Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Silly Season Upon Us?

Update: Yes, I was wrong about Weiner, and owe McCain an apology.  So, here it is: Robert Stacy McCain, you were right and I was wrong.  I will leave this post here just to remind myself that I can be just as wrong as anyone.

The supposed "scandal" related to Representative Anthony Weiner's Twitter account is allowing this rather outspoken congressperson's many enemies to try to give legs to something that fell apart almost as soon as it was attempted.  This is where our politics has returned, to its low point in the early days of the Republic when the purpose was to trash, not to convince.

No one was fooled by this silly attempt to tar Weiner, not even his political enemies.  Yet they are still trying to use it to tarnish his reputation.

Robert Stacy McCain, writing in The American Spectator, works very hard today to turn the malicious hoax into a scandal, but can't manage it without undercutting himself in his second paragraph, where he writes:
That Tweet (as Twitter messages are called) was potentially visible to the more than 40,000 people who follow Weiner's Twitter feed, including his political enemies, who immediately interpreted this shocking message as evidence that the liberal Democrat was up to online hanky-panky.
Nobody is going to send a sexually suggestive picture to 40,000 people in the hopes of seducing a specific one of them.  Weiner says his account was hacked--well, something certainly happened, and that something clearly did not originate with him.  Even were he a sexual predator, he would not have sent out that photo that way (plus--which McCain fails to mention--the picture did not come from the device Weiner uses).

McCain stokes the flames of his "scandal" by hinting that Weiner uses his Twitter account to communicate with potential sex mates:
 While Weiner is followed by tens of thousands of Twitter users, he follows fewer than 200 accounts himself, among which... [are] a number of young women of no particular political interest. Which may be significant, considering that Twitter DMs can only be sent between users who are mutually following each other's feeds.
Oh, please.

The kicker is that McCain is willing to accept Andrew Breitbart, he of constant attempt at manipulating the news media by presenting doctored stories, as a legitimate journalist.  He even quotes Breitbart:
"We are simply reporting the facts."
This isn't a scandal any more than Breitbart is a journalist.

Or, if it is a scandal, the scandal lies in the fact that people like Breitbart (and his henchman James O'Keefe) can so easily fool so many into taking nonsense seriously.

No comments: