Anthony Weiner and how to be a reporter

Our lesson for today on “How to be a Journalist” comes from Robert Stacy McCain.

Today word came out that there was an interesting tweet from the account of Representative Anthony Weiner that included a picture that was shall we say odd for a married congressman directed to a particular account on twitter.

Shortly after this came out Lee Stranaham at Patterico’s site noticed some interesting deletions:

So, around the same time he was tweeting about hockey, he sends the underwear photos to that woman at @GennetteNicole. Don’t bother looking there, though. Rep. Weiner’s photos are all erased. And Gennette seems to have deleted her entire Twitter account. And, it seems, her Facebook account.

Rep Weiner claims his account was hacked but the sudden deletion of the Twitter and Facebook accounts of the at the time unknown lady in question are interesting too.

The Daily Kos, being the Daily Kos has instantly decided that Andrew Breitbart is to blame (much in the same way that Sarah Palin is apparently to blame for the failure of Meagan McCain’s love life) and has started to spin that is is yet “another Breitbart lie” Which translated into human speak means: “A story we want the MSM to ignore.

Enter Robert Stacy McCain, who has a history of not jumping to conclusions. Within a few hours he had identified the young lady in question and has asked actual relevant questions:

Was Rep. Weiner exchanging online messages with Ms. Cordova? If so, why? If this is all just a misunderstanding — if Rep. Weiner was the victim of hackers — why was Ms. Cordova the recipient of that message? Why would a hacker randomly select a student journalist in Washington State to send that to?

The congressman’s office can either answer those questions — and answer them PDQ — or else wait until every political reporter on the West Coast is camped out in front of Ms. Cordova’s house.

Mediate weighed in attacking Breitbart site meanwhile Stacy contacted Andrew directly and in the course of their conversation the following additional question arose?

But here is a question Breitbart posed during our phone conversation: If someone hacked Rep. Weiner’s online accounts, isn’t that a crime? Isn’t it, indeed, a national security threat?

OK, so has Rep. Weiner reported this crime to the police? Is the FBI investigating? When will we have a press conference at which Rep. Weiner vows to get to bottom of this crime against him, and bring the perpetrators to justice?

There is a dog there, you see. And as Sherlock Holmes might point out, that dog is not barking.

As for what I think? I’m not sure, it would be idiocy for a rep to do this but NY-26 was not too long ago and I’ve given up thinking that when it comes to sex congressional brains engage, but from the reaction of the left I think they believe it.

Consider: If this was all hokum the smart thing to do would be to wait, let the right stick out its collective neck and then when it turns out to be smoke and mirrors, or a hacking or even something else (Stacy has theorized an aide in his office who might have been pretending to be the congressman in order to score, that would make some sense) then they could demand massive retractions and apologies all around.

Yet instead the left has decided to play the “Andrew Breitbart can’t be trusted so you must ignore this story” card. This smacks of desperation. Presumably the left would have contacts with Rep Weiner’s office and would be able to confirm his story fairly easily. Yet instead of doing this, they are hitting Breitbart.

This reaction, more than anything else, speaks volumes.

So since Stacy is giving reporting lessons I took the liberty of calling congressman Weiner’s office, the recorded messaged referred me to a press number to call after hours. I called the number and the gentleman named Joe who answered claimed I had the wrong number so I called back the congressman’s office to confirm the number in question (it was correct) and called the press number again. It now goes directly to voice mail. I left my name and home and cell numbers at both locations, and I’ll let you know if anything pans out, but I found that reaction…interesting.

Update: No call back but Stacy’s Spectator article is a great example of straight news as well.