COMMENTARY | The Anthony Weiner Twitter photo controversy is unlikely to die down any time soon. Since Weiner is a New York congressman who had a photo of a man’s clothed groin on his Twitter account — and has such a suggestive last name as it is – it is a tailor-made scandal. But because the congressman has been on such a disastrous media blitz this week, it has only made things worse.
Weiner has denied that he posted the picture on Twitter, claiming someone hacked into his account to post it. However, by not categorically denying that the photo is of his groin, he has made it easier to believe that it wasn’t just a prank by a hacker. Since the image was first addressed to a 21-year-old woman, it fired even more obvious suspicions.
In addition, while Weiner has gone to the media with his accusations about being hacked, he hasn’t pursued any action with the authorities. CBS News legal expert Jack Ford theorized on The Early Show that he might not want to get caught in a lie to law enforcement, as it’s “not against the law to lie to the media” instead.
Rep. Weiner has said repeatedly that he can’t say “with certitude” that the picture isn’t of him, even telling Rachel Maddow that it may have “started out” as a picture of his. If it merely “started out” as a shot of his groin and it wasn’t meant to be sent to a woman on Twitter, there still aren’t many other reasons why he would take such a picture in the first place.
It would seem quite ludicrous — even by congressional sex scandal standards — that a politician would take an image of his clothed genitals and post it on Twitter expecting not to be caught. That might back up Weiner’s claim that it was all a prank; otherwise, it would make him both sleazy and extremely stupid.
Yet because he cannot say “with certitude” that the photo isn’t of him, that’s exactly what he is coming across as. If he is completely innocent after all, he isn’t doing the best job to prove it, and is only making things worse. And for someone with his last name, he has to know that the longer he keeps this in doubt, the longer he becomes a walking joke for the likes of The Daily Show and other late night programs.
Jon Stewart joked Tuesday that since he is an old friend of Weiner, he knows for certain that the photo couldn’t have been of his genitals. But thanks to the congressman’s interview tour thus far, few others are clear on whether it’s him or not.
CBS News- “Probe could give Weiner more headaches”
The Daily Show- “Distinguished Member of Congress”