WeinerGate: Best. Press Conference. EVER
Well, that was fun, wasn't it?
Hey, nothing like being upstaged at your own press conference. Andrew Breitbart was at the press conference, and if I understand correctly from the zillion-tweets-a-minute going on during the conference, reporters asked Andrew to answer questions. Naturally, he took the podium, achieving a moment of New Media Awesomeness:
"I want to hear the truth. I want to hear the truth from Congressman Weiner and I would like an apology for him being complicit in a blame-the-messenger strategy," Andrew Breitbart said at a presser before Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) took the podium -- at the same place.
"I am accused of being a hacker. He said nothing. He allowed for that to go. The minions perpetuated that false, maliciousness and he went on to CNN to attack me and I feel he was complicity. You can talk. The girl's story, I believe, will be on "World News Tonight," and she can talk to you more specifically. I have seen a lot of this Congressman's body and he is in very good shape and it appears to be his body. So ... okay, everything that I have said so far has come to be true."
If you thought the legacy media and the left (but I repeat myself) hated Breitbart before this, well...
Oh, and what of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)? He came clean, sorta, kinda. Naturally, he's not resigning. At least as of now:
Embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner admitted to posting lewd photos of himself on Twitter at a Monday afternoon press conference.While addressing the media at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, Weiner made the following statement: “Last Friday night I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I posted it to Twitter, I panicked, I took it down and said that I had been hacked. I then continued with that story to stick to that story which was a hugely regrettable mistake.”
“I am so sorry to have disrupted her life in this way. To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it. I am deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife Huma and our family, and my constituents, my friends, supporters and staff,” Weiner said.
In addition, the congressman said that “over the past few years I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email, and occasionally on the phone with women I have met online.”
Fausta has a good timeline of the press conference, which she live-blogged:
4:50PM Says he also misled his Congressional staff.
4:48PM Says did not violate the rules of the House, or violates the Constitution.
Dan Blatt’s also liveblogging.
4:40PM Accepts full responsibility. “My constituents will have to make the determination to vote [him out of office]“. He’s not quitting, alright.
The WaPo is carrying this story in their LIFESTYLE section, along with the decorating and parties.
4:35PM Weiner apologizes to Andrew Breitbart.
He says he never had any physical relationship with any of the women but does not deny phone sex, and “won’t rebut anything” the women are saying.
Earlier in the press conference,
Anthony Weiner states during this afternoon press conference: “To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it.”
Would have saved himself a world of trouble if he had just said it in the first place.
He’s not resigning.
He also initially claimed that his account was hacked, a serious allegation for a congressman to make. I wonder if there will be any repercussions for that?
Conspicuously absent at the press conference? Mrs. Weiner, Hillary Clinton's former aide-de-camp. Make of that what you will.
Say, does anyone know which reporter shouted at the very end of the press conference as Weiner was dismounting the podium, "Were you fully erect or are you capable of more!?" You stay classy, MSM Howard Stern Show.
At Hot Air: "Weiner admits to sending photo, not resigning; Update: Apologizes to Breitbart; Update: Woman who received Weiner pics speaks to ABC."
As somebody said on Twitter, the left will forgive Weiner of anything. But not apologizing to Breitbart.
Mickey Kaus adds:
I thought Weiner did almost as well as he could possibly do. He had the requisite L.A. Confidential bare honesty. … But if he isn’t addicted to sex, he’s clearly addicted to air time. He couldn’t get off the podium until he’d said at least one obnoxious thing, which is that he had “not much desire” to actually meet the women he was tweeting with (and that he was now supposedly apologizing to). …
And as Ace (who has owned this story almost as much as Breitbart) notes, "So, in 'coming clean,' [Weiner] lied a whole bunch of times, and continued to evade."
Will the GOP Congress let him off the hook?
Of course they will.
Jennifer Rubin adds, "Will he survive? I suppose if he wants to tough it out and there is no evidence of illegality, he can try. But he’s ruined himself and disgraced his office. That, I suppose, is where things stand."
Worked pretty well for Teddy and Bill, didn't it?
Update: I'd embed the video from the press conference here, but for technical reasons, it would prohibit me from easily updating this post. So click here to watch, and then come back for more reaction and updates.
I've also added video of Andrew Breitbart's incredible warm-up act at the same link. As Allahpundit asks:
If you’re wondering what the left’s next move will be after this, you haven’t been reading blogs for very long. Exit question: If Breitbart hadn’t asked for an apology from Weiner, would the press ever have thought to ask for one on his behalf? A rhetorical question, of course.
Meanwhile, back in old media, the Weiner rehabilitation tour begins: Reuters editor "Chrystia Freeland Blown Away by Weiner's 'Classy Touch'"
Well that's one way to put it.
Astonishingly, Congressional Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Palomino) says she's calling for an investigation, according to CNN:
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Monday for an ethics committee investigation of Rep. Anthony Weiner to determine if government resources were used or House rules were violated in Weiner's online relationships with women through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Perhaps headlines such as this at the Washington Examiner are spurring Pelosi on: "Weiner didn't communicate with underage girls -- but only to the best of his knowledge:"
Of all the things he said, none of them were more destructive than when he was asked whether he knew for sure that all of the females he was communicating with were adults. He would only say they were, "to the best of my knowledge."
Even if you take him at his word (and this is the guy who claimed that he couldn't with "certitude" identify a photo of him in his underwear), it's extra sleazy that he would engage in these sort of relationships without even knowing for sure whether he was swapping photos with underage girls.
Ultimately, Weiner declined to resign. Whether or not he survives this episode, at the very minimum, his chances of being elected mayor of New York City have taken a severe hit.
Over to you, GOP.
Update: I started to write this as an update, but figured I'd spin it off into its own post on what a landmark day today was for new media, no matter what happens to Weiner.
And barring anything groundbreaking, I think that's the last of the updates to this post. As always, the rest of the blog is open 24 hours a day for your dining and dancing pleasure, to paraphrase M*A*S*H.