My Chat With Gennette Cordova (By Aaron with Skeptical Updates from Patterico) (UPDATE: Gennette Appears in Comments and Refuses to Answer Patterico’s Questions)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
That’s right folks, a true rarity on my part. I am about to do original reporting. As you guys know I have argued (based solely on information that was in the public domain), that Gennette Cordova, intended recipient of the Tweetpic seen around the world, was very likely an online paramour with Rep. Weiner. And you can read this old post where I made the case, as well as this one where I noticed that the New York Times claimed that she did not share all the information she had. That word “claimed” will become relevant in a moment.
In the Twitterverse, I had frankly hectored her a little about it with sarcastic comments about the coincidences lining up. But at some point along the way I suspected she felt a little besieged and that my approach was not productive. And I think she felt she honestly wanted to tell me and Patrick how she felt we might be going wrong on the Ethel story in a way that might prove frankly prescient. Anyway, one way or the other, I convinced her to chat with me by DMs and basically I had a long discussion with her about the whole thing.
Now judging credibility is a difficult thing to do by text chat. I can’t see her expression and I can’t hear the tone of her voice. But what she shared with me was a plausible and consistent story that I frankly find convincing. Yes, barring any surprising developments, I take back my opinion that she was Rep. Weiner’s online paramour. Of course I am absolutely convinced he was seeking that kind of relationship, and I think that infamous Tweetpic was his attempt to move in that direction, but I don’t think she was reciprocating. All she was, was political admirer of his that attracted his attention.
But I would rather let you look at the actual conversation. Now, I am not going to quote every typo, etc. I am going to clean this up to be more readable. And when the delays in twitter make us talk past each other, I moved around questions and responses to pair them up better. Read and judge for yourself.
Now this started off with me publicly challenging her (here and here) based on the claim, found in this New York Times article, that she had refused to provide them copies of all of her exchanges with the Congressman.
That prompted her to finally agree to follow me, allowing me to send her direct messages, writing:
I’m following you. And you can ask the Times reporter. I showed him everything I had. How would I have every conversation?
I am confused though as to why you think I care whether or not you believe my story about Anthony Weiner. I’ve been truthful this whole time.
I can’t help it if there are people who desperately want to believe we had an inappropriate relationship.
Tell me this… what would I stand to gain from lying about this?
The New York Times said you didn’t share all you had: “But Ms. Cordova would not make all of her interaction with him available for review.” Are they wrong? Inaccurate?
We talked for a long time. I told the reporter it was all I had. So technically he was wrong but I don’t think the mistake was made intentionally.
But I digress. What would I stand to gain from lying?
Well, regarding the Times reporter, I guess that is he said/she said, and thus a wash.
And for why… well, I think it is very normal and very human to want to stay out of this limelight.
And then we cross-talked a little because there is a delay in messages. I asked her: “By the way, you also felt that the “Ethel” story was definitely wrong. Do you know something not in the public record, or is that your own assessment of Patrick’s evidence?” That question got lost in the shuffle until later. And because of the delay she apparently briefly thought I dodged the question of what she would gain from lying. But then the conversation got back on the rails again:
But I’m in the limelight more than the other girls. Papers are still inaccurately reporting that I’m one of the six. Why wouldn’t I make some money if I could?
I don’t think it’s hard to understand why a person would rather not be his admitted paramour. It depends on what is more important to a person.
Okay. That’s fair. Well I wish I had something more salacious for all of you.
Look, I based my assessment on 3 things:
1) You did call him your boyfriend. Joke or not you have to admit that is a big coincidence.
2) My view of human nature. Yes, it’s possible for Weiner to be that stupid especially when thinking with the lower head. But it seems unlikely.
3) That time-in-Seattle tweet of his you retweeted. Again it’s kind of a weird coincidence.
Can you see from my perspective how suggestive that all is?
I do. I realized when everything happened exactly how it would look. Question about the “boyfriend” tweet, because there’s an obvious generational gap (people my age say stuff like that all the time): did you think I said it because we were involved in online flirting?
Now you’re making me feel old. Lol. I don’t think calling him your bf makes it automatically he really is, especially when celebrities are involved but sometimes a boyfriend is really a boyfriend.
Can I ask, was he following you on twitter at that point, when you made the bf comment? Or did that come after?
No. He wasn’t following me. We had never communicated at that point. Also, I feel like if I had been involved with him I’d be even less likely to publicly tweet something like that. I have a live in boyfriend of three years.
I bet you anything then Weiner followed you because you called him his boyfriend. I really think his entire twitter thing was about stroking his ego. I thought this person’s analysis of the Weiss transcript was spot on. [I linked here.]
That could be true. I’m not defending him. In fact, I’ve been very dissatisfied with the media’s suggestions that I’ve defended him. I never once backed a hacking story, like it was reported. And I never lied for him. He has his issues but I’m very different from the women who he actually was involved with.
Yeah, I think people were confused on the timeline when they called you a liar.
