Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2011

More on the Police Investigation in Delaware (Update: Johnson Beclowns Himself Further; NYT Reports, Cape and Tights Confirmed!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: Instalink! But the must-read post here is the one that almost certainly caused this whole thing to happen, when Patrick put together powerful circumstantial evidence that Rep. Weiner was sending direct messages to an underage girl.

This is an update to the earlier post Police Visit “Ethel,” because there were too many updates.

We have already seen the strangely-worded denials from Weiner’s office.  Allahpundit writes that “[Weiner’s spokeswoman, Rita] Heller’s statement smacks of, ‘This is what he told me but I’m not sure if I believe him anymore either.’”  Which has to be worst denial since, well…  this:

Meanwhile the “Ethel” family reportedly denies it too:

“She was not targeted in any way and did not receive any inappropriate messages or photos or anything from the congressman,” a source close to the Delaware girl told the Daily News. “If she had, her family would have filed charges.”…

“The blogs have taken a few tweets from a 17-year-old kid and put their own twist on messages that were just kid stuff,” the source said. “Her family has gone through all her accounts and not found any inappropriate messages.”

[BY PATTERICO: I am deleting the next part of Aaron's post. It contains speculation that I believe not to be true, based on things I know that Aaron doesn't. -- P]

Meanwhile this old clip has become more ironic tonight:

Yeah, really terrible of Breitbart to insinuate that Weiner was acting inappropriately in direct messaging a young girl.

Anyway, the correct answer here is not to conclude that Weiner is guilty of misconduct toward this minor, but merely to conclude that there needs to be a thorough investigation. Hopefully that is what is underway.

H/t: The Other McCain.

Update: For sheer comedy, it’s hard to beat this conspiracy rumbling from Johnson:

At this point it’s impossible to defend Weiner, but … the Fox News crew was already at the house before the police arrived? Does that seem a little odd to anyone?

Not if that Fox News crew reads Patterico’s Pontifications!

Update: The New York Times reports and there are all kinds of juicy things.  First they quote Weiner’s Spokewoman Rita Heller—the same language we saw above.  But they add this part:

Mr. Weiner’s spokeswoman, Risa Heller, did not provide copies of the messages, but said they were not inappropriate.

Except as we know she didn’t say they were not inappropriate.  She said Congressman Weiner said they were not inappropriate.  And she didn’t have the copies to prove him right.

And more from the family:

A member of the girl’s family who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her identity…

Wait a minute.  I get and understand that we shoudn’t give out this person’s name, because you are exposing the girl.  But can’t we at least characterize the relationship?  Is it her father, mother, sister, brother, aunt… what?  Moving on:

…characterized the messages as “harmless” but expressed concern that Mr. Weiner had communicated privately with the teenager, a high school junior.

The family was aware that there had been exchanges between Mr. Weiner and the girl but assumed that all of their conversations had taken place on a public Twitter feed….

The family member said: “I am angry. This is surreal and unbelievable. It is absolutely crazy. We are just regular people who go to baseball games and basketball games, as ordinary and plain as can be.”

And we now know the computer is in their custody:

In the past few days, the girl and her family have become subjects of intense interest in the news media. On Friday afternoon, the local police arrived at their home and asked the girl and her mother to bring the girl’s phone and computer to the police station so they could be checked to make sure no crime had occurred.

The family member said the family complied, and did not expect any further action to be taken.

And Patrick definitely made a direct hit on one subject:

In a blog post on Tumblr, she later shared the contents of that private message from him. In it, Mr. Weiner appeared to liken himself to a superhero.

“I came back strong,” he wrote. “Large. Tights and cape. …”

Hmm, time for an expert photoshop by Aaron Worthing…

That’s a bullseye, folks.

And why are the UK Papers always outclassing the American ones?  From the Telegraph:

Even worse is the possibility that underage women may have been among Weiner’s victims. It was conservative bloggers, most prominently Andrew Breitbart at Big Government, that broke the story and forced Weiner into the situation of being unable to continue lying about his Twitter account being hacked.

Now leading the Weiner web sleuthing is Patterico, who earlier today posted a detailed and convincing, though circumstantial, case that there is a very strong possibility that Weiner sent lewd messages and/or images to minors.

Patterico’s post (the third on the subject) is well worth reading (warning: it includes some sordid stuff).

