He’s gone now, vanished, and our national bloodlust has apparently been saked until next time. But before we all move on to the next outrage which makes us feel better about ourselves—well, at least we didn’t do that—let me throw out a theory I have, and I will bet money that within a year someone will prove this to be true: Anthony Weiner was set up.
Over the weekend, the TImes ran a piece reporting that some unknown people had created fake identities on Twitter in order to collect damaging information about the congressman.
At least three months before the revelation that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner was sending lewd messages and photos to women online, a small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter. Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.
But even before this article, I had come to believe that someone was stage-managing the press in the Wiener matter—that reporters, probably knowingly, were being manipulated in order to destroy an outspoken liberal member of Congress. There were too many anonymous stories that managed to be broken like clockwork, which is to say, just when it seemed things might be calming down. Okay, here’s the penis picture. Okay, here’s the underage girl. (How exactly did reporters find out about that one?)
Then there’s the story of Genette Cordova, the woman to whom Weiner sent the now-infamous photo of his crotch. Somehow anonymous right-wingers were harassing her well before that happened.
Ms. Cordova said that after Mr. Weiner began following her, critics of the congressman started sending her harassing messages. She said she then began communicating, always electronically, with the congressman about their shared annoyance with those critics.
Even now, no one knows who those conservative cyberstalkers are, and whether they had any official relationship with the Republican Party. (I think it’s about a 40-60 chance.)
But we do know that the guy who broke the story, Andrew Breitbart, also promoted undercover attempts to discredit NPR and Acorn, the community group.
It’s clear that a shadowy group of political operatives, whether amateur or professional, was determined to take out Anthony Weiner, and Weiner gave them the material with which to do it. But wouldn’t you like to know who they are? And who will they turn their sights to next?