The big story in the blogosphere over the weekend is actually a small story -- a liberal Democratic Congressman, Anthony Weiner of New York, apparently accidentally sent a picture of his schlong over his public Twitter account to 40,000 followers, when he meant to send it secretly over his private Twitter account to a 21 year-old coed. He has since claimed that he is the victim of "hacking" and a "prank." No one believes it.... this is a story that cries out for Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is... a horny middle-aged guy gets attention from young girls because of his political position, and he likes it so much that he goes overboard. The going overboard, of course, is exacerbated and complicated in modern times by technology.... the ease of relatively anonymous communication on Twitter, Facebook, email, texting, etc. makes this kind of illicit contact too tempting for jerks like this guy who apparently never grew up and never developed a moral sense. (Important to note: I am confident that most men actually aren't like this, that most men actually aren't doing this sort of thing. There is a moral silent majority out there who would recognize that sending a picture of your dong over the Internet to a 21 year-old girl is way-out-there creepy.) Here's a good timeline/summary of the story to date.
But other than the embarrassment factor, what exactly is the story? Did he make a false police report? I don't think so. Did he defame Twitter and hurt it's business reputation (by putting a hokey story out there that suggests that Twitter accounts can be easily "hacked")? Maybe; this is a closer call, but I doubt that Twitter wants to sue a sitting Congressman and get more publicity out of this, and frankly I think this will end up actually being positive publicity for Twitter once they are able to make the case that their security is strong. So what is the story?
Two things, I think, make this marginally more interesting:
1. What if it had happened to a Republican? What if it had happened to Todd Palin, for instance? So this is more a story of mainstream media bias and willingness to spin to help a liberal Democrat. But we knew that anyway. But still....
2. The name of the guy. Anthony Weiner... you can only imagine what fun the headline writers are having.
Weiner Shows His Weiner
That's Not A Gun in His Pants, That's Weiner
Could I Have Some Kraut With That?
I could go on, but I guess I ought not.
What a doofus.