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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Weiner incident, now without weiner jokes

by John MacBeath Watkins

One of the major distractions of this week has been the allegation that New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) Twittered a picture of a penis in tight-fitting underwear to a 21-year-old woman who goes to community college in Bellingham, where I did both my undergraduate work and my MA.

He claims his account was hacked. I'm cynical enough about politicians that my initial reaction was, "yeah, right," but I've just run across a statement posted on line by the woman in question. Here's an excerpt and a link:

There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me. I cannot answer the questions that I do not have the answers to. I am not sure whether or not this letter will alleviate any future harassment. I also do not have a clear understanding as to how or why exactly I am involved in this fiasco. I do know that my life has been seriously impacted by speculation and faulty allegations. My reputation has been called into question by those who lack the character to report the facts.

Whoever is responsible for turning this young woman's life upside down is a real stinker, but she doesn't think it was Weiner. As far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out, but I do find it remarkable that most of the coverage has given short shrift to Gennette Cordova's views on the matter. And it seems to me that her feelings are those that should carry the most weight. They may change, if it turns out that Rep. Weiner actually sent the tweet, and if it does, her feelings will still be real issue.

But to the punditocracy, how this affects Rep. Weiner's career and the competition between our political parties is what's paramount. That stinks, as well.

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