Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2011

“Journalists” Christopher and Preston Finally Admit They Don’t Know a Thing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am



I sense impatience among some of you regarding this Betty and Veronica story. Let me explain why it matters. Someone is out there faking identities and convincing journalists they are real. Someone faked IDs that fooled someone with White House press credentials. There is potential criminal activity here. If Anthony Weiner is behind it, there could be a prosecutable offense. It’s not just resignation, disgrace, and a future re-election bid or CNN show. It’s jail.

Interested yet? Good. There’s also the little matter of the truth. If he didn’t do any of the above, we should know that too. That would be less exciting but still the truth.

And it is still interesting whether Weiner was behind this or not. We get to explore who was behind the deception. It’s a fascinating mystery. If you like spy stories you should love this.

But there has been some crazy theorizing going on. The problem is, people are getting confused about the facts. So let’s get back to basics. What do we know and what do we not know?

Let’s start by clearing away the underbrush. Two journalists — Tommy Christopher and Jen Preston — have muddied the waters by making overly confident pronouncements about the situation. Yesterday I called on both to back up their statements, and both backed away from them.

First, Tommy. we have to back up statements they had made about the Betty and Veronica affair. Tommy recently wrote:

The main thrust of the story was that Rep. Weiner had not made inappropriate contact with “Betty,” and [a point about Andrew Breitbart]. Both of these things are still true.

Last night on the Stage Right show I got to confront Tommy about this oh-so-certain pronouncement. He basically backed away from what he had said and admitted that the best he can say is that there is no evidence of inappropriate contact — quite a different thing from pronouncing it didn’t happen. If you didn’t hear the interview, it is worth your time. Tommy made several amusing pronouncements, claiming that Betty/Nikki and Veronica/Marianela “fooled me into telling a true story” and that “They basically told me nothing.” Quite a change from “The Under-Aged Participants That Add Clarity And Exoneration.”

Now let’s take Jennifer Preston of the New York Times, who said of the Betty/Nikki Reid and Veronica/Marianela Alicea sock puppets:

Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.

“Him” refers to Weiner. Yesterday on Twitter I asked Jen Preston the question I asked her so many times before: how does she know this?

I first asked Mickey Kaus: “WHY are we assuming that people who covered for Weiner are his enemies? @nyt_jenpreston may say so but it makes no sense to me.” She responded: “Leading question, mr. prosecutor. Dismissed.” (You can hear the gavel coming down, can’t you? She does fancy herself the judge, doesn’t she?) I repeated the question later in the day, and she ignored the question several times while responding to others. The closest she came to an answer was this: “Read piece carefully,.again. They told MS [Mike Stack from the PatriotUSA76 crew] they had evidence. Then in elaborate ruse…why? No idea.” Ah, so she doesn’t really know why they were doing this? SarahW clarified the point, and I don’t want you to miss this exchange, so I will blockquote it:

What if they were “collecting evidence” about what Weiner’s contacts would say – but info for Weiner’s benefit?

Preston responded:

anything is possible. the key here is to be open to all sorts of possibilities…who knows.

Indeed. I actually agree with that. The problem is this Strange New Agnosticism regarding the motives of the sock puppets conflicts with Preston’s own statement in her news article that the sock puppet accounts were created “in order to collect information to use against him.”

See that word “against”? I helpfully bolded it so you would see it. That was Jen Preston’s confident declaration: that the Betty/Nikki and Veronica/Marianela were Weiner’s enemies. She didn’t know that to true, but she said it anyway. It even ended up being the headline of her piece: “Fake Identities Were Used on Twitter in Effort to Get Information on Weiner.” For all we know, they were used to get information for Weiner.

Of course, I confronted her on this, contrasting her new open-mindedness with the language from her article, and she responded testily: “MS said they offered him evidence they had collected against Weiner. Am done debating w/ a prosecutor. Bring it to a jury.” Heh. But the bottom line is that she is now claiming she knows nothing. As she said to Ace: “Am still looking into all this. I think the key to figuring it out is to remain open to the idea that it could be anyone.”

So forget Tommy Christopher’s pronouncements. He doesn’t know anything. (“They basically told me nothing.”) Forget Jen Preston’s pronouncements. She has no idea either. (“it could be anyone.”)

If you’re feeling especially quixotic, you can ask them to retract or clarify their previous Very Certain Pronouncements that they have now declared inoperative. But I warn you: you won’t get anywhere. They are both invested in the Obama-style “As I have always said . . .” routine of pretending like they aren’t saying anything different today, even though their previous declarations have been shown utterly lacking in foundation.

Well, that took a while. Now that we have spent all this time dispelling some inaccurate pronuncamientos rendered by our journalistic betters, I have no time or energy left to discuss the rest of it. Rather than issue some crazy theory, let me throw this out there for you:

1. Some of the screenshots I linked yesterday — the public messages from Nikki Reid to the Dan Wolfe crew — I believe to be real. I’ll have more to say about this if I get time.

2. At least one of the screenshots looks like a bad Photoshop. Check out the GennetteNicole DM and the way the date stamp jumps upward to the time stamp:

I can’t see how that’s a real screenshot of anything. It looks to my amateur eye like a very bad Photoshop.