H/t: Aunursa.  And Daniel Reihl.

Update: I have to admit Bill Maher’s take on the scandal is pretty funny:

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Police Visit "Ethel"

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 4:14 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

BREAKING NEWS

While a Fox News reporter was sitting at the kitchen table with "Ethel," the girl mentioned in our previous reports on Rep. Weiner talking to underage girls, the police entered and immediately ended the interview. Police also ask reporter to hand over screen grabs and other potential evidence.

For more details read the report on Fox News.

Fox has video.

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UPDATE BY AARON WORTHING: I wanted to add some text from the news story discussing the police visit. Expect many updates by Patrick, and Lee, and possibly myself as the evening goes on:

NEW CASTLE, Del. — Police on Friday afternoon came to the home of a 17-year-old high school junior to ask her about direct online communications she has had with Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Two officers from the New Castle County Police Department arrived at the girl’s home around 4:30 p.m. and asked to speak with the girl’s mother about the daughter’s contact with Weiner. Another officer appeared at the home a short time later. A FoxNews.com reporter was at the home when the police arrived.
The girl, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, told FoxNews.com, "I’m doing OK.”

Read the whole thing. This is almost certainly the girl Patrick identifies as “Ethel.” I know what her true name is, and I know that she lives in Delaware.

This doesn’t mean Weiner is guilty of any inappropriate behavior toward this minor, but if the police are thorough, it does mean we will know if he is guilty of such conduct.

Also let’s consider a quote from Weiner’s own Congressional webpage that might become more ironic as this goes forward:

Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.

And let’s not forget that screencap:

END OF UPDATE BY AARON WORTHING.

UPDATE BY AARON AND LEE: Weiner’s office issues an oddly worded statement:

Weiner’s spokes[person], Risa Heller, emails: “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”

As Allahpundit points out, spokespeople don’t phrase it that way, “according to my boss.” They usually declare it as if it is a fact, suggesting even his spokesperson has doubts.

Robert Stacy McCain Explains What We Know (and Why We Should Care) About Congressman Weiner’s Online Interactions with Underage Girls

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:59 pm

A well-done and professional summary of what we know and what we don’t. And why the press should care about knowing more.

I would advise everyone to keep the “what we don’t know” part in mind. For example, we know that Congressman Weiner used the same “cape and tights” line with an underage girl that he used with a grown woman with whom he had explicit sexual discussions. From that, and from other available evidence, we can make reasonable inferences … but they are inferences. Ace has said that, even if those inferences are wrong, Congressman Weiner’s portrayal of himself as a Superman figure to an impressionable young woman is a matter for concern — dirty talk or no.

Another important thing to keep in mind: the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that Dan Wolfe, Mike Stack, and his dirty team of awful Republican operatives … were the good guys. They were trying to protect young women from someone they suspected — as we now know, correctly — to be using online communication in a lecherous fashion. That was a noble endeavor, and I’d like to think the parents are starting to realize that.

I am hoping to have something more substantive to give you later on today. It may pan out and it may not. Do stay tuned.

Underage #Weinergate: The Silence of The Press II.

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 8:52 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

Weinergate is a story about the press as much as it is about A. Weiner.

Patterico has published a trilogy of stories – here, here and here – about the connection between Rep. Anthony Weiner and underage girls. To be sure, Patterico’s pieces broke some new ground but there’s a dirty little open secret – much of what Patterico published has been available to anyone who cared to look for the past two weeks since the story broke but has remained almost completely out of the press.

Patterico is to be commended for stepping into a dark section of #Weinergate where few have been brave enough to tread but of course, it’s not the first time the press has let down the public on #Weinergate.

The MSM was largely silent about Rep. Weiner’s immediately fishy story about being ‘hacked’ when it was first reported on Memorial Day weekend. CNN’s Howard Kurtz famously claimed it seemed ‘fake’ and for the most part, the press dutifully repeated the spin of Rep. Weiner and his cover-up cohorts until such time as Rep. Weiner resorting to calling a CNN producer a jackass. When he couldn’t even bunt the daintiest of softballs from sycophantic non-reporter Rachel Maddow, it started to look really really bad for Weiner…but even then, he maintained the illusion that his problems were caused by a right wing smear machine engineered by Andrew Breitbart. It took the slow release of photos to dislodge a semblance of truth from the Congressman.

