Ed Driscoll

A Small But Perfectly Formed WeinerGate Update

“Weiner’s X-rated photo leaks,” Bryan Preston writes at the Tatler. Gentlemen of the left, start your next round of conspiracy theories:

Radio hosts Opie & Anthony snuck a pic of the junk when Andrew Breitbart showed it to them on his cell phone. And then they tweeted it out.

Breitbart is furious.

Weiner should have resigned a long time ago, if for no other reason than to spare us all this national conversation. Now, the man who married into the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party — who was married to Mrs. Clinton’s long-time aide by Clinton himself — clings to power despite rising calls for his resignation. Both Tim Kaine, the former head of the DNC and current Senate candidate from Virginia, and now Rep. Allyson Schwartz of the DCCC have called for him to go.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who once promised to deliver the most ethical Congress ever, has yet to call for Weiner to go, in spite of evidence that he used official resources to conduct his activities.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey adds:

The Atlantic covers the issue briefly:

Unfortunately for Breitbart–and for Weiner–that policy no longer holds, because on Wednesday a pair of radio DJs seem to have leaked a photo of Breitbart displaying the money shot on his iPhone.

Breitbart appeared on Sirius XM’s The Opie and Anthony Show as part of his media tour in which he’s gloating that he was right all along about Weiner. It seems he was so proud of his trophy he had to show it off.

Gawker blames Breitbart for showing off as well, but Breitbart tells Fox that he kept it to prove to other reporters that he wasn’t bluffing. Both takes are plausible, and whether you believe one or the other probably relates to how you feel about Andrew Breitbart himself.  I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially after all the ridiculous attacks he took in the first few days of the scandal.  I’d want to make sure that reporters knew I was telling the truth in that situation as well — and if that also meant at least a subtle bit of gloating went along with the defense, it’s hard to blame him.

I won’t bother linking to the photo itself; each of the links above will get you there in two steps, if you’re really interested.  Suffice it to say that it’s exactly what we thought it would be, and other than the provenance of the photo, it’s entirely uninteresting.  However, it does provide closure to the oddball who yelled out the last question of Weiner’s presser, asking about the status of his member.

Does this make matters worse for Weiner?  Probably.  It’s bad enough that Weiner lied about the initial picture for ten days, allowing the media to concoct absurd conspiracy theories and sucker his friends and family into publicly defending him.  This last image makes it clear that Weiner didn’t have any judgment whatsoever, unless he figured to someday pose for Playgirl.  It’s difficult to see how Democrats will want to go on record defending this kind of self-destructive, bizarre behavior, and it may push more of them to demand that Weiner start his post-political career now rather than after January 2013.

Roll Call notes that Weiner’s staffers are starting to circulate their resumes, knowing that the handwriting is on the iPhone the wall:

Members of his staff (who were accepting Weiner’s lies as the truth until he fessed up to them Monday afternoon, just before facing the cameras) have left his Rayburn suite largely unattended while they roam the halls looking for other jobs. Pelosi (ditto) has written an official letter doubling down on her call for a full-up Ethics Committee investigation — assuring the drip-drip of coverage will continue for months unless the one-time king of Queens politics quits Congress. Yesterday’s “Call someone else” will long be remembered as one of the most biting bits of advice Reid has ever given. Party officials in New York aren’t taking his calls, either, while working to recruit an alternative candidate in the 9th District — either for 2012 or for a special election if Weiner resigns. Former City Councilman Eric N. Gioia of Queens would be their top choice.

But the most important sign of Weiner’s shrinking half life came on a Virginia TV station yesterday, where Senate candidate Tim Kaine made clear that Weiner-slamming is acceptable in public by 2012 congressional candidates. “Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign,” the former Democratic national chairman declared.

About the best news Weiner has received in the past 48 hours was in a NY1-Marist poll taken in the hours after his admissions; it found 51 percent of the city’s voters saying he should not resign, and an amazingly modest 56 percent urging him not to run for mayor in 2013.

Run Anthony, run! Show ’em you’re the perfect mayor for New York!

(Actually, considering his stance on one of Bloomberg’s biggest pet issues, sadly, Weiner might actually be a step up from Mayor Mike in some respects. But that says more about Mike than Tony.)

Update: Tony’s got the look.

Update: Breitbart’s statement on the incident here. And with Weiner’s, err, goose cooked, Alec Baldwin is said to be thinking of entering the New York City mayor’s race. What could go wrong?