3. If Nikki was really pro-Weiner (now we’re entering the realm of speculation), as her statements to Tommy Christopher indicate, then she was possibly trying to peddle some B.S. material to Mike Stack through Marianela. And she was possibly considering making fun of him after he publicized them. The screenshots I published yesterday sound a lot like what Marianela told Stack that Nikki had. So perhaps Nikki is the ultimate source of the stuff we saw yesterday. The person who posted the screenshots is likely either Nikki or someone to whom she gave the stuff.

OK, I said I wouldn’t do any theorizing and now look at me. Let’s get back to facts. Tommy Christopher talked to somebody. He has a phone number. He has the IDs. There are clues. He obviously isn’t my friend any more. Can someone try to light a fire under him and get him to reveal this stuff? A crime may have been committed with the fake IDs.

That’s all I have time for now. Now come on: isn’t this interesting?

93 Responses to ““Journalists” Christopher and Preston Finally Admit They Don’t Know a Thing”

  1. Tommy’s not a liar he’s just a lazy thinker I think. This is the mark of a true journalist.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  2. To me the story is not Weiner or his crime, but the lengths the Media has gone to defend him by willfully accepting lies and then defending their willful ignorance. Much like they do 95% of the time when the person/story in question fits their world view.

    Sponge Bob Square Pants (786e37)

  3. Well it’s a wonder, how far down the rabbit hole, they go, running into the gopher from Caddyshack.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  4. You know.. picking on the media is like picking on a 5 year old… it’s just too easy.

    But having said that, they brought it on themselves in this case. They have shown a bizarre lack of interest in the getting the story right.

    It’s like once they had the crotch shot that’s all they wanted to talk about. None of the details around it mattered.

    Paul (59d3fd)

  5. Leading question, mr. prosecutor. Dismissed . . . Am done debating w/ a prosecutor. Bring it to a jury.

    So original, so very clever. Reminds me of Weiner calling the CNN correspondent a jackass.
    I always wonder why journalists have such contempt for professionals who, unlike them, are actually trained to ask questions, analyze facts, and get to the truth.

    I’m ready for another three weeks of “distraction.” Bring it on. Weiner is still making noises about a comeback. Let him make it serving oatmeal in a prison cafeteria.

    Average Joe Biden (c780a0)

  6. Miranda–In his piece Markos is still blaming the right wing though, and is stating that as a given. And he’s saying Tommy is stupid because he allowed himself to get played by the right wing. Kos has no interest in finding the truth either. He’s just mad at Tommy.

    elissa (de951a)

  7. a bizarre lack of interest in the getting the story right

    It’s more like an excess of interest in getting it wrong and protecting Weiner. The NYT ran a puff piece on Weiner when the scandal first broke on how he was an alleged master of the new media. After all was lost, they ran the Preston piece — probably the longest one they ran on the scandal and obviously intended to leave the casual reader with the impression that his downfall resulted from a right-wing conspiracy.

    Preston’s attitude says it all. She’s a hack.

    Average Joe Biden (c780a0)

  8. A JournoLister admitting they know nothing is like them admitting water is wet, no?

    JD (306f5d)

  9. I think Tommy is clinging to what he wants to be true and is unwilling to get out there and find out what really happened because deep down he fears that it would be another disconnect with his worldview, and prove his prior pieces to be seriously flawed in a material way.

    But Tommy is sitting on evidence, hard evidence. All those emails he exchanged with Betty & Mrs. Betty have headers, which have IP addresses. Those images of IDs that he collected from them have potential clues in them…both what we can see and perhaps in the digital files if that’s what he received.

    Tommy also alluded on the radio show to additional info that he has that he cannot disclose.

    I would commend Tommy on again recognizing that Breitbart didn’t go for the stinky bait of Betty & Veronica and publicly acknowledging that. In that regard, Tommy was an upstanding gentleman. I’d also give him a merit badge for tolerating Larry O’Connor’s terrible “I’m doing this from vacation” radio show telephone connection on his lousy cell phone. Larry interrupted Tommy more than Chris Matthews interrupts guests. Tommy hung in there but Larry was annoying as hell. Larry was told over and over what the problem was and he just kept making it worse. Larry sputtered more than John King at the GOP NH Debate last week.

    Patterico had a good call, at least when Larry stayed out of the way.

    It was inconceivable that there was not a cogent conversation about whether Betty & Veronica could have been pro-Weiner from the start, let alone whether they could have been GC or a similar agent working on RAW’s behalf.

    KUDOs to Patterico for bringing the question of RAW’s complicity in B&V to light in the beginning of this piece. But serious shame that this wasn’t discussed live on the air with Tommy himself.

    I was on hold on the phone for the whole segment. I was prepared to ask Tommy some serious questions. Larry didn’t take additional callers in that segment. Instead we got to listen to Larry go on and on through the static.

    koam (f74c33)

  10. Baby steps, JD like when Time realized men and women were actually born different 20 years ago.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  11. I am tired of baby steps, ian. The MFM is a festering cesspool of mendoucheous twatwaffles who could not give a flying f@ck about the truth. They push a narrative at every turn, and SHOCKA, that narrative slants the same way almost every time. The idea that we should afford cpital J journolisters anything more than contempt is beyond me.

    Brother Bradley and Ag80 excluded from the above, obviously.

    JD (306f5d)

  12. The intrepid Tommy C would have to be a complete drug-addled tard not to realize that his refusal to disclose everything he knows only fuels the kind of speculation what lynched his friend Mr. Jewell.

    But I think one of the biggest mysteries remains the one of why did bettyronica pick this lunkhead to talk to?

