Retweet MY Underweiner! June 2, 2011Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Politics.
June 6, 4:30 p.m. EST: Well, it looks as though much of the following post has been Overtaken By Events, only four days later. . . .
I’m afraid the pundits are right: “Weinergate” is a textbook example of how NOT to handle the bad P.R. generated by the Breitbart lies-and-smears machine.
For those of you who have so far missed this “scandal”: Late at night on Friday, May 27, a waist-down photograph of an aroused man in boxer shorts was sent to Twitter from the Yfrog account of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Moments after the image was tweeted, both the tweet and Weiner’s Yfrog account had been removed and the offensive tweet disavowed. It is conceivable that the whole incident would have been nothing more than a blink, or at most a ripple, if the hyperpartisan, ultra-hard-right web site “Andrew Breitbart Presents Big Government” had not begun publicizing the “scandal” relentlessly. On June 1 it was the top story on CNN for most of the afternoon.
According to Breitbart, a conservative blogger named Dan Wolfe has been obsessed with Rep. Weiner’s alleged Twitter relationships with young women for a long time. Wolfe in early May began promising his conservative tweeps “sex-scandal pics of a ‘big time’ Congressman” and that a sex scandal was about to devastate the Democratic party. Seconds after Weiner allegedly torpedoed his own political future with this “sex-scandal pic,” Dan Wolfe “captured” the lewd image and began “retweeting” it.
According to Breitbart and his army of conservative-blogging zombies, Weiner tweeted the photograph of his package in a direct-message response to an African-American college student who had allegedly referred to Weiner as “my boyfriend.” (Full disclosure: I once referred to Andrew Breitbart as “my boyfriend.” I would rather drink drain cleaner than have people whom I respect believe I would touch that lying weasel, even with one or both of us in hazmat suits.)
On June 1, the college student was vehemently denying the hyperpartisans’ allegations. She has stated unequivocably that she never saw the lewd photo and she has never met Weiner, who lives on the other side of the continent from her and is over twice her age. The student stated that she had been harassed by conservatives on Twitter long BEFORE she was targeted by whomever originated the lewd tweet (which I believe!); some time in the last few days, the student was harassed into deleting her Twitter account altogether.
I’d believe the college student before I’d believe the Breitbart smear machine even if I were a (shudder) Repugnican or Tea Puppet.
I have read conservative allegations that the lewd photo was direct-tweeted to the college student. If this were true, it would have been seen only by the student and the few people who “follow” BOTH the student AND Rep. Weiner. Since the “scandal” broke within moments of a conservative’s “retweet” of the photo, which was “retweeted” within moments of the original tweet, I find the Greedy Oil Plutocrats’ Party Line impossible to believe.
According to a blogger for the Daily Kos, Dan Wolfe deleted his Twitter account almost immediately after the “scandal” broke (suspicious!), and forensic analysis has proven that the lewd photo did NOT come from Rep. Weiner.
Rep. Weiner’s initial explanation seemed almost certainly the simple truth: Some enemy (Dan Wolfe, perhaps?) hacked Rep. Weiner’s Yfrog account and sent the tweet. The disingenuous comments of right-wing hyperpartisans to the contrary, it is easy to hack most people’s social media accounts. How difficult is it to guess the two most popular passwords on the Internet, “password” and “123456”?
Alas, that’s where the plausibility ends. NBC’s Luke Russert asked Weiner whether the photo was of himself, and Weiner hedged: “You know, I can’t say with certitude.” Tony, Tony, Tony! Have you learned nothing from Jon Stewart over the many years of your friendship? You deny that it is a photo of yourself — taken from an angle that suggests you yourself were the photographer — unless there is some feature of the photo that identifies you conclusively, like a tattoo of “Breitbart is a frakking liar” at the top of your thigh. If for some reason you can’t or won’t deny that the image is yourself, you MUST deny it with a joke, such as “that looks like my undies, but the lump is way too small to be Big Jim and the twins.”
(Also: the word “certitude” means “freedom from doubt, especially in matters of faith or opinion.” You meant “certainty,” Rep. Weiner, and you ought to have been certain that the lewd image was not yourself, from the first moment and steadfastly thereafter. Right-wing nut jobs are full of certitude that the photo is of the congressman, there is no global warming, trickle-down economics is good for the economy, Saddam did so too have weapons of mass destruction, Dick Cheney never treasonously ordered the “outing” of Valerie Plame, and the flat Earth was created on October 23, 4004 BCE. Weiner should have begun using phrases like “right-wing smear job” “right-wing set-up,” “ACORN,” “Shirley Sherrod,” and “Van Jones” starting late at night on Friday, May 27. Never, ever allow the right-wing smear machine to feel that its truthiness has been validated!)
Andrew Breitbart has repeatedly been allowed to make a series of truly vile insinuations, unchallenged: Weiner is in the habit of lasciviously following nymphets on Twitter. (How does Breitbart know?) Weiner is in the habit of stalking these nymphets. (How does Breitbart know?) These nymphets enjoy tweeting about Weiner and his sexual proclivities. (How does Breitbart know?) The newsmodels who allowed these nauseating non-truths to pass unchallenged ought to have said: “On what basis are you making these disgusting innuendoes, Mr. Breitbart? Do you have printouts or screen captures of the tweeted ‘conversations’ you are claiming took place? Why do you imagine that pubescent girls enjoy gossiping about a politician old enough to be their father merely because you, Andrew Breitbart, do not agree with that politician’s opinions?”
Here’s the way these scandals work: Breitbart or one of his zombies invents a lie about a Democrat or Democratic group and spreads it assiduously. The lie is quickly demonstrated to be a lie. The right-wing smear machine keeps right on repeating the falsehood in wildly biased coverage, ad nauseatingly infinitum. At all times and under all circumstances, any Democratic politician or group is guilty not until proven innocent — which happens quickly — but until the right wing admits it had been dishonest from day one. In other words, the lies are repeated until right-wing dupes have been thoroughly convinced the lies are Gospel Truth.
This “scandal” is plausible to me only if Rep. Weiner has a career death-wish. The death of Rep. Weiner’s career is surely a dear goal of the right-wing lies-and-smears machine, since Weiner is smarter and abler than virtually all GOP politicians put together. So I have created the photo you see below. If you are as disgusted with Breitbart’s “destroy with any lie” campaign against all progressivism, I urge you to tweet and retweet it. Claim that it’s Breitbart’s wiener. . . .
After what happened to Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, and now Rep. Weiner, I have coined a new verb: “to breitbart.” To breitbart is to have a minion or sympathizer fake a video or photo “proving” that a Democratic or progressive individual or organization is corrupt, racist, sleazy, or socialist/commie; when the image you’re flogging is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt to be false, KEEP FLOGGING IT ANYWAY. The goal is not to reveal the truth; the goal is to repeat lies about political enemies until one’s conservative dupes take for granted that your lies are gospel truth.
I also made up a tweet: If Andrew Breitbart says it’s true, it’s a lie. If Andrew Breitbart insinuates that it’s true — then it’s a fucking lie.
P.S. on June 6: So it looks as though Rep. Weiner has joined the ranks of John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Ted Haggard, and other Replutocrats who think with their dicks instead of their brains. But while the Replutocrats have all been forgiven and forgotten, Faux News and hate radio are going to flog “Weinergate” to death, AND use it as a distraction for why Clarence Thomas should be impeached and disbarred.
I STILL hope and pray that progressive hackers will get access to the Yfrog accounts of Breitbart, John Boehner, and other Replutocrats, and have “them” tweet images like “I love President Obama” and “Down with Medikill!” . . .