, they would not be so sloppy.

Update: Weiner was lying. I stand corrected.


  1. I'm so tired of anyone even paying attention to this type of bs. That the constant stream of dishonest absurdity that Breitbart peddles is even considered interesting in a political context is embarrassing.

  2. Of course they are's what Breitbart lives for...lie and smear people. How in hell did O'Keefe get 501C3 status for this smutty operation?

  3. Breitbrt, Loesch and Hoft.. what a swell group of people! I see that Hoft is busy displaying any younger females information that he finds on Weiner's twitter lists.. i wonder what the great feminist Loesch thinks about that? Dragging innocent females into this mess just because they happen to be following a elected officials twitter feed?

    Maybe some checking needs to be done on who is following the three stooges listed above's twitter and facebook pages?