    I have no idea nobody tells me anything.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  13. Oh, I understand Elissa. Just funny to me that Markos would call out TC that way very publicly. It is really something to call someone like TC, who is after all a WH correspondent, and sits in the briefing room most days, a liar, in a headline of a nationally known news/opinion site (although certainly progressive in its views).

    TC has dug himself such a deep hole that now he’s antagonized both the Left and the Right. And certainly not for any noble reason, but because he’s put himself on such a pedestal, that he really thinks he is accountable to no one. Because he’s a Journalist with a capital J, he thinks his word is sacrosanct – which is absurd.

    Miranda (4104db)

  14. Actually, the screen shot looks a little more real to me with the slight line jump. Happens all the time when browsers refresh. I do a lot of web work where I make changes to style sheets (css) and refresh browsers to inspect the effect — so I’m looking closely at what happens. Often on refresh, one line spacing on the screen will look a little ‘fatter’ than others, but will go away on subsequent refreshes. It’s like a hiccup in the rendering or something.

    To detect bad photo shops, you want to zoom in and look at the pixelation of the image. You can usually tell where the edges of pasted-in bits are by slight differences in the color or pattern of the pixels around the edges of the paste compared to the underlying image.

    starboardhelm (e93080)

  15. Yes, you don’t get my sarcasm, they lie about everything, my daily McClatchy is a case study
    in this, and as an acquaintance, remarked ‘friends
    don’t let friends, read McClatchy.’

    ian cormac (72470d)

  16. “Well it’s a wonder, how far down the rabbit hole, they go, running into the gopher from Caddyshack.”

    That would go a ways towards getting me interested again! Internet weasels leave me mighty bored.

    dfbaskwill (ca54bb)

  17. Maybe this has already been made clear and I missed it, but did all of the DM screencaps from yesterday indisputably come from the same source? If so, then why believe any of them are real now that one seems such an obvious fake? I’m no expert, but that hinky looking date/time thing sure seems like a smoking gun for fakery.

    Lincolntf (85daa5)

  18. But I think one of the biggest mysteries remains the one of why did bettyronica pick this lunkhead to talk to?

    I agree.
    Perhaps Bettyronica was watching him on Twitter as he came up with all kinds of ways to explain Weiner’s innocence.

    Jen Preston said we must keep in mind the possibility of the porn industry angle.

    MayBee (081489)

  19. If so, then why believe any of them are real now that one seems such an obvious fake? I’m no expert, but that hinky looking date/time thing sure seems like a smoking gun for fakery.

    Comment by Lincolntf

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, but imagine someone wanted to undermine the believability of the Gennette flirting with Weiner aspect. They might post those with some obvious photoshops, expecting reasonable people to then dismiss all of them.

    I can’t see how you’re wrong though.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. Fastest way to find the actors is to publish everything, every lead, every conversation – give it to the crowd, and there is no hiding.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arE5UyOMZpI

    SarahW (af7312)

  21. And honestly, when doesn’t a journalist ask a leading question? Why couldn’t she just admit she goofed up some parts of her article?

    Patterico is a bona fide established journalist at this point, so even the elitists ought to give him at least the respect of answering his points and correcting if they need to. When they act like this, it’s clear they are hacks.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  22. Maybee – porn. YESS. Finally someone said it.

    SarahW (af7312)

  23. _____________________________________

    I sense impatience

    To me it’s more an issue of format or layout. So any and every aspect of the story, instead of being merged with an existing post that’s merely continuously updated, has resulted in so many individual blog entries on “Weinergate” that they all become one big blur. That type of treatment might make sense if the story were along the lines of, say, “9.8 Quake Hits California, Thousands Killed, Buildings Toppled, Homes Destroyed, Freeways Devastated.”

    Plus, I hope this society hasn’t become so desensitized to the crap and trash of people like Weiner, that it’s truly going down the pathway of a Banana Republic. IOW, I read things similar to what’s going on with ultra-liberal Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who in spite of helping make his nation a total mess right now — with power blackouts, soaring crime rates, corruption and economic paralysis galore — still is getting a favorable rating of around 50 percent in various polls. Weiner and his former constituents are only somewhat less extreme versions of that.

    Mark (411533)

  24. You make a fair point, Mark, Chavez rose out of the economic crisis of the late 80s and 90s, but we are
    not Venezuela, yet.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  25. Has Tommie Xtopher ever offered an explanation for how they came to contact him, or how he independently verified who they were?

    JD (29e1cd)

  26. # 13. happy feet asks why B&V would have picked TC, an obscure e-journo with anti-right bent.

    Good question. If B&V are created by right-wing trolls (TC & Jen’s theory), why go to TC with the story?

    Who else was wired in with Tommy Christopher? The innocent co-ed in Seattle.

    GC, upon an earlier return to Twitter, followed @tommyxtopher straight away.

    See Update 11 here: http://ironicsurrealism.com/2011/05/28/femme-fatale-gennettenicole-at-center-of-weinergate-twitter-scandal-i-wonder-what-my-boyfriend-repweiner-is-up-to-right-now/

    She’s back! Gennette Nicole Cordova has opened her fourth Twitter account, after having deleted the original and two others. At the moment it is a public account, but probably not for long. Looks like with the help of friends and family she is hiding from the press. Yet she has followed @tommyxtopher (Tommy Christopher) White House reporter for Mediaite.com. Hmm…

    koam (f74c33)

  27. ________________________________________

    anything is possible. the key here is to be open to all sorts of possibilities…who knows.

