Anthony Weiner and how to be a reporter

by Datechguy | May 28th, 2011

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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.

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.

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