Like they didn’t know that Weiner had only kept that tweet up there for 5 seconds. [Lee has made that claim on twitter based on what Dan Wolfe, a.k.a. PatriotUSA76, had said.] So only a person constantly checking–like Wolfe, or whatever his real name is–would have seen. Anyone who was out doing other things wouldn’t have seen. Especially at 9 on a Friday night.
I never saw the tweet. Also, if we were having an inappropriate relationship it would have probably been in his best interest to admit it. One more online affair can’t hurt him. But looking like a predator, which I felt the Times piece did, can hurt him.
Let me ask you this. Looking back in 20/20 hindsight, do you think he was trying to get you into a relationship like he did with Weiss? Like was there anything that sounded innocent at the time, but took on new meaning now all this happened?
I hate to speculate. So I’m not sure. He wasn’t inappropriate with me, though. Our talks were about people like Wolfe. I was intrigued by them. I still am. I’ve watched closely. I’m considering writing a piece on it.
And then I engaged in speculation about another twitterer that frankly I am not going to republish—and it’s off topic anyway.
By the way, did Rep. Weiner ever say anything about wearing a superhero’s cape and tights in your DMs? If you recall?
Hahaha. WTF? Are you serious? No. He did not.
He did use that cape and tights routine with Weiss, for what it’s worth. But then they had a different relationship.
By the way, you didn’t happen to have anything that showed when Rep. Weiner first followed you? Like my twitter account tells me when I get a new follower. did you maybe keep that email? (That’s assuming you have twitter set up like I do, obviously.)
No. My Twitter notifications were disabled. Dan Wolfe [a.k.a. PatriotUSA76] probably knows though. Anyway, you’re not so bad. Glad we chatted.
Well thanks. I got the feeling you felt a little besieged. And I probably contributed to that, which was stupid of me.
No need to worry. I’m a tough girl.
Yeah, I suspect you are.
I did have one question I wanted to circle back to. I think it got lost in the shuffle… You said last night that Patrick was wrong about “Ethel.” Was that just your assessment of the facts we knew? Or do you know something we don’t?
Something you don’t. Same with Betty and Veronica. I’ve paid attention for months.
“Something you don’t.” Would you care to elaborate? I know Patrick would want to know if he was wrong.
Before I decide if I’m going to do that… I’d like to ask, do you truly believe that the screen shot they have is that girl “talking dirty”?
The honey mustard thing? A 69 is pretty dirty…
Another generational gap, sigh. Anyone my age could look at that and see that a friend posted that on her Twitter. It’s very common. A friend leaves their Twitter or Facebook up and you write something embarrassing.
So you’re saying its one of her friends goofing? Talking dirty just as a joke. and Patrick is misinterpreting that as her joke?
Right. You make it as embarrassing as possible. I’ve seen worse. Honey mustard as lube though… such an obvious joke. Google it. It’s very common.
And you are saying she left her computer on, didn’t log out of twitter and so it 100% looks like she wrote it.
I highly doubt she tweeted that. But that’s just my opinion.
So then after that I noted that right now on Google all the honey mustard lubricant references were now linking to Patrick’s post (later she explained that she meant me to Google the practical joke she was describing) and then I asked if I could reprint this conversation. I will note for the record that I had to clean up my text much more than hers, embarrassingly enough.
My gut at this point says she is telling the truth, and thus the most likely story is that Weiner had intentions toward her, and maybe right then he was trying to “reel her in” when he accidentally tweeted that pic to the world. Reasonable minds can disagree, but that is my assessment. But as they say, I report, you decide.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]
SKEPTICAL UPDATE BY PATTERICO: “I have a live in boyfriend of three years,” says Ms. Cordova.
Yeah, what could she possibly have to gain by denying flirting with Weiner?
UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: Because I know Gennette is reading this, let me ask if she wants to answer my questions. She might be telling the truth, but it’s going to take more than this to convince me.
Here are a few that I don’t really expect an answer to:
1) You tell Aaron:
And you can ask the Times reporter. I showed him everything I had. How would I have every conversation?
Commenter soren notes that the NYT article said:
Ms. Cordova provided a portion of her communications with Mr. Weiner to The Times, in which they messaged back and forth about the online detractors and their tactics. But Ms. Cordova would not make all of her interaction with him available for review.
How do you resolve this apparent contradiction?
2) Did you come up with the “someone grabbed Ethel’s phone” theory on your own? Have you talked to Ethel about it?
3) How often did you talk to Ethel before this scandal? How about after? How about Betty and/or Veronica? How about Rep. Weiner?
4) Did you tell Rep. Weiner you lived in Seattle before that famous tweet?
5) Would you agree to have Twitter release all your DMs with Congressman Weiner?
6) If you are telling the truth that you did not flirt with Weiner, then how would you characterize his sending you that picture? Reckless? Bad judgment? Sexual harassment?
7) You say “WTF” to Aaron re the idea that Weiner would talk “cape and tights” with you. So: what is your reaction to the fact that he talked about “tights and cape shit” with a 17-year-old?
I eagerly await Ms. Cordova’s response. But I don’t really expect to get one.
UPDATE x3 BY PATTERICO: Gennette has appeared in comments and seized on a random comment from a random commenter as an excuse not to answer my questions. Now there’s a shocker!