Why We Should Be Suspicious Of Mediaite

Somewhere in the #Weinergate story, some people at Mediaite –most notably Tommy Christopher – made a decision that it was their job to actually make up excuses for Rep. Weiner that even Weiner himself wasn’t making. This is not the job of journalist, really – especially when you take the further step of actually picking on specific individuals. It’s one thing to ask questions and posit theories but Mediaite went way beyond this. The vague suggestions that Mediaite makes turn into full throated crazy at sites like DailyKos.

And – Mediaite’s excuse factory has made some huge errors. For instance…

If this was in fact a hack, as Weiner claims, then it’s not unreasonable that the alleged hacker would do everything that he or she could do to make the individual look guilty, including retweeting the offending image, and then deleting it. Rep. Weiner is not just a progressive provocateur who has very few fans on the right, but he is also a very public figure with 45,000 Twitter followers. So it is perfectly reasonable to wonder why it would appear that his offending tweet was only retweeted once, by a Twitter user who goes by the handle @patriotusa76:

Sure it’s reasonable – and you’d think with their resources that they would have gotten the answer right.

Weiner’s 45k followers didn’t see the tweet because of the way Twitter works. When you send a ‘mention’ – putting another person @ handle in front, the only people to see that on their timeline are people who follow BOTH parties. It’s explained here.

So rather than 45,000 followers seeing it, it would have been whoever followed BOTH @RepWeiner and Gennette Cordvoa –this number might have been a handful of people. Maybe. Only 100 or so people followed Ms. Cordova.

Now, if people were viewing Rep. Weiner’s page – not the ‘Timeline, but his own page – they would have seen it. And that’s exactly how @patriotusa76: saw because he didn’t follow either one.

Mediate needs to issue a retraction and an apology, ASAP. Why didn’t they check this out before publishing their story? And frankly, they SHOULD do a story on the nature and tone of the criticism over at DailyKos, especially since CNN used DailyKos as an example of counter argument.

Let’s see how objective Mediate is.

UPDATE: Ezra has more on this here.

31 Comments

  1. Don’t forget that the lady in question had Tommy Christopher as one of the six people she followed when she went back on the net and was supposedly “avoiding” reporters.

    That would be a good question for Tommy Wouldn’t it?

    Reply
  2. You’re obsession with Rep. Weiner and dicks is becoming the joke of the internet.

    Reply
  3. Tommy Christopher is for Anthony Weiner what WNY blogger Alan Bedenko was for Eric Massa…
    an apparatchik…

    Reply
  4. Although I agree with the Tommy Xtopher angle, it should be noted that it was Mediaite Colby Hall who wrote/posted the @patriotusa76 implication that is noted/linked above. My take, is Colby has been far more the instigator in insinuating Wolfe’s guilt (before we even know a hack has been committed as fact) over at Mediaite. More than Tommy Xtopher. But Tommy, crosses the journalistic line by coming up with Weiner’s defense theories.

    Tommy and Colby (remember, Colby is Tommy’s editor) judge others often and behave differently than how they judge.

    Reply
  5. Great show last night with Larry, Lee. I was struck by ezra’s call when he explained how patriotusa76 caught the tweet — it really drives home how lucky/fortunate/coincidental this was. That pic sat there for 4 minutes and was likely in no one’s timeline (now that we know patriot wasn’t following either user); that he stumbled onto RepWeiner’s page at that moment in time was so unlikely it seems impossible. That HAS to be what is driving Weiner insane: WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! he’s thinking.

    As for Tommy, I’ve had run-ins with him before on Twitter. Especially in 2008 or 2009, when it was becoming apparent Blue Dogs weren’t going to vote for all of Obama’s socialist agenda. He was screaming for primary-from-the-left for guys like Heath Shuler and seemed basically unhinged. He doesn’t seem to understand his position is to investigate policy, not drive it.

    Reply
  6. Notyouagain,

    We’ve already been over this in another thread, but you’re hatred for republicans accused of the same thing makes you seem like a mindless sheep when it comes to dems accused of philandering.

    You didn’t answer my question in our last debate: you said republicans promote family values. Do democrats not promote family values? As Kevin pointed out, Clinton wasn’t a vocal proponent of “swinging,” and I’m pretty sure Weiner wasn’t advocating abandoning your marital vows for a piece of college ass. That makes them ALL hypocrites. Now, if we were talking about Larry Flynt cheating on his wife, I could agree with you.

    But we’re not. Either you care when one does it, or you don’t care at all when anyone does it. Because that will make YOU the hypocrite.

    Reply
  7. Of course democrats support family values, values like healthcare, social security, welfare for the poor, social security for the sick and aged,equal rights for everyone. Those are family values.
    Republicans, you’ll notice ,support none of those and instead define family values as just the opposite of those ideals and instead focus on ending legal abortion, prayer is school, abstinence instead of birth control, and unequal rights for gay people. That’s the difference.

    Are you saying Clinton should have had a policy position on “swinging” to promote real family values? Too funny.