    Then Preston said: “But my liberal instincts — which make me a truly wonderful, generous, humane, sophisticated, tolerant human being — lead me in the direction of assuming that poor ol’ Anthony Weiner was a victim of selfish, intolerant, horrible, inhumane, unkind conservatives!

    “And I have no reason to doubt those instincts, even though I (or others of my ilk) do occasionally hesitate to describe oneself as ‘liberal’ instead of ‘progressive,’ or a policy or idea as being ‘liberal’ instead of ‘progressive.’

    Mark (411533)

  28. i will say, it is receding in importance, especially because i doubt we will ever know the answer to these lingering questions.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  29. Tommy Christopher to Markos

    Yes, that, and the name itself.

    I contacted another Kos user who was able to edit Nikki Reid out of the tags. I have no idea how that guy got her whole name. It is a somewhat common name, but also a weird coincidence. It’s obviously not the same girl, though, based just on the pictures. I will tell you, off the record, that I verified the identities of all of the principals six ways to Sunday. I inspected photo IDs via Skype, and saved scans of them as well.

    It’s damn suspicious that Tommy insists this be off the record. You’d think he’d want it publicized that he did this great verification.

    Oh wait… he didn’t really do that, did he? And his insistence on keeping as much of this stuff private was meant to conceal a web of lies. Just like his effort to keep the real names of Betty and Veronica a secret was not meant to protect children, but rather to protect the best way to show Tommy is selling a false bill.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  30. BTW, it’s clear the left wing is taking the NYT’s spin to heart that this was all a clever right wing effort to lie to Weiner until he ruined his career.

    Well done, Jen Preston. Anyone reading your article would get that message immediately, and so what if you made it up? I bet you’d sing a different tune if Fox News claimed democrats did something like that to Mark Foley.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  31. When Patricia Reid showed Tommy her driver’s license, did she do it immediately on his request? Or was she like….uhhh, just a minute?
    Did she march over to MA’s house and get hers? What was his story there?

    MayBee (081489)

  32. NYT_JenPreston Jennifer Preston

    @AceofSpadesHQ Don’t undrestand all yoru comments. Important to remain open to all possibilities including the porn industry angle
    5 hours ago

    MayBee (081489)

  33. At this feed…there are these

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/person/36182&apptype=order

    starchild111
    @RepWeiner i’m kind of shy to ask this but i’ve been a fan for a while will u follow me? #WeinerYes
    02:29 May 16

    starchild111
    @RepWeiner Thank you so much @GennetteNicole!!!
    11:49 May 16

    goatsred
    @repweiner #YesWeiner
    12:21 May 16

    goatsred
    @repweiner #WeinerYes
    12:29 May 16

    ltw (370236)

  34. Kos is still going nuts with his AK versions of Marianela and Nikki, who don’t match the profiles of either twitter persona in any way.

    And Marianela is not a rare name and neither is Alicea. “Four in the country” and a there are numerous ones out of the country.

    A person concocting personas will grab a handy name. Get over it.

    SarahW (af7312)

  35. “Four in the country” is WRONG, that is.

    SarahW (af7312)

  36. What is supposed to be noticed at the Cspan link?

    Have seen tweets before.

    SarahW (af7312)

  37. @AceofSpadesHQ Don’t undrestand all yoru comments. Important to remain open to all possibilities including the porn industry angle
    5 hours ago

    Comment by MayBee — 6/21/2011 @ 9:30 am

    OK… she’s trying to be funny somehow right? This is the NYT’s idea of how to defend a story when they are caught making things up?

    Or do they really think there’s a porn angle?

    It’s pretty obvious she was trying to evade responsibility for her work. Is the NYT any different from Kos at this point?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  38. Dustin, I have long suspected that there is at least a tangential connection.

    SarahW (af7312)

  39. Ok, if someone used my photograph without my permission, I would like to know about it and stop it.

    So, does anyone recognize the bunny on the t-shirt Marianela Alicea was wearing on her t-shirt? It looks like a star-trek red shirt to me. Searching for similar shirt has come up empty.

    SarahW (af7312)

  40. Tommy writes to Kos:

    I will tell you, off the record, that I verified the identities of all of the principals six ways to Sunday. I inspected photo IDs via Skype, and saved scans of them as well.

    What is “inspected photo IDs via Skype?”

    Was Tommy Christopher on a Skype video conference with Sra. B y los dos chicas?

    koam (f74c33)

  41. In the midst of the interviews, one man was caught on tape (by a Stern camera crew) approaching Bronk and whispering in his ear, “If you ever do that again, you’ll never walk again.”

    and walking is especially important for new yorkers cause of there’s hardly anywhere to park

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  42. I think video ruled out for look at girls, at very least. He says compared twitter profile pics to ID’s to verify.

    If faxed, a person can send faxes via skype.

    SarahW (af7312)

  43. Would note that Nikki’s profile pic has half-obscured face.

    SarahW (af7312)

  44. Dustin, I have long suspected that there is at least a tangential connection.

    Comment by SarahW — 6/21/2011 @ 9:48 am

    I can’t say I know this is wrong, but I didn’t know this was hinted at by the evidence, aside from Ginger Lee being one of the twitter pals. Honestly, I’m not even sure what this means. That porn stars were out to get Weiner? That somehow this was a publicity stunt for Ginger?

