Weinergate

Weinergate

Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 10:16PM EDT by Brad.  

Added by Don.

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Overview

Weinergate was a controversy surrounding a tweet posted by former New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account that included a picture of a bulging penis under a pair of grey boxer briefs.

Background

On May 27th, 2011, Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account posted a link to a photo of a boxer brief clad man with a visible erection. The tweet was directed to a journalism student at a Washington State community college, who has since deleted both her Twitter and Facebook accounts.[1]


Notable Developments

The Daily Show Commentary

On May 31st, 2011, John Stewart reported on the scandal in an episode of The Daily Show. During the segment, he revealed that Weiner was a friend and that he had doubts about the photo’s authenticity (shown below). In a follow-up segment on June 1st, he commented on Weiner’s lack of “certitude” concerning the photo.



Image Composition Analysis

On June 1st, 2011, Journalist Anthony De Rosa posted an analysis of the EXIF data from the tweeted photo on his blog,[2] showing that it did not match the EXIF data from an image posted on his Twitter account prior.

Weiner’s Confession

On June 6th, 2011, Weiner admitted to tweeting the photo at a press conference in Manhattan (shown below), saying he intended to send the photo as a direct message to the woman “as a joke..” He went on to reveal that he had engaged in inappropriate conversations with other women he met over social networking sites and had sent several inappropriate photos.



Resignation

On June 16th, 2011, Weiner announced he would be resigning from Congress and five days later, he formally stepped down from the office.[6] On September 13th, a special election to fill the vacant seat was held in New York, from which Republican businessman Bob Turner emerged as the victor over the Democrat state assemblyman David Weprin.[7]

2013 Mayoral Election

On April 10th, 2013, the New York Times[4] published an interview in which Weiner revealed he was considering to run for Mayor of New York City and that he wanted to “ask people to give me a second chance.” On May 21st, 2013, Weiner officially announced his candidacy for Mayor in a video uploaded to YouTube (shown below).



Sexting Controversy

On July 22nd, 2013, the Arizona nightlife website The Dirty[5] published an article reporting that Weiner had allegedly exchanged sexting messages with a young woman through Facebook following his resignation from the congressional office in August 2011. The post contained a screenshot showing an SMS conversation between Weiner and the woman, who wishes remain anonymous (shown below, left), as well as a censored photograph of his exposed genitalia (shown below, right).



According to the woman’s claim, Weiner promised her a job at the blog Politico as well as a condominium in Chicago during the summer of 2012, all while sending sexually explicit photos under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.” On July 23rd, Weiner admitted that he continued to send sexually explicit messages and photos to a woman even after his resignation during a public appearance at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis headquarters in New York (shown below).



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