If the stranger-than-fiction Anthony Weiner scandal were fiction, the part about Bill Clinton presiding over his wedding ceremony last year would be considered foreshadowing. Whereas “a vast, right-wing conspiracy” allegedly engineered Clinton’s periodic bimbo eruptions, anonymous hackers supposedly made it appear as though the New York City congressman Tweeted a picture of a member of Congress. Who are you gonna believe? The honest politician or your lying eyes?
This much we know: Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account broadcast a snapshot of an excited male in gray underpants last Friday night. Weekend nights disproportionately claim the texts eliciting weekday regret.
Every picture tells a thousand words. But Weiner’s graphic graphic befits the abbreviated world of 140 characters or less. Weiner says it wasn’t him. We don’t know who occupied those gray briefs. We do know that we can categorically rule out Peter North, Tommy Lee, and Animal Kingdom as suspects.
The alleged intended recipient of Weiner’s Tweet is a 21-year-old undergraduate living in the Pacific Northwest. The actual recipients were the Congressman’s 45,000 Twitter followers.
The unclean photo was quickly scrubbed from Weiner’s account and the co-ed shut down her Facebook page and Twitter account. Alas, every exhibitionist’s dream of a voyeur comes true as a nightmare. The narcissistic lawmaker and the youthful object of his alleged aggressive affections had their online admirers. Twittericans preserved the unsightly image and a previous Tweet from the undergraduate declaring the married congressman her “boyfriend.”
If a cabal has indeed framed Weiner, it was an elaborate set-up involving at the least the collaboration of a 21-year-old woman, an ingenious computer hacker, and a bawdy male model. That’s one possible explanation of the scandal. Another one is that a 46-year-old tech-challenged egomaniac mistook a text message to a comely college girl for a Tweet to a gawking public.
What seems most likely may not prove to be true. Weiner may be victim and not offender. But it would help the congressman’s cause if he imitated a politician whom he may never have envisioned as a role model. When Sarah Palin’s email account was hacked by the son of a Democratic politician, she brought in law enforcement. The online intruder was arrested, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to jail. By avoiding such a course, Weiner makes it appear as though he has something to hide.