    Seems sketch.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  45. Tommy Christopher talked to somebody. He has a phone number. He has the IDs. There are clues. He obviously isn’t my friend any more. Can someone try to light a fire under him and get him to reveal this stuff? A crime may have been committed with the fake IDs.

    That’s all I have time for now. Now come on: isn’t this interesting?

    It’s fascinating, and those were questions I’ve been asking for a while. The combination of posing as the mother of a girl, and supplying 3 fake ids has question marks and exclamation points dancing over my head.

    Dianna (5f6ad4)

  46. “Leading” question? Really? On TWITTER? Me thinks the lass is finding nits to pick in order to avoid doing the hard work.

    Book (c7b6c5)

  47. Re: Tommy Christopher likely talked to somebody…

    Tommy Christopher likely talked to the mysterious johnreid9 on Twitter. According to whoistheleader.com, at one time, johnreid9 was following and followed by Tommy, one of Gennette Cordova’s post-scandal Twitter handles and a Twitter user with the handle markali33. According to a Google cache, at one point, johnreid9 may have been following “Archie”, the seemingly real SoCal teenager who claimed he was watching a real baseball game on TV with Betty and Veronica, as well.

    Asking Tommy who johnreid9 claimed he was might be worth pursuing. My guess is he claimed to be Betty’s father. But was he?

    cinyc (be1ee0)

  48. Can someone try to light a fire under him and get him to reveal this stuff?

    Pat, I understand that the Hot Air guys, AllahP & Cap’n Ed, are pretty tight with Tommy Christopher. You know those fellas pretty well, I think. Maybe you can get them to try and get some info out of him.

    Just a thought

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  49. sometimes you have to buy people lunch to get em to talk

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  50. sometimes you have to buy people lunch to get em to talk

    Comment by happyfeet —

    I’ll talk! I’ll talk!

    Dianna (5f6ad4)

  51. 3. If Nikki was really pro-Weiner (now we’re entering the realm of speculation)

    Are you somehow suggesting that she’s a lesbian?

    :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  52. “Someone is out there faking identities and convincing journalists they are real.”

    Yes, someone in the whitehouse is implicated and congress is covering it up. I don’t understand why this stupid little weiner story is getting so much attention when there is a much bigger story that is being ignored.

    http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/new-ad-obama-forged-long-form-birth-certificate-why-isnt-speaker-boehner-investigating-20-jun-2011-wash-times-national-weekly-pg-5/

    ls46tygf89ovik (4c6f90)

  53. I would bet money that the birther above is a democrat Moby hoping to distract people from the Weiner story.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  54. There was a new theory yesterday that the original undies pic tweet was intentional because RAW knew that #bornfreecrew & @AndrewBreitbart had info on RAW’s real sexting activity w/ other women & feared that they were about to publish seriously damaging info.

    So, the theory goes, RAW staged the “oops” @tweet (undies erection shot) to GC in order to “prove” that his accounts had been hacked.

    Along w/ sockpuppets B&V, (fake teens who enthusiastically vouched for his appropriate behavior, after trying to tempt anti-Weiner “stalers” with salacious material that they never produced) a pre-emptive strategy to discredit @AndrewBreitbart & make fools of #bornfreecrew.

    koam (f74c33)

  55. that seems convoluted and doesn’t explain the discordance between Anthony’s weirdly insistent insistence based on no evidence whatsoever that this was a prank based on his name and the rather particular and odd choice of image chosen for such a “prank”

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  56. happyfeet’s right.

    IF it was

    a pre-emptive strategy to discredit @AndrewBreitbart & make fools of #bornfreecrew.

    then hopefully Weiner would have been smart enough to actually have someone access his account from a Starbucks in a different state (one of his floozies) and send the pic, and then he could act like a victim. The way he did it, he was forced to act guilty as sin, refusing to deny he was the man in the photo, and refusing to ask Twitter or law enforcement to verify he was hacked.

    I mean… why was it a pic of Weiner? That alone ruins his credibility with 90% of folks. He could have obtained a pic of someone similar to him, but eventually provably not him.

    The best explanation remains that Weiner send the pic, and mistakenly did so publicly. Then, he lied and hired professional liars, and they have done a poor job covering up his behavior.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  57. #54 – koam, that makes absolutely no sense. Were Weiner to go to law enforcement with a “hacked” claim, the truth would come out in five minutes, and he’d end up…exactly where he is, now.

    So why would he do that?

    Granted, logic is a way of going wrong with confidence, but that one seems to collapse of its own weight.

    Dianna (5f6ad4)

  58. We do know that Weiner, GC, and Ginger Lee and others knew that he was being pursued by people with connections to The BIGS before “he sent that image to GC”.

    So if GC was more of a social media advisor who had insights into (and contempt for) the “stalkers” and “expertise” on the minds and online habits of the younger electronic fangirls, and was less of a sexter / online GF to RAW. (That’s how GC describes herself. Presumably she didn’t know about RAW’s very (varyingly) explicit relationships with Lisa, Meagan, Ginger, etc.)

    Then what is the purpose of the supposedly errant Yfrog picture slip by RAW to everyone instead of DM to GC? He describes it as a “joke.” She says she doesn’t understand it. Is he going for a sexy encounter with GC if she is more interested in being his online defender? What’s the joke…what happened that night? Was GC supposed to get that image forwarded via one of the “girls” to a #bornfree member?

    koam (f74c33)

  59. koam, I love you, man, but that’s just crazy. Can we stick with things that make sense?

