Since everyone and their cousin has already weighed in on L’Affaire De Weiner, I originally intended to abstain. However, there is one aspect of the whole sordid mess that has stood out to me as events have unfolded this past week-and-a-half. Yes, it is somewhat unsettling that a sitting Congressman could be so careless and, frankly, act so stupidly, both in his interactions with his on-line “friends” and in his subsequent attempts to cover his rear end. (Or, well, you know what I mean.) Sadly, though, I did not find myself particularly shocked by any of it.
The media angle on the story, however, has been utterly fascinating to watch from the sidelines. I was listening to The Stage Right show on the evening the Tweet Seen ‘Round the World was issued. It was clear that something was afoot. Larry O’Connor had to leave the show for a few minutes to take a phone call. A comment was made in Chat that something big was breaking. I had my Twitter feed up, as well, and saw Dana Loesch’s inquiry regarding Yfrog accounts and Twitter names. Soon, the story was posted at Big Gov, and the endless Twittergasm ensued.
I spent much of Memorial Day Weekend at the pool. Virtually none of it watching the “MSM” or their reporting on the story. Still, it was clear that it was getting very little play outside the Blogosphere. The following Tuesday, I had lunch with four co-workers, all of whom are well-informed and typically up on news and current events. Only one of them had heard of Weinergate at that point, and he, only because I’d just introduced him to the Twitterverse the week before and suggested he follow several of the folks I follow. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that we were then three full days out from the story’s breaking.
I followed the coverage throughout the rest of last week, of course. Noted that CNN at least appeared to be interested in taking a closer look. And, of course, Weiner’s own press junket helped keep the story front and center. I wasn’t overly surprised by the reflexive reaction of Leftblogistan to defend Weiner and cry “rightwingconspiracy,” though I was somewhat amazed at the lengths some seemed willing to go to deny an ounce of credit to Breitbart and his team for breaking the story, and worse, to actually accuse them of having manufactured it. Really? Seriously? Friday night on a holiday weekend and Breitbart and Loesch and the rest of the crew have nothing better to do than “hack” a sitting Congressman’s accounts and post “photoshopped” pics of his junk in gray boxer briefs? (All in an effort to run interference for Clarence Thomas, of course.)
I do shake my head a lot these days. It’s almost painful to see the visceral, nasty instincts so many on the left are so quick to display. Hey, the right has ’em, too. I’m not blind. But how anyone with a shred of objectivity could sit back and watch all this play out and not see the incredible lack of symmetry there, I honestly don’t know. I can say (with certitude) that even in my leftward days, I’d have had trouble swallowing the crap (oh, you don’t know how badly I want to say something else*) some on the left are shoveling over this.
This past Sunday night, I observed a tweet from Breitbart himself which called to mind a kid in a candy store. Or me, with a really good Texas Hold ’em hand. Clearly, while the flop had been remarkable, the turn and the river promised to be even more so! Sure enough, yesterday morning came the revelation that (as I’d predicted to my co-workers that Tuesday before), there were, indeed, more ladies who’d been on the receiving end of Weiner’s naughty tweets. And then, to top it off, the press conference with an unscheduled intro from….none other than Breitbart himself. Vindication, indeed!
Look, I can’t claim to know any of these players well at all. I can only rely on what I’ve observed. What I observed this past week or so was a Congressman in a pickle, acting defensive and giving inconsistent stories. What I observed was a blogger/journalist who’s been repeatedly demonized appearing, for all the world, to be very carefully and meticulously peeling back the layers in an attempt to get to the bottom of the story. Thus far, the story has played out in a fashion quite consistent with my observations. This tells me to keep watching closely and keep trusting my instincts.
This afternoon, I listened to Dana’s interview with Breitbart on her radio show. She asked him if he saw this as a turning point. Immediately, my goofy and semi-perverse brain thought, “Ah! A Weinershed moment!” After a momentary tee-hee, I thought, yes, this actually is a turning point. The way this has all played out couldn’t have been better scripted from Breitbart’s perspective. The left’s kneejerk deflection and fingerpointing at him had the effect of making the story at least, in part, about him. And you know what? He’s come out the winner on this one. While the cameras were rolling. Congrats to him and the Bigs. Nicely played.