Weiner: Hey, I’m saving taxpayers money by not getting the cops involved in this; Update: Blitzer interview video added; Update: New theory in Weiner’s defense; Update: Or not?

posted at 6:12 pm on June 1, 2011 by Allahpundit

He’s melting down so fast, in so many ways, that I could have headlined this post with four or five different soundbites. I almost went with Wolf Blitzer asking him whether those were, in fact, his underpants in the photo — yes, he really did ask him that — but hey, we’re all about cutting federal spending at HA.

So let me introduce you to Anthony Weiner, fiscal conservative.

“I did not send that photo. My system was hacked. I was pranked,” Weiner said. “Somebody sent a picture of a wiener from Weiner’s account. I’ve been hearing that joke since I was five.”

But is the photograph — a close up of a man’s underwear — a photograph of Anthony Weiner?

“I’m reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don’t know to what extent our system was hacked,” he said…

At one point, Weiner suggested he was saving taxpayer money by not calling for an investigation into such a trivial matter.

He must be the only person left on either side of this sham “debate” who finds this a trivial matter. Our side thinks he’s invented a crime out of whole cloth to cover up an extramarital flirtation; liberals think it’s some sort of vicious right-wing plot to frame him. Oddly, Weiner himself is famously combative towards conservatives — except in this one case, where he’s perfectly content to let bygones be bygones and have a private security firm under his direct control do all the investigating. In fact, despite the thought of some malfeasor rooting around in his private Twitter mailbox and trying to ruin his career and/or marriage, his main reaction to this today was … humor.

Remember five days ago, when this guy was regarded as being “media savvy”?

“Maybe it will turn out that this is the point of al-Qaeda’s sword,” he joked, before pointing out that he now has more Twitter followers than Michele Bachmann, making him an especially prank-worthy target. In fact, Weiner was full of jokes and did not seem at all stressed by the situation. At one point he apologized for being “a little bit stiff” with reporters yesterday (when he called a CNN producer a “jackass”). Reporters laughed as a boyish grin crept across his face. “What?” he asked. “The jokes kind of write themselves.” Earlier in the day, he joked with Paul Ryan outside the House chamber, telling the House Budget chair, “I have more Twitter followers than you.”

Weiner dodged repeated questions as to whether he has even taken pictures of himself in his underwear similar to the photo in question. “There are photos of me in the world,” he said. “I’m trying to draw a line here. I don’t want this to get further.”

See what I mean about there being too many soundbites to choose from? Emily Miller of the Washington Times was there too and tweeted her revulsion in real time. Another key line that I didn’t quote: He’s reluctant to take his case to the FBI because “ordinary people” can’t do the same and he is, after all, a man of the people. Except, of course, that “ordinary people” can do the same; there’s a tip page for cybercrimes at the FBI’s website and everything. And yet Weiner, stand-up guy that he is, somehow can’t muster the outrage to head on over there and fill out a complaint. All that stands between the left and total victory over the sinister wingnut hordes is him dialing up the cops, asking them to trace the IPs that accessed his account on Saturday, and then arresting the culprit. And yet, fightin’ liberal Anthony Weiner … just won’t do it. Suddenly, he’s almost zen-like in his serenity.

I’m waiting for CNN to post his interview with Blitzer this afternoon, which has to be seen to be believed. The money line: “I hope my marriage survives our first anniversary.” Contrast that with his tee-hee-ing at the presser quoted above. I’ll update this post when the clip is online; be sure to take a few minutes to watch it when I do, because the Greatest Show on Earth is about to come to an abrupt end:

“Watching Anthony Weiner’s twitter and press blitz is like watching a Charlie Sheen meltdown. It’s amusing, uncomfortable, and not necessary,” a Democratic leadership aide told me just now. “If Weiner really wants to get beyond this, he’ll shut up and let Democrats get back to their Medicare message.”

Exit question: How many shots of this guy’s nob are lying around that he can’t immediately and automatically say that the photo was of someone other than him? How did this story go from whether Weiner sent the pic to whether he’s capable of identifying his own junk?

Update: Via Mediaite, here’s the Blitzer video. Bret Baier’s supposedly going to air his own interview with Weiner on Special Report tonight. Note well his minimizing reference to the photo as “spam,” which isn’t remotely accurate. And a technophile like Weiner surely knows it.