    Patterico (49e21b)

  60. OK dial back to what actions was RAW taking to deal with his stalkers who he feared were about to publish? (Prior to the story breaking)

    1) Offered PR staff help to various GFs.
    2) Penned canned responses for GFs

    what else do we know that he was doing to deal with the pending problem?

    koam (f74c33)

  61. Remember this – Marianela’s approach of Mike Stack, as described by himself, is every bit as squirrely as the phone call Lee received from the reputed UCLA “student” JG.

    If it happened as reported, the bizarre attempt to befriend Mike Stack has hallmarks of the hoaxer.

    The person(s)in control of the accounts of Nikki and Marianela were not on the up-and-up by the time Stack was contacted.

    SarahW (af7312)

  62. koam, I love you, man, but that’s just crazy.

    In Koam’s defense, so is Anthony Weiner. So whatever explanation is true will also have an unbelievable element of craziness.

    Personally, I just want law enforcement to obtain access to Weiner’s behavior online.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  63. I think the ‘545 Seattle’ heads up tweet might have been a cue for GC, either to do something pre-planned or to some message in his RM interview he wanted her to hear/see. Has anyone dug into his interview with Rachel M for clues?

    tier (4a939c)

  64. Is there any ongoing investigation by anyone other than bloggers into Weinergate?

    SusanT (355042)

  65. Also a couple days ago I commented on AoS site that I was starting to rethink the hacked angle.
    http://minx.cc/?blog=86&post=317751#c13441029

    I see Ace looked at the theory and retreated from it because he remembered AW admitted to sending the tweet but I don’t see that as a hindrance from that theory. He would have to admit to it unless he was willing to open up his twitter account to the FBI. Maybe there was something worse in there then admitting to sending an inappropriate tweet to a consenting adult. Like something obviously criminal.

    tier (4a939c)

  66. Speaking of social media advisors, Weiner’s most recent campaign filings show his campaign paid over $11,000 to Anne Lewis Strategies LLC for “Internet Consulting Services” in the first quarter of 2011. I’m not sure whether that figure is out of the ordinary for what a sitting Congressman spends on such a thing during a non-election year these days or what services the firm actually rendered.

    Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appears to have used the same firm, so this might not mean anything.

    cinyc (744828)

  67. I’m not sure whether that figure is out of the ordinary for what a sitting Congressman spends on such a thing during a non-election year these days or what services the firm actually rendered.

    This may have something to do with Weiner’s mayor aspirations. His campaign for Mayor has over $4 million right now, so $11 K is peanuts for preparing an internet strategy.

    Just sayin’.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  68. Just looking at some job listings for Anne Lewis.

    Many look like they would be a good fit for a JG type.

    SarahW (af7312)

  69. Just saying.

    SarahW (af7312)

  70. Sarah, you know who Ann is, right? She’s Barney Frank’s sister. She was also Alex Murphy’s partner on the Old Detroit Police department before his demise. OK… that last part isn’t real, but the Frank part is.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  71. Actually, I completely stand corrected. I’m thinking of a different Ann Lewis than your Anne Lewis.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  72. 1) What is the purpose of RAW’s trying to send that pic to GC, a woman with whom he was already discussing how to deal with his stalkers?

    And this may be a stupid question and must have been discussed already, but…

    2) if RAW deleted the tweet in seconds or minutes, did GC receive it during that tiny window of time?

    I thought I read in some reports that she didn’t receive that tweet.

    For example here in GC’s Written Statement. ~ May 28/9

    “There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me. I cannot answer the questions that I do not have the answers to. ” – GC

    But in NYT she says she did receive it: ~ June 8

    The lede:

    “Gennette Cordova said she did not even think the photo was real.

    It was nearly 9 p.m. on a Friday when Ms. Cordova, who was preparing to head out for the night with a friend, logged onto Twitter and discovered that Representative Anthony D. Weiner had sent her a suggestive photo of himself in gray boxer briefs.

    “It didn’t make any sense,” Ms. Cordova, a 21-year-old college student in northwestern Washington State, said in her first extensive interview since Mr. Weiner confessed in a news conference Monday to sending her the photo. “I figured it must have been a fake.””

    So first Gennette says she never got it then later says she got it (in that seconds-long window before RAW deleted it) but

    A) “figured it must have been a fake”
    B) “It didn’t make any sense”
    C) was taken aback by it. “Oh gosh, yes”
    D) “It was not in keeping with the tenor of their previous interactions.
    E) “I still didn’t get the joke part of it.”

    I get that she thought he was a hero & a friend and lied in her original statement to protect him. After the S hit the F in his “confessional” presser (starting @AndrewBreitbart & @Bronk)…and after she’d read the transcripts with Lisa, more pics, etc., she abandoned the pretense and evolved to the later position.

    But how is that the NYT piece comes out on June 8 without mentioning her prior position. (Save the NYT bashing…i’m with you 100%) But didn’t other media make note that GC said one thing in the first weekend (“I never got the pic”) and then said she did get it, expressing a list of reactions just a week later?

    If this has been discussed, please let me know.

    Wouldn’t #RedEye do a story on the 2 vastly different stories of GC about the central initial event of all of #weinergate? Wouldn’t others?

    koam (f74c33)

  73. Koan, Cordova has said she never saw the pic in the window before Weiner deleted it. She later acknowledged that Weiner sent it once he confessed, and claims it doesn’t line up with Weiner’s other behavior towards Cordova.