Until the moment that Weiner shuffled in front of podium with a confession, crocodile tears and more lies (3 women in the last year? Pshaw!) the evidence against him as ALL ‘circumstantial’. Nothing proved conclusively, beyond a shadow of the doubt, in total certainty that Weiner had accidently tweeted his undies to a college student on the internet until the words came out of his mouth.

Now we know the Rep. Weiner (D – NY) is a liar. We know that he won’t admit things until he literally has no other option. And we know that he had a habit of talking to a number of women who admired him politically and then using that admiration to his own sexual advantage.

So why is the press now ignoring the ‘underage girl’ angle of the #Weinergate story that has had MORE proof behind it then the Tweet Seen ‘Round The World that went to Seattle co-ed Gennete Cordova?

This bears repeating, so I’ll repeat it.

There has been more clear, explicit, inexplicable and publicly available information about an inappropriate online relationship between Rep. Anthony Weiner and the girl Patterico calls “Ethel” then there has been about ANY other person – yet the press hasn’t even asked pertinent questions about. Most of this info was available during the ENTIRE story. Reporters like Tommy Christopher certainly know all about it, but failed to even mention it once in his reporting.

Supposedly, this was done in the name of ‘protecting’ the high school students involved. But how is this protecting them? We know by his admission that Rep. Weiner was a predator who went after liberal political groupies. These girls fit the pattern. More investigation is not only called for but seems mandatory…and this time, the press can’t just accept excuses from the girl’s parents on faith. We simply know too much about Weiner now to do that.

And – again, can’t be said enough – there’s no lack of evidence of something weird about Weiner following these girls. There’s clear evidence that he followed them. There’s clear evidence that these underage girls knew about each other. There’s clear evidence that they knew about other women that Weiner had online relationships with.

Hopefully, the press will get their act together on this story soon but even if they do, it’s only because they have something in common with Anthony Weiner: they don’t act until the blogosphere forces them to act.

- Lee Stranahan

Sockpuppet Friday—The #Weinergate Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:42 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

First, do not miss Patrick’s blockbuster posts on the Congressman Weiner’s interaction with young girls, here, here and here (this is the most incriminating one).

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sock puppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself, a lot.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

You don’t have to post on #Weinergate.  I just figured that it is going to be the primary focus. On the other hand, for now posts that give Ethel’s real name will go into the penalty box.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Morning Weiner Notes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am

Ace posts his take on my Part 3 post showing more evidence that Weiner was talking dirty to underage girls. Read it all, but note especially his conclusion:

Yes, he did indeed DM her, unless it’s a coincidence that she referred to him as “cape and tights” just like he referred to himself as putting on the “cape and tights” in a chat with the Blackjack Dealer.

Sure, that could be a coincidence. If you still believe in “coincidence” in this matter, and if you still do, there’s really no hope left for you.

And yes… she sure seems to indicate that there was something a little sweetness going on behind the scenes.

You don’t have to think something criminal happened here to say that a 46 year old man should not be seeking this type of “frivolity” and romantic validation from a starstruck 17 year old girl.

Just perfectly innocent. A married 46 year old Congressman private messaging a smitten, hero-worshipping, bad-girl-talking 17 year old girl who “loved” him.

What could be more innocent than that?

Second point: Bill Clinton is frustrated that Weiner won’t resign. There are no words.

Third point: I went and checked the lefty blogs who falsely claimed that Andrew Breitbart had left his laptop open on a public sidewalk in New York. (Lee Stranahan proved that these geniuses were actually seeing a restaurant menu.) Here is the current tally:

Little Green Footballs post: uncorrected

Balloon Juice post: uncorrected

Taylor Marsh post: uncorrected

Because they care about the truth!

By the way: I know there are some of you who don’t particularly care for this story. In the afternoon, Aaron will hit some other topics. For a small blog whose proprietor has very limited time, being on top of a breaking news story and providing new evidence is already a huge demand. In the end, this is not a “parrot the news story of the day” blog, but rather a blog that tries to tell you things you aren’t seeing elsewhere. That sometimes means a narrow focus.

The solution, if you’re frustrated: support me with an income that allows me to pay my mortgage and quit my day job to blog about the things you want to see. Absent that . . . you’ll have to settle for the free ice cream we choose. It may be your flavor and it may not, but you can’t get that flavor anywhere else.


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