    Are you and Breitbart now accusing Rep. Weiner of “abandoning his marital vows for a piece of college ass”? Enquirering Minds Want To Know…

    Reply
  8. notyou: I think you’re suggesting that hypocrisy is only hypocrisy when you say so, and it seems to be a movable target. The problem is not, as it turns out, philandering spouses: because, by that yard stick, Republicans and Democrats are equally hypocritical. So, it’s whether a given politicians supports the particular policies that YOU support because YOU believe that they are the best things for families, which is circular point of view that cannot be successfully contradicted.

    It’s an assertion that the only way in which someone can demonstrate a sincere belief in an amorphous concept (family values) is to agree specifically with you on a range of policy choices or, at the very least, have the decency to put the correct letter next to their name. If someone feels that low taxes help families, but that government entitlements damage families by providing perverse incentives, how do they not believe in family values? Now, they maybe that’s wrong: perhaps high taxes help families, and having families on the dole does not “rob them of their dignity” (as Zig Ziglar might say). It means they are procedurally incorrect, not that they are hypocrites.

    Reply
  9. Hi,

    Who actually took the screenshot of the photo?

    Reply
  10. “You’re [sic] obsession with Rep. Weiner and dicks is becoming the joke of the internet.”

    No it isn’t.

    Gosh, who knew it was that easy! I love you, internet!

    I’m glad you’re staying on top of this issue. I think about the Edwards scandal in hindsight and the immeasurable damage that could have been done to a sitting president trying to keep an illegitimate child secret. I figure the susceptibility to blackmail tops the list. Probably a healthy dose of anxiety and depression for the president. An odd relationship with the press, many of whom knew of the affair. The odd relationship with your staff, who are covering for you. The inevitable distraction when uncovered. Exposing these shitbags as soon as possible is a public service. Thank you for it.

    Reply
  11. BTW, I’m not accusing Weiner of anything, myself. Although if you haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s piece on Weinergate, you must. It was so, so funny.

    But his (Weiner’s) reaction to the scandal is bad if he is “guilty”, but even worse if he is innocent. A completely innocent soul responding so poorly to such a superficial scandal bespeaks of incompetence, which is at least as bad as being a congressional Lothario.

    Reply
  12. @Kevin – I still haven’t figured out why he doesn’t just say “my wife knows every pair of underwear I own and she knows those aren’t my underwear.” Done deal. The person who can prove the pic is not of Weiner’s weener does so and the rest can fall where it may.

    Actually, I lied. I have figured out why he hasn’t done that.

    Reply
  13. notyou,

    I’m sorry, did you sleep through reading comprehension, or just fail that class all together?

    YOU said that republicans are hypocrites when they cheat because they promote strong family values. I asked if democrats weren’t hypocrites when they cheat because they don’t promote strong family values?

    I’m not saying that Bill Clinton should promote swinging. However, since he doesn’t, he’s every bit the hypocrite that Newt Gingrich is.

    But thank you for proving my point. You only hold standards that you can double.

    Reply
  14. S. Adam: Excellent point. Or my preferred response: “Well, I didn’t want to say anything but–um–my wife could tell you I have to have custom made underwear specially tailored to accommodate my–um–generous proportions. I don’t what said, small person that’s a picture of, but it clearly isn’t me.”

    Reply
  15. Lee, there are two questions that I don’t think anyone has answered:

    1. Where did patriot and his group of twitter pals hear the rumor about a congressman and compromising pictures?

    2. How did Andrew Breitbart get the story so quickly?

    The rumor came from someone who knew there were compromising pictures of a congressman, presumably Anthony Weiner, although when patriot and his twitter pals heard the rumor they speculated about two other congressman. I think it is safe to conclude now that the pictures were in an online account belonging to Anthony Weiner. How would anyone know about compromising pictures or be in a position to start a rumor if they hadn’t hacked the acccount?

    I assume that patriot forwarded the screen cap of the tweet to Andrew Breitbart but if he didn’t, how did Andrew Breitbart pick up the story so quickly?

    Reply
  16. “I assume that patriot forwarded the screen cap of the tweet to Andrew Breitbart but if he didn’t, how did Andrew Breitbart pick up the story so quickly?”

    Because patriotusa76 and his twitter friends and most likely the hackers are paid hacks of Breitbart.

    Thanks for asking. There is a kind of a coming together and it all points to the racist fraud Breitbart.

    Reply
  17. Because patriotusa76 and his twitter friends and most likely the hackers are paid hacks of Breitbart.

    So, why hasn’t Weiner contacted the authorities if that’s the case? Huh?

    If you’re so damn sure of what you’re alleging, then a crime was committed. And hyper-partisan fools like you would be aaaaaall over it. You know, take down the racist fraud or whatever you think he is.

    Yet for some reason, Weiner isn’t pursuing it.

    Strange, that.

    Reply
  18. “So, why hasn’t Weiner contacted the authorities if that’s the case? Huh?”