    I don’t really believe her to be truthful, generally, but that’s how she handles this.

    Why would Weiner send a pretty intelligent floozie, calling him her boyfriend and then taking on his enemies, a picture of his penis? Because he’s a reckless jackass who can’t see women as more than sex objects?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  74. The $11,000 payment to Anne Lewis Strategies LLC is from his federal campaign fund. As far as I know, that can’t be used for his mayoral campaign expenditures.

    An e-mail from that LLC’s domain (weiner at annelewisllc dot com) is used as the technical contact for Anthony Weiner’s campaign website, suggesting that Anne Lewis Strategies was getting paid to run it.

    Per opensecrets.org, Weiner disbursed $72,000 to the company in the 2009-2010 cycle. That works out to about $8,000 per quarter – though the first payment wasn’t made until November 2009, which would raise the per-quarter average to just about what he spent in 1Q 2011. So, again, this might be something – or nothing.

    cinyc (744828)

  75. The $11,000 payment to Anne Lewis Strategies LLC is from his federal campaign fund. As far as I know, that can’t be used for his mayoral campaign expenditures.

    Well, not strictly, but he can boost his profile online generally, using one fund, while knowing the real benefit would be for a completely different election.

    I don’t know. It is clear that Weiner did hire some professional liars, since so many of his fans issued similar statements, and Ginger Lee even thwarted such an effort. Was Anne part of that? Who knows, but it’s not impossible or anything.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  76. Koam , observant , GC is flailing.

    Temper Tantrum (02fe1b)

  77. Dustin-
    FWIW, Weiner’s NYC campaign finance filings don’t show any payments to Anne Lewis Strategies LLC, just $840 in payments to an individual for “Prof. Srvcs. Website Maintenence” last year, plus another $200 or so to GoDaddy.com. Quite a bargain, compared to Anne Lewis Strategies!

    NYC’s database is only current through 2010. There’s nothing from 1Q 2011, best I can tell.

    cinyc (7b8e92)

  78. # 75. Dustin

    I must agree that he’s reckless, sick, obsessed, etc.

    But was the fateful Friday night tweet just a flirt?

    REP. ANTHONY WEINER, D-N.Y.: Last Friday night, I Tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I posted to Twitter I panicked, I took it down and said that I had been hacked. I then continued with that story, to stick to that story which was a hugely regrettable mistake.
    To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it.

    1) He knew that #bornfreecrew was monitoring him and planning to go to the Bigs or other press with the fact that he was consorting with females.
    2) He had warned the harem that the media was about to hit on this.
    2) He was working with GC on how to thwart #bornfreecrew, a project that may have included coaching (or creating) Betty & Veronica.

    So what’s the joke? What was up that night? Why this pic to this strategic consort?

    Throughout this affair, as it has unfolded, he both blatantly lies to us and wants us to understand him in a way. The words he has chosen have frequently been “tells.” He wants us to appreciate him. Part of his downfall was that he didn’t lie enough.

    Earlier when he said, “I cannot say with certitude” that the pic wasn’t him. That things were transferred between accounts and manipulated, he was obviously begging further questions…and he said so with the knowledge that Breitbart may have already had more photos and that #bornfreecrew had already communicated with a number of the gal pals.

    BLITZER: Well, we just want to resolve it once and for all. You would know if this is your underpants, for example.
    WEINER: The question is – I appreciate you continuing to flash that at me.
    Look, I’ve said the best I can, that we’re going to try to get to the bottom of what happened here. But you know, I just want to caution you – and you understand this, you’re a pro – that photographs can be manipulated. Photographs can be taken up from one place and put in another place, photos they can be doctored. And I want to make sure that we know for sure what happened here.
    It certainly doesn’t look familiar to me, but I don’t want to say with certitude to you something that I don’t know to be the certain truth.
    But I do know some certain truths here. I didn’t send any Twitter picture. The person who allegedly it was sent to, this poor woman who is, frankly, a victim in all of this, didn’t get it. She put out a statement saying as much. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me.
    It seems to me that this is what goes on in the Internet world, in the social media world of 2011 that sometimes this happens. Hundreds and thousands of times, just about every week, people have spam and hacking that goes on. It seems like I was a victim of that, and I don’t consider that big of a federal offense, but people want to pay attention to it and I guess I get it. When you’re named Weiner, it kind of goes with the territory.
    BLITZER: Have you ever taken a picture of yourself like this?
    WEINER: I can tell you this, that there are – I have photographs. I don’t know what photographs are out there in the world of me. I don’t know what things have been manipulated and doctored, and we’re going to try to find out what happened.
    But the most important reason I want to find out what happened is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Obviously, somebody got access to my account; that’s bad. They sent a picture that makes fun of the name Weiner. I get it. You know, touche, Dr. Moriarty, you got me.
    At the time it happened, I tweeted right away that I got the joke and I continued on with my life. And I think that, frankly, that’s what I would encourage everyone to do. I don’t believe that this is a big federal issue, but people are free to pursue it if they like.

    So what was the purpose of sending this pic at this critical time to this critical person?

    And what is he trying to tell us with his word choices “as part of a joke” and more?

    koam (f74c33)

  79. What can I do to help? Like Patrick, I’d like to know the truth. I have no “connections” or any “technical” ibternet/social media skills, but I was able to ID Ethel, around 06/03

    MDr (fd1f4b)

  80. So first Gennette says she never got it then later says she got it (in that seconds-long window before RAW deleted it)

    I didn’t interpret that aspect as a changing story at all. That’s not what she actually said, that’s the NYT’s version of what she said. They’re not being good Journalists and distinguishing the different ways you “receive” something on Twitter.

