The Corner

‘Weinergate’: What We Know

I’m loath to tread into the murky waters of ‘Weinergate,’ but there are some theories on both sides that don’t make sense. So here’s a summary of what we know:

This actually happened. There are some that are saying that the yfrog screenshot was manufactured. Well, here’s a link to the [Google cache of the] yfrog image page, and a direct link to the image. There was definitely — without a doubt — a picture posted to Rep. Anthony Weiner’s yfrog and Twitter account that has since been removed. The image (5m3lu.jpg) shows up on yfrog’s website, pointing to Weiner’s account. And the timestamp — 3 days, 14 hours ago — matches up with when this all went down.

On the other side, in an attempt to prove Weiner himself must have posted this, the question has been raised, “If this wasn’t Weiner, how would a hacker also have access to his yfrog account?” This is easily explained away if you notice the big “Login with Twitter (no signup required)” button on yfrog’s website:

A hacker with access to Weiner’s Twitter account would by extension have access to his yfrog account.

Was there a “link” between Cordova and Weiner? Yes: He started following her on Twitter a couple months ago. Had their relationship matured to the point where he felt comfortable direct messaging her a picture of his bulging package? Probably not: Her statement rings too true. (She is also back on Twitter and probably has a book forthcoming.)

So what happened? After the alleged hack — or prank — Weiner went on the defensive: He deleted everything on yfrog, hired a lawyer, and dodged questions in front of the cameras. These are not the actions of a man who has been the victim of a hack attack.

There are a couple of possibilities:

  • He actually did this. If this is the case, he should be banned from using The Interwebs for doing one of the dumbest things possible.


  • He was actually hacked. If this is the case, it opens up more questions than it answers. (Why has no one taken credit for it? Why hasn’t Weiner pledged to hunt down this guy, seeing as this story isn’t going away?)


  • This was posted to his account by someone who had access to his account — a borrowed phone or laptop in the hands of a prankster friend, or jealous girlfriend, who discovered this photo.

He’s not acting like he’s innocent, but sending this photo to a random recipient on the Internet is just as hard to believe. Until Capitol Police get involved — which doesn’t seem likely at this point — we may never know.

UPDATE: To quell the rage of commenters who think I’ve given Weiner a pass on this, I do think the media will (and needs to) continue to cover this now that everyone has finished drinking beer and barbecuing. It’d certainly be easy enough for him to clear this all up: he could ask Twitter and yfrog to release the IP address and any related information regarding the offending posts. The longer this hangs around, the more he’ll look guilty.

UPDATE II: This looks really, really bad for Weiner. Does anyone need any more evidence?

Nathan Goulding — Nathan Goulding is the Chief Technology Officer of National Review. He often goes by “Chaka” in NRO’s popular blog The Corner. While having never attended a class in computer science, ...

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