    How do you know Weiner hasn’t contacted the authorities and the authorities asked him to make no mention of it?

    Huh? Answer me that.

    And I, like you, have no idea of what the truth is. However I do know that Breitbart is a proven liar and a fraud. See Shirley Sherrod. ACORN….

    You have no idea whether Weiner is pursuing it or not now do you? Dumbass.

    God you people are stupid.

    Reply
  19. Jimg,
    Don’t waste your breath on this troll. He just cries “racist” over and over again.

    Reply
  20. Yeah right. My post that mark makes the claim that I “just cry racist over and over again”.

    Why don’t you take the lead and address my unrefutable points? Huh? Try that, jackass.

    You are a stupid stupid man.

    mark June 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Jimg,
    Don’t waste your breath on this troll. He just cries “racist” over and over again.
    jharp June 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    “So, why hasn’t Weiner contacted the authorities if that’s the case? Huh?”

    How do you know Weiner hasn’t contacted the authorities and the authorities asked him to make no mention of it?

    Huh? Answer me that.

    And I, like you, have no idea of what the truth is. However I do know that Breitbart is a proven liar and a fraud. See Shirley Sherrod. ACORN….

    You have no idea whether Weiner is pursuing it or not now do you? Dumbass.

    God you people are stupid.

    Reply
  21. Stupid huh? Since when is the pursuit of the truth of a matter “stupid”? I no more want to see a congressman framed and his reputation destroyed than you do. And if the pursuit of the truth reveals that he was framed by conservative activists then they should pay the price. If not and Anthony Weiner is a slimeball, wouldn’t you rather know it than not?

    Politicians from both parties have been getting away with crap like this for far too long. I would think that members of both parties could find common ground by exposing them and refusing to tolerate it. It’s unfortunate that that is not the case.

    Reply
  22. shegide June 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    “Stupid huh? Since when is the pursuit of the truth of a matter “stupid”?”

    You fucking dumbasses have no interest in the truth. None. Death panels, birth certificate, secret Muslim. government takeover of health care, socialized medicine, voter fraud, Sherrod, ACORN, Kenneth Gladney, … ….need I go on?

    And your leader is Breitbart? A proven liar and fraud.

    Yeah right. You’re in a pursuit of the truth.

    Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

    God you people are stupid.

    Reply
  23. Seriously guys, jharp is a racist little troll. Don’t even waste your time.

    And here’s why people like Lee could save the democratic party if it weren’t completely filled with jharps:
    Because Lee understands that you can disagree with someone without that person being “evil.” There are evil people in the world. Jharp seems to believe half this country is evil.

    And, God, that’s pretty fucking stupid. Hell, he hates Lee, a liberal, for being friends with breitbart.

    Seriously, dude. Get some help. You need it.

    Reply
  24. mark,

    1) I do not hate anybody. And I do not hate Lee. I don’t even know him.
    2) I do not believe half this country is evil.

    You are just making shit up due to your frustration of me making you look like the fucking dumbass that you are.

    And for the record. I do believe that about half of the country are dumbasses.

    Hence, we have the republican party. Teabaggers. Rush Limbaugh. Glenn Beck. Sarah Palin. Mike Pence. Michelle Bachmann. Rick Santorum… ….

    And Fox News.

    God you people are stupid.

    Reply
  25. Got it. Anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

    And racist.

    God you’re fucking stupid.

    Reply
  26. “Got it. Anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.”

    “And racist.”

    Wrong again jackass.

    Editing a video that libels a black person by portraying them as a racist when the opposite is true is racism. And your hero Breitbart that you support did just that.

    You tell me jackass. Does supporting and defending a racist and racism make you a racist?

    And please. Cite my claim that anyone disagreeing with me is stupid.

    What is with you lunatics that you feel you can just make shit up and folks will believe it. Years of listening to El Rushbo? Is that it?

    Reply
  27. mark June 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Jimg,
    Don’t waste your breath on this troll. He just cries “racist” over and over again.

    *****************************************************************************

    mark June 1, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Fuck off, you racist. I’m done doing your homework. You provide no evidence to back up any claim, and you don’t even read the links I give you anyway. Prove your accusations or shut the fuck up, you racist.
    *****************************************************************************

    mark you truly are a special sort of buffoon.

    Lovely talking to you. I very much appreciate all you do for our side.

    God you people are stupid.

    Reply
  28. “And for the record. I do believe that about half of the country are dumbasses.”

    That’s you, dipshit.

    All the rest of your post was bullshit, too. But you never back up your bullshit accusations, so I don’t feel the need to either.

    Reply
  29. Good one mark.

    Thank you kindly for the data supporting my hypothesis. (try the google – hypothesis is 4 syllables and I’m certain you’ll need some help with it)

    Reply
  30. And thank you for proving how delusional you are.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Debunked: Anthony Weiner Tweet was fake because only one person saw it » Joe Report - - [...] Lee Stranahan from BigGovernment.com wondered this as well so he set forth to find an explanation. Weiner’s 45k followers …

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