Update: Via Lee Stranahan, the blog Cannonfire offers a techie argument in Weiner’s defense purporting to show that anyone can insert a photo into someone else’s Twitter stream simply by e-mailing it to their Yfrog account (i.e. the photo website that Weiner was using). No hacking was required; supposedly it’s a simple design flaw that makes the e-mailed photo look like it was sent from the recipient’s Twitter account, even though it wasn’t. If that’s true, though — and I’m sure techies are testing this theory right now — then I’m completely mystified as to why Weiner isn’t angrier about this. He has every right to ask the cops to clear his name and punish the person who set him up. As it is, he looks sketchier and more defensive in each new interview, to the point where even allies are getting nervous. (Note once again the Democratic leadership aide’s quote above.) He won’t even flatly deny that it’s him in the photo. Seriously, what’s going on here?

Update: Caleb Howe of Red State tested Cannonfire’s theory and found two problems. One: The alleged smoking gun involving a photo that lacks any Yfrog URL apparently isn’t much of a smoking gun. Cannonfire claimed that that was proof Weiner hadn’t posted the photo to his account; Howe did, however, post a photo to his own account — and it also lacked a Yfrog URL. Two: The only way someone could have inserted a photo into Weiner’s Twitter stream is if they had his Yfrog e-mail address, which turns out to be more obscure than you might think. It’s not simply deductive reasoning like “RepWeiner@Yfrog.com”. There would be additional random numbers and/or letters added on to the address, almost like a password, so that only Weiner himself could access it. Cannonfire’s theory works only if you assume that the guilty party somehow figured out Weiner’s Yfrog e-mail address.


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It will kill him to have to resign in disgrace…

OmahaConservative on June 2, 2011 at 7:56 AM

Could not happen to a more deserving Weiner

Roy Rogers on June 2, 2011 at 8:02 AM

[Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 7:36 AM]

What is (was) your problem, Cindy?

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Supposedly McAfee found and “quarantined” a FakeAler!.grb. I’d hate to see what happened if it hadn’t done that. No icons on the screen, hard drive alerts, every time you clicked on a fix (malwarebytes or existing scan) it would shut down the machine. All while a box offered to sell us a fix. Got that to do away with a thumb drive scan in safe mode, but then got C:\ProgramData|34987768r. Went back into time and reset the settings. Only thing now is the HP Advisor is denying access to my husbands stuff under his name. I’m pretty sure it’s all still there even though it says the files are empty. What I read about the trojan is that it doesn’t really do any damage, it just screws everything up in an extortion bid to sell the fix.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Thanks, I’ll give it a try. The fixes we have managed have been done with the thumb drive from safe mode. Do people really sell stuff by doing this? I’d pay the geeks at Best Buy twice before I pay extortion to some spammer.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Cindy,

The people on the other end of the FakeAlert type of worm aren’t after selling you software. The specific parts of the Alert are a fake and the software is a fake. They are after the credit card numbers people use, in a panic, to buy their removal software.

BTW, the offer to get your download via email was, most likely, a redirect to one of their pages seeking to get even more of your information. The email would have arrived in your box with even more insidious trojans.

Yoop on June 2, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Yoop on June 2, 2011 at 8:31 AM

You know, I never even thought of that, I’m such a pollyanna. That makes a lot more sense than selling computer fixes. Thank goodness I have some skepticism.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Article I, Section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
CODE OF OFFICIAL CONDUCT

1. A Member, officer, or employee of the House of Representatives shall conduct himself at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives

I believe charges of hacked IT devices and crotch shots requires a House Ethics Committee investigation.

Roy Rogers on June 2, 2011 at 8:43 AM

“Only thing now is the HP Advisor is denying access to my husbands stuff under his name. I’m pretty sure it’s all still there even though it says the files are empty.”

I’m pretty sure, then, that there is still a core malware/virus there, particularly if it also prevents you from running any anti-virus or anti-malware programs. But maybe not if you can run them. If you had anti-malware type programs on your computer already, the best thing to do is run them after booting to the command prompt option.

