Realizing that his press conference yesterday was a disaster, Congressman Anthony Weiner answered reporters’ questions today. Only his answers were less than definitive; most notably, Weiner “can’t say with certitude” whether the notorious tweeted photograph is of his crotch or not. Here is the photo:
I don’t know about you, but I rarely take pictures of my crotch. Never, actually. Nor do my friends and acquaintances. So it is a little hard to understand how Anthony Weiner can have, apparently, so many crotch shots in circulation that he just can’t be sure whether this is one of them, or not.
Weiner is obviously lying about that, and it therefore must be a picture of him. Otherwise, he would answer the question with a straightforward “no.” At the same time, he vigorously denies that he himself tweeted the photograph. Why lie about the one point and not the other? If Weiner both took the picture and sent it to the woman in Washington, why not lie about both facts, and flatly deny everything?
Who knows, maybe there is some kind of prank going on, where Weiner took the photo of his crotch for whatever reason, but someone else sent it to the Seattle coed, under circumstances that Weiner prefers not to explain. All we can be sure of, for now, is that this story will continue to provide entertainment value for some time to come.
UPDATE: Tonight Weiner gave an interview to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the ultimate friendly audience. Yet he once again tied himself up in knots:
Maddow then approached cautiously a question many throughout the day had been searching for an answer to with no clear result, preempting it with the fact that, thanks to his vague answer about the photo’s origin, “you realize that now everybody thinks the photo is you… where there’s smoke there’s fire.” Having apparently watched Lawrence O’Donnell an hour before, Rep. Weiner replied, “I have to say, I wish!” before saying that “the photo doesn’t look familiar to me.” Yet he still refused to say definitively whether it is him, but this time explained his rationale slightly more: “stuff gets manipulated… maybe it started out being a photograph of mine,” he allowed, that “was taken out of context.”
Taken out of context? What, it used to show more of his legs, but was cropped? I have seen Weiner on television a few times and he has struck me as a partisan loudmouth with little intelligence. For some reason, he is reputed in some quarters to be a smart guy. I think we are seeing that my casual impression was correct.