    When you say you “received” a tweet, you’re actively on Twitter at that time or viewing tweets as they come through your timeline. She didn’t happen to be doing that in the time between when he tweeted it and deleted it (it was only up for a few minutes, right?). Thus she says she didn’t “receive” it, which is consistent with not having seen the original tweet, and both of their stories that she was an unwitting recipient vs. something she had prompted in real time, like an ongoing dialogue that we don’t have the other side of. She only saw the RT’ed edition, when she went on Twitter later and saw 12 mentions of @gennettenicole in an hour or whatever. She saw it under her mentions list after the fact, vs. receiving it in her timeline in real time. In other aspects I’m sure she’s lying, but this made sense to me.

    Here’s my theory on the “joke”. The joke is “Hey Loyal Twitter Defender Who’s Also Cute and Flirty: Here’s what I WOULD be doing if these right wing trolls had anything on me.” Outcome A: Rep Weiner gets a new sext partner. Outcome B: “Oh you’re not into Weiner’s wiener? LOL just kidding, my bad. More weiner jokes for all my followers!” The joke is a cover, in case she’s not receptive. The context is everything, they’re talking about/defending against the “trolls”, the rumor is something about pics and young women. The guy’s also been cyber-striking out with a porn actress/stripper (assuming she’s not lying), Broussard’s sort of a cybertease and concerned enough about him to have confided in her “conservative male friend” who tips off Breitbart on May 18. He still has Weiss and Nobles, but he’s had them since 2010 and maybe he wants a new chick to cybergag. He can’t control it. It’s like a subconscious compulsion to escalate their interaction, with the comedy angle as pretext. And just as his exploits are threatening his career, he not only escalates his behavior but flubs it all. It’s the biggest self-fulfilling prophecy ever. Epic.

    She doesn’t get the joke because (a) she’s not a guy, (b) she’s not a guy with a sexual compulsion and adolescent fixation on his package.jpg, and (c) he accidentally sends it to the whole world. Not funny. Oh and (d) she was probably flirting with him, he just took it up a big notch, and she doesn’t want the world/her boyfriend to know that.

    Lisa (e9b5b9)

  81. I think we were all shocked when AW referenced the tweet to GC, as a “joke”. His appology does not look better by adding that bit of information, it looks worse. So the question is, why tell us that?

    Oh, and why tell us that it is not a federal case = I really don’t want it to be one.

    What I don’t understand is: impersonating someone, or having fake ID’s is a crime. Why can’t the police open an investigation on their own, on this?

    Tutu (54ce64)

  82. Oh my. Check out @wittier’s twitter right now.

    I’m so confused.

    Lisa (e9b5b9)

  83. That ‘interview’ by Nicole Sandler of O’Keefe, where
    she screeches up to eleven, frustrated that he won’t take the bait,

    ian cormac (72470d)

  84. Someone faked IDs that fooled someone with White House press credentials.

    Although in this case, isn’t that more of an indictment of the White House’s press credentialing system?

    Jim Treacher (30ee2f)

  85. TREACH!

    JD (85b089)

  86. Patty;

    You have finally gone over the falls on this one. If the stress of being an assistant DA has grown too large, there are options under your tax-payer funded health plan.

    God help the poor souls who are unfortunate enough to stand before you, if you should ever make judge.

    GAWD!

    Semanticleo (450882)

  87. no actually he’s right both of these journalists suck ass they got the story wrong wrong wrong

    defending shoddy journalism is how bars get lowered and the journalism bar in America is already in freefall Mr. Leo person

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  88. SemenKKKleo is commercial-grade idiocy. This is the troll that lied about having a child in Iraq, and claimed PRE traumatic stress disorder, amongst its other gibberish.

    JD (b98cae)

  89. maybe it was a flat headed parched midget crippled iraqi farm baby who circled ned beatty going ”whee whee whee/ pick me!”

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  90. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    JD (306f5d)

  91. FP> Preston’s own statement in her news article that the sock puppet accounts were created “in order to collect information to use against him.”

    No, that’s not what she said in the news article.

    She said (EMPHASIS ADDED)

    Now there IS EVIDENCE THAT one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.

    And that’s what it is. Evidence. Evidence does not have to be conclusive.

    You are too ready to attack the mainstream newspaper reporters and you start seeing things in their articles that aren’t there and I didn’t see..

    Yes, there are some other possibilities, but this is evidence pointing in that direction.

    All that about the motives is actually only a sub clause. She also means to say that there is EVIDENCE that the accounts were fakes. (The false IDs)

    She wasn’t being conclusive about that either!

    There is no “Strange New Agnosticism” There was no “confident declaration” that the Betty/Nikki and Veronica/Marianela were Weiner’s enemies.

    The word “evidence” is used when a reporter doesn’t want to assert something as an absolute fact.

    Now you may say maybe there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER as to what the intent was of creating those fake identities. No special evidence – but once you know they are fake, that would seem like the most reasonable possibility.

    I don’t think she meant that her interpretation had to be true. But it is certainly evidence of what she was saying. The biggest evidence was simply the strong evidence that the accounts were fake.

    “John Reed” now seems to be going to a great deal of trouble to try to argue that the accounts were not fake.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)


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