First thing to do is go Run: explorer.exe and find the exact file location for the program. For instance,
C:program files\malwarebytes’ anti-malware\mbam.exe

Now you are ready. Reboot and instead of selecting Windows safe mode, choose Windows command prompt, that’s the old DOS screen.

At the prompt, make sure it is in C:, then type in
cd program files\malwarebytes’ anti-malware and hit return. Then type in mbam.exe and hit return. When the window comes up choose the full scan. It will take about an hour. I think you’ll find some more malware though it may be unfunctional detritus from the attack.

Your problem with unaccessible files might be that the properties of the files may have been changed to “hidden”. For that, Run explorer.exe. Better yet check this when you’re go into window explorer to find the anti-malware file location I described above. Go into “Tools” up top and click ‘folder options’, hit the “View” tab and move the dot to “Show Hidden files and folders”. Now check to see if your husbands files exist.

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Does it make any difference that all this happened using Mozilla Firefox? Am I using IE for the fix? I have to let you know that what I have done so far has been from the help of Yoop, I still think computers are magic.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Does it make any difference that all this happened using Mozilla Firefox? Am I using IE for the fix? I have to let you know that what I have done so far has been from the help of Yoop, I still think computers are magic.

[Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM]

No it doesn’t make a difference that it happened using Firefox. As for “Am I using IE for the fix?”, thanks for that. It’s good for me to know how much you know, ’cause my explanations will be detailed to that. I wasn’t talking about IE; that’s iexplore.exe. I’m talking about Windows Explorer or My Computer.

If you want some help we can take this off-line. my e-mail is dustyraftery and I can be reached via hotmail if you know what I mean. You can explain just where you are now.

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Thanks, I’ll give it a try. The fixes we have managed have been done with the thumb drive from safe mode. Do people really sell stuff by doing this? I’d pay the geeks at Best Buy twice before I pay extortion to some spammer.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 7:36 AM

When you get one of those malware ads, don’t click deny. Click the corner X to close the box. Sometime that prevents it from installing.

I have had very good luck with the superantispyware scanner. It worked every time. It’s a small download. Every couple of weeks I download a new copy just to have on hand. When it happened to me, as I mentioned, it changed my proxy so I couldn’t find an online solution. It would not allow me to open programs, etc.

The first time this happened to me, I lost 2 days trying to figure how the hell to correct it. Again, the portable scanner program worked like a charm.

Blake on June 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Oh, and I don’t think I ever ran it in safe mode. Just run it.

Blake on June 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Oh, I tried all those other fixes. They either temporarily worked or didn’t work at all and it was extremely time consuming.

Blake on June 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM

When you get one of those malware ads, don’t click deny. Click the corner X to close the box. Sometime that prevents it from installing.

[Blake on June 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM]

Right you are. The x box is part of the Windows generated shell. There is no guarantee the stuff inside the box is a windows request box or the malware generated dialog box, in which case the Deny button could be Install.

superantispyware is a good program. I just mention malware bytes because it seems to be the favored program that computers stores use and is often factory added on new computers.

“When it happened to me, as I mentioned, it changed my proxy so I couldn’t find an online solution. It would not allow me to open programs, etc.”

Yeah, it happened to me. I had malware bytes. I was able to open explorer. I did find the location of the new program installed. I then rebooted to command prompt and deleted the files in that folder and also ran malware bytes from the command prompt and that got me cleaned up.

One thing the malware does is change some folder names and change the properties of some folders and files to “hidden”. Plus it sometimes guts your Start Menu.

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM

[Blake on June 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM]

I’ll have to set up a thumb drive and try that next time.

Dusty on June 2, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I suggest you download a copy before you need it. The last time it happened to me, I quickly used the months old copy I had and it still found and cleaned the malware out. I then followed it up with a fresh copy. Again, a real time saver. Plus, I was tempted to throw my computer off my balcony I was so frustrated. Cindy seems cool as a cucumber.

Blake on June 2, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Allah,

Regarding Weiner’s yFrog account:

Weiner specifically told Rachel Maddow, the following regarding his yFrog account (listen at 2:10 to 2:25) :

“As far as the yFrog account, I’ll be very honest with you, I didn’t really know for sure what that was until this thing popped up, and I clicked on it, and then it directed me to where these photographs were being kept, an and I, I kind of quickly deleted it and moved on with my life.”

