Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Problem With The Right-Wing's Yellow Journalism on Weinergate

On Friday night, a photo of an erection in shorts was posted on Congressman Anthony Weiner's twitter account, seemingly directed at a woman from Seattle. Weiner posted shortly after telling people that his account was hacked but, unsurprisingly, the goober's from Breitbart's websites are declaring that this is all-but-conclusive proof that Weiner is engaging in scandalous behavior. Unlike a recommended diary at Daily Kos, I don't think that Breitbart photoshopped the photos or that they weren't really posted on Weiner's account. However, I think there are pretty clear reasons to think that the account was hacked.

Basically, the "Weiner is guilty" crowd is arguing for the following idea: Weiner intended to DM (Direct Message) the picture, but accidently sent it publicly. The idea is that it is improbable but not impossible that Weiner would be so sloppy as to send a lewd photo publicly. But the problem with this theory is that EVEN if the message had been sent in a DM, it wouldn't have been private! The photo was posted to RepWeiner's yfrog account. Yfrog is an application that allows you to post photos. It does allow the option of direct messaging: however, any and all of the photos you post on it are publicly available. So even if Weiner sent a DM through his yfrog account, the photo would be available to the public.

At this point the "Weiner posted the photo himself, but meant to DM it" theory becomes completely ridiculous. Because it would mean that he intended to post a lewd photo of himself in a publicly-viewable yfrog account listed under the name RepWeiner. It was already highly implausible that Weiner would be so incompetent as to accidently send a lewd photo publicly but while intending to send it privately, but the idea that he would post a lewd photo under his name in a public forum and then also make the mistake of accidently tweeting it publicly is all-but too implausible to take seriously.

Any honest, sane, ethical purveyors of information will wait for the full facts to come out to make declarations of what ultimately happened; which of course is exactly why the Breitbart bloggers are doing the exact opposite.


  1. As well, we are expected to believe that Anthony Weiner gets involved in a twitter weiner "scandal" only hours after tweeting madly about Clarence Thomas and the "Friday dump"? Too much. This was even written about on Huffpo. Weiner (perhaps incorrectly) was continuing his battle with Thomas by tweeting his complaints about the Thomas financial filings being released as late as possible before a long weekend so as to avoid heavy media scrutiny. This also explains the sarcastic "#thats545inSeattle" business.

  2. You make a good point. And we certainly don't yet know enough to make a conclusion either way. However I think there's one assumption you make that may be incorrect. You state " It does allow the option of direct messaging: however, any and all of the photos you post on it are publicly available."

    But aren't you assuming Weiner knows that all photos on yfrog are public whether you dm them or not? If Weiner didn't know that then he allegedly could have posted the pic on yfrog thinking a dm would be private.

  3. Breitbart should be in jail, instead of concocting bogus 501C3s to collect tax free donations. He is slime.

  4. Boy, you're trying to turn a whole bunch of assumptions into facts here.

    A) It's completely abusrd, you say, that Weiner would have accidentally made a DM public. Even though, you know, tons of people do that. Every day.

    B) It's completely absurd, you say, that Weiner would have meant to post that picture, because surely, without any doubt, a man of his unquestioned savvy would have known that it would still be visible on yfrog.

    Apparently, Weiner is not just a US Congressman, he is also a master of modern technology. Why, he knows every single in and out of these social networking applications.

    He's not at all an out-of-touch middle aged guy, who talks about his Facebook being hacked when a naughty picture gets sent via Twitter.

  5. A few tweets before the Weiner-gate tweet @RepWeiner retweets the same joke about Rex Ryan and Medicare 3 times before getting the hashtag right.

    You are assuming an awful lot about his abilities and knowledge of how Twitter works.

    There is no evidence beyond his say so that he was hacked. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that he wasn't. Any sane ethical person would admit that.

  6. Those arguing that Weiner was hacked have to believe that the hacker didn't change the password, got access to his yfrog account, picked one of the 91 people Weiner followed to tweet to, and used a tasteless but hardly hacker-ific picture of a skinny man in his bvds. Then allowed Weiner to regain control minutes later, and the congressman's Verified Account wasn't immediately shut down, as is Twitter policy during a hack.

  7. Dave, I didn't say it was "absurd" that he would accidentally send a public tweet rather than a DM. I said it was "implausible but not impossible." However, I think the combination of that along with the idea that he would create a photo on a publicly accessible yfrog account under the name "RepWeiner" is extremely unlikely.