Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Weiner


Something rather distressing has happened to New York representative Anthony Weiner aside from inheriting a ridiculously unfortunate surname: A low-resolution picture of a man’s crotch found its way into his Twitter feed and appeared to be directed at one of his followers named Gennette Cordova, a young woman residing in Seattle. 


 The picture featured a man clad in a grey pair of boxer-briefs which sport a noticeable “protrusion” in his “business district.” The post was immediately deleted by Weiner (bless his little heart) before he announced that his account had been hacked. The alleged recipient, Miss Cordova, quickly deleted all of her social networking accounts and released a written statement claiming that while she was a fan of the Congressman’s, she had never met him or participated in any direct correspondence of any kind.

Representative Weiner has retained an attorney and announced that he is exploring his legal options.

While the picture itself contains no identifiable details, unlike the recent craigslist pic that brought down another New York Congressman, many have pointed to the official’s history of womanizing as evidence of his guilt. To be fair, he was considered one of congresses most eligible bachelors (not exactly a tough crown to hold onto) until his 2009 wedding to Hillary Clinton’s aide. It appears he will now be competing for a more hotly contested crown: congress’s most eligible husbands.

His supporters believe that the unfortunate Tweet was the work of an organized right-wing conspiracy of hackers attempting to discredit him. They point to a lack of evidence concerning any inappropriate contact with Gennette as proof of his innocence. Since there does appear to be some uncertainty regarding his guilt, I believe we should look at the facts:

 “The Package” – while obviously functional, what I saw in the picture would probably not require any additional postage. While this makes it unlikely he would publicly claim said parcel, it also means a picture of it is unlikely to impress a woman he has never met. The fact that his name is Weiner also seems to make the photo seem almost too perfect, but by the same token one would expect a hacker to have posted something more vulgar.

The Timing – If he was not the one who posted the picture then why was he so quick to announce it as a hack and delete his other Twitter photos? Doesn’t this prove he was near the phone and immediately realized his mistake? This would seem rather incriminating if Representative Weiner was not among those who feel it necessary to inundate cyberspace with his every waking thought. He posted twenty-five separate Tweets in the twenty-four hours before the incident so it is plausible that he really is that obsessed with social networking.

The Girl – While she was a self-proclaimed “Weiner fan,” so far it appears almost impossible that they had ever met in person and unlikely that they carried on an online relationship. You would also expect a married Congressman to have the commonsense not to have his mistress listed amongst his Twitter followers. On the other hand, he is a married Congressman and their track record concerning both discretion and fidelity is not as impressive as one would hope.

I suppose I will withhold judgment on this one. Given his name, the picture seemed almost too apropos not to be a joke of some type but it is curious that it would be directed toward a young woman of all people. My guess is that the congressman actually took the photo himself but did not send it to this girl or post it on his Twitter page. It has probably languished on his phone for the past several months and he is hoping to avoid a rather embarrassing question such as, “Why did you take the picture in the first place?” I will tell you that if this is the first time his wife saw this picture there will be some awkward silence in the car because I am not sure she is going to buy “I was just really excited about my new smartphone…”

Also, what has become of photographic seduction in this country? There used to be some effort put into visual flirtation and now the most energy we are willing to exert is pointing our cell-phone toward our crotch? What was the caption going to be, “thinking of you?”  I guess I should give him a little credit for retaining some mystery by at least leaving his underwear on. Brett Favre would have called this portrait “business casual.”  

I suppose I tend to be rather pessimistic about this sort of thing and I do hate to see a prank ruin a man’s political career. On the other hand I am not sure how much further he could be expected to go given his last name. Regardless of his abilities, would a situation ever present itself where a majority of the voting public would feel comfortable electing President Weiner?   

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