(his verbal emphasis in original).

Remember, this was right at the time of the incident!

Like Curious George, the Member sees the photo of a member, clicks on it, suddenly discovers he has a yFrog account with photos in it, and deletes the photo and/or the account!!

So, if there is any proof at all that he created the yFrog account, and especially if there were any (many?) prior instances of his having sent or “tweeted” photos being kept in that yFrog account, then Weiner was simply dissembling in his interview with Maddow, and she missed, or ignored the obvious opportunity for a follow-up.

From the NY Times story “Lawmaker Denies Sending Suggestive Photo but Doesn’t Rule Out It’s of Him” By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ:

. . .
Jack Levin, the chief executive of yFrog, the Twitter-affiliated image and video service that was used to upload the photo, said in an interview on Wednesday that his company did not have reason to believe that its user passwords were exposed or stolen. He said it was possible that the photo could have been sent from Mr. Weiner’s yFrog account through his Twitter password or through a yFrog password.

Mr. Levin said neither Mr. Weiner’s office nor any law enforcement authorities had contacted him or his company to inquire about the photo.
. . . .

So, Weiner claims in an interview with Rachel Maddow that he knew nothing about the yFrog account, yet his investigators, as of yesterday, had not even contacted yFrog with any inquiries whatsoever about the account, including when it was created, and by whom!

Nor have they inquired about when the specific photo was uploaded and by whom? Nor, presumably, have they asked about other photos that were residing in the account?

He doesn’t dissemble well!

Trochilus on June 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Blake on June 2, 2011 at 10:11 AM

My laptop and the kind folks at HotAir is all that has kept me from doing something I’ll regret later. I’m writing down all the the advice and sites so I will be better prepared.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Supposedly McAfee found and “quarantined” a FakeAler!.grb.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Cindy,

As with most things “everybody’s mileage will vary” with the anti-virus software. The machine that had the problem similar to yours that I had to rescue was a Dell PC running Vista and McAfee, also. McAfee let it through. McAfee was also producing a number of false alerts.

I have everything running Fire Fox now and Norton 360. Once I switched and upgraded to Norton 360 I have never looked back. It’s a bit pricey: approx. $80 off the shelf at WalMart but that covers up to three machines for one year. I just downloaded their newest version (v5.1.0.29) two weeks ago and it is awesome. It is one of the highest rated security softwares out there and test show it to have the lowest rate of false alerts and false positives. It even monitors the cpu activity and alerts when a program is using too much of the processor.

Yoop on June 2, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Yoop on June 2, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I have Norton on my lap top because that is what the internet provider recently switched to, in Virginia the provider uses McAfee. Usually if you buy one, it disables the other and I didn’t know if that was okay to do. I worry about breaking the rules while they let viruses run rampant, what’s wrong with this picture?

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 11:12 AM

My laptop and the kind folks at HotAir is all that has kept me from doing something I’ll regret later. I’m writing down all the the advice and sites so I will be better prepared.

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Cindy, it would probably serve you to stop clicking on all of those “OMG OBAMA ADMITS HES A MUSLIM BORN IN KENYA CLICK HERE NOW” e-mails…

NoStoppingUs on June 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

re the cannonfire/redstate back and fourth- am i missing something? in all of this ‘heres a backdoor way to post something to your yfrog account’ discussion isnt that ignoring the fact that the actual issue here wasnt that the picture showed up on yfrog, but that it showed up as a tweet to one specific person? lets say the hacler emails something weiners yfrog, so it reposts on his twitter- that still doesnt create a tweet to @collegegirl, does it?

p00pies on June 2, 2011 at 12:18 PM

NoStoppingUs on June 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

LOL!!! Let me write that down!!!

Cindy Munford on June 2, 2011 at 12:24 PM

He keeps saying that the Seattle woman “says she doesn’t know me”. Why wouldn’t he just say that she doesn’t know him? Or that he doesn’t know him? She has said that she doesn’t know him. That’s true. But we don’t need him to parrot what she’s said. We need to say what he knows to be true.

Mark Jaquith on June 2, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Technical explanation of why this whole “Yfrog email hacked” theory is 99% certain to be bunk: http://georgegooding.com/post/6120191663/weiner-yfrog-email-debunked

Seixon on June 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

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